Much Encouraged

Much encouraged.

That's what I am after this day.

I have not been excited about going back to school. I've had zero motivation to prepare. The reason being is that I felt that my principal hated me. I honestly felt that if I wasn't a math teacher that they would not have kept me. I have been discouraged thinking about a year of looking over my shoulder and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I am terrible at hiding emotion. You can easily see on my face when I am angry, annoyed, tired, bored or if I think you're an idiot. Which doesn't really work well with being in public...

I hate fake small talk. I would rather sit in awkward silence then ask questions you don't care to answer and that I don't care to hear the answer. In groups of people I tend to sit back and observe. I like to see how people treat others, what makes the laugh, what bothers them, and basically who they are. Then I feel like I know how to approach them. Unfortunately this comes across as me being stuck up and rude. My dry sense of humor and sarcasm are not useful tools in erasing those assumptions.

All that to say, I've felt...uncomfortable.

Today after our meeting I spoke with the principal about my ideas for the upcoming year. He liked every idea and said that I was on the right track with the trainings he had been going to and that he knew he had the right teacher in the right place.

He said I could not grade homework.

He said I could be SBG.

He liked my weekly vocab quiz and loved loved loved the Frayer model. (Thanks @graceachen!)

He liked the idea of me incorporating reading and writing.

He agreed that we don't care about points but that WE CARE ABOUT LEARNING MOST!

That 10 minute conversation rocked my world, gave me hope, and changed my entire perspective on the school year.

My schedule has changed as well:

Homeroom- Interventions/RTI
1- Algebra Remediation
2- Geometry
3- Algebra I
4- Algebra I
5- Geometry
6- Plan
7- Algebra I

I only have 2 preps! That's fantastical!!!

Algebra remediation is an extra math class that certain incoming freshman have to take. They have me for Algebra I in addition to the remediation class. These are students who are not college-ready and so they will be getting extra help, time for homework and review, etc. Basically an intervention class to prevent students from falling behind. Students are chosen based on test scores, GPAs, and teacher recommendation. But you know what that means for the SBG express....perfect time for retaking assessments. SBG goes perfectly with this. It's like I have built in time to do what you all have to do after-school! Na na boo boo :P And the class is pass fail so traditional grading is unnecessary. At this point it seems like a wondrous idea. I hope it plays out that way as well...

I spent the rest of the day re-arranging my classroom. Unfortunately, I decided to get motivated a teensy bit late and so now I might possibly be a little bit pressed for time. Possibly.

I would like to propose that I found the most random things in my classroom today: a crockpot and a box of sweet n low.

I kid you not.

Oh, and by the way this blog is brought to you by my very own school-issued Ipad!!


Leave me some comments of super cool techie edu fun downloadable apps!

Sent from my iPad

Ha ha I typed that myself tricksters!!!

(See what a little encouragement can do?)

Much encouraged.


  1. Great! I'm glad you're starting the school year off so well. A supportive admin can make all the difference. And with the ipad you don't have to worry about all that netbook drama right? One more stress gone.

  2. Hurray! That sounds awesome :) Agree with Jason- having your principal behind you is so huge, and it sounds like you agree on some of the most important things philosophically. Good luck setting up!

  3. Have you come up with a WCYDWT for the Sweet'n'Lo yet?

  4. Loving your enthusiasm!
    And our schedules are very similar so I will be reading your posts closely and snagging ideas along the way. :)

  5. I share in your joy of supportive admin having some myself. I also teach a 'algebra remediation' (we call it algebra support) for students pre-identified as most likely to struggle in algebra and have had good success with it and with the SBG model we implemented in all alg 1 classes last year.

    I'm curious to know what are the big things you see yourself focusing on in Alg Remediation? We end up doing a lot of preview/review/hmwk help, but I would like to go more basic logic building and would love to know if you've done or are planning to do anything similar. Thanks! Ashli

  6. I'm curious to know how you implemented that and sbg last year successfully.

    Right now it's been strictly preview because they have the support class first hour and then the normal Alg 1 class later on throughout the day. I think it's went well so far in that I have a lot of shy girls who answer more in class because they are more confident and prepared due to the earlier support.

    I'm not sure what the big things will be. This is a brand new addition to our schedule and of course brand new to me. We did go through and make lists of things they felt confident about and things they didn't. I've been working them into our warm-ups. Things like converting, fractions, etc. The big thing I'm working on without them knowing I'm working on it is mental math and thinking in general. They are so programmed to use calculators that they can't even subtract 10 from 14. So we've been working on that and I see them counting on fingers or up in the ceiling but reaching for the calculator has become a little less second nature.

    Any ideas or suggestions?