Thursday, September 07, 2006

candle burning....

Could someone please tell where I am and what day it is? Between faculty meetings, department meetings, budgets, play rehearsal, anniversaries, birthday parties, open houses, and two-year old running amok I feel tired. All I do is wake up at 4:45 am and go until around 10:30 or 11:00 at night. There are many high points but most things are blurry. The amazingly funny part to this story...I couldn't be any more happy. Bags under the eyes are just a fact of life in your first year of teaching a new subject, I think it's all the other extra activities that have me spinning.

I know I have neglected this blog and I am sorry, for the ten of you that read it. But to make matters worse I am now responsible, my own self doing, for monitoring my class blogs as well. I will try to keep you all updated as to the funny things that are going on up here or any random thoughts that cross my mind. You know, like, the new gray hair I found this past weekend...ok, maybe not that.

Again, I can't say this enough. I should have NEVER left teaching, I am home and it feels great!!! I miss my peeps back at MSC..but I love my kids (all 96 of them) and no matter how tired I get, the next day can't come soon enough.

Talk with you all soon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

What is school...and why am I there?

After spending the last couple of days of August trying to rest and cleaning my classroom, I tried to mentally prepare myself for the onslaught of students (all 1300 plus of them) that would be arriving on Wednesday. There would be plenty of faces I would remember, even though I spent a year plus away from these hallowed halls, and I am sure a few I would forget.

I have yet to be able to classify how it feels to walk into your classroom knowing that in mere moments the halls and your room will be filled with overflowing bravado, shyness, freaks, geeks, jocks, barbie dolls, and ecetera. I truly believe that they all want to be there in some strange way. There is some sense of security in a school, maybe not physically but surly mentally. Yes, even for the teachers. Maybe that is what I feel, security. Not so much in that I'll have a job because of the union, but more so in the truth of knowledge. No matter how little or great the amount gained may be. (Note: I have now fully stepped onto the soapbox...prepare thyself.)

I have the unique opportunity of teaching to mostly seniors with a few juniors sprinkled here and about. My homebase (or homeroom) students are freshman. It is the most amazing dichotomy I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Classic case of the haves versus the have-nots. Interestingly, however, they are both in the the same stages of knowledge. They both want it BADLY! Freshman want knowledge to fit in and to establish themselves from the middle school (or junior high school)"kids" they were just four months ago. Seniors need and want knowledge because they figured out there is actually some things you can be taught in this world that hold some value. Most of my students that take my class know that I teach more than a science, I teach life. Why? For the simple fact of that I think it's my responsibility and Physics is everywhere in life. There are some specific, mandatory tasks my students must do:

1. Read! I don't care if you can't, even at 17 or 18 you can learn. If it takes Jane, Dick and Spot than so be it. There is a ton of Physics in those books. That way I can teach you both at the same time.

2. Have Respect! Not just to me, but to your fellow classmates. Hey (or Hay) is not, and never will be, a proper way to address people. Between friends in casual conversation, at home, playing sports with your buddies, of course...in my classroom not a chance and you will not be recognized if you do. My response to the students is the following, "These people will remember you for how you treated them, said to and about them, and not for what you performed in these classrooms or sports fields. Believe me when I tell you that is how I will remember you!"

3. Speak and write properly! ESL is a fantastic program! What is most sad is that most people coming from that program speak and write better English than those that have lived here for their whole lives. This task goes hand in hand with #1, without them you will struggle in the "real world" not in like, oh my god, like Laguna Beach or the OC. Master the English language and you can master anything you set you mind to, and impress the hell out of a ton of people.

4. Be on time! Time is the one uncertainty in life that you truly have no control over. Why waste it being late for what could be the one most important thing in you life. Wedding, job, class, last chance to say "I love you" or "Goodbye". Plus, I just think it's plain rude!!

Beyond this...there really isn't that much more I can teach other than Physics. I assure them with hard work and a little patience that's the easy part. Following the four tasks above will be hard enough.