Ugh being sick as a teacher is the worst! No other job is it harder to miss work than to suck it up and just go! Maybe I am the only one who feels like this. But I am convinced that while the substitute teachers are Saints and I worship the job they do - they are not me...and only I truly understand my students and my classroom. (Can someone say narcissism? [side note: any English 2 student who is actually reading my blog - I just used a vocabulary word from this week - reference my blog in class and get +2 EC]) Not only does being sick as a teacher inconvenience me but also a mother and a runner. I can not help with homework, enjoy school activities or RUN. But enough whining - I know - its the flu - get over it and the self-importance you seem to have :)
This week is homecoming and to start the week, our school is traveling to help out a school district affected by the flooding. Parents sometimes seem to be hard on us as a district because we are so small. Lack of elective offerings, lack of diversity, or same kids getting chosen/elected to everything. But in reality, we are awesome because we are small. We have a district in need so we go help. It would be much easier to stay in school - teach the plans I had that aligned so well with the core - and stay focused on test scores...But instead, we will focus on the human side of our students. Students will forego a dress up day, forego a hot lunch, and forego classroom time because someone needs our help - and that is what we do - we help those in need. Our students will be better citizens because of it - but no test will measure it... and sadly people will over look it.
Well I thought I was a rock star after I posted last week, but I am not feeling that way now. I feel overwhelmed and stressed at the thought of having to write this blog. I was expressing this to my sophomore class, and they laughed at me. One them even quoted my famous advice, "suck it up buttercup and just get it done." Okay I needed that kick to get busy.
This week I started a new intervention on two students. It is the FastForword program. Our k-12 interventionist found it at a conference this summer and fell in love. It not only helps with reading, but it rewires the brain. The program helps with focus, retention of all information, and auditory processing. My youngest son has an auditory processing disorder and so he was the first guinea pig for me to use with this program. With our school day schedule the way it is, I gave up my prep period so junior high student could have access to this program. We just started last year and my son hates it - so it must be working! Seriously, what seventh grader wants to give up his only study hall to sit in his mom's room and play video games. The program is hard to explain but check out the website if you are looking for reading interventions.
This week also marks the start of English reading the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller. I really enjoy teaching great literature that is historical relevant. The students can really dig in to the story when I can relate real life events and people. Although showing the Monte Python movie clip is the real highlight of the unit:
This year marks my 14th year here at Riceville Community School. I am excited to be teaching some great classes with some awesome students. I spent much of my summer planning and looking for new and exciting projects to try with my students. Along the way, I also decided to add to my education. I enrolled at UNI in the Instructional Technology Cohort. Upon completion this is add a second master's degree to my resume. I am taking two classes right now but will discuss more about that later.
I discovered an impressive writing project for my sophomore English 2 class to do for the trimester project. I was tired on the old project I had used in the past. I had also heard talk that the district would be adding a district wide writing goal for this year. I was extremely excited to unveil this new project. The project called for each student identify a world/global issue that they wanted to learn more about. Each student had to set up his or her own webpage and start blogging about the issue. The students must also create a PSA, podcast, physical display of the work, present the project to a small group of community members, and develop a possible solution. Now as most veteran teachers will understand, the students were slightly less excited about this undertaking than I was. They complained about having to write a weekly blog and to publish it. I dismissed the concerns, until... my professor tells me that for my graduate class I have to write a blog! What?!?!?!?
I was hit with a wave of anxiety. Me? Write for all the world to see? What if no one read it? What if people did not like it? WHAT IF I MADE A GRAMMATICAL ERROR? I quickly assumed the panic position - put my head between my knees and took several deep breathes.... at look at me now - BLOGGING....feeling like a rock star!
Until the next post - check out my students' blogs and feel free to comment.
Mrs. Kuhn's Webpage