Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Toot a Horn or Not?

I know this is late, but with Skills USA competition this week, working on our industry certification, and getting ready for our 15th annual car show at the high school, I have not had a spare moment to collect my thoughts. I feel like I need to do this though, late or not.

The car show has been held at Jordan High School for the last 15 years and has been a huge event around Columbus for auto enthusiasts. This year was a little unusual. People entered anything from boats to tractors to hundred thousand dollar show cars. It is a huge fund raiser for the school. All different vocations and athletic teachers sell anything from candy to barbecue to hot dogs to tee shirts and hats. This year was the best yet. There were about 160 entries and also hundreds of people showed up and paid admission just to walk around and look at all the different entries. This is a good function for the school and a positive event for the community.

On another positive note, in the past, our school has gotten a lot of bad publicity for this or that, but this week, there was a good article in the Life and Taste section of the Ledger-Enquirer newspaper. Since I know a certain person won't toot his own horn, I'll toot it for him. There was a great article at Jordan on a certain Culinary Arts instructor, none other than Chef Austin "dangthatboycancook" Scott. The article covered the entire front page of that section, including four full color photographs, which included Chef and his students cooking, and another half page on the inside with some of the recipes the teens are cooking. This is a very impressive article, not only for the Culinary Arts department, but for Jordan High School as well, which is a positive PR shot in the arm that the school has been needing.


I was like Chad this week. I was giving a test and I pulled out an old test from the book. I found numerous mistakes. The format of the test was nothing like we have learned.
* capital letters were not used in responses
* the distractors were in no specific order
* the responses were not in column form
* the stems were difficult to read or understand what the were asking for
* there were no directions
So, after going back and changing the test I found that the students preferred the new test.
They mentioned:
*that it was easier to read and understand
*they actually learned the material other than memorizing
*they finished the test quicker
I have found that if the students prefer a test a certain way and that it helps them learn the material I will take more time to adjust tests. I know that this means a lot more work for me but in the end it is worth it if the students actually know that material.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Fixing old exams

I was giving a test this week in one of my classes, and when I pulled out the test to make copies I looked over it and realized that it needed major reconstructive surgery. I thought back to the things we’ve been learning in class and began the task of fixing the problems, which were numerous:
· Multiple blanks in the stem of some completion questions
· Blanks in the middle of the stem of completion questions
· Not using capital letters for multiple choice alternatives
· Varying length in the multiple choice alternatives
· Using simple True/False instead of modified
· Inconsistent use of columns for multiple choice questions
· Unbalanced coverage of material

It took a while to fix everything, and when I was finished I compared the old with the new and wanted to apologize to the students who had to take the original exam. I proceeded to administer the new test to my students the next day, and after grading them all I got some interesting results:
· Reduction in high missed questions
· A higher class average on the test than previous classes
· Overall, students took less time to complete the exam
· Students were marking questions False for the wrong reasons, which tells me that I need to revisit and clarify some material

Now I need to start fixing the rest of my exams, but the students will probably appreciate it.

Friday, February 23, 2007

New computer lab

Over the winter break I have been assigned a new set of computers. I've finally, after two years of complaining and dealing with false promises, gotten new computers for my lab. My lab was the oldest in the county. We were the first to have the IT and Information Technology program in the county. The county delivered and has set up 26 computers. I am excited about it and have big plans for using these computers to the fullest. Now, while I'm excited about the lab, I also know that the state is changing the curriculum in the IT department. It appears that we will need to get training in programming. The whole situation is confusing because as I was preparing one of the NTI assignments, I went to Griffin Tech (one of the technical schools in the Southeast) to interview one of the administrators and the lady in charge of the articulation program between the high schools and Griffin Tech is herself lost in the new pathways. Enough of this! I'm just happy about my new lab. With new computer materials everything needs to be labeled and properly set.

Training................. What Training?

This posting can be greatly appreciated by Linda Y. But if anyone else has had their lab upgraded or newly created, they may feel the pain. We had 3 days of training in the studio and control room at Linda's school only to find out that many scenarios/equipment were installed incorrectly, so our time was spent troubleshooting instead of utilizing the lab. This is combined with the fact that the vendor who is responsible for at least $300,000 worth of television production equipment is making the teachers "us" feel responsible for the problems. Finally, on the 3rd day we were able to train on the equipment and perform some mock newscasts. But, "holy cow", I've never felt so wrong for wanting something to work correctly! And I felt even worse for Linda because this was her new lab. Needless to say.................. the same vendor is at my school correcting the same problems. And if Jesse reads this.....................sorry for my previous e-mail that just confirms (and I mean no disrespect to Dr. B) that my Polish brain does get the better of me sometimes.

Work Ethic Rubric

There were a few of us commenting (via blog) on tardiness. I forgot to mention that I had developed a Work Ethic Rubric which helps me to address this problem. I got the idea when Ms. G sent me a copy of a rubric she used with her classes. I include several areas on this rubric. Interpersonal skills, dress code, class/group participation, attendance and of course tardies. There are lots of subheadings that are attached to these topics. There are a lot of opportunities for students to excel within the parameters of this work ethic rubric. Work ethic is 20% of the student's grade.

I realize that some of my students have no desire to go into broadcasting upon graduation, however, the employability skills I teach can be taken with them into whatever vocation they strive to attain. I often tell them that I would do them a dis-service if I allow them to continually be late and let them think it's o.k. In the 'real world' frequent tardies usually lead to a disciplinary action that could include job termination. It is important to follow instructions. I tell my students that sometimes I do not like wearing my I.D. badge. It is a rule that I must abide by. I like to wear scarves and it gets in the way. Not to mention that hideous mug shot which bares my name underneath!

To sum it all up, maybe a work ethic rubric can help you address any problem areas you nay experience with your little lovlies. This rubric helps me to be more consistent in evaluating the employability skills of my students. It allows the students to see and know up-front the desirable qualities that employers seek in their employees. This rubric also gives my students a jump start on perfecting the skills that may be most challenging to them.

As Woodard Would say "Its My Birthday"

Well as Tony would say this week was my Birthday as far as events in C Town. Which translates to a lot went on this week. So I’m going to whine a bit.
First I had a student who was supposed to compete for page one, but he didn’t turn in all the paper work in time. He just didn’t get to it he told me. He had taken construction, culinary art and was an A-B student so he was a natural shoe in. Well from what I understand he “just didn’t get to it”, and honestly didn’t seem really concerned. This kid is one of my better students so I feel I have lost credibility with all the other CTE instructors, teachers and counselor.
So on a darker side we had a top notch Assistant principal at Northside highs school resign be cause he did not report a dui (actually he didn’t report a couple of them). I actually knew the dude and I would have loved him to be the disciplinarian at the high school I teach at. There goes another fine educational faculty member due to poor judgment.
Finally, on a personal note, I had to drop a bunch of money on my transmission, pay a slew of taxes and my insurance was due on my and my wife’s car. Then I have to go to a wake tonight because my cousin’s wife’s brother committed suicide Wednesday night. So I guess happy freaking birthday to me.
When it rains it pours, but believe it or not mentally I am good to go. I haven’t been this well centered in quite a while and my students are beginning to be in high demand. And yes I know it does get better.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

You can't keep them happy!

Well, I found out another disadvantage with mixed classes in the same time period. Now I am having trouble with my Carpentry 1 students complaining about the Introduction Class Students doing things that they were not able to do last semester. I made some changes in the curriculum to make the class more interesting for the Introduction Class and now I have jealousy in the Carpentry 1 Class to resolve. I tried explaining the reasons for the changes but that went in one ear and out another on most of them. I really wanted to tell them to "Shut-up, grow-up, and do their own work"..................but I didn't........I kept my cool and left them stew on it for a while. I moved on with the class and ignored the complaining. Three different classes in one class period is just too many. They are all getting cut short on their education and they have one teacher who is getting frustrated.


Winter Break

This break was well needed. This is my first year teaching and I'm really enjoying the breaks that I get periodically. In the past, I would take "vacation" time off and then run around trying to do as much as I could in that allotted time. When I would return to work, I would feel so exhausted. Having these breaks allow me to regroup and get caught up. I'm looking forward to this summer. I'll probably spend a lot of time tweaking my class material as I'm sitting by the pool, of course. I'm not one to sit still and have thought about getting a part time job back in the graphics industry just so that I can stay current with the technology.

I know that seminars and conferences are offered over the summer for technical teachers, but does anyone know if these are mandatory or just a suggestion to keep current? I believe that I would learn more by actually working in the industry for a short time. What does everyone else do to keep current in their technical areas?

rest well desired

This will be very short and sweet. Have done my best this week not to think about school. I will work on lesson plans and homework Sunday and Monday, because with all the pressure and stress have had this year any time off is much deserved and needed.Hope all who had Fall Break are enjoying and relaxing. Got to go cause "it's five O'clock Somewhere".

Monday, February 19, 2007

Another Week

I was going to get this done early and not have to worry about the 12:00 PM deadline on Saturday. However Saturday came and when I went to blog, it came back and said my invitation to the blog had expired. Thanks Jessie for getting it straightened out. Anyways, last week was a nice short week, too bad they all can't be that way. My students on Thursday were wound up and ready to be left out. They had no intentions of being students with cravings for learning. I was glad when the day was over. Classes are going better but I am still very short on time to keep up with everything. I am looking forward to spring break and the summer to have some time to get caught up lesson plans, rubrics, projects, etc.. I'm looking forward to this coming week and what it brings.


Beware of principals asking to speak to you in private

I had a very interesting thing happen this week. It was Tuesday, I was just finishing up on CPR certification with my 3rd block students. The bell had just rang and my 4th block students were coming into my room. They were followed by the school principal. He had a very blank look on his face. As he walked past the students, he commented that he needed to speak to me in private and that he would meet me in my office. My heart instantly rose up into my throat and I felt like a student being sent to see the principal. I was scared to death - not sure why, but I was. I quickly grabbed the school nurse, who was still in my room from CPR certification, and had her watch my class. I couldn't move fast enough - to go and see why I needed to be seen IN PRIVATE and IMMEDIATELY. All I kept thinking is "what have I done?" I walked into my office, the principal said "would you please close the door." I think I could feel my heart beating outside of my body. My principal was NOT smiling. I instantly said "what is wrong?" He said, you have done nothing wrong... I just need a favor from you and then began to smile. A wave of RELIEF swept through my body. I was so relieved, I actually had to sit done. My mind then went from one of being scared to one of questioning - what favor? Well, to make a long story short, he needed me to spear head a fund raising event.

But, the reason I was writing this was to relay my total fear. I still am not sure why I was so scared, but I was. I don't know if it was just the thought of making a mistake (which believe me I make plenty) or just the idea of "being sent to the principals office."

I guess the moral would be BEWARE OF PRINCIPALS ASKING TO SPEAK TO YOU IN PRIVATE - I am now the chairperson of the Make A Wish campaign and walk-a-thon for my school.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Let go and let the students teach

This week was a really hard week because I have been so sick. After my sub trouble, I just couldn't bear to leave my students unprotected with another sub. But the longer I stayed at school the worse I felt and the more I lost my voice...for 3 days I just could not talk. To my amazement, my students stepped up to the plate and volunteered to teach what I had planned. They were great and actually went over and beyond what I had planned to do. The natural leaders took charge, dividing the lesson up among the class with very clear instructions to each group on exactly what should be taught including objectives. This happened in every class. Staying on task was not a problem because they were "helping Ms. V". The students took their new roles very seriously. What a joy it was for me to watch the students have so much fun learning the material they were assigned to teach. I have a new appreciation for lesson plans were and what a valuable lesson for me:
Great things can happen when I learn to let go and let the students teach.........

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Neat Project

Our video broadcasting teacher introduced a new project that his class would be working in the next couple of months and asked the rest of the teachers how they could see their classes getting involved. I'm very excited about the project and I hope that it will bring the entire school together to work on a common project. His class is planning to film a World War II Reenactment in Peachtree City. He wants the English classes to write some scripts. He needs the construction classes to help build sets. He needs the history class to research and report information to the others to make sure that everything is representative of that time period. He will need graphic arts to create posters and flyers to publicize the event. The list can go on and on

I think this project will unite the classes and allow the students to see how academics can work along side the technical classes. I'll keep you guys posted as the project progresses.

Average Week

Well, this past week has not been anything to write home about. Nothing spectacular happened, and I'm trying to think back and remember any highlights that might be of interest to anyone. I have been pretty busy with meetings, and working on our industry certification. Going back to last Saturday, we did have a Career Tech Expo at Peachtree Mall. There were junior high and high school exhibits, showing shoppers what our Muscogee County schools have to offer. There were construction, metals, electronics, graphic arts, culinary arts, automotive exhibits, and more, and surprisingly, there was much interest from students to parents in the various career opportunities available.

We also had a meeting this week facilitated by our Muscogee County CTAE school official about a proposal for changing our CTAE programs. From what I have learned so far, I am pretty excited about the changes being discussed. I've only been here a year, but I realize that this school needs a little shot in the arm to get the CTAE program to the next level, and gain more interest from the public, and the students and parents in the community.

I guess this sounds pretty boring to some of you, but I was so busy this week that when the bell rang at 2:45 on Friday, I couldn't believe that our long weekend was finally here. Yeah! I think I was as excited about having three days away from school as the students were. Is that a bad thing???

Friday, February 16, 2007

No Words

This has been an awesome week! I am such a blessed woman! My 4th block class gave me a birthday party! My birthday is Saturday, February 17. Students did not have to come to class today, so they gave me a party on Thursday the 15th. Earlier in the week, they asked me if they could give me a party and I said no. I told them I appreciated the kind thought, however we had work to do, yada, yada, yada. I went in the back to review an assignment and just as I was about to say "It's a wrap," they burst out with the Birthday Song! In comes the birthday cake, (with my name on it) 2 pizzas and a 2 liter of Mountain Dew! Yahoo!!! I was surprised.

After they left I thought: The last time I remember feeling this good on a birthday was at the age of 9 when I received a peach, polyester 3 piece suit on my 9th birthday!(Don't laugh! I had the vest, jacket and the smokin' hot flair leg slacks! hahaha!) My students ministered to me in such a great way. Words can not express what I feel. I am truly grateful and humbled.

"Just Say No To Drugs", Faculty and Administrators

My thinking at this point in time is to scream out STOP!! As the studio and control room get closer to being finished, everybody and their brother wants some sort of video project to be completed for their class or curriculum. I am still unable to transmit from our control room to the whole school. But, I constantly hear "what have you done for me lately". Many fellow teachers encourage me to say "no". Bless the heart of my Department Chairperson. She tells me that Mr. Shaw (our Principal) needs to be reminded that I am not certified yet, taking college courses and training in a studio, control room and production switcher environment. So I will spend this 3 day weekend totally ignoring my NTI responsibilities so I can concentrate on pleasing everyone at Lassiter. Just kidding Dr. B and Jessie!

Program Accreditation

This week had been a happy one as one of my colleague got his program accredited. As I celebrate this success, I am still asking myself some questions about the true meaning of the program certification. My first thought goes to the students. I value the fact that parents, political leaders, businesses need to be certain the students that they will be hiring are being well-taught and are getting the best education through the programs that we are teaching; but what about providing the kids with the opportunity to prepare for the real test, exam or certification required by the same industry or business?
The healthcare science teachers prepare their students for CNA exams with the support of types of funding but about the other programs? Why should students have to leave our programs and go pay tremendous amount of money for certain programs?
I know that everything can not be done but a little certified paper attesting that the student has successfully accomplished the training in a particular area would be better than a mere letter of recommendation.

Future Generations…….??

Why do some students appear not to be interested in their future? They do not understand that by not completing their classroom work they really do not have a positive future. The apathy of some students can cause a teacher to question their worth? Most students do not understand the importance of education and how education can change what may become a gloomy future into one that is rewarding and bright. They do not seem to understand that America was not designed for the high school graduate to be financially able to take care of self and a family. Additional education or training above the high school level is necessary in order to move into a higher income level and enjoy a life of financial stability.

There are some students that understand this fact very well. They strive every day for excellence in the classroom and in their personal life. They are focused on graduating and starting a career for themselves. They understand that graduation from high school is only the first step. Having student like this is encouraging and heart warming to me. I tell those students, “I wish I had more students like you”.

Great Week

This week actually went really well. I really appreciate all the advise on the Tardy issue. I did not want to Reward the students for doing something that they should do on their own. Although, the "Beauty Bucks" seemed to have been an incouragement for the students. I have only had 1 or 2 Tardies in the past 2 weeks. I was really getting annoyed at the situation because I would take time out of home life to prepare for class the next day and most of them would walk in late. At this point, if it works why not?
We also had 1 on 1 evaluations for the students. They really opened up about what they would like to learn and how they felt about their accomplishments. They also gave great feedback on how I as a teacher was doing. This really helped me with my planning for each class. It really feels good when a student comes up to you after class and says that they learned a lot and that everyone enjoyed it. Hopefully the next few weeks will go as well as this week!!!

Jack of all trades or Master of some.

Last year when several vocation teachers at my school were selected to go to CDL training I didn’t have a clue how it would impact my routine as a teacher but I went anyway. Turns out I became the designated emergency school bus driver for all school activities. My driving schedule has been flexible, but sometimes impromptu with little notice given. I see it as just another job in the world wide world of teaching. Why complain, I’m already a teacher, parent, mentor, club advisor, baby-sitter, security officer,lunch monitor, technical support specialist just to name a few. But I must say, I have had some positive experiences driving for our teachers and students during various competitions and activities. My latest experience was driving for the Voca club for their regional competition where they took home four first places spots and qualified for the State finals. Watching our students compete in extracurricular activities has given me a broader perspective of how some students function outside the classroom. Driving bus for the school has also given me the opportunity to build relationships with peers and students that I would not probably have experienced otherwise during a regular school day. It has been refreshing to see students making great strives despite the negative rap sometimes portrayed by the media. My new job (driver) continues to allow me to grow and have a great teaching experience on and off the bus.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another day in "Clayco"

Never boring, we got fellow co-workers being investigated fights irrupting all over school and We've got staff having us redo paperwork because we didn't attach sales tax exempt forms/hotel forms on day trips to other schools for competitions. Give me a break. It must be nice to be able to go through the day with your head buried in the sand, but it's not for us. This week I have broken up fights with the newest of the gangs the white gloves and the black gloves which are now fighting each other for dominance I suppose. I also have been told info about other teachers " friends of mine" and they're afraid of outcomes within the county that they don't even know yet and always followed with don't say anything afterwards. I don't like to be in this situation I have enough stress in my life right now.
I'm so ready for this winter break. Thanks for letting me semi-vent to you'll.
Big Dog

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Devil Made Me Do It

In this day and age we as teachers & school systems need to be very careful about what goes on in our halls. Enough said. I feel I’ve been flagged for being too contentious. Well I wanted to do something other than whine and complain to get people thinking. I realize that my blog may have been a little too over the top (maybe even distasteful to some). If you think about the politcally correct free country we live in it raises good points. Oh well so much for freedom of speech. Is there such a thing as leprosy of the mouth? I hang my head in shame if I have offended anyone. My hope was to get you all thinking and now my blog hit the controversial topic list. Eeeeh, not good as a teacher. My Intention was not to injure anyone’s way of life.
For those of you who have not read my previous blog you probably don’t want to because my head may spin around and I might spit out green pea soup.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Proud Momma

I have had great difficulty getting into this blog since Friday but I persevered and here I am.
I have also attempted to post this 4 times but have been unsuccessful......I hope 5 times is the charm.

Bronchitis and sinusitis reared its ugly head and attacked me with a vengence. After teaching for a week and getting sicker by the minute I finally gave in and took Monday and Tuesday off. But getting a sub is often more trouble than it's worth. And what do you do when the sub does not follow your lesson plans and chooses to do their own alternate assignment? Why take the time to even write them?

Speaking of substitute teachers. I had a sub again on Friday in order for me to take some student to our Region SkillsUSA Competition. School begins at 7:30 and we were not leaving until 7:50 so I was busy getting last minute details for the trip handled during that 20 min period of time. My sub arrived right at 7:30 (the same sub I had Mon and Tues), I greeted him and he began looking over the lesson plans and assignments I had left for my classes. I continued doing what I was doing answering student's questions regarding previous assignments and getting my team ready to leave. During this time I turned on the TV to our school's Friday broadcast of the Blue Devil News and handed the remote to a student to control the volume.
The sub called me out into the hallway and began to question whether I needed him or not for my classes that day. I was a little confused as to why he was asking me this so I explained why I was there and that I would be leaving shortly. He proceeded to reprimand me stating that I was undermining his authority in the classroom by turning on the TV. As I picked my lower jaw up off of the floor I again explained that I was getting ready to leave and did not have time for this conversation. He still wanted to continue the reprimand of me but I just walked back into my classroom, gathered my things and marched myself to the Administrator's office. I felt bad about reporting a sub as they are so hard to come by, but I felt that sub or no sub while I was present I was still in charge of my classroom. Admnistration was very supportive but this was not a great way to start my day especially when I was trying to stay upbeat for my competitors.

Now on a more positive note.....
My Health Knowledge Bowl Team won 2nd place in our Region SkillsUSA Competition.
They worked very hard in spite of several obstacles.
I feel like a proud momma!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Open House

This past week, our school held its "Open House" for parents to meet their student's teachers and any upcoming students who wanted to know more about the programs offered at my school. Do you know that of my 63 students I only had 1 student attend with his father? Also, only 3 students with their parents stopped by to see what the class was about. I still do not think that the word is out about the potential of a technical education. I also believe that for the most part parents are not really involved in their students high school careers and/or their future careers.

We, as technical teachers, see the value of this education but how do we get the word out? How do we change the negative connotation that still plague's "technical" classes? Tony had mentioned in his blog that his class is a dumping ground for students who do not fit anywhere else- which says that even the guidance counselors see the technical classes not being of real value. How can we make a difference?

After talking with several of you during these past few semesters, I believe you feel the same as I do about this. I pray that our passion for making a difference in the upcoming generation doesn't get snuffed out and that we will be able to make an impact on parents, administrators, guidance counselors, and students in the near future.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Week 3 Blog - Went Good!

I can say that this week ended pretty good. Cynthia G. came for my review on Tuesday, during 2 period, and it went good.......................surprise! I prepared for the worst, expected the worst and I guess I covered all of the bases not really knowing it and it worked out. My students were not all angels but I was able to counter act most situations, even removed one from the classroom for behavioral issues, and went on with the class. I had a good surprise at the end of the week. We had to finish up a storage shed for a student from last year by Friday for his parents to pick up. It's a long story and not a good one. The principal made a promise to the parents that it would be finished by Friday. It wasn't finished and 2 advanced students offered to stay with me and help finish it after school. They stayed with me working outside in 40 degree weather till 5:30 to finish it. They were cold when they left, but had smilies on their faces and we had some good conversations while we were doing the work. There are some good kids out there and as teachers we need to not miss those moments when they stand out and recognize them.

I've read some of the other blogs in regards to our professions being a dumping ground for poor or behavioral problem students. It's true...............I have it happen in all of my classes. The majority of them are there because they have been assigned and not by choice. And yes, I have more than my fair share of behavioral issues. I have some of them that they think all they have to do is to cut and hammer in my class and that is all they want to do. My solution now is to keep them busy, keep raising the learning bar in what is being required of them in the class. I let them know that my constructions classes are educational classes, that they are going to have homework, tests, and projects required of them to pass the class. And if they don't do the work, they are going to fail! Their grade is the grade they earn, not what I decide to give them. It's their responsibility to pass, not mine. These are my thoughts right now, and I know it's going to take time, even years for the administration and student body to realize that the Construction Program is not a slough-off program but an education program with high standards that the students are going to have to work and study at to pass. I also realize that the caliber of students who want to take my classes are not going to be at the level of the college bound students. I need to watch and be aware of those students that I raise the educational bar only to the level that is obtainable for them so that they can have success and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Mike M.

Great Endings

Great week. I don't know about you, but this week ended good. Thursday, 6th period, I caught two guys behind my shop smoking the weed. Friday AM Mrs. M came by, and things went great. Then, to top it all off about 6 o'clock Kevin Ward with CEFGA emailed me that I have been granted Industry Accreditation.

Dumping Ground?

This subject seems to be in a lot more CTAE areas than I realized. In Automotive we utilize many areas of the school, such as being in the classroom, computer lab, shop, the parking lot, etc. As a result of this we carry 2-way radios to keep in touch for various reasons. One morning last semester I heard a comment came over the radio that I thought was odd. Two people were discussing where to "put him". They were referring to a transfer student who (I found out later) was a troubled student. The remark that came next was "Just put him in Automotive."

Since then, this seems to happen a lot. If a student comes in and they don't have a full schedule for him/her, they seem to think Automotive is the place for them. Just this week, I found out that five students in one of my blocks were removed from ROTC (redlined, whatever that means) permanently and put in Automotive, whether they wanted to be there or not.

I came into this profession, after being in the industry 28 years, thinking the job consisted of teaching young people who wanted to learn how to work on automobiles. Now I am realizing that about 80 % of them don't even want to be there, and don't care anything about the automotive industry. They think taking this course is going to be an easy "A". I met a friend of my daughters awhile back who had gone to my school and taken Automotive about 5 years ago. When she introduced my as the Automotive teacher at my school, he said "Yeah, I remember that program. It was a joke. All we did was smoke in the shop and read magazines." I told him that we are making every effort to turn the program around.

I really want to help change the reputation of Automotive Service Technology, and the perception of it in the eyes of students, parents, other teachers, and administration, so that students will be there because they want to be. After reading these other blogs, I realize that it's not just Automotive, but that we are probably all going through the same thing to some extent in the Career classes. I believe that with the training we are receiving, we can make a difference in these career classes.

Friday, February 9, 2007

No rest for the weary

Talk about change. Earlier this week while I was taking attendance I notice something different in grade book, the Information Technology course names were changed. Now don’t misunderstand me, everyone knew change was on its way, but right in the middle of the first grading period. Talk about timing.
We were also told our curriculum was changing in a different direction. Programming was added to offer students a different option in computer technology. We were also told we will be adopting a new text book. Information technology labs are also slated for major upgrades in the next several weeks. My question is when will this addional training take place. I guess we should anticipate some additional training this summer after NTI.No rest for the weary. Programming will come with its on agenda and we will need to be ready. Change is eminent. Thanks for letting me vent for a minute.

Spending my money

Spending my own money for school supplies or equipment seems to be a weekly occurrence for me. That does not include the cost of gas to pick up the supplies. In my opinion, teachers do not get paid enough as it is. Purchasing additional supplies puts you deeper in the hole. Thank goodness for the federal tax break, but more needs to be done to address this situation.

Students come to class too often unprepared, not having paper or pencil; it gets old quick telling them to bring their supplies, so I provide them. Is coming to class without supplies an intentional act? Intentional or not, they end up with supplies to complete their work. Relief for this situation really needs to be addressed on a national level.

New Curriculum

As it has been done in the core subject areas, DOE started to change our curriculums. Some curriculums are either being rearranged or simply deleted for the school year 2007-2008. We have been told some programs either will be closed or will go on probation because some teachers don't have enough students in their area. Now the pressure is been put on teachers to recruit more students (I don't know how?). My concern is what the counselors will be doing then? Isn’t their reponsibility for assigning students to our programs instead of creating dumping grounds or placing the wrong people there? Another issue these changes are some people might be losing their jobs without knowing it.
Stay alert and check the new curriculum in your area to learn about what you will be teaching next year!


This was one of most challenging weeks yet - not with my students, but with myself. I have been fighting this yuk and crud sickness thing - like most of you I am sure, but I was unable to stay home a get better like I wanted too. I don't want to sound like I am whining, but I really had to dig deep down inside to actually NOT call a sub this week. I guess I would have if it wasn't crunch time for me. Thursday was pretty much a stressful day - I was having my first observation since starting NTI with Dr. B, Murray Co. schools were touring our school and my program was spotlighted and I had a meeting to set up a field trip for 120 students. WOW - that was a lot for me. Well, let me say that today is Friday and I'm alive and still writing the BLOG, so I am sure you know that I survived. But, I really discovered something about myself...I can teach ( my observation went well), my program is designed really well (Murray CO. loved my program) and finding buses, printing consent forms, and arranging schedules for 120 high school students IS possible. I made it and may I say TGIF.

Motivated Students

This week I had 3 new students start the Cosmetology program at my school. It is so much fun to watch how excited the new students are. They are so motivated to do whatever you ask. They also abide by the rules that are set. I just hope they all stay that way. I know at times, I get a little discouraged and overwhelmed at everything that needs to be done. I'm just trying to keep my head above the water.
I also went to a post secondary school today for my interview. That went really well. The school was beautiful. The students all seemed to be busy and motivated. They all were so helpful with the interview. The students helped answer a few questions for me also. I have the info now just putting it all together.

Hello Puppy Dog!

On Thursday at the start of 3rd period our Principal spoke over the PA system instructing everyone to stay in their rooms and no one was to leave the room until further notice. He informed us that it was not a lockdown or an emergency. So I spent the rest of the period telling my students that I had no idea what was happening. Then it became very obvious what was happening. In walks 3 Cobb County police officers and a very cute black Labrador Retriever. The students were told to keep their hands out of there pockets and line up in the hallway. I, immediately, didn't make the police officer a very happy guy. I am a huge "dog lover", so when I saw the black lab I whistled and yelled out "hi puppy dog!", which made the dog look at me and wag his tale. So for a moment I had distracted this dog from his/her drug sniffing duties. The dog got back "on task" and sniffed many book bags and areas of the class. 3rd period ended with the dog not finding any drugs and I was not charged with obstructing justice.

Best Teen Chef Contest

Well it’s about darn time. I’m writing about something good this time.
I have two students who came to me for help in entering the best teen chef contest put on by The Art Institute of Atlanta. One student doesn’t even go to Jordan, she attends Shaw.
The young lady who attends Shaw wanted to make Shrimp Diablo and a vegetarian black bean soup. We played with the plate presentation and they look awesome. I wish she could have been in my class. She payed very close attention and watched everything I did when I was doing the demo for her. Upon her return performance she did everything right on the first shot. She just cooks at home and has no restaurant experience what so ever, AWESOME.
The young man from Jordan did a spin on a salad I taught him in class and a pecan crusted salmon which came from his boss chef Theirry at Callaway gardens.
The one thing that made me slack jawed about them both is they have winning attitudes. They both said they were going to be chosen as one of the top ten to go to Atlanta and compete. Man I wish more students had that gusto, that winning mindset, even if they didn’t win. That’s why chefs become chefs and don’t become cooks; they want to be the best at what they do. I actually think both of them have a shot at the contest.
It’s the few students you help that make it all worth while. Well winning the lottery would help………… A LOT. Sometimes I feel when students excel or have great aspirations because of something I have said, done, or taught them I have won.
I'll send pics to Jessie. Hopefully She'll post them.

Promoting CTE

Our CTE department did an interesting thing this morning. We invited all the teachers, counselors and administrators to participate in a Scavenger Hunt and Breakfast. Participants were given a list of room numbers and questions. The idea was to go to each room and find the answer for the question associated with that room. Each CTE teacher created some sort of display and clues that would help participants answer the question for their room. At the end of it all, everyone gathered in the Family & Consumer Science room for breakfast.

It was fun, and we all thought it was a neat way to help promote CTE with the staff and bring visibility to our programs. I set up a computer with the side panels removed, and different computer components on the table next to it. I also prepared a display that explained the purpose of each of the IT courses and gave a clue for the answer to my question.

Although the turnout wasn’t as high as we had hoped for, I think it clarified for those that participated what it is that CTE teachers do. One administrator came in and said, “the kids get to do all this stuff? Cool.”

All in all I think it was a success, and hopefully it will become a yearly tradition. On Monday we’re having an Elective Fair for the students to promote the different electives available from all departments. That should be interesting.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Night Before Evaluations and All Through the House...

Hello out there! It's the night before my 1st spring semester evaluation. I have been a VERY good girl today! I printed all of my paperwork before leaving school today. I set up some equipment and made sure everything would play on cue. I have to provide documentation that I have whined about the safety hazzards (cables, wires,etc.) in my room. I am looking forward to this evaluation- just to have one down and one to go! No, seriously Ms. G always has some good info to share with me. She is very resourceful.

I hope that all goes well for me tomorrow. My class started a lab earlier this week and we'll complete it tomorrow during my consulting session with Ms. G. I used to forget to "say" what the objective for the day was. Now I remember to state the objective to the class. You would think I could remember it since I'm the one who wrote it on the board! HA! Well, until next time BLOGGER on dude!!! Peace!!!

Dumping Ground

Our department had several lengthy meetings last week. One topic on the agenda was to come up with a plan for getting students into our CTE programs who want to be there. Our classes have become a dumping ground. Many of my students tell me they did not sign up for my class. They were not consulted about their area of interest. They were just placed in the elective of the counselor's choosing. I fail to understand this practice. These misplaced students spend their energy disrupting the class in which they resent having been placed. Our students were told they could not change their schedules just because they did not want a particular class. Do any of you do anything special at your school that works to get students registered for the CTE program of their choosing?

Our school is on a traditional schedule. In one of the above mentioned department meetings we discussed our problem of just getting started on a lab when it is time to clean up and move on to the next period. We wonder how other schools with CTE programs manage labs with traditional hour-long class periods. We suggested asking administration to make our classes 2 periods long. Of course they will probably say, "No," but we can ask. I solicit input from any of you who teach in a traditional schedule and have labs to conduct.

It's a pleasure blogging with you.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Student Relations

I am really enjoying my students this semester. Don't get me wrong I LOVE what I do, however last semester I had 2 challenging blocks. One of my classes was not motivated by the same things (or ANYTHING) that my other blocks were motivated by. I had to fine tune some things in my teaching style for them. This simply made me reach way down and try to tap and juggle to keep their attention. My other challenging block was very loud. You know ...the "Hoochie Crew," yeah wit' Pookie dem! Yes, I dropped the ball a few times, but they didn't know it! I learned how to 'rock with it and lean with it'! It's all gravy baby!!! If anyone has any helpful ideas for motivating "business as usual" students or have a handout for "da' Hood" please advise. Have a righteous day... PEACE!!!
**I have a sincere concern for all of my students regardless of social status.**

Second Guessing a Career

This week has been a little challenging since my students had a substitute three days last week. You know, I have been checking for assignments I had left with the sub, grading papers, looking for papers, and looking for parts of the room… the usual stuff. Okay I was just kidding I really didn’t have to look for any papers.

Seriously I have had a lot of something taxing my small brain this week. Last week I was at a Leadership Conference for two days and then the TIEGA Conference two more days.
I was told to be at this particular conference on a Monday morning and I said okee-dokee. When I arrived, there sat the Principal, the Vocational Director, a Guidance Counselor, an English teacher and yours truly. Now don’t get me wrong I was flattered to be there and want to learn all I can.

So we sat at our own little table in our own little group; we listened to the speakers, talked a little, looked around a lot. There were graphs, pie charts, flow charts, statistics, handouts, and of course the brainstorming. So I started really feeling out of my element, if you know what I mean. In other words “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto”. So I would comment once in a while, mostly smile and nod (probably with a glazed over look in my eyes). Anyway after two days of that I was quiet and smiling on the outside and on the inside I was screaming “JUST SHOOT ME”. But then I realized I was probably the only one in the room that did not have a four to six year education degree.

So after the TIEGA conference I was really feeling quite uneducated and thinking is this really for me, then I read Joyce’s blog and thought wow I can really relate to that! And then I started thinking, well I do know my content and I feel like I relate to and understand young people pretty good, hopefully enough to make a difference in someone’s life. So the “system” will have to accept me as I am for now and maybe keep me long enough until I have had a chance to catch on. I know if it were not for NTI and the way it is presented I probably would have gone back to my other career with less stress and more money. Thanks NTI for cutting it up into small bites so that I can chew it a little, instead of the “system” trying to feed me the whole steak at one time. Wow now I do feel better!

Swimming up stream

I am sitting here at 4:30 a.m. unable to sleep. I can't decide if I am starting to get the "creeping crude" that all my students have or am I just feeling overwhelmed as it seems we all are. Since I am on my lap top and working, I would have to agree with the later. I thought that I was going to start this semester much more organized than the previous one; which I actually did. However, thing have quickly spiraled down hill. I am in an unique situation at my school. My program is in it's first year of inception. The sister high school in my county has had a program for ~20 years. With little help from the veteran teacher, I have been placed in many unexplored areas of program planning. I am now being told that I have to implement an entire new program of medical terminology and start HOSA by Fall of 2007. I need to do curriculum and textbook adoption as well as purchase the equipment I will need to start (with very little $ I may say).HELP!! I have talked to many people and I feel that it is just expected that I understand. Don't get me wrong, my school administration is unbelievably understanding, but the whole vast picture scares me.

Any suggestions?

Anyway, enough venting. I did have an incredibly rewarding moment this week. I have a student who is mild-severely mentally disabled. She reads on a 1st grade level and has a very low level of understanding. She is self-contained all day except for my class (which she has for socialization skills). She is very sweet, but has been becoming a distraction in my class. I had to figure out something for her to do. I wanted her to learn. Her case manager was of little help. As he said "she can't even bag groceries at our work study job site." I decided to talk to her and se what she likes to do.( such a simple concept that I had been overlooking). She likes to color and watch cartoons. I had recently read an article about teaching the child not just the material. So I created her her own little work station: crayons, colored pencils, health books on a 1st grade level ( from my son's school library), puzzles etc. She loves it. I even created her a lesson plan of her own. I have a gifted student read the books and record them on tape (enrichment) and JJ listens to them with headphones. I created her little worksheets and thanks to various websites have created her coordinating color pages. She loves it. She has already started to work better in class. JJ even brought her case worker into she her new stuff. I just hope it continues to work and I can keep it up.

So, there are great moments that keep up doing what we are doing.

Barbara N.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Career Tech

Why do some school systems have great career technology programs and state of the art facilities, while not supporting them? It is my understanding that career technology teachers are responsible for bringing students in to their program, but guidance counselors are responsible for registration of the students.

We are being told our programs will be cut if we do not have enough students in our
classes. Based on this information perhaps career technology teachers should be responsible for class registration or actively involved in the process.

In my opinion this is not a fair policy because career technology teachers are being held responsible for student recruitment when they have no direct or indirect control over student placement. . This sounds like a true contradiction to me.

Your mother doesn't work here

This morning I was thinking about what I was going to write in my blog entry this week. I needed something hot to drink, and when I ventured down to the teacher lounge in the cafeteria this morning and looked at the trash left by the students during breakfast I knew what my subject needed to be.

We have a beautiful school, but unfortunately there are many students who couldn’t care less about the mess they make and then leave behind. Every day at breakfast and lunch the students leave their trash behind for the custodians to clean up. When the bell rings they just get up and walk away. It’s disgusting. And that attitude extends out into the hallways, where at any given time you might find candy wrappers, paper, food, and beverage bottles just lying on the floor. Teachers pick the trash up but students just walk on by like it’s not even there. It’s disappointing that the students don’t have more pride and respect for their campus.

I also see it in my classroom. I have trained my students to keep the classroom neat and orderly, but when I was out sick a couple of weeks ago, I returned to find my classroom in disarray. It wasn’t completely trashed, but I was disappointed.

Our administration has tried a number of things to get the students to clean up after themselves, but nothing seems to work effectively. One person I was talking to recently (who travels around to all the schools in the county) said that we have possibly the messiest lunchroom in the county.
No one at our school seems to have the answer. Anyone have any good suggestions?

Teacher Evalutions -Whew!

Talk about irony, when I saw teacher evaluations as a possible blog topic late Sunday evening, I said to myself, this might be an interesting topic. The next day I had an unannounced evaluation from one of my administrators. Talk about dejaveau, it was my third evaluation for the 2006-07 school year. Fortunately, everything went well with the evaluation. Whew! I try my best to be prepared daily (Multiple lesson plans for multiple courses), but sometimes my planning falls short. Usually, that is the day somebody comes in to observe. If it does not go well, the perception can be disheartening. One negative experience can change a new teacher’s promising career, depending on the evaluator.
Teacher evaluations can sometimes be intimidating, especially for new teachers. I have been teaching for three years and have had roughly ten to fifteen evaluations, excluding peer reviews and NTI observations. Some were formal while others informal. For me, evaluations are similar to taking standardized tests. Both definitely raise my anxiety level. There are many variables that influence instruction and all should be considered during evaluations. Even with classroom management procedures in place, behavioral issues continue raise concerns for teachers.
Mr. AB made some interesting points discussing the song and dance evaluation routine. I say plan everyday as though you are going to be evaluated even if you are not. It will only make you a better teacher.


Blog Week # 2

This week went out in a bang! We had Thursday off for a snow day, and I believe we paid the price when the students had to come back for one more day of school. Unfortunately it was topped off with being a Friday( a low student motivational day anyways) . By the end of the week I had collected 6 cell phones, 3 I-Pod's, broke up a fist fight between 2 students(without touching them), written up 7 detentions and and 6 (1 day) In-School suspensions slips. I was questioning where the joy was in teaching by the end of my last class today. I also had one parent-student-teacher conference this week and talked to 2 different parents to setup for parent - student-teacher conferences next week to discuss behavioral problems. I feel that I have good rapport with the parents and support, but I sure question all of the time being spent on discipline issues with students that don't really care. Don't get me wrong, I do have some good students. I certainly do, but I sure have a few unmotivated and behavioral problem students in my last 2 period classes. With Cindy G. coming next week on Tuesday, I am not looking forward to the results from that day based on what I have seen happen this week. But what the heck, life goes on. Do the best you can, and don't sweet the small things. I know what needs to be taught. As time permits, I will be trying different methods we learned at NTI with the students to see if I can help improve their motivation and behavior. On to the next week!
Mike M


I sound like a broken record. Everyday I have to say: "Tuck in your shirt, pull up your pants!"
I sound like a broken record. Everyday I have to say: " Put on your I.D."
I sound like a broken record. Everyday I have to say: " Clear the halls, let's get to class!"
I sound like a broken record. Everyday I have to say: " Names on your paper please!"
I sound like a broken record. Everyday I have to say: " Lin, hold on, with patience be true,
for someone had to repeat themselves several times for you!"


I have been a teacher for 5 years now, and I keep sensing a great deal of hopeless among this new generation of students that we are having. I fear for them knowing what lies ahead of them and most of all, the complete lack of clue. I do not know if it is because of their age or part of growing up, but the kids do not care about anything. If there is something that they do care about, it is about how to get an A without doing anything that would involve critical thing and writing. I have a student who even questions the necessity of going to school. It happened one time when I spoke to them about the importance of getting good grades in school, but as I am finding out that some of the parents are getting younger and younger, I keep wondering about what actually happens at home after school: tv shows? or videos games?I-Pod? cell phone conversations? . Does anybody have a better clue to address this generation of students? What i have been hearing is that, there you have them figure it out ( be a teacher, a mentor, a baby sitter, a counselor, sometimes play the parents role)


I have been dealing with chronic tardiness in my class. The other teacher & I have been trying to figure out a way to control or handle this situation. One of the rules of the school is that 3 Tardies = 1 Absense. Students must also be in class at least 70% of the month to avoid suspension.
We decided this week that we would make "Beauty Bucks". These are fake $1 paper money. The students have a student rate for receiving their services. They would receive the "Beauty Bucks" on Friday's if they have not been absent or tardy all week. These "Beauty Bucks" can go towards their hair services that they receive from other students. They seem to like this idea. We thought this would be a great incentive for them. If anyone have any other ideas, please let me know.

An "Ooie Gooie" Day.....

For the past two weeks I get sick on my stomach thinking about that Observation Day. And this is not because I have had a previous bad experience. Mrs. M has been so encouraging and always hightlights the positive things. I guess I just want to have that "perfect class" when she comes. So I tried out my lesson on a different class period this week. Can I just say that students love "ooie gooie". While teaching them to don and remove gloves I had them contaminate their gloves with an "ooie gooie" concoction. After they got over the initial "you've got to be kidding me" look, they moved into the "oooo this is so much fun" phase but quickly focused on the real issue at hand: remove these yucky gloves without getting it all over me and everything else. And focus they did. For some it was an easy task but for others it took some time to master. The joy for me was that they never gave up. There were a lot of "high 5'ves" that day and rightly so. Now I look forward to that observation day, not so much for the observation but for seeing those students have fun learning............

Teaching And Training

I have been able to return to my classroom. The construction of the studio and control room continues, so we do have periodic distractions. But I did get a taste of of teaching and training this week while visiting Linda Yunker at North Cobb High School. While Linda did have a substitute teacher for the 2 days of training on the video production switcher, it was interesting to watch her juggle both duties. If students know you are somewhere within the lab area, they will find you. She did a masterful job of answering student questions, helping them and retaining information pertaining to the production switcher. It was helpful to me to watch her in action because I have training days at my high school coming in a few weeks. So even though you didn't realize it, thank you Linda because I observed and learned from you and your experience as a teacher.

week 1 gerald " bigdog"

I know its late wanted to post anyway. Last week was kind of tiring didn't feel well the first of the week and then forgot about the Tiega conference that I was suppose to go to until my sub showed up. Then there was the small issue about the registration that I was going to have to pay which I didn't have with me and to be honest didn't really want to spend anyway.So I didn't go instead took advantage of the sub and completed and submitted everything they wanted for Industry Accreditation for my program and with in another week or so I should have an accreditted program. What a load off my mind.
Gerald "big dog"

week 2

Sorry for the delay. Had a difficult time figuring this out. This week began uneventful just a average week at the ''Park" preparing for my visit from Mrs. M. Fortunately due to the weather outlook this was rescheduled.Thank God, this morning I got up went to leave for the school there is a flat tire on my car and my spare is flat also. I finally get this temporarily fixed and get to school only 15-20 minutes late. Where I discover the school is short 5 subs one of which is for the automotive Instructor across the hall. Guess who ends up with all of his students, that's right big dog himself 30 to 65 students each period from 1st thur 6th.I was no more than a babysitter today. So i strike the rescheduling of this observation as "Divine intervention".

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Today and tomorrow are early release days at our school. Today we had faculty and department meetings from 1:30 until 4:00 this afternoon. Tomorrow the meetings start again at 1:30 and last until .... It's anyones' guess how long we'll work. And what are we working on you might ask? Well, we are working on ... I'm sure most of them know what we're working on but it's largely a mystery to me. Educators have a language all their own to which I have not yet been able to cracked the code. I feel like I'm in a foreign country when I am with my co-workers because I do not yet know the language.

In medicine there many abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols. It is understood that there is a learning curve and that it will take time to learn. I remember the struggle I had in nursing school trying to learn medical terminology. However, just like a tourist to a foreign country carries a dictionary to help with interpretation, I kept my medicine dictionary readily available. It was an invaluable resource. In education it seems that no one remembers that new teachers (especially those who haven't had the benefit of a degree in education) do not yet have the skill needed to decipher their codes. It is assumed that everyone knows what they are saying when educators throw around all their terminology.

I wish there was a resource for new teachers. It would defined acronyms and terminology, identify DOE programs, organizations, and explain other important miscellaneous items so one could look them up a time or two or three until they were solidly known and understood when used in conversation. I realize the resource would have to be revised every month or two because that is how often the state seems to come up with new and wonderful ideas to change how things are done. This has become a real struggle for me. Never mind that I have trouble processing normal language; I hve grown weary of interrupting meetings to ask for yet another explanation of an acronym or program. Does anyone else struggle with this or is it just me?

Smell something?

I had an interesting day yesterday during my 3rd block. At the very beginning of class, one of the principals walked in and started looking for a student that he was trying to track down for a dress-code violation. While walking through my room, he noticed an odor like marijuana. He proceeded to take one student at a time into my office, which has windows all around for the whole class to see this investigation. He only had to take 3 students in to the office before discovering the culprit. The whole time this was going on I was trying to carry on the class and not bring much attention to the situation, but I'm not sure if that was the proper thing to do.

One more thing, after the principal and the student left the room, I asked the students to not make the same poor choice because there are consequences. Nothing else was said about the matter after that. At the end of the day, the principal sent out a notice that stated not to discuss the situation with the other students. So today when my class asked about his suspension, I did tell them that he had been suspended for 10 days and he would lose 20 points off of his final average (2 points per day of suspension). Please note: my school has a very strict attendance policy which is good in some ways and in some ways not, but that could be another blog later.

A couple of questions come to mind after this situation...
1. Should I have stopped the class and just waited until the principal was finished in my office?
2. If we do smell pot, are we suppose to be sniffing the students until we find the guilty party and then sending them to the office?
3. Should you discuss consequences for actions like this situation with the class?