at least it’s available, I suppose

December 17, 2007

Teachers at my school are often encouraged to use more technology in the classroom. I’ve used laptops twice this year and no one has died or broken one, but it was a close thing. Today I had a total meltdown; my LCD projector didn’t work, and then the speakers didn’t work, and the replacement speakers didn’t work, and the replacement projector ALSO didn’t work.

I think technology is hugely important for kids to learn; I show pictures, snippets of movies, interactive maps, videos, etc. But I also think it’s basically impossible to use when I teach back-to-back classes with only a one minute transition period and I have to travel from one end of the school to the other. Technology needs to be set up and tested before I try to use it with 9th graders. They don’t sit still very well. Nor do they deal well with, “Sorry kids, this isn’t working today. Get out your notebooks again!”

I didn’t deal with it very well either, to be honest. I was frustrated and disappointed and annoyed. The best part is, tomorrow I get to try again.


The reality of NYC schools

December 16, 2007

I did a google search this weekend for lesson plans on the Crusades. I always make my own up, but it’s nice if other people have found primary sources for me. I found a project that sounds a lot like what we’re going to be doing in class; splitting in to groups of Muslims, Christian Kings, and clergy, each of whom has their own point of view on the crusades and will debate in class. But then I saw the note on the lesson plan:

“I like to split the class in to three groups. I usually have about 12 students in the class, so it works out pretty well.”

I have a minimum of 32 students in each of my classes. Sigh. I guess I won’t be borrowing that plan any time soon.


October 9, 2007

When I was student teaching, I think I cried about once a week.

My first year, I cried at least once a month, sometimes every couple of weeks, often during class.

My secondĀ  year of teaching, I cried about once a marking period.

This year it’s been, what, six weeks already? And although they made me *want* to cry (and scream and kick and yell and pull my hair out and eat a bag of chocolate and quit) I haven’t yet. Today was close, though.

And Cubs, too, if they can manage it

October 5, 2007

The fire drill today would have been more fun if it hadn’t been with my craziest class. And if we hadn’t had to walk down so many flights of stairs. And if we’d hadn’t had to walk back *up* so many flights of stairs. And if it hadn’t been 85 degrees today. Oh well.

Three day weekend! I have nothing school-related to say. Let’s go Yankees!

hissy fit

October 4, 2007

Every few months someone from Extremely Prestigious University calls me and asks me for money to support other teachers and scholarships, because we are “top ranked” and I am a “loyal alumni.” (Alumna?)

So every few months I have to bite my lip because whoever is calling me is some poor slob on work study and not, in fact, the person responsible for my $80,000 loans and the fact that I can never, ever do anything fun or go anywhere or buy anything because my loans per month are almost as much as my rent. (If I were being fair, I’d acknowledge that it’s partially my undergrad loans, but I am NOT feeling fair right now.)

So far I have managed not to scream “I AM A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER IN THE BRONX” at anyone, but it’s hard. Especially when they follow up my “I’m so sorry, no, I can’t donate this year” with “Many people in similar financial situations donate using a payment plan!” Well fuck those people. I need to buy groceries.