Friday, May 13, 2005

Of STAR Testing, smashed bunny and new homes

Week Two of STAR testing is over. Three days left.

The block scheduling went real well for my Seniors this week. Stock projects were done by all classes and the two hour blocks earlier this week helped the college prep kids get lab time, while the entire week was lab time spent by Intro students. Intro students doing the stock project was very interesting. The scope of kids that I have is very diverse. It ranges from lazy Seniors that have a college reading level, to Seniors that have a 4th grade reading level. Walking them through the process was just that, walking them through the process. Some of it became exasperating at times, but think about how the kids are feeling if the teacher is getting impatient. I had a few kids throw their hands up in frustration, but they came back after a little encouragement. All in all, it was good for them to struggle, then understand, then complete the project. The bad part of the entire Stock Project is that I now have 135 reports to read. Along with moving this week, it could be a little stressful.

Speaking of moving, on Monday we officially close escrow on the house. We will probably begin moving into the dwelling on Wednesday or Thursday. It is crazy to realize two things: One, we own a very nice home. Two, we are now 410,000 in debt.

College Prep watched a film during the last block schedule day of STAR testing. Now I know that some of the "right of center" people that read this blog are going to groan, but the film is by their favorite hero, Michael Moore. Hold on, don't call me a communist yet. Before Moore went Bush hunting in Fahrenheit 911, and before he made a cheesy move on Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine (although much of the movie was thought provoking), Michael Moore was a labor advocate against the large corporate structure. His first movie, Roger and Me, details the problems in Flint, Michigan when General Motors outsources automobile factory jobs to Mexico. It is a good movie, regardless of your opinion on Michael Moore. However, in one scene Moore finds a woman who lives on selling rabbits for pets......or meat. In minute she is petting a furry little bunny, the next she is slamming it over the head with a bat, skinning it and gutting it. The reaction is priceless, and Seniors can handle it. Most can't believe that people actually do it, although they eat things that are killed in a similar manner.

Ok, the weekend will consist of grading a massive stack to stock papers and packing our kitchen. Before I go, I'll mention these little items:

-Our protest was so poorly covered by the Ukiah Daily Journal that it was disgusting. Half the story was about the Governator, while the other half was about some teacher in Southern California that hated merit pay.

-Our school picked a new principal, and the bonding company and school district have decided to go ahead with asking the town for money for modernization. The Ukiah Daily Journal gives a short explanation here.

-This Sacramento Bee article caused a stir in our department today. I've talked to teachers in Colorado about merit pay, and this article explains the push to continue it. It basically enters the thought into the minds of Californians. The problems are so numerous that it is ridiculous. Students purposely failing tests? Parents signing students out of testing? Elective teachers? Vengeful principals? What a great idea.
blog comments powered by Disqus