Friday, May 27, 2005

Senior Cut Day

Today was Senior Cut Day. Depending on who you ask, it is either tradition, or a total distraction. I don't fight against it, meaning I don't intentionally schedule pop quizzes for this day. However, I do make an assignment for today and those that complete it get some credit. I have 5 classes of Seniors. The attendance went about like this:

Zero: 40%
First: 50%
Second: 10%
Third: 30%
Fourth: 40%

One thing that is great about small classes is that you become much closer to those students. In my third period class, "Gretchen" and "Anne" told me that they were very happy that I got a house because it instantly made my attitude better. They both said that it was evident that for the last month, I was stressed out and it affected my frame of mind to the students. It might seem like that is bad news, but its actually a very good sign that the students told me this. Of course it's not fair that my "house hunt" stress came out in class, but the students laid it on their shoulders to accept what was going on and didn't make the classes unbearable. I'm a little proud of my own classroom management, and very fortunate to have an excellent group of kids. In Zero period we had a small class discussion about Outsourcing to India. Students that were usually silent made nice points during the morning. During Second period, I talked at length to "Ben" about questions he had regarding the Federal Budget. Ben is one of the best kids around and will do very well in life. He's also a classic conservative mind, but has the patience to listen and dissect arguments. He's a pleasure to talk to. Finally, in Fourth period we had an Outsourcing discussion on migrant labor taking low wage jobs in the United States. For lower level students, it was very refreshing to have them come to the explanation on how to deal with outsourcing, all by themselves.
"Fred", from previous dealings (see below), pounded away with, "If you don't want to do the hard, manuel labor, get educated. Mexicans are will to work hard for low pay. If you aren't, then you better damn well go to college to get the better jobs or you're in trouble."

I couldn't have said it better.

The principal also BBQ'd for the staff today. Its a "thank you" for STAR testing and I had fun talking to teachers I usually don't associate with. I did find one thing interesting. The basketball program is under very close scrutiny. I'm in an interesting position, since I'm part of the program, but not part of the problem, if that makes any sense at all. It also means that I've got to be very careful about what is mentioned about basketball because it could get me into trouble. Let's just say that in the current state of things, it is a good thing that I'm only the Freshmen Boys Basketball coach.
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