Sunday, September 24, 2006

A roller coaster week

I made a critical error this week; I gave way to much homework, therefore I made it a weekend full of essay grading that was less than productive from a relaxation point of view. I started Friday night and just finished at around 5 p.m. tonight. Note to all new teachers; remember that you have to think about yourself when dealing with your energy and mental state. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don't make the "mass homework" mistake too often or you will get burned out.

Hugo Chavez's speech was a pretty large topic in my classes, with most students getting a good laugh at his comments. It wasn't a laugh at the President, but more of a laugh at the school bully that is picking on a teacher when his back is turned. For the most part, they didn't take him seriously. Many have also began to see the economic implications that Venezuela has on the United States, and vice-versa. When it was reported that Chavez hasn't changed a drop of oil exported to the U.S., students saw Chavez's words as hollow, thus rendering him a less important international figure. Students are very interested in Iran, Darfur, and more recently, Thailand.

The horror of Homecoming Week is approaching. I know, what a killjoy I am. However, Homecoming Week is now so big, so important at this school, that academics become a backseat assignment for the students. Hell, academics might as well be on the trailer hitch! I've of the unpopular opinion of ending the current homecoming format and winding it way, way down. There are class vs. class contests that end up dividing the entire school, two 2nd period assemblies that tear half of my Seniors out of my required courses, the campus becomes a zone of posterization and propaganda, and all the teachers greet this event with a smirk and a tired glance at the administration for letting it continue. Sure, it is nice that it happens, but it destroys the week academically. Then, if the wrong class wins the "Spirit Bell" (they have contests all week), most of the next week is a drone of complaining by the losers. Already, three weeks prior to the event, I've had students staying up into the wee hours of the morning working on their skit (done during a school assembly on Friday), and their float (showed off during a parade on Friday afternoon). The only real cool thing about this year's homecoming is that the theme is Fantasy Realms, and the Seniors picked Star Wars. GO SENIORS!!!

Back to school night went down on Thursday. Attendance:
International Studies= about 30%
Government= about 20%
Intro Government= 1 student's parents.
That's right. Out of over 50 students, only 1 student's parents showed up for the event. On the reverse end, I've already had one complaint from a parent that stated a concern that the class was not "challenging" enough. However, I've had over a half-dozen parents also personally tell me that students love the class and are getting a whole lot out of it. We'll roll with the good.

I found out on Monday that I'm still a target of some angry parents regarding my blog and some comments that were made over a year ago on another website. A reliable source told me that it is being used in conjunction with other issues that a band of coach-haters are using to try and clean house in the athletic program. Let me make it very, very clear on how I feel about my coaching. I love coaching basketball and I see it as a huge benefit for kids. Many will learn more about life and being a man than in any academic subject in school. My goal is to create a 5 star basketball program that puts out high quality, high class student athletes. Just so we are clear, and not to sound egotistical, parents should feel very fortunate that I'm coaching their kids. You should be thankful that I'm honestly concerned about the well being of their kids and want them to be successful individuals. That group that is on a constant witchhunt to nail coaches to the wall are doing more harm than good to the program in that you are distracting good coaches from doing their job. I'm going to remain in the athletic program, continuing to be a role model of consistent hard work and leadership. Please take your political agenda somewhere else.

Mr. Silva-Brown will be playing the part of a toga wearing Greek, a Cardinal, Martin Luther, General George Patton, and former President Bill Clinton this week. We will be investigating different historical International Systems. Should be fun!
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