Monday, August 18, 2008

Return

It was a long day in class today as I continued to prepare the classroom for the return of the rug rats, only this time the technology was finished and the focus turned to prepping the classroom environment with music in the background.  I have to admit, it is nice to have my new toy.  It is just an amazing item.  Plug it into my classroom speaker system and I have my playlist going in the background while I go about the task of creating academic nirvana.   The only problem is that some of the music might not be totally suitable for underage ears (at least at the school).  While most of the music passes the boundaries of Standards and Practices with ease, I need to leap up and hit "next" when Nothin But a G' Thang hits the airwaves or Eminem starts to play.  Last thing I need is for a mom to walk in to Dr. Dre throwing it down with Snoop Dog.

I worked the campus a little today with upperclassmen getting their schedules and visiting teachers.  I was genuinely happy to see the students.  It's the warm feeling from teaching that I missed when having to deal with the politics of it all.  I got quite a few hugs and some new students introducing themselves to me with the question, "Aren't you the hard teacher?"  My response is "Yep, and we be learning baaaabbbyyyy!"  Some returning students and incoming Seniors also stopped by to express regret that I wasn't teaching Gov/Econ.  Older ones stated that it was a good rite of passage for students that are about to graduate.  All were genuinely sad to see me out of my element.  One ex-student expressed today on IM, upon learning about my lack of Gov/Econ classes, "I don't understand!  You are THE Gov/Econ guy!!"  Not this year. 

After leaving the students behind I went into the room and finished a U.S. Geography Power Point that I'll be showing kids during the first week of class.  The way I look at it, they better damn well know where shit is in this country if they are going to know its history.  New rule for my History classes.  All students must pass 80% states on the first semester and then 80% of the capitals on the second.  They'll keep taking it until they reach the 80% or they'll get a zero.  After the power point was complete I moved on to working with my software to get it integrated with the equipment, and then came lunch.  I watched the U.S.-China bean ball fest online and was proud that Giant minor leaguer Nate Schierholtz drilled that Chinese catcher.  Don't stand right in front of the plate, and stop drilling every over U.S. batter.  That will get your catcher protected!  By the way, props to NBC Olympics online for showing things that aren't always tape delayed.

I finished the afternoon with more technical integration, hanging up classroom artwork (old historical newspapers I've saved), and planning out my first week a little more closely.  Economics is fine, as is International Studies.  I'm having a bitch getting a relevant activity with a leading question for the start of U.S. History.  I whipped out my old college U.S. History notes and found a little background for a power point, but I need something to hook.  I question that involves them a little more.  A little classroom pacing tomorrow will do the trick.    

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