Sunday, November 13, 2011

Long, long week

The first week of November is one of my longest weeks of the year.  It’s the beginning of student panic for the first semester, the beginning of the student exodus for Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations, and the true beginning of basketball.

-Everyone is sick.  It seems like the flu bug has hit early this year with more than usual cases of pneumonia and lots of days absent by students.  This is also the time when the term “sick” comes to test with how much the students really want their education.  There is “I can’t come to school because I’m really sick” sick.  And there’s “I don’t feel well” sick, which can happen multiple days a week for Seniors.  It’s starting to happen now. 

-The best in class are starting to pull away from the average, and those that haven’t figured out that I’m serious on accountability have realized that a failing grade is upon the horizon.  I’ve told classes that if they need help they can contact me in a variety of ways for that help, but usually the contact comes from a counselor.  It’s also the time of year where parents call the counselor to have the counselor explain to the parent why the student isn’t succeeding.  I have some parents that e-mail me regularly, but not one parent has called, and hardly a handful of students have came to me for help.  Note to parents; the counselor has not spent one day in my class and has little clue while your kid is flaking failing in class. 

-What’s really the point of having vacation week when parents continue to pull out kids for longer periods of time?  This week I signed a half dozen short term independent study contracts that had students spending extra weeks on either side of Thanksgiving Break.  Some have already warned me that the same will occur at Christmas.  Fine.  Better enjoy studying online.

-This is one of the longer weeks of the school year for me.  After school is practice until 7:30, then at least an hour meeting with the coaching staff to discuss rosters, and I’m home around 9:15 every night.  And try-outs always seem harder than other practices because you are dealing with variables that aren’t in regular practices, and by the Junior Varsity level it is becomes very evident who doesn’t have the passion for basketball in their belly.  It’s a different style of dedication.  Then there are the kids that just aren’t athletic enough for competitive basketball but have the passion to play it.  That’s the hard one.  That’s the one you look at and wonder which could handle a season of tough competition, little playing time, and still be a good teammate.  Well, I have until Wednesday for final cuts.

Go ahead and check out for my students’ projects about Ukiah Economic Development.  Comment if you like.  It’s something I created to replace Economics Expo (a business plan simulation).  I figure that with all the brain power in the classroom, why not have it benefit the town?  So give it a look and report back to me if you can.

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