The week began with Kelsey Sheehy of U.S. News and World Report interviewing me for a story about teachers using the Party Conventions as a device in the classroom. If you have nothing else to do you can read Sheehy’s education blog and my comments in her newest posting. Essentially I tried to avoid telling her that the Conventions are pointless exercises involving myopic politicians and bad public speakers.
The Republican Convention was a pointless exercise involving myopic politicians, bad public speakers, and The Man With No Name talking to a Chair With No President. I really like Clint Eastwood, and I actually thought that the chair bit had lots of potential to be humorous. Unfortunately Eastwood was a few steps from 2011 Dick Clark New Year’s Rockin Eve in his delivery and it ended up just feeling utterly lame. Not as lame as most of the other speakers but getting there. With the exception of Marco Rubio, there wasn’t a speaker at the entire Convention that either was dynamic, or had commentary that seemed relevant to this era. So I spent some of this week watching bad speeches and giving it very little time in my classroom. Note to Democrats that are smirking, you’ll get equal time.
I had my first cell phone issue this week. It was dealt with quick, it caused little disturbance, and I think that it will become less and less of a problem in that class. Part of the reason for that is decreased class sizes. Only one class is totally full and the rest are starting shrink little by little. This allows for more eyes on less students and a greater ability to engage in activities in a less confined space. It helps with management, it allows me to grade more effectively, and it give me a greater opportunity to find students with special needs faster. What I’m trying to get at is the person who said that class size doesn’t matter is an idiot.
The reason why some of my classes are dwindling is because students are leaving for Independent Study. I find Independent Study interesting. In a society that seems to care about their children learning something, they take many kids that do very little in an organized format, put the learning in pretty little packs, and give credit when the pretty packets are complete. I don’t quite get how A) Students that can’t come to school (but can go to extra-curricular) are going to succeed on their own, and B) What the benefit of packet learning is. Oh well, gotta worry about those within my four walls.
And this week, we are at it again.