Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Week goes boom at the end, makes the weekend that much more thought-provoking

When you have a week in September that is in the mid-high 80’s in Northern California, you soak it in.  I actually had to wear a jacket out to the car on Friday night because the wind was chilly.  That’s unusual for this time of year.  This week?  Back to triple digits.

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The alarm was pushed ahead to 4:30 this week.  A clear sign that I must have at least some control on the year.

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Chromebooks.  Yeah, they are good for some things and not so good for others. 

Good for:  Research, quick online discussions, in class work for bigger assessments, overall creation.

Bad for:  Turning in work, anything to be done “in the moment”, anything that has a lack of structure for one minute, creating engaging and deep discussion.

Some of this could be structural.  My Chromebook cart is small and the line to distribute and put back ends up long and slow.  The kids are fantastic at putting them in the correct slots but they take four-five times as long to get out and prepare for the lesson, and a lot longer to put away.  I can teach to the bell with paper and pencil.  Not so with Chromebooks.  Chromebooks can’t print but again, that’s structural. 

Oh, and I officially hate online work.  It’s clumsy and takes longer to grade.

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The Homecoming Theme was announced this week.  I recommended “Different Methods to Kill Famous Disney Characters” but for some reason it was denied.  Instead; music genres.  This is actually fantastic.  I’m promoting that the classes use Happy Hardcore, Gangsta Rap, Death Metal, and Brian Eno’s ambient music.  I may yet become a Homecoming fan!

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Much of this last week involved searching for a new coach within our basketball program.  What’s entertaining is the look on people’s faces when I describe the requirements to coach and the time and money commitment necessary to actually manage a team.

“You mean you don’t have busses?”

“Only for league games.”

“You have to drive where?”

“Everywhere.”

“You have to deal with motel rooms.”

“Yes.”

“Do we have to practice every week day?”

Seriously, I’ve been asked that question. 

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I’m my own worst critic.  Part of the reason I keep this blog is for self-reflection and on Saturday evening I made some comments about an APUSH Facebook group and a moderators actions leading up to the post.  I’ve turned inward and read the post a couple of times, and the comments many times, and wondered if the post was the right way to go.

Absolutely.

It would have been easy to say “meh” after being told no.  And I was going to until, after one question, a fellow educator blocked and banned me.  For a question.  Eventually a person gets tired of hypocrisy and excuses and calls out what needs to be called out.  Sure, I do it with the grace of a bull trashing around a china shop but hey, it is what it is. 

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