Saturday, October 03, 2015

Hey, remember when the week was totally taken over by Homecoming?

Fall is here.  The mornings are now crisp, the leaves have started to change and drop, and we are starting to see more animals running around now that the heat has started to dissipate.  Sure, we will still get a couple of mid-90 degree days but the heat is short lived because when the sun drops, Fall is in the evening air.

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Homecoming was this week.  Because the theme was music genres and my Senior class had Rap/Hip Hop I tried to get into the mood.  It lasted three days.  Then I was fully prepared to take two days off because the whole process is a travesty of a mockery of a shame.  It’s also written like a reality television show.   I’ll leave it at that.  At least I got to listen to good music for most of the week.  The Senior skit had references to Easy-E, Fab 5 Freddy, and they played music from Que, Flo-Rida, Run-DMC, and Missy Elliott.  Ahh, the reminiscing. 

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Attendance contracts have started.  My tardy policy is sort of like work; “If a student shows a consistent pattern of tardiness they will be placed on an Attendance Contract.”  If a student is tardy now and then tardy again in a month, I don’t really worry about it.  But over the last two weeks I’ve had students begin to test the policy (like cell phones).  One tardy- I mark it down and don’t comment.  Two tardies- I approach the student and ask them if they are having some issue with transportation or special circumstances (since 95% of tardies are 1st period and after lunch).  Three tardies- I tell the student they are tapped out of freebies for the semester.  I think it’s a fair system and the students, for the most part, seem to accept it. 

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But not always.  1st period is one of my Advanced Placement classes every year.  Like clockwork, there is often a student (or two) that comes in late regularly and then if so furious that they are put on contract that it impacts the entire year.  That hasn’t happened this year but it happened last year, even to the point that the student basically called me a power hungry Nazi for issuing the contract.  See, AP students are never “sent to the office.”  Vice Principals often comment to me that the first time they see these students is their Senior year because of tardiness or cuts.  In my mind that means one of two things is happening.  One, students are reaching their Senior year and having a massive transformation to Senioritis mode, thus impacting their attendance.  Or two, someone is allowing these students to be late to class on a regular basis with no consequence.  It’s probably a little of both. 

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Another assignment turned in online.  Another assignment that is harder to grade online.  Another reason I don’t like paperless assignments. 

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It’s getting to the quarter pole of the year and my analysis of the overall year is that my classes are really damn good.  The number of students that are genuinely inquisitive is very high and more and more are starting to break out of their shells and contribute.  That’s a very positive sign going forward because the lessons get more and more interactive as the year goes on.  When they are involved classes are so much better. 

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