Saturday, February 6, 2010

Who wouldn't want to hire me?!

After completing 7 school district applications, this whole "I'm gonna have a real job in less than 6 months" is really starting to get to me. I am getting anxious, excited, and incredibly stressed all at one time!

This was my journal from the first week back: It was an easy segway back into full teaching for the spring semester. I am a little worried about how to fit 5 weeks into the semester, so I am determined to just get them all done right away. We’ve already had 3 days of testing, a tornado drill, and have a fire drill planned for this next week. I also wanted to jump right back in because I love the unit that we are currently on. I love teaching about graphs and central tendencies. I taught this when I was a TA, so I liked the feeling that this wasn’t the first time that I have taught this subject before. I was able to bring ideas to our planning time that the other teachers hadn’t heard of before. (i.e. Range Dog!) On the day that I taught mean, median, mode, and range I had Range Dog playing as the students entered the room. It was awesome to see their reactions to the corny song! I think the best part was when I’d play it for them later and after it was over I’d say, “What was that? You want to hear it again?” They would all groan and say, “Noooo!” I loved that part of the day, and the students definitely are still humming it in the hallways. At the beginning of the week, many students got excited when they found out it was my week to teach. That always makes me feel good, when they want me to teach. I’m excited for this last semester of teaching, for the ctctm conference, for the opportunity to teach teachers the kaleidoscope lesson, and for my last semester with my middle school math family! 

This past week was a tad more interesting. I had my first gun scare. The gun has still yet to be found (a firearm sniffing dog searched our campus), but it put a lot of things back into perspective. I still teach in WacoISD and even though I'm teaching 6th grade this year.. they still have serious issues I have to be aware of.
Here was my journal from this week:
This was by far the scariest week I’ve had in middle school. This week proved to me I still have a lot to learn about schools and their policies. Once the mention of a “gun on campus” I would have thought the administrators would have at least told the teachers. By not telling us anything it seemed more like they were trying to hide things from us, and that is not how you build trust. During our faculty meeting one teacher said, “Reality is better than rumor,” and I agree with that one hundred percent. I would much rather receive an email saying this is what is going on than know nothing at all! I understand the aspect of not wanting to create a panic; but when it’s something that important, it’s a different story. To have root beer floats in the teacher lounge the next day just confirmed my feeling of an “oops, sorry for the mistake” attitude from the administrators. I want to be able to trust my administrators, but when it comes to illegal weapons I would rather error on the side of caution. From the whole experience, I just have a lot of questions. When is it appropriate to go into a lockdown? Or since they didn’t know where the gun was, should they go into a lockdown potentially locking a student in a class who has the gun? When should the teachers be notified about certain things on campus that effect a lot of people? It also came out in our faculty meeting that on Friday a kid brought a plastic, bb gun pistol with him and I had no idea that ever went on. If they have any suspicion of a kid, can they search him and his backpack? A lot of these may just be opinion/instinct calls, but it’s definitely one part of the school system that I am not aware of. I never would have thought, especially in 6th grade, I would be worrying about this, but it is a part of today’s society. I feel partly upset with myself for not knowing these procedures and not being aware of what should be going on (except for the fact that I’ve participated in 2 lockdown drills). But I learned on Wednesday it’s a lot different in reality, than in a drill.
While the events were scary, I think the worst part of it is the students weren’t scared at all. They are too young to know about Columbine or Fort Gibson, and they don’t understand the effects of bullying. They still think guns are cool and don’t understand how deadly they can be. I also think they can’t logically process the consequences of their actions and what shooting a person could potentially do. In a way, this is the most frightening part to me.

Moral of the story is - Who wouldn't want to hire me?!?!
I've had the pregnant girl, I've had the gang members, I've had the 17 year old 8th grader who's been convicted of attempted murder, I've broken up a fight in my classroom, and I've now had a gun on my campus. I have so much experience that I'm sure teachers who have been teaching for 10 years haven't experienced!! But I'm ready to show some principals what I've got and that I can deal with these type of kids, but I can also handle the middle-class white kids!! :)

Psalm 18:2 "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

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