Category: day eighty-one

Day Eighty-One

I asked my APUSGOV students to start class by looking up some information about different bureaucratic agencies to get a sense of their scope and function. They actually started class by checking Snow Day Calculator (71% chance of a snow day tomorrow), but then they got to it. We chatted about the power of the executive branch, unelected bureaucrats making policy, patronage, regulation and deregulation… The words, “Fight me, bro!” were used (jokingly) when a tangent about OSHA got heated, and there were many remarks about the current Cabinet. And, of course, since doing research on government websites right now means lots of pop-ups about the shutdown, we had to talk about that, as well.

I ended up talking about it in one of my World classes, too, because one of the APUSGOV boys had written “Shutdown Day 16″ on my board, and a couple of my Block 4 ninth graders asked if I could explain what was going on. I gave them the cliff notes version and took a few questions. I like that they asked!

My actual lesson was about Rwanda. I started showing Shake Hands With the Devil, which is an extremely powerful film. I’ll finish it next class, and have much more to write about it then. I can already tell that it’s captured the attention of some of my toughest customers, so I’m feeling good about it. 

Afterwards, Mr. T and I had lunch (Mrs. T left cake in the prep room for us!) and did some grading. Mr. M and Mr. F joined us for a bit. Sometimes, I like to sit at my desk by myself and grind out the grading, but it was good to keep company with them today (even when they started talking about ice climbing because they’re all kind of crazy). In many of my recent entries, I’ve alluded to the fact that some bad stuff happened in my district last week- which is all the detail I can give- so morale is low. We’re getting by, though. 

Day Eighty-One

One of my former students, who’s now in tenth grade, asked me to proofread a short story he’s writing for his English class. This is how he repaid me:

The stickies say “Go Red Devils.” So I responded by writing “Manchester is BLUE” in huge block letters across the top of his story.

It’s a soccer thing.


The special ed. department set aside today for teachers to meet with case managers and discuss students’ progress toward their IEP goals. They offered us food and coffee, too, which was so nice. Mr. F, Mr. W, and I went down first thing since we all had Block 1 prep, and all had to see the same case manager, Ms. N, so it became a nice little breakfast meeting.

Mrs. T was out again, so she couldn’t join us, and I was left alone again in our Cavern of Learning. Actually, I wasn’t totally alone; her sub was one of our former students, now a senior in college, to whom my initial reaction was, “Ugh, I’m old.” 

But it was cool having him help out. He wants to teach, so subbing is good experience, and this bunch of students is fun to work with. I was super happy with their work, too. Even my most chatty, distracting little group buckled down when I separated them, and acknowledged that was what needed doing.

The team and I had a working lunch because we had a parent request a meeting during our typical team meeting time Block 5. I thought that the parent meeting would take an hour or so, but it actually took nearly two. Shows how well I estimate… But it was a meeting with many layers, so it was hard to guess how it would go. I think it was productive, though. 

I was late to practice because of it, of course. When I arrived, I discovered one of my relay boys from last year had come back to visit, and Head Coach had asked him to do baton practice with this year’s relay teams. Since he’d already started, I just sat and let him finish. It was fun. 

Then the kids asked us for relay stories, which was totally to delay running stairs, but we obliged them (I told the story of my final collegiate race). And then they ran stairs. And then I went back to my classroom to write quizzes for APUSGOV. I only got home about an hour ago.

So it was a busy day, and I’m tired now, but it’s all good.