Category: day fifty-eight

Day Fifty-Eight

You know it’s time for a vacation when you try to lock your desk and this happens:

(And my cuticles are a mess, I know)

Luckily, it happened at the end of the day, not the beginning! I sent an email to maintenance and went home because it’s Thanksgiving vacation, and I’ll deal with it later.

But let me write about how the day was going before that. 

It was a full day of school, despite a steady snowfall that started around 5AM. The fact that it was snowing and it’s the day before a vacation meant our ninth graders were wicked hyper and reluctant to do any work. It took a loooong time for Mrs. T and I to get them to settle down and focus on their book papers. We always allow breaks, but today we really had to keep an eye on their frequency and duration. We managed to do that while checking outlines, proofreading drafts, and answering questions because we are wizards. 

I also had to explain the First Amendment to some boys who tried to tell Mrs. T she couldn’t ask them to stop talking “because Free Speech!!!!” This is a trick lots of students try; they bank on teachers not wanting to (or not being able to) explain why the First Amendment doesn’t apply. Of course, since government is my jam, Mrs. T just sends students my way, and I do explain it. Plus, I answer any follow-up questions. 

Sometimes students think still getting away with avoiding their work, even though I’m teaching something I’d have taught eventually anyhow. They definitely thought so today… until I related the concept of freedom of speech back to the books they’d read, and jokingly told them to thank me for enriching their understanding. 

One of the boys shook his head and begrudgingly said, “You’re good, Miss M.”

I really am sometimes. 

So that was fun, as was the point ten minutes before lunch when it was getting chatty. I said the conversations needed to stop, and the room immediately and unexpectedly went dead silent. It NEVER happens like that. I have no idea why it happened this time because it wasn’t like I’d yelled, or said anything I don’t usually say. It was so weird, and so awesome.

Class ended with a moo-off because of course it did. Then it was prep time, and key-breaking time, and going out into the snowy parking lot time. 

And now it’s vacation. Happy Thanksgiving!

Day Fifty-Eight

Student A: So, Miss M, there’s a chance Prince Harry’s kid could be POTUS and King of England. I don’t care how little the chance is. It’s still a chance.
Student B: They’re trying to retake the colonies!
Student A: Or we’re trying to annex Britain. That could be fun.
Student C: It’s a whole new kind of Brexit, Miss M!

My classes have been quite quotable lately, right? 

This bit of chatter happened after I was forced to scrap the bulk of my APUSGOV lesson because the video I’d planned to show abruptly vanished from the Internet. I jumped to the lesson I was going to do next class (because I’m no rookie, and I know I should always have a back-up plan), but I needed a moment to grab the right materials for it (specifically, my annotated copy of the Constitution), so I started class by mentioning this zany discussion that happened last night on Twitter and seeing what my students made of it. 

I mean, we were starting a new unit on government institutions, and that includes the presidency, so this was fine. 

And then I rallied! I passed back the tests they took last class, went over the tricky parts, and fielded any remaining questions as I’d originally planned to do. Then I handed out guides for the new unit, identified key due dates, and had them take a look at the Constitution. We read Article I aloud, and discussed some of the key clauses. It ended up taking the whole block, which is fine. It’s not what I’d thought I’d do today, but it worked as a basic intro to studying the legislative branch. 

So yay.

I did the same lesson in World that I did yesterday. The delivery was definitely better today, though. I was able to take questions without running out of time at the end, and it just felt more solid. 

So double yay.

A student was supposed to come by during my prep time to have me edit a paper, but he didn’t show up, so I caught up on my grading and polished my lecture notes for next World class. And then I went to a department meeting, which wasn’t too big. Mr. B wants us to look over some ELO proposals, and think about anything we might want to change for next year in the program of studies. 

I left the meeting as Mr. F finished up helping a student with geometry, so he and I walked out together. It was a gorgeous afternoon at that point- orange and pink sky- but so cold. I suspect lots of snow will be coming soon.