Category: day fifty-four

Day Fifty-Four

There really should have been a two-hour delay this morning because there was a lot of snow. Every district north of us (and I mean all the way to Canada) and most of the ones south of us delayed or closed, and the roads were absolutely awful, but for some reason The Superintendent didn’t call it. Sooooo we had a half dozen students (that I know of) and two buses get into accidents- none really serious, thankfully- and basically all of us were late to school. 

I arrived about fifteen minutes after the first bell. I was a bit discombobulated, of course, but I settled in and still had plenty of time to mark up current events for revision. And that’s what students did during the World/English double block: they revised and submitted a polished portfolio. If they finished early, they could use the time to read, or begin outlining their book papers with Mrs. T. 

While she was going over outlines, I was watching the room, fielding questions, and doing my best to rein in some bad behavior (the health classes are doing the unit on sex ed. now, and some of the boys were flicking the condoms they’d gotten at each other). We switched roles about half an hour in so I could work one-on-one with a student who was refusing to do anything, and then with one who needed lots of help and was getting anxious about it. If we didn’t team teach, that couldn’t have happened, so- as ever- I’m glad that we do!

I had a headache by the time it was over, which could’ve been from the stress of keeping those challenging students I was working with calm and on task, or could’ve been from the amount of Axe the boys were wearing today. It seemed more than usual, and I’m wicked allergic to it.

The headache made it so the two meetings- team, then faculty- in my afternoon seemed oddly long. But I made it through both of them. I had grading to do afterwards, but no Tylenol in my desk, so took papers home, which I rarely do. 

Now it’s time to grade them…

Day Fifty-Four

NCSS is amazing, and I am so happy to be amongst my nerdy and awesome tribe. Mrs. T and I spent the whole day learning new things, and celebrating this deeply consequential field. 

First, we got some amazing multidisciplinary lesson resources, which we can’t wait to share with our ninth grade colleagues back home. Then we learned about propaganda and how to spot it at a presentation put on by the Newseum (sidenote: they gave us awesome posters, too). After that, we grabbed lunch at a falafel place across the street because that’s not something we can get back home, then headed back to the conference for an APUSGOV AMA with Karen Waples, who taught the summer institute I attended this past summer (even Mrs. T, who is not party of the nerdy gov’t teacher crew, said this was great; Karen is a fantastic lecturer). We took a wander through the exhibition hall, too, and got a ton of swag- and found NHPR talking up the Civics101 podcast, which is awesome! So we had a NH people moment.

The last session we got to go to was with Eva Mozes Kor, who you may know of thanks to social media and/or Buzzfeed. She’s a “Mengele Twin” and Auschwitz survivor, her story is amazing, and she has such important things to say to young people. And she’s funny! It’s not a panel I expected to laugh at quite so much. 

After that, it was time for our own presentation. We had some help hooking up audio and visual from two lovely gentleman who presented just before us (my HDMI adapter thingy wasn’t working, but thankfully there was a spare around), and then it was on with the show. Mrs. T asked our audience- which was small, at first, but doubled after a minute or two- to move close, and I cracked, “Yeah, ‘cause I look good today, and you should see it.” 

Aaaand then we did our thing. 

We explained how we blend Mrs. T’s teaching of Shakespeare with my current world curriculum, did a mini lesson based on my World lessons, took some questions, and got a round of applause at the end. A couple teachers came up to us afterwards to continue talking, which was awesome. It’s always great to talk about what we do with equally enthusiastic people, you know?

So… we’ve done our second national conference presentation. Woohoo!