Category: fitn

Day One Hundred Eighty-Two

So, the other day, Mr. B emailed me to ask me if I’d be willing to be a building rep for the teacher’s union. I didn’t respond with my immediate reaction, which was, “Do you really think that’s a good idea?” I took some time to think it over. Mr. B has been my mentor for years, so the fact the he was the one asking was partially why I eventually said yes. There was an election, but I was running unopposed, so it was all but official at that point. Today it’s actually official. 

That’s probably the biggest thing that happened to me today. It was the first day of final exams for the underclassmen, and I had no exams to give, so my day was pretty quiet. Exams are scheduled so that students take two each day with a half hour break in between and lunch after. Today, they took the exams for their Block 1 classes, and I don’t have any (APUSGOV was on A days- and seniors took finals last week- and my prep time was on B days).

I spent most of the morning cleaning out my classroom, except for the hour or so when I was in a team leader meeting with Mrs. C, Mrs. R, and The Vice Principal. I didn’t realize how full my file cabinets had gotten until I decided to go through them and clear the clutter. Now they’re mostly empty because everything is digital. No need for old curriculum binders, or anything like that.

I had lunch with Mr. W, Mr. F, and Mrs. T. We went out of the building for that; I’d gotten a gift certificate to a local restaurant from a student, so we spent it, and talked about the year, and relaxed… When we got back to school, Mrs. T and I graded Multi-Genre Projects with Mrs. T; we each take half of the projects, so the grading is quick, easy, and awesome. I know I keep saying the students’ work is amazing… but it really is. The level of detail on some of these projects is phenomenal.

Oh, and this one fun: one of the boys on the football team had asked for an extension on the project (he needs to pass World and English in order to keep his eligibility for fall sports, so making sure he had time to do well was great and responsible), so he had to print everything out and hand it in today. He showed up with five of his teammates in tow, and they were chanting his name the whole time he was printing pieces, and when he handed me everything they burst into applause.

Gotta love a supportive team, right?

This afternoon, I got invited to a house party by one of the many presidential campaign staffers I keep in touch with (APUSGOV networking). He’s got one of my incoming GOV students- a girl who was in World with me two years ago- interning on the campaign, which is awesome. He couldn’t say enough good things about her. Helping to run a house party is a huge thing, so it was really neat to see one of my students taking that on. I’m super proud of her.

Day One Hundred Forty-Four

My day was really something. 

It was a review day in APUSGOV, so my students studied using various resources, tried practice exam questions, that kind of thing. And, since two of them are entering the local science fair and need more data, we also took about ten minutes to be part of their experiment on memory. Then, in World, my students and I discussed the assignment that they did last class. Then they started doing research (on current issues in East Asia) to prepare for an upcoming essay.

So that’s all pretty chill. But then I had a special ed. referral meeting during my lunch, and right after that I had to get ready for a guest speaker. And not just any guest speaker: a presidential candidate. So I set up my room, reassembled of my APUSGOV class (and other politically inclined students), and went out front to await his arrival. 

Longtime readers know that guest speakers are common in APUSGOV class, and they’re often elected officials, but primary season is a whole other thing. Presidential candidates come with staffers, and they’re followed by the press, and, even though I knew it was going to be good, it was still a bit nerve-wracking. Because… Presidential candidate. Press. In my classroom. That is not a thing that happens everywhere, you know? And this is the third one my students have met (the other two were off school grounds, but still exclusive), so it’s becoming a thing.

But it was good because my students are awesome, intelligent young people, and they asked important questions about the political process and about policy. I was really proud of them.

 Afterwards, a few of them got the news about the fire at Notre Dame and one hurriedly turned her cell phone towards me to show me a video of the blaze. We huddled around it for a moment- and there’s something about the fact that I’m the one they turn to when big things happen in the world- and tried to find as much information as we could. Then it was the end of the day, and everyone scattered to the buses, cars, sports practices…

I went to track practice- on a track, finally!- and led my sprinters into the one patch of snow on the back curve (in the shade) to kick it up and help it melt more quickly. So we all ended up with wet, muddy shoes, and it was glorious.