Monday, December 29, 2008

Breaktime chores

I am about to write 2 recommendations for students that must be postmarked before January 1, 2009. I would say that I'm procrastinating, but recommendations require some serious thinking, at least for me, since I want to be honest and positive at the same time. In these 2 students' cases it's not a problem because they are good students who do well in their work. One I've had for 2 years, the other I've only had for this year. The latter asked me for a recommendation mainly because he is applying to my alma mater, and he thought it wouldn't hurt to get one from an alumna. I agree, especially since I've worked to get any student to look at my alma mater over my years of teaching, and he's the first one I hooked. It helps that about half of his family also went to the same university, but I like to think that I am such a good influence that he was drawn to that school. Now, if I can only convince the admissions people that he's a keeper.

After that I get to start grading projects that were due on the last day before Christmas break. I'm glad that I have such specific rubrics since they keep me honest and actually make it easy for me to grade them. I figure that will keep me busy for the remainder of this morning.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Where did I go?

I have been considering giving up on having a teacher blog over the past few weeks. My brother, however, says that he continues to check out my blog hoping to see a new post. I guess that I will shelve the idea of quitting and start anew, so to speak. Meantime, here's a silly story about a student:

I had her last year in one of my math classes. She was hard-put to get quiet and work, but her work was fine. She was one of those students I was glad to pass on to the next math teacher. She showed up early in this school year asking for a college recommendation. I agreed with unspoken reservations, but I wrote an honest, if somewhat short, recommendation. In October, I confiscated her cell phone because she had it out during school hours and gave it to the dean of students. After that, every time she saw me, she loudly said to any and all around, "I am not talking to you." I would just smile and continue on my way.

Early in December, she showed up in my classroom during my planning period. She commented on my music (Bach played by the late Virgil Fox) then asked if she could borrow a calculator from me for a test she had to take during that period. I responded, "I thought you weren't talking to me." She said, "I wasn't, but I am now. May I borrow a calculator for this test?" I loaned her a calculator, and she zipped back to her test. When I walked down the hall past her classroom, I just chuckled. She did return the calculator. She also returned to saying, "I'm not talking to you." whenever she sees me, but she isn't so loud. As for me, I'm still chuckling when I see her.