Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tightened Security

I am so sad that it took something like this as, even after our community lost one of its angels three years ago to an abduction (Somer Thompson--to know her was to love her), that it took place off of campus didn't seem to make security on campus a tad tighter.

My hope is that the school I'm at now, which from all angles I've seen, seems to resemble the layout of Sandy Hook, will become a closed campus for which parents need to be buzzed in.  For now, doors are closing and classroom doors are being locked.  Mine has always remained locked.  Any thoughts?
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

EEEEK! My Observation is Coming!

 Okay, it isn't as though I'd normally be nervous so let me begin by putting that out there.  I mean, yes, anyone coming in with a clipboard and making marks in columns is unsettling nerve wracking, but I am NERVOUS with a capital NERVOUS!  It's for a few reasons, really.  It's a TERRIBLE time of year, as most of you know, to try and get a great assessment out of most because the kids are OFF. THE. CHAIN.  There, I said it.  They have  Christmahanakwanzikafeveritis. 
If that's not enough, many of them are missing about every other day because of the schmeg that's going around, so the building onto my lessons is missing a few legs of the framework for those students.  I also have a new AP who will be observing me and she doesn't really know much about me or my teaching style (that I know of, but I'm sure that she does her homework).  She had another teacher in tears last week because the teacher was meeting standards on many of her points and she wasn't used to that.  But that is the thing, it's also a new observation tool.  In Florida, we have gone to a new tool about which our administrators have been drilling into our heads at faculty meetings that its is EXTREMELY difficult to exceed the standards.  Ummmmm, that's not acceptable!  I've been working so much harder and (I'd like to believe) smarter this year to come up with something, ANYTHING that will work with the 'difficult-to-describe-in-just-one-post' groups I have this year.

Higher order thinking?  Not natural for them.  Self control?  Only when they feel like it.  Respect for the tall people (adults) in the school?  Maybe next week, but it's not looking good.  2013 doesn't seem to be in their immediate plans for that either.  Most of this, I've opted to handle with Whole Brain Teaching and Daily Five Instruction using an incorporation of Reader's Workshop and Guided Reading as well.  I'm spinning my wheels here to get it all in.

Now, the reason that all of this is stressing me out (on top of the fact that I have been sick and have low energy anyway) is because this is the first year using this observation tool in this way and this is also my last year in our district.  SO, depending on how this observation goes, it could have a positive or a negative affect on my job hunt for next year in a different district in Florida, five hours away (where my reputation as a dedicated educator does not matter).  My fate lies in the hands of my munchkins.

Oh well, all I can do is my best and hope that it goes well at this point.  I'm pretty sure sleeping is going to be out of the question for the night anyway.

Anyone else have any observation entertaining stories to ease my troubled mind?

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