Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Our next generation

Sometimes I wonder about the kids who are getting ready to graduate and go out and conquer the world...let me share my "laugh of the day" for Monday. We finished reading a part of the Canterbury Tales on Monday. (If you don't know what that is, no worries, most people don't). It is a collection of short stories written several hundred years ago by Geoffry Chaucer.

So, since it's old, there are some words that have developed "alternative" meanings, if you know what I mean. The story we were reading is about a fox and a rooster. I'll spare you the details, but near the end, the fox catches the rooster and runs off with him, intending to eat him. But, can anyone guess what word the author used throughout the story instead of rooster? "Cock" Yup, you read right: "cock". As if it wasn't bad enough that the students snickered a bit whenever someone read the word, to add insult to injury, towards the end of the story there is a line that says something to the effect of "he ran off to eat the cock." Sorry if this blog was a little X-rated for you, but just had to give a glimpse into my days spent with 17 year olds...special, yes...

Don't judge a book by it's cover...or toilet paper by it's name

Buyers beware! Maybe I'm the only person who does this, but I doubt not. Almost every time I buy toilet paper, I stand in the aisle at Walmart, debating which one to get. I'm "thrifty" (aka. cheap) so I'm not going to get the ultra-wonderful "I could almost make clothes out of this stuff" toilet paper, but I also don't want to end up with really bad TP either. On Sunday I found myself, yet again, having the TP aisle debate. I decided to try "Scott" brand TP...I mean, really, look at the name, it has to be good, right? WRONG!!! Do not buy this TP! It's a bit on the thin side, which means that you need to get twice as much as normal. Of course, I b0ught a super pack, so we'll be using this stuff for quite some time. Some things are not worth trying to save on, eh?

On a related note, can I tell you a pet peeve about my high school? In the faculty bathroom, they have one of those stupid TP holders that only turns about 1/4 of a turn, so you basically have to take the toilet paper and turn it around the holder that doesn't move instead of easily being able to roll the TP off. Why do they do that? The student bathrooms have regular rollers, so do they think teachers are going to excessively waste the TP or something? Drives me crazy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bragging Rights

I have to stop for a moment to brag about my husband. Student teaching has made me a mess more than I'd like to admit. I think I've cried (whether just a little weepy eyes or full out crying) at least three times every week since I've started (maybe more and I'm just in denial). I've stressed, I've worried, I've doubted, I've felt like I'm not strong enough to make it, I've questioned whether I misheard God on this whole adventure...I could go on and on.

Basically I told Scott last night that I feel like "deadweight" in our relationship right now, like he is constantly having to pick me up and carry me along. I feel like a huge wimp right now and I don't like it.

But can I tell you what a great husband Scott's been through all of this? He told me last night that God brought him not just to be my husband, but to be my coach and my biggest fan, and he's doing just that. He is really working at loving me the way Christ loved the church. Loving me just because, not looking for anything in return.

Ok, ok, I'll stop bragging, but I just wanted to let the world know that my husband is an amazing guy! :)

Praise God!

I am not a fan of the bitterly cold weather, but I will admit to extreme excitement when Ranae texted me last night about school being cancelled...praise God! Last night I slightly at the end of my rope with student teaching, so I feel like today is God's little way of saying "here, here's a day to catch up a bit..." Not quite what I would pick, but God knows way better than I, right?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just lookin' to break even

Small insight to life at the house of Mac. On Saturday, we went to Offutt to change the oil in my car. We stopped at a mom-n-pop ice cream shop in Bellevue...they had peanut butter to put in my milkshake, I was so excited! We then proceeded to eat our milkshakes on the 20 minute drive back to Omaha. Next on the list was a trip to the gym. Yep, that's how we roll at the Mac house...eating ice cream on the drive to the gym. Hopefully we broke even? :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Student teaching musings...

Things I've learned thus far while student teaching:
  • lesson planning takes a lot more time and creative energy than I ever imagined. The teacher's edition of the text book is not the magical things that I thought it would be. It's written more for the ideal classroom, and while I like mine a lot, it is anything but ideal.
  • Improvising is a crucial skill to learn. 90 minutes is a long time to fill and invariably there comes a time, more often than I'd like, where I'm wondering just what the heck I'm going to do for class tomorrow. That's where Stan, my cooperating teacher, saves the day. While he may not be the best person to learn advanced leasson planning from, he is an expert at improvising. Give him a vague topic and about 30 minutes and he will have something for the kids to do. He has saved me several times already.
  • It's definately humbling to stand in front of a class and look out onto a sea of bored, uninterested faces. You know that reading books they didn't get to choose is a favorite activity among students. :) By the end of Lord of the Flies (the first book the seniors read), I was doing good if 50% of the students did the reading from the night before...agh! Unmotivated seniors who have already "checked out"...gotta love them :)
  • it's always good when you ask an entire class of honors students to give a "thumbs up or thumbs down" vote of a new book after reading the first chapter the night before, and every single student has their thumb down...yup, gonna be a fun time reading Great Gatsby. Luckily, though, they are slowly warming up to the book. Today, after reading chapter three, many at least gave it a "thumbs sideways" vote, meaning they don't outright dislike it anymore. So, there's hope there.
  • Related to the last point: Don't take it personally if students don't like a book that happens to be your favorite. They just don't know what they're missing...yet...
  • Last night was parent/teacher conferences. Talked to several good kids' parents, several average kids parents, and only a couple of the kids who I really need to talk to their parents...about average, eh? The worst was the parent who was practically yelling at her student at the table. I'm not cool with embarrasing the student in front of the teacher, especially because she's not doing that bad. Yes, she has a "D" and should be doing better, but she's starting to turn things around (probably partly because of the progress report sent home via email last week...perhaps someone lit a fire under her?) I wanted to gush good things about her, just to remind her mom that she's a good kid. Care about your kid's education, yes, but don't belittle them in public...not cool...
  • the word "corps" (as in the 45th Corps...in relation to a branch of the military) is actually pronouned "core". If you pronouce it like it looks...with the "p" and the "s"...your students will point out that you are misprouncing the word. Not cool for an English teacher to do. I hear you feel pretty stupid when that happens...