I feel like the wicked witch of the west!

Man, my kids are pushing every, single, last button that I have.

The TALKING.  They can’t seem to stop long enough to get anything done!  The disrespect to me and to one another is absolutly apalling.  These kids KNOW how to act while in school.


I’m giving up and we’re going back to rows.  I like sitting them in groups.  I like how easy it is for them to partner up with one anothe.  I like how it gives them instant identity.  However, it also gives them someone to goof off with if they so choose.


I really don’t want to take them on the field trip tomorrow.  Rationally, I know they’re not doing anything other than what kids do, but it’s starting to annoy me.

I’m betting most of my stressing comes from AIMS.  They’re not ready at all in my eyes.  😦 😦


Rocking my day out

So: Memerable Moments:

A kid decided to get very snippy with me today and I decided that I had quite enough of that.  I pulled him outside.  This was our conversation.

Me- “What did I ever do to you to get this paper thrown at me with what I took as utter distain?”  (Imagine me with my hands on hips, but one foot in the door so I can still hear the rest of the class.)

Child- “Sometimes you pick on me!”

Me- “What did I do to pick on you?” (trying to be fair here…. maybe I was unfire)

Child- “I don’t know! You just do!”

Me- “If you can’t say what I did, then how do you know I was picking on you?”

Child- “I don’t know! you’re just mean to me!”

Me counting to 10

Me- “Are you always prepared for class?”

Child- “No.”

Me- “Are you always paying attention?”

Child- “No.”

Me- “Are you always doing what you are suppose to do?”

Child- “No?’

Counting to 10 again.

I don’t remember the next part very well, but it went along the lines of,

Me- “You do realize that my job is to teach you correct?  My job is not to make you feel good, or happy or even for you to have fun.  My job is to help you learn.  If you are doing something that keeps you from learning then yes, I am mean.  I am a jerk.  And I do not apologize for being mean or a jerk when you are keeping me from doing my job.”

I think I started the kid.  He retreated from his point of anger and asked if he could work alone on the project instead of with a partner.  THIS I am okay with, so long as he is working.  We went in, and he got to work.



Lunch detention is no fun, but when I’ve got kids with F’s because of missing work it becomes necessary.  BLAH HUMBUG.

I forgot

There was no competition allowed in the school (Quail Run.)

I rather like that at a school wide level. I wonder if it happens at the classroom level too, because I DO so love a game of academic football every once in a while….

Visiting the IB School

AFter I decided to stick my foot in it at a PTO meeting last month, I offered to go reexplain myself to the parents this month. This involved me going with a group of people to visit an IB school here in the City.

The school is called Quail Run. When I compare our AIMS scores to their AIMS scores we’re basically in a dead heat and we both have about fifty percent of our population from out of district. Size wise we’re a lot larger, though they have more grade levels. We’re K-4 and Quail Run is K-6. Class size is roughly the same- between 29-32 kids in each class in the higher grade.

The environment of the school is what is really different. I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly what is different, but I’ll put down what I have found.

1. Peace Table. The school has an initiative called the Peace table. From Kindergarten on up the kids are taught how to solve problems between two people. They are allowed at any time to call another kid to the ‘peace’ table either in the office or in their own classrooms. There they follow guidelines that go Person A talk, Person B listen, Person B talk, Person A listen. Then they come to an agreement, then agree to it. The principal says that his behavior problems have gone down dramatically since then. The teacher can keep an ear out just in case they need to intervene.

2. The PYP Central Themes. The themes seem really thought out and fit well with the standards that we have to teach.

3. So Quiet! All of the classes were so quiet, even when the teacher was saying that the kids were going to “anarchy” because she’d left them alone for a while to talk to me. They were nothing like the anarchy that my class descended into when I got back.

4. The emphasis that not everything fits into the themes and not everything can be constructivist. That really resonated with me. I love constructivist teaching, but not everything works with constructivist teaching. When it comes to interventions for our lowest learners it is so important to deliver instruction in clear direct instruction ways.

5. It is going to be really hard. There is a lot of time that is going to be spent on this project. The principal of Quail Run said that on average the grade levels spent two hours a week setting up their themes and their lesson plans over a three year period.

There is so much more, and I’ll blog more as we keep going. I’m still very concerned that we’re going to lose a couple of teachers here at Simis because of the time commitment. None of us are lazy, but we do have a lot of people with families and it’s hard to meet outside of school.

Keeping you posted- PIO Phase!

International Baccalaureate – Primary Programmee

I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this program. The problem right now is that I only know the abstract about the program and not the practical application.

Before I jump on board I really want to see the program in action and talk to teachers who have really bought into the program. I want to examine their documents and see how they match mine.

Is that too much to ask? I feel really nervous any time I turn something in that is half baked because I’m feeling unprepared.

1. Are there separate central themes for each section?
2. How do the central themes change day-to-day teaching?
3. What kind of assessments are used?
4. What do lesson plans look like?
5. Is the lessson planning collaborative or individual?
6. Is there room within the themes to be able to put in book studies like The Phantom Tollbooth?
7. What impact does the themes have?
8. What resources are used do develop the day-to-day lessons the kiddos see?

I’ve got more questions, but I’m out of time. Do I have a right to be concerned?

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