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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Finals

We have one more day of "real" class before Finals on Thurs. and Fri. The kids were mentally ready to be finished before break. Why don't we finish the semester right before break and start fresh in January? Well, that would make sense, so we don't do it that way.

I just finished typing my final for my Spanish 4's. I get test anxiety in the reverse- I worry that it's too hard, too easy, expectations are not clearly written, questions are ambiguous, somewhere along the line I've made a huge error that will result in the entire test being completely messed up. I worry that it's too long, too short, too irrelevant. I worry that too many kids will do poorly, that too many will do very well.
Gah! Maybe my students should spend some time fretting.

I also have a big stack of make up work to correct. I. Hate. Make-up. Work. Mostly because, once I've tested over something, I move on. I don't want to think about the past. And I have all these students who want to play catch-up at the end and get all agitated about quizzes and tests that they should have made up ages ago. Again, having the Christmas holiday 6 days before the end of term does not help.

To throw a couple of wrenches into all of this, because we are on block scheduling, my time with these particular classes is now over and I will get 3 new batches of students next Wed. We get MLK day off and Tues. is an inservice day, in which we will be required to attend meetings instead of being given some professional time to get seating charts and syllabi ready. Oy. And you know how I tend to behave at meetings.

The other wrench is that our administration has decided to implement a "no back pack" policy that will go into effect on Wed. Oh yay. I understand that many schools already have this rule and that it is to be pro active with regards to security issues. However, students can also carry a weapon in their sock, their big damn baggy pants, their hoodies, or their sleeves. Our school has 6 floors, and some students do have to go from 1st to 6th. It helps to have their stuff in a backpack.
So the kids are all in an uproar about this and I'm not too happy, either. One more thing to enforce, one more thing to have to deal with and not be supported. If I want to give a detention, it must be served with me, so who's it punishing? Me. Gah.

9 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. Bluebird said...

I observed at a school once where the kids had to leave backpacks in their lockers due to the Fire Marshal. Apparently backpacks were considered to dangerous to have laying about on the floor (which is where they end up) in case of a fire.

1/09/2007 8:13 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

Ha! You behave like I do at meetings.

Maybe I should stop bitching at my daughter for misbehaving in class.

1/09/2007 9:19 PM  
Blogger Mr. Lawrence said...

Crazy - I was just talking the other day to a high school teacher who was saying that her kids are acting like "the semester is already over" and aren't prepared to take her history final, so she was spending a lot of her prep time coming up with a game to get the class motivated, thinking and ... yes, earning candy (her reward).

Here's the thing: she says she doesn't want this semester to be over because some of the other teachers told her the 9th graders she's getting next are "a handful."

Good luck to all of you. I'm taking the easy route - Grad School starts Monday and I'm spending part of the week in the role of the student. It's sooo much easier. :-)

1/10/2007 9:22 PM  
Blogger Adeline said...

How in the world are they supposed to lug their stuff?

I too hate makeup work. I tell them as much. I tell them it is of lowest importance and that it may take awhile to get it in the grade, but it will go in.

Our school is spread over 5 blocks square, and even has offshoots of that. It is a ginormous friggin school. I remember the first time I was there, I was amazed.

anyway, its nice to hear that other people deal with the same minutia, that becomes a pretty relevant part of ones life, i just cant imagine no backpacks, did they suggest an alterntive?

1/10/2007 11:30 PM  
Blogger Wendy Boucher said...

The kids should all bring those wire wheelie carts that elderly people use for trips to the market. You can see into them so there's no security risk. Then when everybody has tripped over a cart ten times in one day, backpacks will be welcomed back.

1/11/2007 9:41 AM  
Blogger Kevin Charnas said...

Yuk...it sounds like some winter blues too...Or maybe I'm projecting?

And the backpack thing? Why does our society just try and put little band aids on the problem and not start going for the root of the issue??? It's driving me mad. One of my brothers is a severe behavior handicap teacher and has been for almost 20 years. I'm scared to death he's going to get shot and killed....

1/11/2007 3:02 PM  
Blogger NYC Educator said...

I think phone calls home can be far more sinister and frightening than detention. Sitting in a chair for forty minutes is one thing. But having your school life intrude on your home life, and having your parents know in detail what it is you actually do--well that's another can of worms entirely.

1/11/2007 6:23 PM  
Blogger happychyck said...

I'm so tired of this semester and ready to move on. I wish it would have ended before Christmas, too.

All GOOD students at my middle school carry backpacks to all their classes. It is strange, but we have no lockers. Actually, several halls are lined with lockers, but we don't use them. I am not sure if there aren't enough, or if it was some idea on how to keep the kids moving through our crowded hallways--no reason to loiter, so keep moving to class kiddies! Or both ideas combined.

Good luck on enforcing that. Poor kids! It only makes sense that they should be able to use a backpack to help them organize their time and materials. Ew!

1/12/2007 12:14 AM  
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