Thursday, August 28, 2008

Parents (obviously) Know Best

I will start on the positive -- school is going great! I have fantastic .... let me repeat ... FANTASTIC classes!! There are a couple (2) 7th graders in my 3rd period that are tough -- but other than that ... my life is a dream! Okay ... now with the post.

Yesterday in my geometry class we had to give a placement test to make sure that the students know Algebra proficiently enough to move on. Geometry is a whole different language and there isn't much time for an Algebra Review. Since the State recently changed the high school graduation requirements to say that all students need 3 years of math ... these kids don't have time to fail -- or repeat a class. You might be thinking ... you teach middle school ... you don't have to worry about high school graduation. WELL we try really hard to place our students correctly so that when they get into the ninth grade they will be on a successful course that will prevent them from failing or needing to repeat a course.

Now I have never been a parent, and I certainly don't know how it feels to think that my child is the smartest in the whole school. The problem in the community that I teach in is that if a neighbor has a 7th grader in Algebra ... they need to be in Algebra too! (like can we keep up with the Jones'?) Sometimes it is necessary for an 8th grader to repeat algebra in the ninth grade so that they are more successful in the future. This repeat is alright because technically the 8th grade ... "doesn't count". BUT when this recommendation is made ... parents know best and just push their kids on. Who cares if the kid struggles and struggles in Geometry ... they didn't like it either right? What the parent's didn't think of is that if the kid struggles in Algebra ... what is going to happen when they get to Algebra 2? It will be worse ... and now they have no where to go since there is a credit issue. Again ... I don't know what it is like to be a parent ... but I do know math AND I know how teenager's brain's develop. I have seen it time and time again when the kid was pushed up into the higher class against teacher recommendation and the students just sink. It is too bad ...

I have 15 out of 100 Geometry students that shouldn't be there. Hopefully I can scare them into repeating Algebra today ... because that is really what needs to happen for them.

Thanks for listening to my venting ... and if I ever become an "all knowing parent" humble me please!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Extreme Exhaustion!

I have forgotten how extremely tiring it is to work all day! So far this week I have endured two days of meetings, a day of planning, and 7th grade orientation. THANKFULLY ... and I do mean THANKFULLY my students did not take part in any form of major rioting or protesting at the thought of being back to school -- or in my classroom. They even laughed at my stupid jokes and thought it was funny that I told them I have a purple toothbrush. Today has been the first day however that I have been on my feet for the large part of the day. Oh do they hurt!

This is a view from my desk. Not all of the desks are showing ... and it is shocking that every seat will be filled! My largest class is 35 and I have 179 students total. I expect more to transfer in soon enough! You gotta love Utah schools!

It is my tradition to get a new "back to school night" outfit for each year. I started it my first year and told myself it would be a tradition. Now I just can't break it (darn!). I spent my lunch break shopping instead of eating with my friends, but I was able to get a pair of really cute gray capri's and a nice green top. I even found gray sandals to match the bottoms. I am excited to show them off tonight!

Tonight is back to school night and I will get to meet many of my student's parents. This means however that I will repeat the same 4 phrases about 50 times. I guess that it is all part of the job description :)

I will definitely sleep well tonight ... and ready or not ... here comes a life of ... CRAZY! We begin!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Congrats Allred Family!

My good friend from work just had her little peanut 7 weeks early! They named him Ethan James. He was 4 lbs 12 oz and 17 inches long. As far as I know he is healthy and happy. He should be coming home next week. I am so happy for you Lynsey! CONGRATS!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It better be better than this ...

I have been OH so fortunate to have fantastic students my three years at South Jordan Middle. Each year it has gotten better and better ... my first year was hard, my second ... better, and last year was a dream! As the school year approaches I start to wonder what my new little rug rats will be like. Unfortunately though my dreams are haunted with anticipation. I have probably had close to six or seven dreams that my students are awful -- on the first day of school. I had one dream that I couldn't make it past third period without crying because I couldn't calm them down. I couldn't even get through my disclosure and set of rules and procedures without them running wild. I am getting nervous about how I will go about training these kids. I have been trying to think about all of the things that I have done in the past ... and honestly I am left speechless. Hopefully it will just be second nature and they will all be wonderful! Wish me luck :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Daddy-Daughter(s) Night

It is no secret that my sister and I are great friends and enjoy spending time together. Steph mentioned that our Dad enjoyed "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and so we thought that we would invite him to see the sequel. We ended up meeting at The District at 10 pm last night to hit the 10:20 movie. I enjoyed the movie, and it was really fun going to the movies with Dad. I think that we should continue to have either Daddy-Daughter dates or Girl's Night out to help keep up close. Dad said that next time he gets to chose the movie ... but we think that he secretly liked it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Two #4's?"

It has been so nice to be able to go out to lunch with Joe this summer. It isn't something that happens often, but it is something that we really enjoy. Knowing that my summer is coming to an end ... really soon ... I asked Joe if he wanted to meet me today at our (my) favorite restaurant.

Pho Cali is a Vietnamese cuisine that is to die for! We walk in and the owner not only knows us by name ... but doesn't have to ask what we are ordering, (we always get the #4). Joe and I generally go every Saturday afternoon ... and then sometimes once another time of the week. Pho is my comfort food. They bring out a huge ... and I mean huge ... bowl of beef broth, rice noodles, and thinly cut steak. Then you add fresh basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, and jalapenos. You finish it off by adding several different kinds of sauces ... they don't smell too good on their own, but taste OH SO GOOD together! If you can handle a nice change ... you should try Pho Cali on 33rd South and Redwood. If anyone wants to try it ... I'll go ANYTIME! YUMMY.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Crazy Daisey Found a Family!

The amount of phone calls that we have been receiving for our little puppy has been overwhelming! The first one came approximately 9 minutes after the ad posted. It was out of state, so Joe didn't answer. The next one was 12 minutes after the posting time. When Joe answered, the "buyer" asked if our britney spaniel was still available. He then heckled to himself and said ... probably ... it has only been 12 minutes! We set a time to meet later that night. When we got to the park across the street from our house I was able to meet the cute family. They had 2 little girls, 5 (tomorrow) and 3. The 3 year old warmed up to Daisey right away ... it took a bit longer for the older one to. At one time the older girl ran off and cried that she didn't want that dog, (Daisey was so excited to be going to the park she was pulling quite hard on her leash ... and it frightened the daughter). They were a cute family and talked about getting Daisey some treats and toys. I have never, as an adult, given away an animal. For Joe and I ... our puppies are MORE than just dogs. They are our family and it was such a hard thing to do. I know that Daisey will be happy, and that this was the best thing for my family ... but it was so hard! I thought that I would have weeks to spend with her ... not 12 hours!

Many have asked why we decided to find her a new home. The main reason is that she is a 3rd dog. If she was the oldest ... she would still be here. It just got too hard to handle 3. Dinner time was tough ... walking them was hard ... and having company was especially difficult. The reasons we bought her in the first place didn't justify obtaining another animal ... but my heart needed something to take care of. Unfortunately Joe and I just couldn't do it anymore. I feel so so bad about it ... but she has found a good family ... which is all I could hope for! I just hope that she is being a good little girl!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Daisey Mae Needs a Home

We are no longer able to care for our sweet Daisey Mae! If anyone knows of someone who needs a loveable little puppy please let us know! She is one year old and is very healthy. She is well house trained and warms up to other dogs quickly. We are so sad to have her leave our family! She loves to go for walks and play fetch.