Learning, Very Slowly
Get Those Lesson Plans Done
As silly as it sounds, yes, you need to get those lesson plans done. It is so much easier to plan a trip when you know exactly where you are going. So far this year I have done them three different ways: a day ahead of time, a couple weeks ahead of time, and in an effort to “reteach”. Trust me, a day ahead is a BIG mistake. Warning: Use only when you are dog tired and know there is no major test coming up. It’s okay to slip sometimes, but try not to make it a habit. What I do now is make a road map, write the tests/quizzes/study guides, and THEN plan my lessons. I’m not teaching to “a” test, I’m teaching to “my” test. BIG difference between the two. Just think about it.
Every Day is a New Day to a Teenager
Maybe not with their peers, but every day is different. Each day a student walks into your class, they have already forgotten about yesterday (both what they learned and how they/you acted). Don’t ever take their attitudes personally, especially in the last period of the day! You’re dealing with the night before, the morning of, lunch, and all the other classes. If they are in crappy moods, it is most definitely NOT your fault. It hurts, sometimes, the way they act. A lot, actually, especially when all you do is say, “Hi!” But just remember that YOUR class is special to them in one way or another, be it just another subject, you, or the fact that to them it is the last class of the day before they can finally leave hell.
Control Your Anger, Annoyance, and Aggression.
I, in particular, have a really bad habit of wearing my emotions on my sleeve. I’m an open book, not an open mouth. I may not say what is bothering me, but every crease in my forehead, squint in my eyes, and inflection in my voice explains my mood like a singing portrait. DON’T let them know, even if they can see. And frankly, do your damn best not to let one student ruin it for the whole class. Another bad habit I have is taking out my annoyance from one a-hole and releasing it on another student who just disappointed me. I have lots of a-holes and few disappointments, but they feel the bulk of the negativity. Disappointment comes when those kids who work hard and do well have an off day. When they talk a little too much, play around a little too hard, or do nothing altogether. Poor things, this is my sincerest apology :(
There is No Such Thing as a Bad Day
Listen to Nat King Cole’s or Michael Jackson’s version of “Smile” and that will explain it all. Don’t ever underestimate the power your personality or emotions can have on the little darlings.
Don’t Stop Learning
I learn something new every day from my little darlings. Rumors at school, problems at home, frustrations with friends. All you really have to do is listen. Girls, no matter how tough they try to be, are as fragile as snowflakes on a windshield. Boys, no matter how autonomous they think they are, will always compete for your attention. Children, no matter how much they feign “awesomeness”, only want someone to be proud of them. So tell a girl you’re happy to see her today; laugh at a boy’s stupid joke; let them know how proud you are that they actually completed the warm-up today.
Teaching is such a humbling profession. I’ve learned how smart and stubborn I am; I’ve learned the lack of importance my pride really has; I’ve learned that every word I say is being listened to, every move I make is being watched, and every decision I carry out is being taken to heart. To teach is to give hope. To teach is to make an impression. To teach is to remind yourself that you are NO better than anyone else. To teach is to live for everyone else but yourself. And finally, to teach is my greatest pride, weakness, and accomplishment in life so far.
5 things to ace your Spring break
PRE - SPRING BREAK
- Clean your room/study area. You want to have a clean area before vacation. After vacation you need to focus more on assignments less on choirs.
- Add some music to your ipod/cell phone. Catch up on some your favorite bands
- Turn in all needed assignments and check deadlines. The last thing you want during vacation is to play ketchup.
DURING SPRING BREAK
- Read at least two books. I enjoy reading and now that I am in college, I do not get to read as much as I did in high school. Choose one book and then read a book for a class.
- Make an effort to spend time with family/friends. Being a student is a full time job and we can sometimes forgot to enjoy the relationships that comfort our lives
- Take lots of pictures. You will not regret them!
AFTER SPRING BREAK
- Exams are coming up. Mentally prepare yourself to review, revise, and most importantly retain. First exams are the guidelines as to how your professor creates their questions and their expectations.Meet those expectations.
- Put your social life, (mostly hanging out) on hold. The second half of the school term requires your attention.
- Tweak your notes, happy notes = happy mind
- Eat breakfast, you will be on your toes with vacation over, and your demands will increase quite a bit, provide your body nutritious food to handle those demands
- Time management. Work increments of 60-90 minutes with a break. Use the stayfocused google app. Repetition. Repeat .. Repeat… Routine
If I could give advice to a high schooler
“Keep all of your AP books and notes. Topics repeat and often the short cuts you used then could be the extra 5 points you achieve in college. No one cares how you study, realistically it about the grades. Maybe because I am middle class, or pre med, I stand by my assertion, grades are everything.”
10 unpopular opinions about applying to college
1. It is a travesty to never grasp an idea why a college: accepted, denied, or wait-listed.
2. Ugh… wait-listed
3. Pressures. Family pressure? Academic pressure? Will you allow yourself to choose schools catering to your needs or your resume? Two different things.
4. Some students might will make micro-aggressions about affirmative action, and although everyone is entitled to opinions, you will really heard anyone complain about legacies.
5. Colleges can lose your information. Copies are your best friend, unfortunately.
6. Admission officers are powerful gate keepers. They are movers and shakers. Speak to one on the phone, to confirm your application when through, but if you want be amazed, meet one face to face.
7. It is rare you and your friends will apply to the same colleges.
Applying for college makes one quite reflective - the college needs your impact as much as you need their support/resources.
8. Financial aid is more serious than you thought it would in junior year.
9. Impression, persistence, and a little charm can go a far way. We admired the valedictorian who gave into that “really selective name brand school” but we are obsessed with the underdog who gets into colleges without fitting into the box, of perfect applicant.
10. High schools like colleges, are not hardwired to the same starting lines. Some people will be a mile ahead, while you lag behind, or vise versa. College readiness is academic, social, emotional, and culturally. No one ever really emphasizes how applying, how acceptance is just the beginning.
Music video unit - planning
I’m brainstorming plans for a music video unit for my high school Music In Our Lives class. I thought I might pose a few questions for the Tumblr community to see if you can aid in the brainstorming.
- Has anyone out there tried this sort of thing before?
- Do you know anyone who has?
- What are some of your personal favorite music videos?
- Do you know any good trivia about music videos?
- What would you tell a student who said they wanted to make music videos as a career? What steps should they take?
- How would you organize the process of filming a music video as a class?
Please feel free to answer any or all of the questions above. I can’t wait to get some feedback on this. After we complete the unit, I’ll let you know how it all went!
In the meantime here are two of my favorite music videos of all time:
“TYPICAL” by MUTE MATH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XVWR-5fiG0&ob=av2e
“THIS TOO SHALL PASS” by OK GO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w
(btw Mute Math and Ok Go have plenty of other music videos that are equally as awesome… check ‘em out)
Writing my policy paper on high school graduation rates
is kind of depressing, yet eye-opening.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I have been privileged all my life- in terms of education, finance, friends, and family.
In America, approximately a quarter of all students who are in 9th grade (just entering high school) fail to earn a high school diploma in 4 years. In California, a third of all high school students never graduates, with numbers astoundingly high for minority students. About HALF of minority students do not graduate high school. Over 75% of 9th graders are academically motivated, but just in a few years’ time, they drop out and give up academically.
Just looking at the data, U.S.’s education system is dying. Without doubt, education needs to be reformed. I personally believe that incorporating Howard Gardner’s 8 types of intelligence in education can help our education system. Public high schools only target at most 3 or 4 types of intelligence. With the other types of intelligence incorporated in our education system, we can seek out what talents we cater to, expand our creative intelligence, and provide a peek into different vocations and interests.
Coming to college, I loved the idea of becoming a doctor. Movies and TV shows romanticized the process and studying to a point where I believed I wanted to become a doctor. However, after taking the dreaded Chemistry (I am absurdly bad at Chemistry), I changed my mind and soul searched (maybe more academically searched) for a whole year until I decided upon Political Economy, which is more or less a decent fit. If perhaps I got a chance to explore other options besides taking Calculus and Geography and unhelpful high school courses, I would be graduated by now. Or perhaps be able to fit an Education Minor with my course curriculum.
Maybe I’m really tired and reading policy reports about others less fortunate than me, others who won’t get the same academic opportunities as me are making me nonsensical. Either way, education is profoundly important. And the education I’m talking about is not just the academic/bookworm education, it should include vocational education, social education, etc. The 8 types of intelligence.
Saugus students hear words of caution about Internet
Originally Published on Friday, November 25, 2011 By Matt Tempesta / The Daily Item
SAUGUS — From texts and emails to Facebook status messages and tweets, educational speaker Josh Gunderson showed students at Saugus High School the pitfalls that can come with life on the Internet.
In a presentation on Internet safety earlier this week, students learned the consequences that often arise from a seemingly benign post on the Internet. Mostly, that the Internet is far from a temporary sounding-off board.
Talk about graduation has me thinking….
I remember high school graduation being the most stressful and worst personal experience. Maybe I’m a bit cocky, but high school—academically—was easy. So when I graduated, I guess I had it in my head, “Is this really something to celebrate? I have to get through college now…” Always looking far ahead…
Education continues. I’m not stopping to celebrate. Screw that. High school was nightmarish, and people treat me better at Drury now (thank goodness).
Maybe I’ll finally throw my big graduation party I wanted to have when I get out of college… I want to be able to celebrate AND feel like I’ve actually accomplished something that is important.