School started again at SJSU in all it's stupid "Here's a class you need to take which is completely superfluous to your job-oh! and you've already done this stuff last year, but do it again cause we say so" glory. I'm taking 143B, which is my intern class, a health class which meets 3 Saturdays for
7 hours each Saturday, and an online Special Ed class.
The intern class is going as I expected, with one exception. We got an extension on the PACT, which is great because all of the January drama caused me to fall drastically behind in getting it done. I'm proud of myself though: I have spent a few days working on it and got a bunch done so far. I still need to figure out how to edit my video and burn it to DVD, but I now have until the 25th to figure all that out. I plan to work on it some this week and next week. I got some help from Josh on it, which was awesome. I went over to his place, was snarky and bitchy, and he still edited a few pages for me!
The health class is really a joke. We spent an hour talking about how to treat headlice. Yeah, cause I'm totally going to give my kids headlice examinations and shampoos in the middle of Social Studies class. I can sum up what that talk should have gone like: "Ok, if you see anything crawling in your students' hair, get out a piece of paper, write a note to the office, tell the kid not to touch anything or anyone and send them to the office." The end. Teachers do not deal with this type of stuff. Parents, yes. This was not a parenting class... and besides, I already know how to treat headlice. I was a very independent child and I did my own treatments after the age of about 10ish.
The online class is one that I'm a little concerned about, and only because I thought I knew how much work I had to do to turn in yesterday and I found out that I had a lot more to do. This screwed up my afternoon plans quite a bit, but I got all my work done and was still able to go to the play that I had planned on going to. I just need to remember to check the website daily to make sure that more assignments aren't added on to my workload without me knowing about them. That being said, here is a link to some neat simulation activities that I had to do for that class.
They are supposed to help people understand what living with a learning disability is like. I had a really difficult time with the ones about attention; it was like having a double dose of ADD. The math was hard too, but only because I had to think spatially. (One would think that an art major could handle that, but apparently not so much.)
Work is going ok, but teaching 3 subjects is starting to make me go crazy. I really hope that next year I can teach 2 instead. I really enjoy teaching Social Studies, but I feel like I can't really get to know the subject material due to time constraints. Science is going well, despite the fact that I can't seem to find my lesson plans from last year that deal with the unit on the skeleton and muscles, which means that I need to rewrite them. Math, the bane of my existence, seems to be getting slightly better. I'm doing an action research project on what motivates kids to do homework. This week, if they get 4 out of 5 assignments in, they get a free homework pass. Next week... I'm not sure. I'm planning on doling out candy, game days, cute erasers, and other little rewards to get them excited about doing their homework. I have a motivation survey for them to do tomorrow and I will be writing an exit survey for them to complete when my research is all done. I feel like I'm doing a science fair project! It's kind of exciting. I also put into place a whole new system for grading. I give participation points for being on task and non-disruptive. I give a quiz every Friday, that is based on the homework from the week. I also do quick journal checks every Friday during the quiz. I hope that this makes them more accountable for their learning.
On the home front: June and Olivia are good, I'm sorting out things like bills, clothes, and other belongings. I'm following through on my resolution to spend more time enjoying myself that I made at the beginning of this school year. I'm feeling pretty healthy, although I have an odd mild sore throat that doesn't seem to go away. It may be because I just talk too much. I do have some things that I need to attend to this week: I need to clean up my classroom, I need to wash all the bedding in my room, I need to go though my shoes and sort out which I'm keeping, I need to get the rest of my things out of the den and organized. I'm leary of setting up a bookshelf, only because my mom's cats have no manners. June and Olivia are adapting beautifully. June hangs out all over the house, but my room is still home base for her. Olivia is absolutely not a Bianca fan, but she is slowly getting braver. She even ventured out onto the cat enclosure and spent some time outside listening to the birds.
All in all, I feel healthy, fit, on task, and relaxed. I definitely need more sleep. I also need to catch up on some grading. I've been doing really well on staying on top of math and science, but once again, social studies takes a million years for me to grade. I'm getting faster at it, but it's still longer than grading math papers or tests.