It’s Wednesday? Already? Wow! We are in the middle of exams in Podunk, USA, and as a teacher who has discovered Discovery Education’s test probes as well as Smart Notebook’s responder/answer key system, I am one happy girl! I’ve done the teaching, and now the kids get to do all of the work…all while a website generates the questions and a software package grades the answers! Whoop Whoop!
Play along by joining us…linking up with Joyce!
1. Lake Superior University has once again published a list of words/phrases they think should be banished from the Queen’s English…here’s the list for 2013-
fiscal cliff, kick the can down the road, double down, job creators/creation, passion/passionate, yolo (an acronym for you only live once), spoiler alert, bucket list, trending, superfood, boneless wings, and guru
Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen.
Oh, I cannot stand YOLO! Seriously? It cheapens life and sounds like an excuse to live recklessly and make bad decisions. I hear students say this all the time, and it’s usually NOT within a good context!
2. When was the last time you rode a train? Where did you go?
I think the last time I rode a train was at Disney World…the one that runs between lands at Magic Kingdom. That was quite a few years ago when we took the kids on vacation.
3. Bagels-yay or nay? Favorite ‘flavor’? Favorite topping?
I didn’t find out what bagels were until I was an adult. I remember people having bagels for a birthday breakfast and being astounded that something as delicious as bread and cream cheese existed! I don’t really eat bagels any more, but I was never big on the flavored ones. I found myself, when I ate them, content with the plain old plain old (yes, I repeated that on purpose).
4. ‘Tis the season of awards shows…if you could star in a movie already made which one would you choose?
Hmmm…I’d say that it would have to be a toss-up between Gone With the Wind and Dirty Dancing. I’d love for Rhett to sweep my off my feet and carry me up those gorgeous stairs, but getting to dance with Patrick Swayze would also be amazing!!!
5. The move towards single gender classrooms has been making the news in recent months….what say you? Do you think kids perform better if separated by gender and are taught differently or is that discrimination? If you’re a parent, is this something you’d support in regard to your own children?
Ok. This really is the perfect question for me…for a number of reasons. Of course, you know that I am a teacher. The majority of my students receive free/reduced lunch. They are also struggling readers. Not that this matters…or does it? I think that teaching an entire class of boys or girls can be extremely difficult. Girls are the worst, I’ll admit, although boys can be tough if you don’t know how to think like them and manage their need to be up and around constantly. Girls are loud and whiny; boys are loud and physical. BUT, I have seen where girls and boys can distract each other because of the hormones that rage during this time.
With that said, studies show that boys do not feel comfortable sharing responses and reading aloud when girls are present, so some “experts” advise that we create groups that are of the same sex children. This is not discrimination. It is called differentiation.
As teachers, we HAVE to teach to students’ strengths, abilities, interests, and learning styles. Again, this is not discrimination. This is called differentiation…making the teaching fit the learner. If kids are distracted by the opposite sex, then separate them.
Now, I have to tell you that I currently teach a class that began as nearly all boys. I only had three girls. We were a bit concerned about the girls and how they would fare. We didn’t have to worry. They held their own and did not seem to distract the boys…much. Most of those students are making learning gains in my classroom as determined by progress monitoring assessments. I think that a teacher who is in tune with her students and has good classroom management can or should be able to manage rooms that contain both genders.
One other thing that should be considered is that we are training young people for adulthood, where they will work in environments of mixed genders. Shouldn’t we be preparing them to work in such circumstances? I would say yes, but children don’t usually have the maturity to make great decisions, so sometimes we do need to change the environment until they are mature enough to handle distractions.
It’s food for thought…
Oh, and as for the question about how would I feel about my own children being taught in this way, I’d say that it wouldn’t matter to me. If the teacher is doing his/her job properly, and my children are doing what they are supposed to, then everyone should win. If not, it’s my responsibility to investigate why, regardless of who the other students are.
6. What’s your favorite thing about staying in a hotel?
I like staying in the hotels with the big fluffy comforters, soft sheets, and tons of pillows. Those are luxuries that I don’t really indulge in at home.
7. Do you have a ‘word’ for 2013? What’s the story behind your choice?
Oh my gosh! YES!!! I already blogged about this, but I’ll share in case you’re not a regular reader of my blog.
My word this year is RELAX.
I lead a very stress-filled life. Such is how it goes for a third-year teacher. I’m almost finished with my fourth Reading Endorsement class. The last three weeks have been difficult with time-consuming, tedious assignments. I’ll be starting the first class of several that will put me closer to getting another certification. Meanwhile, I won’t be able to finish the Reading Endorsement certification until the Fall because I know that the fifth and final class has too many demands for me to finish while preparing my students for the state exam that will be administered in April…an exam that must be passed before they can graduate.
My life has been one series of stresses since 2006, when I returned to college.
I am an overachiever to boot.
So, purposefully telling myself to RELAX is what I heard the Lord tell me to focus on this year.
I’m finding that it’s making a HUGE difference in my life already. Yes, I’m still under a lot of pressure, but by choosing to relax, I’m giving myself permission to not work 24/7 and engage in a few fun things…knitting…reading…going to bed earlier.
8. My Random Thought
A funny thing happened at school yesterday.
One of my students, who is in my fourth period class, came out of her third period class with her iPod going. She saw me and said, “Mrs. AuburnChick, I want you to see something I did for you.”
She then gave me her ear buds and had me listen to what was playing on her iPod.
It was Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie.
I’ve often told the kids how much I love this song.
I’ve told them that I can dance like her too…in my brain, that is.
We’ve gotten quite a few chuckles over this.
Well, she saw the song on iTunes and bought it yesterday morning because it reminded her of me.
Is that not the sweetest thing ever?
I laughingly told her that she’ll never be able to hear Shakira sing without thinking of me.