Thursday, February 25, 2010

Losing Curiosity

This afternoon Mrs. Eagle and I headed over to one of our feeder elementary schools and judged their science fair. We've done this the past few years and it's always quite a bit of fun. This year they were horribly short of judges as the snow days we've had managed to knock everyone's schedule out of wack and many of the schools ended up scheduling their fairs on the same day. The result was that there were only three of us judging the entire fair this year, Mrs. Eagle, myself, and a retired science teacher who works at the local university as a student teacher mentor.

We walked into the cafeteria and were confronted by the sea of science fair boards. I don't even want to estimate how many projects there were, but there were a lot! Since we had three grades to judge, each of us took a grade. Mrs. University took the 3rd grade, I took 4th, and Mrs. Eagle took 5th.

The quality of science fair projects has definitely improved over the years. I didn't see a single project on "what paper towels are the best", or "what diapers absorb the best", (although I saw way too many, "which chewing gum brand has flavor that lasts the longest). There were some interesting questions such as "Can I make a magnet to help pick up my mom's silverware?", or "Who has the most bacteria in their mouth, my dog, my cat or me?", and "What affect does erosion have on our local river?." It took quite a while to work my way through the fourth grade projects, but I finally pulled out eight, which were all pretty good.

We decided that we'd would all work together to narrow down our first round of selections, and that worked out pretty well. We discussed and picked out my top four and ranked them from first place to honorable mention. We then narrowed down the eight that Mrs. University had picked (including a great one on sled materials and snow), and ranked them as well.

And then Mrs. Eagle pulled out her four because, truth be told, she couldn't find eight that really were that good.

"I hate to say it," she said, "But look how much better the fourth and third grade projects are."

She wasn't kidding. It wasn't that the boards looked all that much better, but the content was much better. Much more interesting questions, better hypotheses, repetition of experiments to increase the validity of their results and so on.

"Do you think it's because that's when they're starting to turn into middle schoolers?" I said.

"Puberty," she said. "That's probably part of it. Plus the older they get, the less they play outside and the less curious they seem to be about the world around them."

Tell me about it. We have often complained about the incredible lack of curiosity about anything our kids seem to possess. They are not interested in anything outside of their social lives, video games, and electronic gadgets. And even then they aren't all that interested in how anything works.

However, it was fascinating, and a bit alarming, to see this jump to adolescence paraded right before our eyes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Night Owls

Over the years as a middle school teacher, I've had my share of sleepy kids in class. It's not that unusual, especially among the boys, considering the amount of growth these kids go through when they hit puberty.

Sometimes it really impacts their grades and you have to get a parent involved. Usually we've discovered that our little Sleepy Heads have a television in their rooms and are staying up all night watching (usually inappropriate and very adult) television while the parents are blissfully snoozing away. Usually all it takes is the removal of the television from the room, and we see a much more alert and chipper kid in class. In some other cases, the problem is a computer in the room and the kid is up all night chatting or playing video games on line - sort of like Rip Van Winkle. Now, kids with computers in their rooms is another post for another day (can we say "online predators" anyone?), but it's still an issue, and, once again, once the parents figure out what's going on and remove the problem, we see a much better rested kid in class.

So, this brings me to a discussion that I had with my Fourth Period today. This is one of my smallest classes, and although there are quite a few of them that are, shall we say, a bit difficult in the personality department, they do have their moments.

Drama Boy, out of the blue, asked me if I'd every talked to a friend on the phone at night when I was a kid.

"Drama Boy, you need to remember that we didn't have our own phones back in the dark ages when I was a kid. We had phones attached to walls in the kitchen and everyone heard our conversations and there was no way I was allowed to use the phone after 8:00 pm."

This brought a chorus of "ohhhhhs" from the kids. They can't believe how tough life was for us in the old days.

"Oh yeah," he said, as if remembering that, yeah, teachers are old. "Well, I was texting this girl this morning around three, and..."

"Wait a minute," I interrupted him. "Three in the morning?"

"Yeah, three in the morning," he continued.

"You were on the phone texting a girl at three in the morning this morning?" I asked incredulously. "Seriously?"

"Yeah, and well my Dad caught me and busted me out on it," he said.

"Well, thank goodness," I responded. "I hope he took your phone away as well."

"Well, no, he didn't"


Of course the entire class is listening to this conversation and start putting in their two cents' worth.

"My mom took my phone away after my last progress report when my grades tanked and she found out I was up texting 'til two in the morning," said one of my girls.

"Yeah, I usually stay up texting at least until midnight," said another.

I was floored. I was hoping that Rip Van Winkle and Drama Boy were the exceptions to the rule, but the more I talked with this bunch, the more I found out that they aren't getting any sleep! They're too busy playing video games and texting all night long! Here they are, in the throes of puberty, when they need, oh, eight to ten hours of sleep a day and they're getting maybe, four? If they're lucky!

A few of the kids in this class admitted that they had set bedtimes and were usually in bed by eight or so, which is a good thing since we start school rather early (at 7:30). Interestingly enough, any guess on which group has the best grades?

Yeah, you got it, the ones getting to bed earlier are more successful academically.

So my big question is...where are the parents? Asleep? Do they not check the bills to see that their darling cherub is up at all hours of the night and day texting away? What's so hard with taking that phone away over night and giving it back in the morning?

There are times I just want to beat my head against a wall.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Crazy Girl and the Revolving Door

A few weeks ago Crazy Girl returned from her stint at Alternative School.

Truth be told I really never had any trouble with Crazy Girl. True, she chattered a lot but just about everyone in my Fifth Period Class From the Very Depths of Hell Itself has a talking problem. And yes, there were days when I wondered if she was on something or just crazy. But really, when it came down to bad behavior, I never had a lick of trouble. So having her back in class was no big deal. She came back, pretty much picked up where we left off, and began to get caught up on the first part of the unit we were working on.

Now when a kid comes back from Alternative School, they're set up on a 25 point behavior contract. Twenty-five points and you're out the door - expelled.

Crazy Girl did pretty good the first week. She did pretty good the second week. And then the third week she lost her mind, was rude, defiant and disrespectful to one of the lunchroom monitors, and ended up in ISS, with a 15 point write up.

And so she's in ISS, and although cell phones have to be handed over to the ISS teacher when they come in every morning (heck, they're not even allowed in our regular classrooms - they have to be locked in the locker and turned off), Crazy Girl didn't follow the rules and was caught texting her boyfriend (who's currently at home with an ankle bracelet).

Not a smart move.

So she's expelled for the remainder of the school year. Mr. Enforcer told me that Crazy Girl's mom is going to try to enroll her in local Christian school for troubled kids, which may not be a bad thing for her. I hope mom also starts considering therapy because, yes indeed, she's still cutting. And if Mom has half a brain, she'd find a way to break up this little romance between Crazy Girl and Future Felon and stop acting as a character witness for all his court dates.

What kills me is that this is a smart kid. A kid with tremendous potential, but she's so entranced with the dark side of life, with bad boys, and risky behavior that I really don't see a rosy future for her unless someone helps her get her head on straight and fast.

Amazing. Last year I had some of the most incredibly awful kids on the planet, kids I could have sworn wouldn't make it through the year without being expelled - and they never were. This year I have a kid who's not a lick of trouble (to me at least) and she's out the door. Something's wrong with this picture...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Waking Up Rip Van Winkle

There are times I really truly wonder if anyone is raising my kids.

We have a student this year whom I really truly like. A lot. He's a neat kid. He came to us the second nine weeks, and to say he has issues is putting it mildly. This kid probably has racked up more frequent flyer miles moving from relative to relative than most business people do in a decade of business travel. He is now, for the first time in his life, living with his biological mother.

When he first arrived on our team he tended to just wander off - he'd even leave the building and we'd get a call from the gas station mini mart across the street reporting that they had one of our kids. He also tends to not go to class and just would wander aimlessly through the halls until someone snatched him up. He has severe crying jags in class (and ends up in guidance), has days where he's shaking so hard we think he's about ready to have a seizure (and ends up in guidance), days where he swears he's sick and has to go to the nurse (she sends him back as mom won't come get him and he doesn't have a fever.) He does absolutely no work at all and will do anything to get out of class. He comes from a family with a history of addictions and I fear he's developing a few of his own, including a fairly serious addiction to video games. The only thing he's even remotely interested in is World of Warcraft.

His mother says he's perfectly normal at home and she can't figure out why we're having issues with him at school. Although she does agree that he plays way too many video games.


We've noticed that the past few weeks (when we're in school, that is and not on another flipping snow day) that he's exhausted. He cannot stay awake. If he doesn't have his head down on his desk, he's zoned out staring straight ahead in a nearly catatonic state. We had a snow day on Monday and he arrived Tuesday and was a complete mess. He said he'd figured we'd have another snow day on Tuesday so he stayed up all night. Today was even worse (and it didn't snow so he didn't have that excuse). He could not stay awake. The bell would ring for class changes and he'd be out cold. It was so bad that the other kids started teasing him about it. He nearly missed lunch and nearly missed his bus.

So where on earth is the parent? Why is Sleepy Boy allowed to stay up all night, mostly likely playing video games? Is his mother home? Is she even aware? Kids this age need sleep - a lot of it - and this kid is getting none, outside of what he's getting in our classes.

I've turned the issue over to Mr. Enforcer and Guidance. Perhaps they can get to the root of the problem here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Finally! Back to School - Again

So yesterday, President's Day, was supposed to be a holiday.


The School Board voted last week to have us attend school, just like normal, in order to make up one of the four snow days we have had over our meager allotment of three.

So you know what happened, don't you?

It snowed.

And we didn't go to school.

So we lost our makeup day.


The good news is that today we managed to get to school. Granted, it was with an hour delay - and some of the bus drivers said that a two hour would have been a bit safer with the black ice that's still out there - but we still had school.


The forecast? No snow until the weekend.

Oh, and our regular average temp for this time of the year? 51 Degrees. We haven't seen 51 for a month or more.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Some Very Good Advice

Our eighth graders have been meeting with counselors from The High School down the road that they will be attending (we hope) next year, and from what some of my former cherubs tell me, it's been interesting. Fortunately I have a few from last year who can actually think about a future beyond lunch and are seriously considering what track they're going to take, what career they may want, and how they can afford college or trade school.

So I'm going over our new unit on force and motion, and giving the kids an introduction, when this nice young man comes to the door and waves at me.

It's one of my kids from my second year, Soccer Boy! Soccer Boy entered my classroom in as an ELL student. He was originally from Mexico, but his English (and his writing skills) were amazing. He was a fantastic science student, a great, sweet kid, and one of the nicest young men I've ever had the pleasure of teaching. He's also made a point of keeping in touch with me each and every year to know what he's doing. I appreciate that.

"Oh my gosh!" I yell as I give him a big hug. "What are you doing here today?"

"I'm here talking to the eighth graders about the AVID program," he says. He's as neat as a pin with dress pants, sweater vest, and a tie.

Meanwhile, my fourth period, a class of low achievers if there ever was one, is staring at him, mouths agape. Seniors in high school, to many of them, are like creatures from another planet.

I get my kids working on their unit and spend a few minutes catching up with Soccer Boy. He's been accepted to a small university in a nearby state, with a scholarship or two, and plans to major in Business Management, and then take his love of science and perhaps get into the medical field somehow, perhaps in pharmaceuticals, or something. He's still playing soccer, and will hopefully play in college. And he's still as nice and polite as he was when he was a twelve year old (and probably should have been a little stinker then but his parents did a great job with him).

He had to leave to go talk to some my eighth graders, but said he'd swing by before he left. He did, and fortunately chose another one of my lower classes to pop in.

"Hey, can I talk to them a minute?" he asks.

"Sure, why not?" I answer. He could read the phone book and they'd listen.

"Hey kids, do yourselves a favor. Listen to your teachers, take notes, study, and work hard. You're going to need it in high school and life. Trust me."

Their heads nod. They blink. Not a peep. Good gracious! They may actually have listened!

Another big hug, and off he went. The good thing is, I know he'll be successful. He'll be fine. And it's nice knowing I may have had a tiny bit of a part in that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You're Going to Have To Drag Me Out of My Room Kicking and Screaming

Finally, we were back in school today after what seems to have been day after day after day of snow days. It's still cold out (didn't get above freezing today, about, oh, 15 degrees below normal) and the snow isn't melting much, but it's not on the roads and the buses can run so we're in session.

And we're so freaking far behind that it's nearly giving me hives.

This whole year has been a race from the get go. Not only did we get new, tougher, standards, but for some reason seventh grade ended up with a lot more material to cover than either sixth or eighth grade did. We can't quite figure this out. You would think the Powers That Be would have evened it up a bit, but NOOOOO, they had to give the most content to the group that is probably the least capable of learning anything, and that's seventh graders. It's the hormones.

Anyway, we've had a dickens of a time trying to keep up with the pacing guide established over the summer and now, after seven snow days, Mrs. Eagle, Mrs. Hummingbird and I just looked at each other, tossed it aside and said, "Screw it."

Yeah, well, we may not be ready for the third benchmark but at this point We Don't Freaking Care anymore. We'll be ready for the Very Big Deal Government Mandated Test come April, but it's going to be a battle to get there. We don't need any more snow days, and God forbid, any of us get sick and have to turn our classes over to a sub. We need to be here, in our rooms, teaching like there's no tomorrow.

Which makes me wonder why Mrs. Standards wants me to come to a meeting at Central Office to help some other seventh grade teachers put together a Very Big Deal Government Mandated Test review program.

Let me step back a bit. About five or six years ago, Mrs. Eagle and I, along with our other seventh grade science teacher at the time, Mrs. Robin, asked Mrs. Standards if she could help us come up with a really good two week review program for the Very Big Deal Government Mandated Test. Great idea! So we put this program together, which is basically a theme/standard a day, lots of mini-labs, mini quizzes, hands on, keep them so busy they can't even think of getting into trouble, review. It kicks ass. It's complete chaos and it's exhausting, but the end result? Best damn scores in the county.

So, this year I've helped Mrs. Standards with some tech stuff on the new textbook, even taught an in service on how to use the online features (I swear, I can't believe how many teachers aren't even using this, but that's another story for another day) and now I'm apparently her go-to person when it comes to seventh grade stuff.

So, apparently some of the other seventh grade teachers in The District had heard about our program (and probably wondered "How in the hell did they get those scores out of those little gangbangers over at That School?") and asked if I could help them put together something for their kids.

Hey, no problem, I'm glad to share.

Except I find out that she wants me to take half a day (of course the half when I'm teaching and don't have planning) and leave my room to go help these other teachers.

Which I'm not willing to do. We've lost seven days - that's SEVEN DAYS - so far to snow (and more coming), and I'm not leaving my classroom when I still have teaching to do.

So, I email her and inform her that Mrs. Eagle and Mrs. Hummingbird are actually working on The Program (we're re-writing it with all the new standards, and since Mrs. Eagle is Mrs. Hummingbird's mentor, they're using this as mentoring time too) every Friday and we'd all be glad to have anyone come over and work with us, but it will have to be after school.

Because we aren't leaving our classrooms until that Damn Very Big Deal Government Mandated Test is over.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day Collaboration


So another snow day. Another day where I could be teaching my kids the wonders of Newton's Laws, but instead I'm stuck at home fretting over all the time I'm losing.

However, I'm not sitting on the sofa eating bon bons and doing my nails. I'm actually getting work done. And believe it or not, I'm actually collaborating with Mrs. Eagle on this work even though she's at her house across town (and in the woods with really bad roads).

First, a bit about collaboration. Mrs. Eagle and I have collaborated for the past six years. Honestly, neither one of us can even begin to imagine putting together lessons without the other's input. Why reinvent the wheel? So every week we get together, along with Mrs. Hummingbird who is the new 7th grade science teacher on her team this year, and spend about thirty minutes discussing and going over what we want to do the following week. We throw out ideas, go through our files and find cool stuff, and it's a real give and take. By the time we're done, we've come up with a pretty solid plan for the next week, I've typed up and printed the lessons, and we've assigned our jobs for the week. Mrs. Eagle usually does the vocabulary tests and study guides, I do the unit tests and rubrics, and Mrs. Hummingbird does the guided outlines. It works well. We even get together and copy all the stuff we need at the same time.

Why more people don't do this - and apparently a lot don't - is beyond me. Mrs. Eagle thinks it's a power and control thing and she may be right. All I know is it works for us.

Last year the Guidance Goober gave me the head's up on a great website that allows you to share documents with others. Even better, every time one of these documents is updated, it updates on all the other computers it is located on. It's called Dropbox. We've set one up for 7th grade science and we store all our documents there. So, when I'm doing lessons, or the test, and Mrs. Eagle is doing her tests and study guides, and Mrs. Hummingbird is doing the outlines, we can all see the documents, modify them, and access them without having to constantly email copies back and forth.

So yesterday, Mrs. Eagle and I spent the morning collaborating on a new unit we're going to do if we can ever get back to school to finish the one we're currently working on. (Mrs. Hummingbird, bless her, has three kids of her own and can't find a second to even think since they're all home from school today, and besides, she's been working ahead on the she's off the hook today).

I spent a few hours on the test, saved it to the Dropbox and while I was looking in the folder noticed that Mrs. Eagle had done the vocabulary quizzes and study guide. I printed them out, noticed a couple of typos, fixed them on the computer, saved them again, and gave Mrs. Eagle a call.

"Hey, I've dropped the test and want you to take a second to go over it when you get a chance," I told her.

"No problem. Did you see the study guide and quiz? Let me know if you find any mistakes," she said.

"Already fixed them," I responded.

"Great! I'll check over the test then for you," she said.

And so forth. We discussed what we've done - whined about the snow day for a bit - and then finished our call.

Today I'm going to do our lessons (which basically consists of moving everything up ahead) and I'll drop them in the box for Mrs. Eagle and Mrs. Hummingbird to look at. We're losing our lesson planning time (every Wednesday) so we might as well do it this way so we're up and running when we get back to school.

Pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

And Yet More Snow...again

Snow Day Number Seven will be tomorrow.

And keep in mind we only get three. And oftentimes don't even use all three.

However, we did get a phone call from the Director of Schools. Our Monday off for Presidents day will no longer be off...we'll be in school making up at least one of the FOUR days we've gone over this year.

Thank goodness...losing this many days of instruction is not good.

Even if the snow has been rather pretty.

Oh No! Not Again

Another snow day.

We now have three to make up.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Excuse Me, But Can I Have My Student Back?

Last year the attendance/truant officer for The District retired. She was wonderful. If you had a concern about a kid's attendance (and we often have concerns) she was there checking into the situation and doing what she could to get it resolved. She understood that we needed these kids to be in our classrooms, not running the streets, playing sick, or sleeping in.

We've had some pretty nasty flu and strep outbreaks this year and we have the usual number of suspects who have spotty attendance for a myriad of reasons, so The New Attendance Officer has been by to talk with these kids and to let them know of the consequences, many of them legal, for not coming to school.

The first day she showed up I got a phone call from the front office, asking me to send one of my kids up for "a few minutes". No problem. We get calls like this all the time, and the kid is usually back in about five minutes and doesn't miss so much instruction that it can't be made up.

We were almost through with the class period when I realized that the child in question hadn't come back. What on earth? So I called up front only to be told that "it won't be a minute", and she'd be back. She did eventually come back to class, but she pretty much missed the entire day. This is not good for a kid who'd been out with the flu for nearly two weeks.

At lunch we were talking and realized that we had a few more kids who'd been called up front and ended up missing an entire class period. One of them, a kid who had been out for nearly two weeks, including a stint in a hospital, had been called up to the front office the first day she'd returned from her absence.

"Anyone know why they're calling these kids up?" Mrs. Social Studies asked.

"It's the new Attendance Officer," said Mrs. Eagle. "One of my kids showed me a brochure she gave him."

"You mean to tell me that the Attendance Officer is pulling kids out of class for an entire period to talk to them about missing school? That's insane!" I said.

"Yeah, it apparently now takes 45 minutes to tell a kid the consequences of poor attendance, instead of 5 minutes," said Mrs. Eagle.

This. Is. Crazy.

What logic is there in taking a kid out of class to talk about the kid not being in class?

As luck would have it, we had a team leader meeting that afternoon and found out that every single team leader had a complaint about kids missing entire class periods due to The Attendance Officer. The Principal was appalled as well. She said she'd talk to The New Attendance Officer, but commented that she couldn't guarantee it would do any good - those people from The District, after all, see the world differently from those of us in the trenches.

No kidding.

However, it may have done some good - or the complaints were flying fast and furious from every school in The District. The New Attendance Officer was back again last week and only kept kids for about ten minutes. Thank goodness.

And the weird thing? The kids she pulled from my team were all today.

P.S. - A reader commented on having consequences for absences like staying after in detention to make up missed work. Can't be done. Detention is only an option for behavior issues. We cannot write up a student for absences. The consequences for these students with a lot of absences are failing for the year, a court date with a judge, possible jail time for student and/or parent. I did have one kid my first year who ended up spending time in juvenile detention due to absences and his mother lost custody of the remaining children due to his absences as well. So there are consequences, but it isn't something the teacher determines.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Quarter?

There are just some things that you don't expect to have to deal with in middle school. Little kid things like frequent barfing, skinned knees, and potty accidents, and all that little kid stuff that the elementary teachers deal with (bless them!) on a regular basis. We're used to dealing with the more dramatic middle school stuff like boy/girl drama, body odor, and girls having to see the nurse because their "friend" arrived and they aren't prepared.

So I was a bit surprised when Skater Goober (why is it always Skatter Goober?) came running up to me in a panic between class changes.

"Mrs. Bluebird," he gasped. "You know Shaggy Boy?" he asked breathlessly.

"Um, yeah, he's in your class," I reminded him.

"Oh, yeah. Well anyhow he was throwing a quarter around and he tossed it at me, it flew in my mouth and I swallowed it and now it feels like it's stuck and OH MY GOSH, I SWALLOWED A QUARTER!" His eyes are wildly spinning around and he's bouncing up and down on his toes by this point.

Oh. Good. Gracious.

"You opened your mouth and swallowed a quarter?" I asked, just wanting to make sure I heard right.

"Um, yeah. Do you think I'm going to be okay?" he asked. "I mean, OHMIGOD, I SWALLOWED A QUARTER!"

"You'll probably be fine and I'm sure it's uncomfortable, so I'm sending you to the nurse," I told him. I went back to my room, grabbed the nurse form, filled it out with the description of "swallowed a quarter," and sent him on his way. I wonder what our new nurse is going to think about this latest adventure?

Mrs. Social Studies, who had Skater Goober the next period looked at me. "Where's Skater Goober going in such a hurry?"

"I'm sending him to the nurse. He swallowed a quarter." I then filled her in on the story because, like me, she was having a hard time keeping a straight face.

Poor Skater Goober. The nurse called Dad who came and picked him up a few minutes later. Considering that Mom and Dad are, again, at their wits' end with this kid, I'm sure this whole adventure was just icing on the cake.

I just hope he doesn't keep the quarter as a souvenir.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Finally! Back to School

After three snow days we finally - finally! - went back to school on Wednesday.

Which was a really good thing because the teachers, at least, were getting stir-crazy.

Mrs. Eagle, Mrs. Hummingbird and I got together to do our lessons during morning planning and basically shifted three days, moved our test to Tuesday (which isn't ideal, but it's not like we have a choice), and then came up with three more days of a new unit. So, Wednesday was last week's Friday, Thursday (today) was Monday and tomorrow, (Friday) was Tuesday...Got that?

So even though it was Wednesday, and it felt like Monday, the kids had to turn in their weekly homework (due the previous Friday) and we had to go over our guided outline (also due the previous Friday).

Astounding how many kids honestly couldn't believe I actually wanted them to turn in their homework from last week.

"It's due today?" they'd ask. "Really?"

"Really," I'd tell them. "You had five extra days to get it done."


Many of my students in my Fifth Period Class From the Very Depths of Hell Itself not only didn't have their homework, but they didn't have their outline.

Now we have these fun little slips of paper titled, "My dog didn't eat my homework, because this is what really happened," where the kids fill in their name, the class, what the assignment was, and why it wasn't turned in. I love these things. The look on parents' faces when we slide them ever so carefully across the table during parent meetings is, well, priceless. Nothing like seeing "I didn't do it", "Lost it", "Didn't feel like doing it," and so forth in their darling's hand to kind of wake them up.

Some of the comments written down yesterday were even more amusing. For example:

"I was snowboarding and couldn't do it." (For five days? Five entire days!?)

"It got hit by a snowball and ruined." (You want me to believe you took it outside to work on?)

"I didn't know it was going to be due." (I loved that one.)

"I was too busy." (Doing what? For Five Days??)

Of course, being the little dreamers that they are, they asked if I'd give them an extra day to get it done."

"Hummmmm, No." I said. "No late work. You had five whole days to do it."

Any guesses on how many studied their vocabulary cards?

That's what I thought...

Monday, February 01, 2010

Enough Already

The District builds three snow days into our calendar.

We used two of them right after we returned to school in early January.

We used our third on Friday.

Our fourth was today.

And the fifth will be tomorrow as they just canceled school again for Tuesday.

At this rate, we'll be going into the middle of June.

And you know, you just know, that they won't reschedule The Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests even if we do miss instructional time due to the weather....