Thursday, September 09, 2010

First Day


Attendance was surprisingly excellent. My calculus classes had 100%, but that was expected. My college class had close to 100%, but that class is period 1 and that attendance was expected too. It might be a college class in a high school, but think community college and things will become clearer. As for my two algebra classes, I was only missing three or four kids in each, typical of the first day, so things might be off to a good start.


Due to the austerity budgets too many kids were being deprived of a fourth year of math so I suggested dropping my 7 -8 calculus class (kids met 2 or 3 additional periods a week which for me amounted to an extra class) to create a third class. We finally have an administration that listens and this is going to happen. More work for me but I don't mind. The joy on the faces of the kids who will now be able to take the class is priceless. I know the AP scores might go down but it is worth taking a chance. We can thank our RTTT money and our wonderful mayor for providing what is necessary for the best kids in the city. (Sarcasm intended!)


I have to admit that the algebra classes have me a little apprehensive. I haven't taught for this particular regents, and the kids are extremely weak. I worry about discipline. But, I've decided to come on strong. I am going to make them sit in rows, something I haven't done in years. I already instilled fear in some when I saw the cell phone out or the hat on. Instead of Delaney cards, I handed them a work sheet consisting of last year's topics, things they need for the regents. I also told them that whatever wasn't completed was for homework and I don't play with that. Hopefully, I will be able to keep this up. Army regimentation is not my style and not the warm, fuzzy stuff in style today.


Standing in front of the room, walking around, trying to learn names and personalities felt good. I so want to retire but when I think about giving this up, I start getting depressed. I know a good start to the year means nothing and I won't complain if things turn and I give me that push out the door I know I need.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stop it now! You ARE warm and fuzzy!
I am so happy to hear that you saved many students from not having Calculus. Thank You!

Pissed Off said...

This term the warm fuzzy part is going to be hidden away.

Mrs. H said...

You are doing the right thing. Start off strong with the young ones. You can always let off later. I don't believe in not smiling, but they know I mean business at the beginning. After three weeks, my freshmen are still pretty much doing great discipline wise. I've been cracking a few jokes lately and telling some stories so its not all torture.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow AP calc teacher, you should never offer up teaching a extra class for no money. When one teacher does this it is nice, then it becomes expected. If this is your 5th class then never mind.

They are destroying the math department in my school by cutting a fourth year of math for most kids and then they want us to do more. We used to do a lot of extras (and they still treated like crap). We had to start saying no. They tried to use the love of our kids against us, but we had to say no. The could find other ways to save money. It worked, this year, even with more cuts, more seniors are getting a fourth year of math (and not just the top kids).

Be careful. It really is a slippery slope.

Good luck.

Pissed Off said...

It is my 5th class. I'm not teaching a longer day, just rearranging to service more kids.

Pissed Off said...

It is my 5th class. I'm not teaching a longer day, just rearranging to service more kids.