New Semester Resolutions (thanks @druinok)

It’s sad when I have to ask someone what I should blog about. It’s not that I don’t have an idea – I have TOO MANY. Remember that song, “You down with OPP?” I need to rewrite the lyrics to “You down with A.D.D.? Yeah, YOU KNOW ME.” Well, the two of you that READ this blog know that I have a LITTLE trouble focusing on one thing at a time. My brain goes 90-to-nothing. Sometimes that’s GOOD and sometimes (well, MOST OF THE TIME) it’s bad. But I had to ask @druinok what to write about because we’ve been talking about SO much the last few weeks. She suggested New Semester Resolutions.

The good thing about block scheduling is a new start. Those of you that have been with me for this semester know that I had some SERIOUS issues with one student that almost took me to the court room. Although I would have LOVED to fight that battle (because I would have been COMPLETELY vindicated 1000 times over), I have got to get over that. After 11 years of teaching, I need to come to the realization that I CAN’T reach all students. Some are going to hate me for absolutely no reason because they have their own personal issues and I am an easy target because I DO bust my @$$ for all students. The bad news is that the student is still in my math club and will be going with me on trips to competitions the rest of the year. So I’ve decided that I will NOT be sponsoring the math club after this year is over (or at least until that student graduates). I have no desire to put myself in situations where I have to be around someone so poisonous and I have nothing to prove to the student or the student’s parents ANYMORE. It’s bad for my teaching mojo.

So, what will be awesome about Spring 2011?
1. AP STATS!!!
2. TWO sections of AP STATS!!
3. Two FULL sections of AP STATS!!

What am I afraid of for Spring 2011?
(See #1 – 3 above)
hahahaha

What do I want to change for Spring 2011?
1. I want to delete all my videos and start over. I want more videos of STUDENTS teaching – not me.
2. Algebra 2 needs more cool stuff. It’s too boring. I don’t like boring. Boring sucks – for them AND for me.
3. Students need more ownership in the learning. I don’t want to stand up there and teach all class. Crap, I wouldn’t want to watch me do it either. Ugh. I don’t even like looking at myself in the mirror every morning.
4. The only way to make students understand the power of practice is to MAKE them accountable for it. I hate paperwork, so I’m thinking they could Jing some of their homework. Now how will I manage that? I have NOOOO clue. I wish I had some WACOM tablets that students could check out and take home. It’s REALLY hard to work problems with just a mouse and Microsoft Paint.
5. I’ve got to be on my “A” game with Stats this year. I have a ton of smart kids who are going to challenge me (which is a GREAT thing). I need to pick @druinok’s brain aboug SBG in Algebra 2 and talk to @jasonchri about SBG in Stats. I’m not sure if I can manage the retake paperwork nightmare that I have envisioned with this process. I believe in SBG, but it terrifies me to no end.
6. Organization. What can I say? I SUPER SUCK at this. After 11 years, I still can’t organize worth a crap. I’m guessing I will need to have 3 boxes of file folders – one for each class. Students will put their work in those boxes so that when I need to pull for documentation, I can put my hands right on all of their work. But I am just awful at keeping up with original tests and keys. And I HATE grading!! OK – I said it!!! I’m sorry!! I know it makes me a horrible teacher, but I DO NOT like grading at all. I feel like I destroy the students’ confidence everytime I make a mark on their paper with my purple pen! No matter what you say, they cannot understand that the NUMERIC grade on their paper doesn’t determine their worth. That’s a whole other blog post, though.
7. I would love to redesign my classes so learning is by discovery – not lecture. (Did I say that already? Probably so.) If you read Teaching Statistics, you saw her latest blog about effective integration of technology and the link I gave her on the Flipped Classroom. I wish she and I could find a way to do this (even though we live about 650 miles away from each other).
8. I would like for my students to build an online wiki-textbook for statistics. That class is SO awesome and amazing, but it’s so unlike anything they’ve ever done before. Although I LOVE my textbook, it would be nice for them to have an online reference to look back on that THEY built themselves in THEIR own words.
9. I need to learn how to say “NO”. I’m on about 10 committees for my district.
10. OMG – I need to tame the academic vocabulary demon that has invaded my district. UUUGGGHHHH.

I have more, but none that I can say publicly (heh heh heh). Anyway, I am totally excited for January, which is a real positive in my life. I dreaded the last two months of school last semester and that’s just NOT me. I love teaching, I love my students, and I MISS the “WOW!!” factor. So I’m hoping that I can bring that excitement back into their lives and my own!

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