marathoner452: (Default)
As much as I resent how Chicago has treated us this year, as much as I resent what working in that environment has done to my hope and idealism and mood in general, as happy as I am that it is FINALLY summer vacation, it still hurts me so much to think of not working there next year.  Say what you will about the school, we had a good thing going.  Teaching city kids, damaged by Katrina and chronic undereducation the depths of which I could not imagine until I had to confront it daily, is challenging work, but it's also what I signed up for when I chose to become a teacher in New Orleans public schools.  I love those kids.  As a team of teachers we had so much energy, so much dedication, so much support for each other.  I doubt I'll find that wherever I'm teaching next year.  What we had was special, and I hate, truly hate, that Chicago had to screw that up and then they still have the nerve to get up at 8th grade graduation and pat themselves on the back for helping these poor backwards Southerners, these poor Katrina victims who can't help themselves and must need Chicago to rescue them.  The level of paternalism, the level of condescension they showed all of us continues to anger and frustrate me.  They had no right to treat us like that.

New Orleans has enough problems of its own without Chicago importing its own.

It wasn't until the last few weeks, since my sister and neice came to visit, that New Orleans really became home for me.  I have a stake in her future.  I am no longer the wide-eyed idealist I was when I first moved here.  I've learned a few things about myself.  I've learned I'm stronger than I thought and that it's okay to ask for help.  I've learned that teachers often learn more from their students than they teach them.  I know that whatever doesn't kill you does make you stronger.  I have no idea how I survived this school year intact, but here I am and in 3 days I'm out of here 'til the end of July.  Maryland to New Brunswick to Maryland to Michigan then back to New Orleans.

I'm rambling now and Lakeview Brew actually closed 20 minutes ago.  Suffice it to say that I wouldn't give up this school year for anything but I wouldn't want to go through that again either.  We survived.  'Nuff said.
marathoner452: (Default)
My Louisiana State teaching license came in the mail today.  I am now officially certified to teach mild/moderate special education, grades 1-12.

I'm celebrating with pecan pie down at Lakeview Brew, enjoying free air conditioning.  Heat index of 103* right now.  Iced chai latte is delicious.
marathoner452: (fluffy nola)
...the in-house substitute teacher cheering me up over lunch just by listening and telling me that I'm doing a lot better than I think I am.

...teaching equivalent fractions to a 6th grader.   (Who despite being almost 14 performs on a 2nd grade level in reading, writing, and math.  Thank you New Orleans public school system.)

...sunset over the Mississippi while taking Stitch for a walk, and counting 125 train cars at the corner Mazant and Chartres.

...a long overdue after-hours haircut, on the recommendation of my 4th-6th grade fashion consultants. au lait with soymilk and Ekaterina until the coffeeshop closed at 10 pm.

...the Louisiana Music Factory, which will get another chunk of my paycheck this weekend as I shop for Christmas presents and continue to flesh out my music collection.

This is a problem, I'm getting entirely too attached to New Orleans.  How could I ever leave?  Where could I go?
marathoner452: (Default)
There were 5 teachers out today, out of a grand total of 30ish.
It was/is raining and we have no gymnasium, so PE was inside and the kids had indoor recess.
Both the art teacher and Spanish teacher were out, meaning that some teachers got no "MAPS" electives and therefore no break from their students all day.
One of my students was absent yesterday not because she was suspended but because she had to get her hair done.  Good to see her mom values education so highly.
There's mold in the upstairs boys bathroom and probably elsewhere in the building, no wonder we're all getting sick.
I found at least 13 more kids that may have IEPs, and I haven't even searched 1st and 2nd grade's files yet.  Unfortunately, that' s not unusual for New Orleans.  That's what you get when you have records flooded and families evacuated out of state for years and so many students switching schools all the time.
Plus, the copier's not working.

It really needs to be Friday already.
marathoner452: (the magic is not supposed to go away)
I'm switching back to elementary education, grades 1-5.

I'm going up to campus to fill out the paperwork, then I'll go for a run, then I'll go to the local elementary school and set up my field experiences.

This feels more comfortable than working towards middle school already.
marathoner452: (it matters to this one)

When I am a teacher the words "can't," "hate," and "stupid" will not be allowed in my classroom. 

More to come when I get back from my long run.

EDIT:   More to come when the internet at my house decides to start working and I have more than 1/2 an hour at the library to get online.

EDIT 2:  Stupid backspace deleted my whole entry grumble grumble.

EDIT 3:  I accepted a 3 day subbing job in 2nd grade at a challenging school.  There was a boy in the class who was particularly challenging to work with-talking back to me, not doing his work, etc.  On the second day he was acting out to the point that I sent him over to the teacher in the classroom next to mine, where she talked to him, took away his recess, all that good stuff.  He was very upset when he came back.  His classroom teacher had three fishbowls with popsicle sticks in them-if you messed up then you had to move a stick to yellow, then to red.   He wanted  to move his popsicle stick to red for the next day, and I wouldn't let him, telling him that tomorrow would be a new day.  He also said that he was stupid and he would never be able to do his work.  I told he was not allowed to say that, that I would help him if he was willing to try again.

Wouldn't you know, he did a much better job the next day.  Now that may have also been because another student that antagonized him was absent, but I'd like to think that it was also because I showed that I believed in him.  If I can make a difference in just 3 days, then imagine what I can do with my own classroom.


marathoner452: (Default)
Internship I, grades 4-8
Meeting the Needs of All Learners
History of Louisiana
Irish Famine and Katrina

I have to wait until I find out my PRAXIS II scores to register for the rest of my classes:
Behavior Support/Classroom Management
Foundations of Literacy Devolopment
Principles of Assessment, Teaching, Learning

Unfortunately, I didn't see History of New Orleans on the class list, and the History of New Orleans Music class is full.
marathoner452: (Default)
Elementary education...or middle school social studies?  I have until I call UNO to set up a registering-for-classes appointment and until I take the PRAXIS II on April 28th to decide.

Elementary is 1-5 grades, and middle school is 4-8 grades, so either way I could teach upper elementary.  The difference is that if I did elementary school I'd be teaching a little of everything, especially in the younger grades, and with a middle school certification I'd teach social studies.  History, government, you know, what I've loved since I was about 10 years old.  Teaching math is difficult for me because I never really understood why, just how.   With history...well, I've been out of college for 2 years and I still read history books for fun.  I took an upper-level history class my first semester of college and aced it.  I wrote a 56-page senior thesis about comparative slavery and emancipation in Maryland and Key West.  One of my life goals is to visit a home for every president (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and Eisenhower so far-it pays to live on the East Coast).  I memorized the preamble to the Constitution 13 years ago and I can still recite it verbatim.

Am I just trying to get away from second graders because for the last 3 days I've worked with a few choice students of that age who drove me crazy?  It's a wonder we got anything done yesterday, and having my own class would be much different from being a substitute.  I know that.

Or maybe I'm inspired by reading The Freedom Writer's Diary, and I want to believe that by teaching the past I can change the future.  If we don't learn where we came from, then we are condemned to repeat it.

EDIT:  Actually, strike Wilson from the completed list and stick in Truman.  I went on a private tour of "Truman's Little White House" in Key West, arranged by my South Florida History professor.  Which reminds me, I need to get to DC sometime in the near future to visit Wilson's house/museum, and by near future I mean before I head off to New Orleans.  And FDR's mansion is practically within walking distance of where my sister goes to school.  But I digress.

EDIT 2:  Clearly, with an edit like that, I've already made my decision.  Now all I have to do is cough up $40 to switch PRAXIS tests.
marathoner452: (NOLA)
This is to confirm your admission to the University of New Orleans. If you have not already received your admission packet in the mail, it should arrive shortly. If you have any questions in the meantime, or if you wish notify us of a change in your enrollment status, please contact us at

My plane leaves Sunday for Baltimore via Dallas and while I would love more than anything to stay in New Orleans for, oh, say, another couple months, now I have a definite date for coming back here for good.  Fall semester classes start August 20th, I believe.  No longer do I have to say that I have every intention of moving here, or that I plan on moving here, or whatever.  If I can find the money and a place to live, I will be living in New Orleans in 6 months.  That's about the best feeling in the world, being on my way to making this dream reality.
marathoner452: (Default)
Journaleers homework:  One thing that made me smile today was hall duty outside the 1st grade suite.  I subbed all day in 1st grade yesterday and I must have done a good job because there were a lot of kids that were happy to see me. 

I'm learning to walk the line between having students like me and having students respect me.  During yesterday afternoon's math class I had to lecture the kids-the standard "you wouldn't be acting like this if your teacher were here-we just took a bathroom break before class so why does everyone need to go now?-you know you're better than this" talk that elementary school subs learn real quick.  I got the feeling that if they'd had P.E. that day and recess a little earlier they could have gotten some of that energy out of their systems.  I swear, if you could harness the energy in a classroom of first graders, you could power a small city.

Last week and a half of subbing:
last Tuesday-afternoon in special ed.
last Thursday-all day in 2nd grade special ed.
last Friday-morning in 4th/5th grade special ed. classroom
Monday-all day in 3rd grade
Tuesday-all day in 1st grade
Today-afternoon in special ed.

I'm just happy to be working this much this soon after winter break.  My mom's been subbing for years and she says this is one of the slowest times of the year for subs.

PRAXIS on Saturday starting at 7:30 am.  Ouch.  Reading, writing, math for one hour apiece.   I'm excited because this is a very real step towards becoming a teacher.

Then the Carroll County Arts Center is showing An Inconvenient Truth at 2 pm and 7 pm.


Dec. 1st, 2006 01:45 am
marathoner452: (Default)

I just signed up to take all three PRAXIS I tests on January 13th, 2007. Results are being submitted to the University of New Orleans for their Teach Greater New Orleans practitioner teacher program, the LA Department of Education, and the MD Department of Education.

I still need to sign up for the PRAXIS II Elementary Content test, but I can’t take any more tests on the January date and I’ll be down in New Orleans on the next date (March 3rd). I’ll have to arrange to take it while I’m there, but at least I’m signed up for the first three tests.

marathoner452: (Default)
Last weekend when I was back at St. Mary's for the Special Olympics sailing regatta, I got to thinking.  I've wanted an excuse to move back down there since I graduated a year ago May.  I have friends in the area.  It's absolutely beautiful.  It's pretty cheap to live down there.  I know they have a good running club.  I could go sailing all the time. They also-and here's the important part-just started a Master of Arts in Teaching.  It's a one-year program with a bunch of prequisites.  This could be perfect.

So here's what I need to do in the next year or two to make it happen:
-get back in touch with my college professors and see if they won't write recommendations
-find out if Carroll Community classes will transfer and take Intro. Psych and basic math/science classes next semester
-find equivilancies for at least 5 pre-requisite courses in education and start taking them
-start substitute teaching to make sure it's what I really want to do
-start researching student loans and grant opportunities to pay for it

-spend February/March in New Orleans
-spend the last week of June cruising to Bermuda to celebrate my grandparent's 50th anniversary

I'm very happy.  I think not being able to do NPRC really is going to turn out for the best.  This is a very happy birthday indeed.



marathoner452: (Default)

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