Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's a time for Thankgiving

So Thanksgiving is this week. I am so grateful for a bunch of stuff, not least of all that it's a two-day week here with no night classes the entire week. I am so grateful my students are excited about learning this semester. We did so much over the course of the past few months. The genius hour project was a success. Funny thought came to me yesterday when the Times best inventions were featured on the news. Several of those were actually ideas that we had discussed in my class last year. The idea of an airless tire, the sideways elevator and more were all things we dreamt up. The GEC conference went great as well. I was so relaxed and able to speak naturally, which was the best part of it I believe. This was my 4th time participating and I was well familiar with their BlackBoard platform. I really should have taken the time to volunteer. So that is on the agenda for next year. Speaking of a project for next semester, I am really interested in the UN SDGs in Action and want to excite my classes about participating. So far there is very limited interest in my Spanish I class for it, but this is not a problem. I will present it to the new Spanish II classes and perhaps I can get each of my classes to work on a different goal. Alexis Radney from the Dominican Republic already expressed interest in collaborating as well. So I am definitely grateful for him. Another thing to be grateful for is the teacher PD series. They have been steadily well attended. None had to be cancelled for lack of interest, which is great. I am grateful to get to go to Hong Kong in January for the 21st Century Learning Conference again. So happy my daughter and son-in-law will be joining me there. So it has been a good semester. Many new strategies were put in place, and yes, I'm super grateful for a good evaluation last week.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Observation done

So today I was finally observed in second period Spanish II class. All went well as far as I could tell. I did a lesson on Christmas and Hanukkah vocabulary, followed by some basic research of Hispanic Christmas traditions in various countries. I got my technology in with a Classcraft game, the Classflow whiteboard and the PowerTeach lesson plus the use of the Chromebooks. I am very relieved that it is over. Now let's hope the observer will be kind and not come up with some harsh criticism out of nowhere. Well, Thank the Lord the wait is over.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Anticipating my unannounced observation

So I've been waiting for my unannounced observation for a month now. I have literally been ready each day and each class that I teach. I wonder if the people at the state department have any idea what that's like. On the bright side I was told by a colleague that this evaluator told her he wants to be done by November 15. That leaves 8 more days for me to stress over this. A student asked me last week why I write all that stuff on the board every day and I told him that you get points for all those steps. You can be the best teacher in the world I told him, and yet unless you do that stuff you will get no points for it. We had the Navy recruiter in my class the other day and he told them about the raises in rank they get for good evaluations. I told them that as a teacher you get to keep your job if you get a good one. Sad but true. Tomorrow I have a test scheduled but I have Tuesday's assignment on the board and we will do it instead if the evaluator shows up. On the bright side, we will get an extra hour of sleep. Now that's something to look forward to, right?