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Friday, February 3rd, 2012
8:55 am - rofl
It's Friday... Chicago Public Schools are off today.... We are not...
I have 2 students in my class at the moment - one started with us on Monday, the other started today. None of my regulars are here. I hope it will be a slow day.

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
10:45 am - question...
out of curiosity, does anyone know a good place to look for a grant to start an after-school martial arts program? I am doing the research myself, but thought someone out there might already have an idea.

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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
8:19 am - that time of year
well, it's that time again. In about an hour I meet my Advisory (Homeroom) class. I won't meet my actual math students until Thursday. Hopefully things go better than they did last year.

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Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
8:43 am - Some comments on being a teacher
Student: Mr. N, you didn't teach me how to do this?
Me: Why not?
Student: Cause you're a sh**y teacher.
Me: Come here... Look at this (pointing to a screen display in my gradebook program).
Student: What's this?
Me: Every day this says 'Ab' is a day you were absent. Since the start of the semester, you missed over 50 days.
Student: Oh
Me: Sit down, shut the F**k up, and do your quiz... Try to show up to class and you might learn something.

Also in school news, we had a fire drill yesterday. One of the students thought this meant you walk across the street and smoke some Cush (weed laced with PCP). He then casually strolled back over as the students were going back in from the fire drill.

One of our teachers got fired (one of those do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 type of things). At one point, as he lost control of his classroom, a girl started badgering him "Give me a dollar! Give me a dollar!" for about 20 minutes (his class is right across from the vending machines). Finally, he gave her the dollar, by folding it up like you would at a strip club, stuffing it down the front of her shirt, and yelling, "Here's your F**king dollar!"

Student: Mr. N, you know i can't remember this stuff we did yesterday.
Me: Why not? Did you look it over?
Student: You know i don't study. I had to go smoke a couple blunts...

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Thursday, May 5th, 2011
10:05 am - teacher appreciation day
It's teacher appreciation day.

Student: Mr. N, you didn't teach me shit.
Me: Do you know what this is (showing him my computer display)
Student: No...
Me: It's your attendance report. Do you know what it shows?
Student: No...
Me: It shows you have missed 20 school days since the start of March. I can't teach you shit if you aren't here to learn shit. Go sit your ass back down, do your best on the quiz, and show the fuck up to class...

I've also had 2 students in one class both look at me and ask me to teach them how to do the problems on the quiz because they weren't paying attention when I taught the material over the last 3 weeks.


This is why I appreciate teachers.

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Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
8:25 am - students representing the school
In addition to the joys of my last post, one of the other students was arrested over Spring Break. It seems he was arrested for shooting 2 people and is wanted as a suspect in the shooting of 3 others.

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Monday, April 25th, 2011
12:02 pm - returning from vacation
So last week was Spring Break. I had a very enjoyable week spent sitting around the apartment doing nothing much productive. Today, I dragged myself out of bed, came back to work, and discovered that the school has 1 less student. One of our students made the local news by killing a 14 month old baby.

words fail me at this point...

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Friday, April 15th, 2011
10:52 am - hmn....
I'm happy that the school bought LCD projectors for all the classrooms. Nice, small projectors that are locked to a rolling cart that lives in each classroom. If I go on You Tube and search for a video on how to pop that sort of lock, I discover that popping the locks only requires a plastic Bic pen.

Want to guess how many of the projectors are still left? Mine disappeared last night or early this morning.

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Thursday, April 14th, 2011
8:37 am - priorities
A student walked into my class 10 minutes late yesterday. He proceeded to walk up to one of the girls, talk to her a moment, and walked back out of the room. (infraction 1 - leaving the room without permission). He then walked back in a minute later and hands her a bag of chips from the vending machine (infraction 2 - students are not supposed to use the vending machines during class time). He then ignored instructions to sit down and participate with the class, instead talking loudly about what happened as he was hanging up on the block after school the day before (the student has a history of attention seeking). He then walked back out of the classroom and talked with another student in the hallway (infraction 3 - leaving the classroom without permission again). When he came back in, I advised him that he would be written up and referred to the disciplinary counselor, and why.

At this point, he became very apologetic, told me that I could keep the write-up and turn it in tomorrow if his behavior wasn't better the next day, and slipped a $20 bill into my shirt pocket.
(infraction 4 - bribing a teacher). Even if I wanted to take his bribe, I couldn't because he had done so in the full view of the class.

My conclusions are threefold:

1) Money is much less of a priority for me than for my students.
2) The student doesn't understand that I will not risk several years of salary for his $20.
3) Once again, my students are too stupid to cheat effectively...

This was almost as amusing as the parent who offered me sexual favors if I would pass her kid.

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Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
8:15 am - here we go again...
A few weeks ago, I gave my students a list of the work they were missing. I told them the deadline to submit this work was last Friday. This morning a student wanted to talk to me about his packet of missing work...

"About that packet of missing work..."
"Yeah?"
"I'm gonna turn it in on... What's today, Tuesday?"
"Yes, Tuesday"
"OK, I'm going to turn it in on Friday."
"The work was due last Friday" (note that he was here yesterday and made no attempt to do anything about it yesterday)
"Yeah, but I wasn't here Friday... I couldn't do it."
"It's late work, it was due last Friday."
"But I wasn't here. It was in my locker and I was going to do it in first period."
"I'm not taking it..."



I wish I worked in a job where I could decide what my own deadlines were. It feels to me like the student suddenly realized that the end of the quarter is this Friday. I am waiting for the day after report cards come out, when the students look at me like I am deliberately failing them (usually for things like not turning in half of the homework...)

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Friday, March 11th, 2011
11:46 am - Test day
So today I am giving a test in 4 of my 6 classes (I wound up losing my prep period and taking on an additional class to cover for a teacher who died mid-year)

So far, I have heard several variations of

"I wasn't here yesterday for the review, so I shouldn't have to take the test"
"I don't feel like it... can I take it Monday?"
"How do I do this problem?"
"You just want me to fail, cause you won't tell me how to do it"
"I didn't study... I had to go get me some last night..."
"How many problems can I miss and still pass?"

My cheaters are out in full force - copying... just asking other people how to do the test, etc...

In the meantime, this test involves proportion problems, so a classroom aide is working with a student, on setting up a problem like

8 men 20 men
----- = ------
40 women X women

Which leads to me trying not to snerk too loudly when she asks the student "so do you want the men over the women, or the women over the men?" and such...

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011
9:24 am - it's too early for this today
We're only in the first class of the day, and I've already broken up one fight... over someone's boots.

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Sunday, February 13th, 2011
3:27 pm - hmn...
I gotta love it when the girlfriend gets down on her knees so that her boyfriend can propose to her...

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Monday, February 7th, 2011
4:50 pm - A quick lesson in mathematics
On the radio, the other day, I heard a news bulletin that stated that 36,000 jobs had been created during the month of January. This had the effect of reducing America's unemployment rate from 9.4% to 9.0%

This means that 0.4% of the working population is represented by 36,000 jobs
If I rewrite the 0.4% as 0.004, I get

(Working Population) * (0.004) = 36,000

Dividing each side of this equation by 0.004 gives me

(Working Population) = 9,000,000

Oddly enough, if I search for any demographic information on the United States, I come up with a working population of roughly 102,000,000.

That makes me wonder what sort of numbers games was played where 36,000 jobs created equals out to a 0.4% reduction in the unemployment rate.

The chocolate ration will be increased to 20 grams next week...

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Monday, January 24th, 2011
10:25 am - rofl
So school is coming up on the end of the semester. In fact, the semester ends this Friday. As a result, I have been telling my students for quite some time that they needed to turn in any missing work by last Friday (1/21)

I gave one student an extension until this morning (Monday). That student proceeded to take his late work (which he had in 7th period) and give it to another student as he couldn't open his locker. At the end of school Friday, he could not find the other student to get his work back. Consequently, he did no work over the weekend. I am waiting for him to come in and ask me for another extension (which he will not get).

Another student came in this morning and tried to turn in a paper that is over a month old, and was put out when I would not accept it.

I am waiting to see how many more students try to turn in work now that the deadline is past.

This reminds me of some advice a veteran teacher once gave me - I should never care more about the student passing the class than the student himself cares.

Addenda

Add (1) So I can't turn this in today
Add (1) Can I get a couple extra days
Add (3) So if I fail the quarter and pass the final, what is my grade?
Add (1) I lost all those papers. Can I get them again?
Add (1) So what if I slip you a $20?
Add (1) I sent my sister to give you the work, but I didn't come to school today myself.

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Friday, January 14th, 2011
3:53 pm - too stupid to cheat
So this afternoon, I gave one of my classes a quiz. Students were allowed to use notes and old assignments as an aid to the quiz. One student got up to sharpen his pencil. At that point another student swiped his quiz and started madly copying answers. Sadly, she was copying the wrong answers because she swiped an old assignment instead.

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11:55 am - Comments to my students
1) Please don't tell me that I didn't teach this material to you. You weren't here every day of the last two weeks when we worked on this topic.

2) Don't tell me that you lost your homework and need a new copy of the worksheet. You've said that every day of this week.

3) I'm sorry you didn't know there was a quiz today. I've had a note on the board about it all week.

4) Yes, you have to turn in this semester's work before the semester is over.

5) Do you remember anything from yesterday?

6) I know you don't have any notes to use during today's quiz. Not my problem.

7) No, I did NOT miss you when you were absent for a week.

8) Go back to sleep. I'm not used to you being awake in class.

9) Yes.. something does smell in this room. It's you... (Yes, there is a story behind that one).

10) Yes, I know you are 19 years old. I'll treat you like an adult when you act like one...

11) I realize you didn't eat breakfast this morning. I also realize that you didn't eat the free breakfast that the school provided. It's not my problem that you have the munchies now.

12) No, I'm not interested in buying pot from you. I have my own dealer... thanks

13) I'm sorry the other math teacher doesn't teach you anything. Given how you acted in my classroom last year, I can understand why.

nah... I'm not feeling grouchy at all today...

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Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
2:24 pm - losing sympathy rapidly
so I gave you a packet that contained all your missing assignments. Then I gave it to you again. Two days before the work was due to be turned in, you asked me to give you the work again. I did (apparently I lost my mind). On the day the work was due, you asked if I could give you the work again and an extra weekend to do it (I was a big meanie and said no).

You then scored 3% on the last test we took (because you never did all that work). 3% not being good enough for you, you asked me if you could retake the test. I told you to take it today after school. You bitched... You whined.... You moaned... You didn't bother showing up today so that you could retake the test.

I get the feeling that IF you bother showing up tomorrow to whine and complain, I will just send you to the counselor for a dose of reality (not what you normally smoke for breakfast, but you should try it sometime).

I love my students... I will love them more this Friday when winter vacation begins.

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
9:09 am - gonna be one of those days...
Per1 3/11 students
Per2 3/11 students
Per4 8/11 students
per5 9/12 students
Per6 6/11 students
Per7 8/12 students
Per8 6/12 students

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
11:42 am - wierd...
I have a class where all of my students (well, the ones who showed up today) are sitting silently and working on an assignment... I am not used to that. It feels rather odd.

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