Friday, September 14, 2012

Arkansas...or Iraq??

Arkansas or Iraq...these two places have very little in common except in the eyes of one of my eighth grade students.

In class today, we were discussing current events (I teach English...but we went for it anyway) and the events that have been unfolding regarding the U.S. embassies in middle-eastern countries. One of my students said, "Isn't that happening in Arkansas?" Too say I was shocked is an understatement. I know that many of my students are very unaware of the global world, but I never thought that they were so unknowledgable about our own country. After explaining to the student that Arkansas was actually a state in the United States, the response was, "Oh, I always get Arkansas and Iraq confused!"

This situation has me firmly believing that we need a drastic overhall of the education of students within this country. Our English word of the day today was "Cosmopolitan," and although it is a very popular alchololic drink, it also means "belonging to all the world." With all the social media outlets such as facebook, twitter, and even blogs...our students should have a more cosmopolitan outlook and awareness. We, as teachers, parents, friends, family...need to be working on raising the global awareness of our students.

Do you know the difference between Arkansas and Iraq? Do you know someone who doesn't know the difference? As a teacher, my request to all of you will influence over students, is to make sure you are teaching them about the global world.

That is all.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yo trippin'

As my yearly update on my job status rolls around, I thought I would introduce you to my current class by using thirteen to sixteen year old dialogue.

Student: "Yo miss, I don't understand this stuff."
Me: "Have you read the directions?"
Student: "Nah, I ain't gonna do nun of dat"
Me: "Well, I can't help you until you read the directions."
Student" "Miss, you trippin'"
Me: "I haven't fallen once today, I've been pretty steady"
Student: "You willll(d)"

This is typically dialogue between myself and my students that occurs on a daily basis. I now understand and can interpret conversations I never thought I could. A conversation with another teacher yesterday made me realize that I'm becoming more and more knowledgable about current teenage slang each day. For example, I now refer to jail as a person being "locked up" because so many of my students refer to their time in juvie by that term. I've found myself in conversations with people who don't know where I work and only until their confused looks surface do I realized I've used terms like "locked up" and "you for real."

For those unfortunate people who have attempted to interpret my new "hip" language, I apologize and give only one explanation. I began working in a disciplinary alternative education program in January as a middle school English teacher. I quickly found out that in addition to my teaching duties, I was assigned the task of teaching "willll(d)" teenagers how to behave in the classroom. It has been an interesting and sometimes tiring task but it is worth it because I have a great principal and vice principal who are very supportive in addition to fellow teachers who are willing and ready to assist in whatever needs to be done. Overall all it has been a most illuminating semester! I will be interested to see what happens next fall (note: after a especially relaxing summer!!)

I have now experienced my first classroom fight, being cussed out and a student "bowing" up to me (did I mention he looked like a lizard getting ready to fight?) and I have SURVIVED!

Only 22 more days of school! Yay!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Break 2012

First I just want to say that I must really love my family because I just spent an entire week on a blow up mattress during my first vacation in over a year....yea for Spring Break 2012!

On another note, I had a fantastic and relaxing time this spring break despite the less than fantastic sleeping arrangements. I got to hang out with my sisters and parents doing all sorts of fun things! We went shopping, to the movies, out to eat, and more shopping! Yesterday, we spent almost four hours at the Frisco mall...and the most amazing thing? Well, my dad was the "winner" of the day. He bought more clothes yesterday than I believe he has every bought in his entire life! Yes, it's true! He got new slacks, shirts and even an Easter suite that is pretty legit :) I was really proud of the fact that he made it so long in the mall with no "frown faces" or slumping shoulders! Way to go Dad!

Finally, the most amazing thing happened yesterday that I have to share with everyone! We were sitting at lunch (Olive Garden goodness!) and were discussing the Christmas vacation we are finally going to take after saying we were going to for about five years! When mom asked what we wanted to do, I was the one who had all the ideas! I mentioned Italy, Greece, Prague, a Cruise and Hawaii, which are all places that I would love to go! After a bunch of nodding and "yeah, that sounds fun" we still hadn't gotten anywhere in our decision making...then dad mentioned, "what about Tennessee?" which promptly got him several dirty looks from us girls, I mean, come on, Tennessee?? for a big family vacation!!!! No way! We then lapsed into silence for a while, continuing to eat our meal. Finally, I mentioned that I had seen an advertisement for Disney's new Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawaii. Ding, Ding, Ding! The light was lit! My dad was really interested in a combination of Hawaii and Disney, which is pretty much our favorite vacation! We began to discuss it and by the end of the day, mom had talked to the Disney people and we were booked for a Disney Hawaiian vacation over the Christmas Holidays!

Can you believe it??? Disney Hawaii here we come! Only 9 months to get bathing suit ready!

Anyway, I have had a great Spring Break Vacation and look forward to maybe writing a little bit more on my blog this year! Stay tuned!