Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Monday, December 18, 2006

For us, today was cold.....New teacher tip

Winter seems to have blown a bit of its frosty breath on us here in southern California, at least as much as we get frosty. But today seemed cold to me.....
And we had students showing up to school wearing their school uniform blue shorts and white polo shirts. Were they cold? I think so, because many acted glad to be in my warm classroom. Do they have jackets? I'd imagine so. So whats up with wearing shorts and t-shirts when it is cold outside? Welcome to Junior High.

NEW TEACHER TIP. If this is your last teaching week of the year, prep now for the first couple of days after you return from Christmas Holiday/Break (or whatever you call it). Believe me, it is nice to walk into your classroom and have your lesson plans right there waiting for you after two weeks away from your classroom and students. But then again, there IS the challenge of walking into your classroom after two weeks away from classroom and students and wondering what to do with those 35 sleepy, dazed, smiling, confused little faces staring at you. :-)

Thanks for reading my blog! I welcome your comments.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

History - Add it to NCLB ? Or go extinct ?

I was digging through a pile of misc. papers and "stuff" when I came across a partial article I tore out of a newspaper last summer. It was an article about the lack of a history requirement in many US universities and colleges. I may be a bit dense at times, but I just assumed that every US university or college would require their graduates to at least pass one history class. I recall that when I was in school, most people were told that it was a requirement to pass a US History course and a World History course, usually Western Civilization. This was no problem for me, as I was a Social Science major ( classes in History, Geography, Anthro, Poli. Sci., Psych and Sociology). But apparently, that is not the case today. There are many universities and colleges, including some state universities, that do not require their graduates to take and pass a history class. How sad.

Now, with NCLB, am I seeing a trend? States have in their state frameworks, that history, both US and World, are taught to upper elementry and junior high students. AFAIK, most junior high/middle school students take some history classes. But with NCLB, elementry schools have been allowed to stop teaching history in favor of more english and math so the students score better on their state tests As you know, with the emphasize on Math and English test scores, science, art, music, physical and health education have been grossly neglected in most elementry schools also. So, in its current form, NCLB creates another jab at the teaching of history by our schools. Some universities don't require it and now it is being grossly neglected at the elementry level.

Is this nation on the path of greatly increasing the number of citizens who do not know what has happened in our past? Who do not care about what happened in our past? Who IMO, do not make good citizens because they do not know the basics of how our government operates, how they should be involved in government and who do not really know much about anything? Conspiracy of *someone* (far left? ultra right?) to produce generations of people who cannot/will not think for themselves and just blindly follow or accept whatever the career politicians tell them to do? Is this the path this nation is on? What will it be like for my future grandchildren ?

I see two possible paths; the one we are currently experiencing in which history is de-emphasized to the point where it may someday be extinct from most schools, or that testing in history (and science, humanities and arts) is added to the requirements of NCLB, which in a future form, works to try to ensure no child is left behind from being a well educated, functioning, employable, politically enlightened, thinking member of our society.

NCLB is coming up for reauthorization by Congress. Those of you who read this blog are educated, intelligent and know how to voice your opinions to your elected officials in Congress. Please do so.

Thanks for reading my blog. I welcome your comments.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Still Here

Well, this blog is still here. I really appreciate the comments encouraging me to just take a break and not to destroy / kill this blog. Thank You for your support and encouragement. For now, this blog will live......

But, it has been heavily edited. Things that "could and would be held against me in the eyes of certain district personnel" have been deleted. Over 100 posts are gone. I do have something to say, and while I may not get to say everything I WANT to say, I will keep this blog (for now), to have a soap box to continue to still say a few things.

Monday, something happened to me that has NEVER happened to me in all 23+ years of teaching; a student hurled on me. In all my years, only two students have ever hurled in my classroom. The first time was just last year. Then, again, on Monday.
I was handing back student work and the student "got me" as I walked past. Got my left pant leg. And now my cruddy classroom carpet has another large splochy stain on it. I really hope this is not the start of some gross trend. And, fortunatly, no one else hurled in response to hurler #1.

Starting today on California State Social Studies Standard 7 - 2 - 6, Contributions of Muslim Culture and Civilization. In a nutshell, there will be massive Cornell Notes created and the assessment activity will be a 10 + 10 activity (ten pictures of Muslim Contributions with explainations). Then, our department Islam Post-Test and on to Africa, or maybe China, Japan or Medieval Europe.

Six teaching days until Christmas break.

Thanks for reading my blog ! I welcome your comments!