Sunday, July 22, 2012

Teacher Tips 2

Oh, I thought of another good tip, because it has happened before. We always get the day before the first day of school to prepare for the first day. Does that make sense?

1. Don't count on being allowed to use your room prep day.

I no longer save that day for its intended purpose. Not being a "real" teacher, on more than one occasion I have been called out of my room to do some (let's face it, clerical) task for someone else. Usually a monumental job that could have been handled by clerical staff or even student organization members for service hours.

The reason? "You weren't doing anything anyway." Actually, I was, and wondering if one day would be enough to prepare all of my equipment, computers, paperwork, and data entry. :D

Seeing me sitting at my desk on the computer is often misinterpreted as just "playing around on the Internet". Actually, I'm setting up classes, gradebooks, doing software maintenance on my computers and student computers, and creating lessons.

Further into class, I'm evaluating student work to see who needs to go back and improve their grades or who thought they could skip a lesson and not get caught. When they do that, the software assigns them a zero for a grade.

I don't think anyone would like it if I didn't give my kids a second chance. :). Sometimes you have to protect them from their own foolishness, though all the while they are screaming about their right to be foolish to their detriment. Other times you have to let them learn responsibility for their actions.

Sitting at my desk is required, though I know some purists insist I'm not doing my job if I ever sit down. They don't understand that the teacher station is immobile, and I have to use it to help kids with their questions, as well as unlocking their assignments for corrections. (If you don't believe me, come to my room for some job shadowing in four weeks.)

And there is this thing called parallax... which prevents me from standing or leaning over at the teacher station to accomplish anything. One tiny change in viewing angle knocks everything out of line and I end up unlocking either the wrong student or assignment. :) That doesn't do a bit of good. Lol. The tiny fixed font size in the software doesn't help much there. Lol

I still walk around the room and help, whenever kids don't have me tied to my desk asking for unlocks.

All I'm saying is that what you see, you aren't necessarily interpreting correctly, because you really don't *get* what I have to do. Lol Not even if you spend ten minutes looking over a student's shoulder will you understand what I do behind the scenes. It's a different world than a "real" class, but no less effective in making our kids smarter.

2. If your computer says that it needs to run updates, do it. I've known teachers who never ran their updates and sometime in March their computers locked up on them. And then they were surprised they have a problem. :D. Do your updates. Lol

3. In the copious amount of emails you will receive, many will have ambiguous subjects that don't help you organize or remember the IMPORTANT information within the email that you need to KEEP! Forward that email back to yourself with a subject line that tells you what into is within and label it KEEP or something like that.

I hate getting emails labeled with a lame "FYI" and then getting yelled at later because inside there was a deadline announced and I overlooked it.

I also dislike getting in trouble because I didn't read a mid-morning email and I never was allowed to check my email until 1 pm. Well, you can't have it both ways. There is a very good reason I have my work email accessible on my phone and check it in the hallway. I never have time to check it in class and I have to be in the hall between classes and sometimes I have to go to the bathroom and then there is lunchtime and you don't want me eating over my computer now do you, hmmmm?

And do you see why run on sentences can be an exhausting problem? :D

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