So, it’s Saturday, after 10 p.m. I’m sure there are people out there who are doing much more exciting, typical Saturday night things — drinking, singing karaoking, bowling, playing board games w/ friends, uh…yeah. I’m kind of a nerd and sometimes don’t have much of a social life. I’m not sure what normal people do on a Saturday night. Anyway…
So, I’m grading. I had to bring the laptop from school home, reset my home modem, but finally VOILA! I can put grades into our new online gradebook program w/o glitches. That is so reassuring and only a small hassle. Before, on my personal lappy, I’d get kicked out of the grade program & wouldn’t be able to do anything. So, this weekend, I brought the laptop home.
We have grades due Monday a.m. We have grades due then because we have Parent-Teacher Conferences on Tuesday. This is conference evening number 3 of 4. We have four nights of conferences a year because we’re on the 4×4 block schedule.
Have I mentioned lately that I LOATHE the 4×4 block schedule? I think it is entirely overrated and does NOT help our students. When you have students who are unmotivated, have learning issues (both that relate to their level of intelligence and their level of work ethic, etc), and attendance issues, then having a semester’s worth of material crammed into a quarter is NOT effective. It also sucks because students only get half a year of English (and math, and science, social studies, etc) each school year. The level of retention from one year to the next of basic skills in core classes is almost nil. (Or, at least it seems like it). Not to mention that if a student has English first semester, freshmen year (for example) they may not have it again until second semester, sophomore year.
Block schedule, the 4×4, is designed for motivated students who are ready to do the work. That is NOT the type of students that are the majority at my school.
Anyway…7 out of 20 passing in 1st block; 14 out of 23 passing in 3rd block; 10 out of 19 passing in 4th block. That’s not very promising, especially my first block. However, 7 of those failures are within the passing mark. They’re not far off from passing — so they have a shot of bring up their grades to passing.
The other thing that kills me about students some times (in general) is their attendance. I have 2 students in first block that NEVER show. Several of my first block kids are chronically tardy. I HATE assigning detentions for tardies, b/c a) I hate keep track of the paperwork b) I hate having to call home about that and c) I don’t think they’re effective. Dear readers: how do you deal with tardies/detentions, etc? Anyway, I have a handful of kids who miss my 3rd block often as well. AND, I have one kid who is hardly ever shows up for my 4th block. My 4th block class is probably my WORST class of offenders related to tardies. I have one kid who is late to class and also late back from lunch — EVERY DAY!
Anyway…I should get back to the wretched grading thing, I suppose. Bleagh. I hope my grades get better, the more things I add.