Category Archives: summer school

Money, money, money, money!

So, I just got an email from our State Department of Ed — I was granted $2100 in loan forgiveness money for grad school for next academic year!!! Meaning, they’ll loan me the money, then I’ll meet their requirements and not have to pay it back. Sweet!!! It’s money, with strings, but it’s still money. That’s such a weight off my shoulders. Now, I can use my summer school dough for other things (like books for my students, or books for me).



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Next Year

Well, right now, I’m sitting in my living room listening to the wind blow, the rain roar, the hail fall, and the thunder rumble. My part of my state is experiencing a huge late-day storm (we usually get them at night, as far as I can remember) — my parent’s house (they live north of me) has no power. Thankfully, my parents have a non-cordless land line phone.

We had our “plan time” for summer school today — as far as teaching goes, this will be a cake-walk. On one hand, this is not a program that is what you’d want to see happen in a classroom during the school year. However, this is credit recovery. These kids are here to earn their credit — they need buckle down, do the work, and as Larry the Cable Guy says “git er done!” So, this plan to have them work independently (as much as they’re able) and to essentially prove they can demonstrate their mastery of standards via this work — I’m okay with it. Also, the lack of planning that is necessary on my part is fantastic.



Next year, this is what I’d like to accomplish in my junior English class. Let me know if you think it’s do-able.

September/January: 1 essay, 1 speech (memorized poem recitation)
October/February: 1 essay, 1 group presentation (4 to 5 minutes & 4 to 5 people) **Feb = state writing test
Read 1 major work by this time
November/March: 1 essay, 1 partner presentation (4 to 5 minutes)
December/April: 1 essay, 1 speech (solo! — 4 to 5 minutes) ** Apr = state reading test
Read 1 major work by this time
August — winding up stuff (short works, etc)
May — winding down stuff
So…2 major works for each semester, which will be supplemented by various other texts: speeches, essays, short stories, poems, etc.

Remember, I’m on the 4×4 block, at least for one more year — rumor has it that our new principal would like to change our schedule to A/B Block. M&W=A, T&Th=B, Friday = all (meaning each class would meet for about 45 minutes). We couldn’t change it till the 2011-2012 school year. I personally LOVE the idea of an ABAB/All schedule.

Side note: don’t get me wrong, I LOVE teaching juniors. I love that age group (even when I don’t). But I HATE that the feds have decided (or our state has decided?) that this is the age-group that needs to prove they know what they know. They are tested up the whazzoo. It’s ridiculous.

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Filed under block schedule, credit recovery, juniors, lesson planning, planning, preparation, quarter schedule, reading, state writing, summer school, testing, work, writing


and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high…

Or, if you so choose, you can think of the Will Smith song Summertime (from my junior high days)…anyway…

The question du jour lately is what am I doing this summer? I’m actually doing a lot. When I don’t have stuff to do, then I take things to the extreme in the opposite direction. I much resemble a slug, in fact.

1) Summer School: I’m teaching summer school at a different school w/in my district. Let’s just say, that summer school will be a cakewalk. Little to no planning, plus $30 an hour for half days till June 29? It’s awesome. Plus, it will help pay for my classes next fall and spring.

2) Grad school: I’m taking two classes as part of my grad program this summer. First class is Colloquium on American Lit, the second class is Reading Problems. My reading list is pretty extensive.
American Literature
a) With Rigor for All by Carol Jago
b) Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
c) Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
d) Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
e) The Fall of the House of Usher and other writings by Edgar Allen Poe
f) Collected Stories by Willa Cather
g) selections from the Norton Anthology from 1865 to the present

Reading Problems

a) Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
b) When Kids Can’t Read by Kylene Beers

After all my “edumication” is over, I have a family trip planned for the fourth of July weekend. I also have to attend PD related to new grading practices my district. We are planning to move to a 5-point grading scale next year. I’m not sure how that will work or look. But, at least we’re not changing our grading practices in one fell swoop.

I have one more thing that I’m hoping to do during July, but I don’t know for sure about that yet. So, when I find out, that’s another post.

What about you all? What are you doing for the summer?

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Filed under American Lit, books, summer school, work


I got a letter in my school mailbox saying that they were not able to offer me a job at my school for summer school this year.
Today in our mailroom I saw a notice up that they need summer school teachers in all areas.
Apparently they are desperate, but they are not desperate enough that they want me to do summer school.
How can do anything BUT take this personally?
I feel as if a big part of it is b/c the person who is principal for summer school (who is not our normal principal during the year) doesn’t like me.
I know I should just be like “whatever” and let it slide off my back like a duck in water — but a part of me can’t.
And I just feel very insecure about my job in general, because of this, right now.

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Summer School

So…I just spent the last 30 minutes entering what few grades I have (so far) for summer school. And I realized…this kinda blows. There are several reasons for the current suckage that is summer school with Ms. Midwest Teacher: A) I’m so much a big picture, initial idea person, that I don’t think stuff through the way I ought to. So, a trip to the library for background information that would enable students to give a presentation (on said information) — ended up with presentations that were less than stellar. It’s not a total debacle, but it’s close. B) I have SO MANY students who are failing already. C) My classroom doesn’t have enough structure (AND I’m sick, so my voice sucks) so I feel I’ve already lost control. I have about 58 students. Currently I have 12 students passing.


I need to re-vamp things. Sad thing is, it’s Wednesday. We have exactly 20 days of summer school & today we finished day 3. How can I turn things around? Esp when my voice (which is normally one of my tools — it carries, and usually I don’t have to yell, but I think that’s a big part of my self-confidence in the classroom (b/c I fake it lots). When I can’t talk how I’m used to, I flounder) is out of commission?

Crap-tastic. I wanted to try some newer/more fun/engaging things during summer school to get students involved. Maybe I should just have study guides for them. (Boring — we’re trying to move away from that, as a district, for English classes).

But, hell, study guides would be easy points & maybe more of them would pass. At this point, I’m considering anything — I do NOT want to have 50 failures (which is what could end up happening) when these kids are here specifically to get their credits back on track. Oh, did I mention I have freshmen and the whole point of the program their in is to get them on track to graduate on time? Yeah…no pressure.

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Even if you don’t have any ideas…please just send positive thoughts and prayers my way, would ya? I sure could use ’em.


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2nd year down…

I’ve officially finished my second year of teaching. The teaching part, that is. I have a tentative schedule for next year (juniors and then 2 credit recovery classes — whoopee on those).

I need to do two major things (which have a bunch of smaller components) during this week.
1) Check out for the 2008-2009 school year (this includes cleaning out my cubicle)
2) Prepare for summer school

Oy…not enough time in the day.


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This week

So tomorrow they hand in the research paper. I actually had students whining today about the list of items/components they needed to turn in tomorrow — when we’ve been working on this project since March 16th. The other thing that’s ridiculous about their whining? These are things they should have completed and turned in to me for a grade already. The only thing that is new, in terms of deadlines, is their final draft. It is due (for the first and only time) tomorrow.


In other news…we’re going to finish up the year with A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. I will be showing them the new version with PDiddle, b/c a) I’ve never seen the Poitier version and b) I actually think Puddle does a good job in the version ABC did last spring. I’m going to have to stretch it a bit, I think, but that’s ok.

I can’t believe there are only 4 weeks left. Then, summer school, then FREEDOM (i.e. July). Then we start all over again in August. w00t!

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Filed under Raisin in the Sun, research paper, summer school