Wednesday, August 16, 2006

And the winner is...

Today we met with the superintendent to talk about his decision to close McReynolds if we don't improve our rating. I don't agree with his choice, but I've kind of moved so far into the "get out of my way and let me make improvements" mode that I don't' really feel the need to debate the particulars. I also don't need to ask what happens to my job if they close the school because as far as I'm concerned they're not closing the school. Luckily the meeting was short and sweet and not a lot of other teachers had questions either (Gen's school apparently had a 30 minute question round.. woo).

After the meeting they announced the winners of the room decorating contest. My principal totally faked me out by announcing that Ms. Thompson took runner-up for 7th grade and then corrected himself and said Ms. Blair Thompson. I recovered from that minor disappointment when he then announced that I had taken first place and a $100 gift certificate for classroom supplies (go-on brush your shoulders off). That's right my room is bright and educationally inspirational. I'm going for indoctrination and I have no shame. I'm also highly competitive. I said I was going to win and I did. I was a little surprised though, the other rooms look so good. I really wasn't sure I would win.

I'm so proud of the work my kids did today. Since we're on common lesson plans, I couldn't move on to diagnostics for my kids. Instead we did "Where I'm from" poems. Google Where I'm From by George Lyons. It's a great poem and the kids were really really creative with their poems. I read them mine first and it was really personal, so then they were more apt to share their stories. I'm still shocked by how open the kids are with their lives. Some of them wrote about their dads leaving. Others wrote about living in violent neighborhoods and others wrote about not having enough to eat. These kids are so eloquent and surprisingly in touch with the struggles in their lives.

This wonderful day of poetry doesn't mean we didn't have our moments. My fourth hour decided to show some of its true colors today. Isabel and Tony are going to be a bit of a challenge. They like to talk. A lot. If only I could remember what my teachers did with me when I wouldn't stop talking. I feel like this is cosmic pay back.

In other news... my library might be growing. In a desperate need of books I wrote the superintendent of my school district in Kansas asking for old cast offs. She emailed me back today and said she was having an executive principal contact all the middle schools to ask about books they had in storage and didn't need anymore. Her letter was very nice and encouraging. Anything I could get from SMSD is sure to be nice even if it is in storage. Any friendly blog readers who have tips on snatching up some more books should also sent them my way. My kids need to read. To do that they need books.

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