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saturday, september 10, 2005

i'm really starting to think i just plain suck as a teacher.

we had our unit test yesterday. i'm grading today. over half my kids are failing. what i'm trying to figure out is if it's them (not studying, not caring, whatever), the material (not explained well enough), the test (although i did have several teachers look at it and they told me it looked okay), or this state's stupid grading scale that puts an 'f' at 69% instead of 59%. i am so unused to making 70-73% a 'd' and only 74-79% a 'c'. to me that's insanely skewed, especially with the "no child left behind" bullshit.

but this is also science and i'm not a science teacher. granted, it's astronomy, not chemistry or some such similar mess, but still, it's science and i could be talking completely over their heads. there's also the possibility that i'm going too fast, although i kept to the department's time table. i only recently found out that my test was planned 2 days before the rest of the 6th grade science classes. not sure if those 2 days would have helped much though. i mean, it looks like the issues are all over the place, not any one particular topic or two that i could have given extra coverage to. hell, a lot of the kids who are failing missed the very basics that we've repeated and covered over and over through the class for the last few weeks.

so i guess it's a good thing that i'm not up for that stellar position after all.

actually, i think i blame the grading scale for a lot of this mess. i'd have more kids with c's if a 'c' started at 70% like it should.

i'll have to talk to a couple of teachers on monday and see what they say. not sure what to do on monday itself since i can't cover or return tests yet, but i need an idea of what to do next week. i only have 5 days left in the classroom, so recovering the major problem areas is no big deal to me, especially since i really don;t want to start a new unit that i won't be finishing anyway. problem is that not starting the new unit will put the returning teacher behind the rest of the team.

beyond the depressing grading of these tests, we also just caught up most of our bills with help from mcat. i'm glad to be caught up as much as i can be at the moment, i hate the fact that i had to get money from my brother yet again to do so. we're still behind on the rent and electricity (which makes sense for the latter - our electric bill is huge), but we're not in danger of being disconnected. we're still going to be tight on food as well. good thing my next check should be fairly decent. course it just might make up for the extra in child support linnorm gave us this time around because i'm sure he'll reduce our next payment to make up for the excess. makes sense, but we're still not quite evened out yet. i keep hoping soon.

i had hoped to be able to use some of my next check to get a few things for work. my clothes are really starting to get raggedy. but that doesn't look possible at this point. eventually i'll have to breakdown and get some new clothes, but it can't be covered quite yet. maybe not till after christmas break. and i may just have to go ahead and get clothes even if i don't get a full time position. i just don't have much that looks good for work any more, and most of what i do have doesn't fit the climate.

i'm going to actually go and work on my writing. i could (and probably should) do a crit, but i really need to do something for me. my novels have been calling me for weeks now so time to get back to them now that i actually have a little time.

and tomorrow i'll finish grading tests. ug.

word of the moment: phlegmatic

stolidly calm, unexcitable; unemotional; having or showing a slow and stolid temperament

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Since July 9, 2000

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