from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Friday, February 06, 2004

And yet again bad weather cancels the school day 

We had freezing rain and sleet beginning around 7 last evening. Originally PG had hoped to open only 2 hours late, but at the last possible moment decided not to open at all. That was a wise decision, given the number of serious accidents, and the csonsequences thereof : major intersections and roads are closed while police worked those accidents.

As a result I have the time to thoroughly go over the work my students handed in yesterday. I am realizing that I have not done as good a job as I normally do in helping them develop their writing skills. When I take on all the outside activities I have, such as the Dean campaign and Mock Trial, I do not have the time to do as thorough a job of correcting individual papers. And then I am not as effective a teacher. It is a choice I have to make -- I have only so much time and energy in which to do things, and each thing I take on usually means a withdrawal from that available for my teaching-related tasks.

It is quite tiring to go through and correct all the grammatical problems (such as using "they" to refer to a singular noun). It is even more tiring to have to write out individual explanations of how the reasoning processes students use does not work. I supposed I could take one or two papers, turn them into overheads, and then use that to illustrate. But not every student errs in the same way, and I have found that even when I take the name off a paper, students get embarassed when they see their words up on a screen: at that moment they shut down and don't hear what I am trying to teach them. Ah, if I had smaller classes and fewer students I could have writing conferences.

And so - officially we have no school, and the day will have to made up - this day will extend the school year to June 19. But I do not have a day off: the five sets of papers will take around 6.5 hours to go through completely. The only real luxury is that I can periodically step away from that task and do something else, such as making an entry like this into a blog almost no one every reads.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
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