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 20, 2004


All I feel like writing is about my role as an educator. This has been a difficult week at school, for many of us, as we had a spurt of fairly warm weather, which was of course accompanied by the concomitant warm-weather behavior - students off task, many kids wandering the halls, or wandering outside. Far too many were not doing their work on time, and we had many more discipline problems than normal. I found it very draining, particularly as I frequently had multiple encounters with the same students during the course of the week.

I have stayed in my classroom for several hours. I am caught up on all grading, and almost all paperwork. I have entered grades into the computer for County progress reports, even though they are not due in mid-day next Wednesday. I have erased and washed my boards, and gotten rid of some of the accumulate detritus of the school year. I will of course have planning to do over the weekend, but it is a somewhat shortened week -- my government classes have an assembly on Monday. MS Cherry is teaching my religion class on Tuesday. I will be out of the building on Friday for a trip to commemorate Brown v Board of Education (at Howard Law with the cooperation of Yale Law).

My Mock trial experience is now over. We lost the 3rd of our 4 preliminary matches, for the second time by a single point, this time the tie-breaker. We should have defeated the other team easily, but one young lady did very poorly, and we still had a problem with basic courtroom courtesy and getting the witnesses to look at the judge: no matter how many times I reminded them, they did not maintain eye contact. I have already told them -- and the department - that I will not do this again next year. It is too exhausting a responsibility to take on right after soccer season. At my age I am discovering how little reserve energy I actually have.

This weekend I will have to explore whether I want to go through the process of National Board Certification. I would probably qualify to get the County to pay the processing costs, and it could substantially increase my salary. I do not, from what I know about the process, believe that it would in any way improve me as a teacher, or bring benefit to my students. Thus I have to decide if it is a worthwhile use of my time and energy to pursue it, or whether it is just my ego drawing me towards yet another external affirmation. Similarly, there are several workshops in which I could participate, but how much of that is really ego-gratification to be selected for such things? I do not know, and I do worry about it.

So, let me check my e-correspondence yet one more time, then depart from the school until Monday forthcoming, taking what I believe is now a well-deserved rest. Of course, since I finally got my W-2, I have no choice but to begin the process of calculating our tax situation. Oh well... complete periods of rest may come eventually, but not now.

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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