Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 Reasons Today Should of Been Saturday

1. Alarm didn't go off

2. Forgot to put coffee in the coffee pot last night. No matter how state of the art the programmable coffee pot is , it does need actual coffee in it to operate.

3. Stopped at Starbucks for the necessary caffeine fix. Put cup in cup holder. Turned a corner. Cup fell out of cup holder spilling the latte in the process. Will have to clean floor mats when I get home

4. My new pants are to tight. Must stop eating sweets. Schools are not a good place to diet.

5. I was convinced it was Friday. It's Thursday. Still have tomorrow to get through.

6. The 3 headed monster known as the TAKS test rears its ugly head next week

7. The cat tried to use the litter box and missed.

8. The washing machine has temperament. I suspect it will soon become an ex-washing machine.

9. The hot, muggy summer weather has arrived with a vengeance. I fear record highs are in our future.

10. The batteries to the library laptops are giving up the ghost. No funds to replace them.

11. Teachers are very, very tired and tempers are short.

12. It's about time for a new laptop but I've not heard anything good about Vista.

13. The kids are wild and woolly and so ready for school to be over. So are we.

On a positive note - there are only 24 more days of school!

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Sins Of The Father Afflict Unto The Several Generations

I've been at my school 16, going on 17 years now (I can hardly believe that myself). I'm now teaching the children of the children. It says a great deal about how early our kids become parents if in 16 years I'm already teaching the second generation.

Much of this second generation isn't stellar. I guess that's what happens when children give birth to children.

We have the child of gang member. Dad was gunned down in a home invasion robbery, Mom died in an auto accident that involved alcohol. The child has an aunt who is 2 years younger than he is, a young brother who is failing Pre-K and 3 other half siblings whom he never sees. The child is living with his grandparents, who are not exactly in the running for the parents (or the grandparents ) of the year award.

Also not in the running for the Grandparents of the Year Award are the grandparents of a pair of newly enrolled siblings. We remember their mother and uncle, both of which had numerous problems of the social, educational variety - many of which were either caused or exacerbated by their dysfunctional home life (with a large dose of drugs and alcohol tossed in) . The second generation has just as many problems. Multiple moves and multiple schools, academically low and probable autism. The paperwork for testing is in process but won't be completed by the time school is over. Whether they are still with us when school resumes in the fall is a total unknown.

And this fall the daughter of my daughter's best friend from elementary days enters kindergarten.
I'm feeling very old tonight.

Children shouldn't have children. There ought to be a law.

Friday, April 11, 2008

John McCain

I' ve never voted Republican and I certainly don't intend to start now but I do have some respect for John McCain. Seems he has a son in the military who is about to be deployed to Iraq.

At least McClain is willing to put his money where his mouth is, or rather his son where his war is.

Which is more than we can say for his son's Commander in Chief.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

They're Fat - and It's All Our Fault Too

Childhood obesity is all over the news now. Turns out it's all the fault of the schools - just as "moral breakdown", "lack of respect", "Kids can't read" and all of society's many other ills are also laid at the schoolhouse door.

Many of the kids where I work are overweight and more than a few are obese. We have children at risk for diabetes, children who can't walk a lap round gym with out huffing and puffing and children with beer bellies that rival those of middle age men. Many of our kids are poor, Hispanic and latchkey - all breeding grounds for obesity.

We feed the kids 10 meals a week - breakfast and lunch. The school lunch program bristles with rules about nutrition and what the kids are offered is low in sugar and fat and fairly healthy. 2% milk, fresh fruit, whole wheat bread, oven baked rather than fried chicken. It's not half bad.

That's offered - not eaten. The amount that hits the trash makes a taxpayer cry. They drink a swallow or two of milk, nibble at the meat and pretty much ignore the fruit. Many of the kids bring bags of chips from home which are eaten in lieu of their meal. The principal had to send a note home telling parents not to send sodas to school. Just try teaching a classroom of children who have dined on Coca Cola and Hot Cheetos for a mid-day meal.

Yesterday I encountered one of our "square children" in the staff lounge - one of her relatives works at school. Child was whining for potato chips from the snack machine and said chips were bought and eaten. Relation told me child is always whining for junk food. The day before the child asked for and ate a Happy Meal ( not the apple slices & juice version ), a candy bar and a doughnut. This was between the hours of 3pm and bedtime.

Our school nurse runs an health club and gives nutrition lessons. She offers parent classes on cooking. She counsels children and gives them suggestions about keeping a food dairy and making healthy choices. It breaks her heart when the child returns the diary the following week and the score shows Diary Queen 5 and green vegetable 1.

We feed them 10 meals a week - the other 11 meals are eaten at home - that's more than half. Yet it's all our fault the kids are fat.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

13 Reasons Kids Ought to Blog

. Kids gravitate to anything involving a computer
2. They can get comments and feedback which makes writing fun
3. They can share their writing with anyone in the world
4. The computer takes care of spelling and grammar so they can concentrate on the topic.
5. They can select their own topic (within reason!).
6. It improves their writing skills without them realizing it
7. They can add pictures, which makes the subject more interesting
8. It’s a lot easier to read than a hand written journal
9. They are writing with a purpose
10. It’s collaborative
11. It’s “real world learning” – that’s a current educational buzzword
12. Future job skills – so many companies have blogs these days
13. And most of all, because it’s fun!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!