and we’re off

First day of school:

six classes, all with friendly, bright, decent kids
good, trustworthy colleagues all around
no big mistakes yet to have to overcome
encouraged but still really tired

I’m lucky to get to teach and especially to get to teach at Willard. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m teaching the best kids in the school. What’s crazy is how hard it still feels to do this even though I have nearly everything lined up in my favor. I can’t imagine what so many teachers feel like with the conditions they work under.

My prayer is that all of us in the school biz remember what a privilege it is to be a part of our students’ lives, have resilience when the inevitable bumps (or worse) occur, and pause in the busyness (at best) or chaos (at worst) to recognize the perfect moment when it occurs (à la Spalding Gray). Grace and Peace.

the scenic route

Today (barring bad weather) I will continue my tradition of going home after the last day of school via the scenic, winding and sometimes dirt roads of Greene and Polk Counties. My windows will be down and if you are within a few hundred feet of my route, you will hear the Ramones.

I am blessed to get to teach as my life’s work, but I am fried. So, if you too are wandering about the back roads of God’s Country later this afternoon, look out for a little red car.


My Prezi on blogging for teachers

This Friday, Willard is having a Festival of Technology for all the teachers in the district. I drew the short straw and am presenting on blogging. I hope my enthusiasm for blogging has not been mistaken for expertise. Oh well, they get what they pay for.

One really nice outcome, however, has been my learning how to use Prezi as a presentation technique. Prezi is presentation software that allows nearly unlimited use of collage to bring together text, video and graphics to tell a story. The ability to scale everything from huge to tiny and create visual hierarchies is very different from the linearity of powerpoint.

I’ve tried and failed several times to embed the prezi here in my blog. There’s clearly something about the process I’m not getting. So instead, should you be interested, I am including the link to Prezi where my presentation will play. Click the fullscreen option to see it much better.

End of Course Exams in Biology next week at Willard High School

The Missouri End of Course exams began this week at WHS and next week(April 26 – 30) will be the Biology exam. For Biology (other exams were handled differently), the students will be tested in their usual classroom with their usual teacher. Odd hours (1,3,5 and 7) will take the multiple choice portion on Tuesday (27th) and the performance event on Thursday (29th). Even hours (2,4 and 6) will take the multiple choice on Wednesday (28th) and the performance event on Friday (30th).

These exams are important for everyone involved — the students (10% of their semester grade), teachers, administrators and the school district as a whole. We feel like the students are well-prepared and will perform well on the test — we’ll soon see if we’re right.

Please encourage your students to rest well on the nights preceding testing and to have an alert, confident and aggressive approach toward the exam.

***(updated 3/31)*** 3/29 to 4/1 Biology homework/classwork

Three weeks until the Biology EOC exam. We will spend our time between now and then studying ecology (Ch. 3, 4, 5 and 6) and reviewing.

mon 29
read ch. 3 in text
answers chapter review questions 1-25 (pg. 83)
answer standardized test prep questions 1-7 (pg. 85)

tues 30
Ch. 3-1 and 3-2 powerpoint
ch. 3-1&2 09
notes handout
3-1 and 3-2 notes handout 09

wed 31
EOC event

thur 1
chapter 3 vocabulary quiz (32 words)
3-3 ppt. lecture
3-3 Biogeochemical Cycle 10
3-3 notes handout
3-3 notes handout 2010