Sunday, April 18, 2010

Southwest Cooking!

We had a great day today! This morning Sully went on a bike ride and I took NJ on a run. Sully has been on a strict biking routine and I felt the need to run before we spent the rest of the day at cooking class. Today's class was a Southwest theme and it was fun!

We probably made eight different recipes from chili rellenos, and flour tortillas, to a great vegetarian white bean soup. We even made a delicious dessert "taco" which was a crepe filled with bananas, brown sugar, and lots of butter! Needless to say, the dessert taco was my favorite part of the day.

Here are a few pictures from the class. Enjoy!

Notice the plastic glove...I cut my finger, and it wouldn't stop bleeding!

Open faced quesadillas with roasted red pepper and poblano chili.

Sully, smiling and peeling a poblano.

Sully's favorite part of the class, flour tortillas.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A few more from the weekend!

Waiting for dinner in Portland.

Walking out of the State Park.

Cute shot of Benny, by Kevin.


We had a great Easter weekend at Scott and Melia's in Maine. The weather was unseasonably warm and we took full advantage!

Dying Easter eggs.

Sage, after taking a little dip in the cold lake!

Benny and Melia, getting ready for a future in the circus!

Walking and riding into the State Park.

Never to old to play...

Individualized Education

As many of you may know, my classroom is an alternative education class NOT a special education class, even though well over half of my students are diagnosed as emotionally disturbed/special ed. And, to be perfectly honest, the other half of them should be diagnosed as well... What this basically means is that I get very few extra resources (help from aides) in my class, since my class is a "regular ed" class... This also means that I have to spend many hours collecting data about my special ed students and going to many, long and most times uncomfortable IEP meetings. These meetings are mandated by law and must happen on a regular basis.

Lately, the IEP meetings have been rather entertaining.. One of my more tortured students threw her math book in the trash can and told us what she really thought of math. Another meeting ended with a mother daughter team running, yelling, and crying out of the building.

Anyway, on Friday when I saw that I would have to attend yet another IEP meeting, I secretly hoped that the parent wouldn't show, so that I could spend some time grading. In the end I was glad that both student and parent showed up, because the meeting provided a great setting for the conversation of the day.

Me- "You're going to be 18 soon, what do you want to do when you finish high school?"
Student- (Spoken in a very serious tone) "Well, you guys are probably going to laugh at me."
Me- "No, you always have great ideas."
Student- "Well, all my life all I've ever wanted to do is be a pro wrestler. But not the kind in the Olympics, the kind like on WWE."
Me- (trying as hard as I can, not to look at the other teacher who's trying not to laugh) "Wow, I bet you'd be really good at that."
Student's Mother- "Yeah, it's all he's ever wanted to do, we watch wrestling all the time."
Student-(spoken with big smile) "I've been practicing all my life."

There you have it, I'm not only shaping academic minds, but I'm also teaching future Pro Wrestlers. My mom would be so proud....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Best Overheard Conversation of the Day

This conversation happened between my co-teacher and a student who was trying to leave my reading class. *edited for a PG rating

Teacher- "Why are you always so antsy at this time of the day?"
Student- "I'm not antsy, I just want to go home."
Teacher- "I'm going to ask you a serious question. Seems like the pot you smoke in the morning wears off everyday at about this time, is that true?"
Student- "Who told you I smoke in the morning?
Teacher- "Well do you?"
Student- "Yes, not as much as I want to though."

That's the extent of the conversation I heard.... I never thought I'd be able to read a book out loud while simultaneously ease dropping on a conversation happening across the room. Oh the skills I'm learning from this job.

A Day in the Life...

After a tumultuous week of school, today we had a well needed break.
In the morning I gathered my class for a "team" meeting, where I thought we should address some classroom climate issues. I usually like to start things like this off with the question: What's working in our classroom? Today I had to dig pretty deep to list some things that work most of the time. I stretched a little and talked about how I've noticed an increased amount of teamwork and helping each other out with schoolwork. After we made a small (but meaningful) list of the things that are working in class I moved on to the more uncomfortable topic of: What's not working? Fearing the worst I geared myself up to hear how I am a horrible teacher and how much they wish I was male (My class of mostly boys really crave a positive male roll model). I was quite surprised when one of the kids eagerly raised his hand and said "Ms. Fuller, Mavis Beacon's just not working!" The whole class agreed that our typing program is just not cutting it. And they're right, Mavis Beacon sucks.

When I asked what else wasn't working I heard nothing but the sound of crickets. It is quite possible that my students don't realize that throwing tantrums in the middle of class, and throwing pencils (and chairs) at the math teacher are not acceptable behaviors for 14-18 year olds. Strange. Anyway, luckily we had this discussion, now I'm sure all our classroom strife will be solved....

Conversation of the Day-
Student-"Ms. Fuller, you look like a cop."
Me- "Really? I've never seen a cop wear high heals and a dress. Seems like it would be hard to chase criminals."
Student- "No, not that kind of cop, a lady cop."
Me- "Huh?"
Student- "Come on Ms. Fuller, haven't you ever seen SVU Miami?"
Me- "No."
Student- "All the lady cops wear dresses like that, you know, the detectives on the murder scenes."
Me-" Hmmm, If I were a cop I wouldn't want to get blood on this dress."