Day 40: October 10, 2016
Mondays don’t get much sweeter than working research and writing periods. As we draw near to the end of the first quarter I provided time in both of my classes today to conduct research for debates in history and for writing a personal narrative in English. My school has purchased a program called Vantage Writing. It’s an online writing tool that provides students feedback on their writing skills. So in English we took advantage of computer time and began to type out our second drafts into the Vantage Writing program for scoring.
Just because the students were working independently from bell to bell all day doesn’t mean I was positioned at my desk grading papers. I made sure to be visible throughout the period and walked around to assist and answer questions. It definitely is not an “easy day” to book the mobile lab. Sometimes solving computer issues is just as taxing as presenting lessons every period.
I was dressed for Monday success today in my hounds-tooth pencil skirt from The Limited, opaque tights and sweater from Old Navy, scarf from Target, and black slouch boots. Friday is the end of the quarter so it will be a scramble to get everything done before that point, but I’m ready to buckle down, teach, and grade whatever comes my way this week!
Day 41: October 11, 2016
After a productive day of writing and researching alongside my students I couldn’t help but have a positive outlook on my classroom practices. After school I sat through a few teacher meetings which both encouraged me and challenged me as a teacher.
One thing I am very weary of is the trend toward state test driven curriculum. No matter how hard they push these state tests in Ohio I am refusing to base my ENTIRE curriculum on testing. Yes, they are high stakes. Yes, they are a large part of my evaluation. No, it is not the only thing that matters about education. There are so many things in my content and curriculum that will never be measured by a test, and when I sit through meetings about the importance of said tests I find myself having to constantly remember that I didn’t become a teacher so I could spend months on “test prep.”
From one lens it’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of teaching. When we are handed performance based evaluations it really gives the message that tests should be our focus. From the other lens it’s glaringly obvious that this system is flawed. Education is so much more than getting a kid to score “above-proficient” on a test. It’s about helping students grow in their skills and knowledge. Many of the things that are important to being a good teacher can never be quantified on a test analysis. This is something I hope I keep on the forefront of my mind this year. I plan to give several opportunities to prepare my students to do well on state tests, but I refuse to turn my curriculum into a test-prep course.
All ranting aside, I felt productive and comfortable in my outfit today. My top is from Stitch Fix. I’m so in love with plaid this season it’s unreal.
Day 42: October 12, 2016
This was my last Parent-Teacher Conference day for the fall. Twelve hour work days are the hardest, but when kept in the right perspective they can be very necessary. I met with three families during my extended work day and all of those meetings resulted in positive steps to be taken to help their child succeed in my class. Getting face-to-face time with parents is so valuable. If I didn’t have so many students I would call and meet with every family at least once before the middle of the year. You learn so much about a student by meeting their families and sometimes information comes to the surface that can really benefit the teacher.
I really mixed up my ensemble today. I went with a mix between bold color and patterns. My navy and white tunic-dress is from Dorothy Perkins in England. My sweater was a gift from Rue21. I paired these two with pair of coral jeggings and faux leather boots from Charlotte Russe.
Day 43: October 13, 2016
Debates kicked off this morning in my Honors World History classes. I’m planning to share a little about these in a later post. It’s really a fun way for students to demonstrate their understanding of content, methods of research, and public speaking skills. I used a modified team debate format due to the length of class periods. Each argument is based on an Enlightenment idea as this activity serves as a formative assessment for this unit of study.
For the most part, students were well-prepared and exceeded my expectations. They came armed with a wealth of information and performed well on constructive arguments and rebuttals.
I wore a sweater tunic that my husband bought for me last year at Meijer. It is so comfortable and one of my favorite cold-weather tops. Underneath the tunic I wore my brand new black OS Lula Roe leggings. Solid colors are hard to come by so as soon as these leggings became available I snatched them. They are the closest thing to wearing comfy pajamas to work. I cannot say enough how much I love Lula Roe leggings.
Day 44: October 14, 2016
The final day of the first quarter has arrived. You could find me in my room today buried beneath a stack of late work, grades, and items that required attention. Wrapping up a quarter is always difficult and involves so much grading and finalizing on a teacher’s part. With the sounding of the final bell today came a feeling of relief. The end to the madness of overdue assignments is now done. I can sit in my little corner of the world and finish grading without distraction.
I’m wearing a boyfriend tank from Old Navy, a plaid shirt from Stitch Fix and my Just Black skinny jeans from Stitch Fix.
A lot has happened this week and I’m absolutely beyond exhausted, but when all is said and done I’m pleased with my efforts and my students’ first quarter and I look forward to another three quarters this year!
Here’s another snapshot of my outfits this week. Which one is your favorite?
The Ameri Brit Mom