Safety at Work

Last night I was in my Friday night coma when I turned to PBS.  The program that happened to be on was NOW.  The topic this week was titled, “Is Your Daughter Safe at Work?” It was about how teen age girls get sexually harassed in their workplaces.  One of the startling statistics estimates that 200,000 teens are assaulted on the job each year.  The program is really worth watching.

The reason why this caught my attention is because a student in my homeroom was telling me about her job earlier in the day.  She works at a dry cleaners.  Apparently the night before some guy had come in to pick up a comforter that he had cleaned.  It cost $20.  As he was getting the comforter from my student, he made some comment about how if he was going to pay $20 to get the comforter cleaned that he better have her under it the next time.  I don’t remember exactly what the student said in response, but she handled herself well.

This is another thing that we need to teach our girls.  How to handle men that make inappropriate comments.  Many teen girls lack the self confidence to say anything.  When it first happens to you, I think you’re just shocked and don’t know what to do.  But if you’ve talked with someone about it, you at least have an idea of what you can do or say.  Some of the companies now have training on identifying sexual harassment and what to do if it happens to you.  That’s one improvement.  But it’s just barely scratching the surface.

And so grows the list of topics to teach that don’t have anything to do with math…

Sometimes they’re sweet.

Student: Did ya do anything special with yo husband fo Valentine’s Ms B?

Me: No.  I don’t have a husband.

Student: What?!?  I thought you were married.

Me: Nope.  Free as a bird.

Student: That’s a shame.

Me: Why?

Student: Cuz yo beautiful.

Sometimes they can really make your day.

Quiet Day

It’s a quiet day today.  Literally.  During my yoga class I could feel it coming on.  When I woke up on Thursday my voice was half gone.  On Friday it was mostly gone.  I tried not to talk much.  I gave a test in my Algebra 1 class and my other two were doing a lab, so I didn’t have to do much teaching.  I had a student stay after for help on Friday afternoon.  I’m sure it was kind of odd to be whispering directions. But I think it had a calming affect on this particular student.

So now it’s Saturday of a three day weekend.  Thank God!  I don’t have to speak for 3 full days!  Hopefully if I just take it easy I’ll be back to normal sooner than later.  Maybe I’ll actually have time to blog.  😉

My Tech Guru

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m part of the high school technology initiative this year.  We get a MacBook and an LCD projector and we learn to integrate technology into our classrooms.  Part of the program is a personal technology coach.

Today I had a meeting with my tech guru.  There is so much technology and so many cool things that can be done.  Today the guru had found some cool sites for me to use in my math classes and he also showed me a way to use the resources provided by the textbook publisher that are otherwise cumbersome.  I learned more about how to update my school web page and load photos to the math team page and a few other things to play around with.

There are so many possibilities for adding cool things to your lessons.  But the problem is that there is hardly any time to REALLY get it worked out so you can use it effectively.  Teaching isn’t like a job where you have weeks to prepare an hour long presentation.  You get about an hour a day to plan 3 hours worth of presentations.  Plus, you need to get all of the materials, copies, do grading, check with a counselor on a kid,  etc. all done in that time too.  Most of us stay late, work at home or both to stay on top of it all.  I’m not even mentioning all of the new initiatives that are handed down and making sure you teach everything so you keep up with NCLB…

I’m not sure how this post morphed into something about teacher workload.  But while I’m on the topic… What do you think is an ideal teacher workload?  It seems to be getting larger and larger every year and with the current economic situation I don’t see it getting any better.  At some point we’ll all hit the breaking point.  I’m afraid it may be sooner than later…

The Benefit of the Doubt

After my 4th hour class yesterday I realized that I was missing one of my calculators.  Over the course of several years I’m proud to say that my set of calculators is relatively intact.  I like to tell myself that my students like me well enough NOT to steal from me.  So today when I got to my 4th hour class, I made an announcement at the beginning of class.

Hey you guys…  I noticed yesterday that one of my calculators was missing after this class.  I know it’s easy to accidentally put it in your bag and take it with you.  So if that’s you, just put it back in the box when you leave class today.

End of class?  The set is intact.