Mi PDAS es mañana

For those of you who teach, you know what I’m talking about right? For those of you that don’t, it’s that observation for which your teacher told you she’d give you candy and name her first born after you if you were the most darling kid ever when the principal or assistant principal was in the room.

As I was in my room planning for tomorrow, I could hardly sit still. I want things to be perfect.

I’m not necessarily worried about my students. They’re actually the least of my worries. They know exactly how to behave. I’m just worried we won’t have time for all the activities we have planned. I’m doing it first period, so at least I’ll get it out of the way really early. I’m sure tomorrow morning, once that 8:15 am bell rings, I’ll be in do or die mode.


Two Day in the Making

It’s weird being off for an entire week. Friday when I left work, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to enjoy my week off. Now that it’s Monday, I sort of wish I had something to do. Of course, I could grade papers or clean the apartment, but what fun is that?

Anyway, we didn’t end up getting Alex, the hairless feline. Instead, we got Bandit who looks a lot like the little cat from Pinocchio. We picked him up on Wednesday night and he didn’t allow us to pet him until Saturday night. It seems that he reverts every morning and only wants to be petted at night. At least we’ve made some progress.


That was written yesterday. I managed to do some cleaning yesterday, but the place still isn’t up to snuff according to me. I still haven’t graded papers. I tried to this morning, but then MTV has that damn Real World marathon. Plus, I have to fit in some Ellen time. I LOVE Ellen, so I can’t go the entire week without at least having watched her show once.

I’m sure I’ll get on the ball a little later. That’s how it happened yesterday. One thing I do not like is that I’ve been waking up later and later everyday. That’s not good because when it comes time to go back to work, waking up will be a pain in the butt. I have something to do tomorrow so I’ll attempt the waking up at 6:00 AM.

I’ve been aching to sit and write, but every time that I do, I don’t know what to write about. That’s why I haven’t updated in so long. I know the cure for it is to put away all the damn laundry, create a new play list, grab a nice pen, a notebook, open up a word document, and lay down on my bed and get to work. I’m tempted to load up the old MP3 player and head out to Barnes and Noble and take up some space.

Part of me feels that all these changes in my life have really affected me. I’ve gone through significant change and well, it takes a little time for me to deal and move on.

I’ve been sitting here for a while listening to some tunes, playing collapse and thinking. I’m not exactly sure that I’m happy. I mean, my students bring me great joy. They’re awesome, but it’s such a pain in the ass to comply with all these state regulations. I’m fully capable of complying, but do they make me happy? Then there’s the other part of me that wants to go to grad school and have the kind of job that doesn’t force me to be at my workplace no later than 7:50 AM or 9:00 AM because I can stay later to make up the time or get the job done.

I guess the thing I miss the most are Chai Lattes from Diedrich’s and leaving the E. Cullen Performance hall just as the sun started to set during this time of year. The air was crisp and there was just enough light for sunglasses. I miss the ten minute drive to Montrose to poke around Cactus Music and Videos or the Half Price Bookstore.

But I really miss producing readable pieces, but I know the solution to that. So I’m off to clear the clothes off the floor, take the garbage out, and come up with a new play list that will hopefully help inspire me.


Buenas noticias

I know I haven’t written in a while. Things have been a little busy. Lesson plans were due, the upcoming field trip, and well, I’ve been having a lot of fun in the classroom.

Last week was a great week. Sometime during mid-week, my first period class’ enrollment dropped from 20 to 17. I was left with all the kids that want to be there. They are the ones that ask for time to read. The dynamics are awesome. The give me hope for the rest of the day.

Last week was also when we began teacher rotations. Basically, that means that I go teach someone else’s class for half of our block period. It was really cool. By next Thursday, I’ll have officially taught all the regular ed. sixth graders. After the first rotation, I returned to my first and second period class and the first thing out of my kids' mouths was, “How were they?”

“They were okay,” I replied, “I still like you guys better.”

It’s funny how they become so possessive. If you’re out for a day, when you come back, you’re always faced with, “Where were you Ms?”

Friday, after the final bell rang for the day, I had two of my morning kiddos stop by and say goodbye. I know I’m on some kind of high and I’ll probably come crashing down next week because the kids will be so excited about the field trip, but it’s still nice. I was talking to another new teacher the other day and she was telling me about how her kids put on cooking shows. They had to present them. During the presentations, one of them said her special guest was Bow-Wow. And the teacher was thinking, "What the heck? What are they gonna do for that?" So the kid presenting with the girl started rapping and another kept the beat by tapping his pencil on the desk. It’s moments like that that make it all worth it.

In other news, Tuesday night, I finally got the call I’d been waiting for. It was about 10:30 pm and I was passed out. Somewhere between my snoring and the television, I heard my phone ring. I managed to see "Jorge" flashing on the screen and push the talk button. On the other end of the line I heard a familiar voice saying, “Ya.”



“Ya. She had the baby?”

“Yeah, they took her out about half an hour ago.”

I don’t know what else I said, but I vividly remember my brother saying, “Esta bien greñuda y gordilla.”

I laid in bed for about five minutes wanting to get up and jump with joy. I wanted to run out of the house in my pj’s and drive straight to El Paso to see her. I really can’t wait to meet her. According to my mom, she smiles a lot. I guess we already have something in common because I’ll be doing that for her a lot too.

And so it seems that all the important phone calls come when I’m sleeping because today after my training, Dan the Man demanded I take my cranky ass to bed and take a nap. As I was dreaming about having a fit worthy of an Oscar in The Limited (why there? I have no idea), the vibration of my cell phone could be heard against my dresser. I let it ring because I was trying to wake up. It was my sister. When I called her back, she told me that there was a hairless cat at the Pet’s Mart near her house.

I’ve wanted a pet for a while, specifically a cat but well someone’s allergies are in the way. He’s mostly allergic to long hair cats, but still. Last week, I almost brought one home. She was cute as heck. So anyway, we’re going to check out the hairless cat today. He’s four years old. He’s had a rough life, but that hasn’t phased him one bit, he still loved being around people. In fact, he loves people so much that he hurts himself when he’s not around them.


Small Victories

Thursday morning, an excited M. ran up to me as soon as the bell had rung for the day to begin. “Ms! Ms! Here, it’s from S.” she said as she handed me a folded piece of notebook paper.

Since about the first couple weeks of school, S. and I have been writing notes to each other. I ask her about stuff we can’t really talk about in class like how she got the black eye and she’ll tell my why she was gone for three days consecutive days. “Are you gonna write her back? ‘Cause I can give it to her,” said M.

I was about to reply to M. but saw S. coming up the stairs. She was supposed to be going to ISC and but I guess she didn’t think M. would get the note to me. She told me she couldn’t do her test because the music they play in there wouldn’t allow her to concentrate and that she didn’t understand the vocabulary assignment. I told her I’d go out to see her during my conference time, but that she had to hurry up and get to ISC so she wouldn’t get in more trouble.

Later that day, as promised, I went to ISC and I explained her vocabulary assignment. Via e-mail, I got in touch with the ISC warden and asked her if it’d be possible to get her out of there during my conference periods to come work on the test in my class. She said it was fine with her, but I had to have permission from the AP. Around 5th period, I finally go the okay.

She came and worked in my class 6th period Thursday and 3rd period Friday. I told her I couldn’t pull her out Friday afternoon because I had a meeting that I couldn’t miss. She was halfway through the test, so I told her to just bubble in the answers and that we’d go with that. When she was getting ready to go back, I gave her a card, her report card and some other homeroom stuff. In the card, I told her I was very proud of her for asking for help instead of simply not doing the work.

That afternoon, I went to check my box before my meeting and I found her test packet. I quickly looked to see if she’d bubbled in her answers and I saw that she had bubbled in up to #42, the last question on the test. I looked through the test and saw she had finished it.

S. is one of those kids that can easily slip through the cracks. I know I haven’t let her in my class. I hope the others do the same for her. I don’t consider this a small victory, but in the context of the other 63 students I have, it is.


Día de los Muertos, not celebrated, but my deceased are not forgotten

I so wanted to do a lesson on el Día de los Muertos at la escuelita, but I didn’t because I thought about it too late and in any case, my kiddos are stuck taking the Pre-TAKS exam. I have two kids going on day three of this thing. It just about killed me today. I was dying to do the awesome La Llorona compare and contrast lesson I had planned. Also, my ATCP facilitator didn’t get to see much on my observation except me handing out piles of books to kids and keeping them quiet so that the others could finish their exams.

This is the second year I’ve done squat on el Día de los Muertos. Two years ago, the same year my jefito passed on, the Modern and Classical Languages Dept. at UH got together and set up this awesome altar for the dead. I was flying out to El Chuco for the Halloween festivities, but the day of, I was helping them set it up. The end product was awesome. I have dreams of doing that in my classroom. Next year I will, for sure.

I believe I’m on the verge of catching a cold. Or actually, I think I’m on the verge of a cold taking over. Oh whatever. My throat feels funny and my head hurts. I’ve started the Vitamin C and Zinc regime and I’m hoping it doesn’t really hit until the weekend. I hate, and I mean hate, being out of my class. My mentor tells me that a sign of a good teacher.

Not much else is going on. I went to the Randall’s near my house today and it was creepy. Apparently, their high prices have finally caught up to them, so they’re closing a bunch in the area and the one I went to is one of them. It was odd seeing shelves so empty. I did score groceries for 30% off.

Oh, you know that kid that got a ticket for disrupting my class? He’s moving schools. He’s been gone for the last two weeks and it’s been so . . . nice. And this other kid I have, his best friend, he threatened to slap a teacher. Everyone was coming up to me and asking if I was the one he threatened to slap. The funny thing is that this kid doesn’t have beef with me. Even though I’ve sent him to the office a couple times, we’re cool.

Finally, yesterday, Dr. Full of Herself gave me and my partner our grade on the presentation we had to do over a chapter in the text and here’s what she said, “Mmm, a perfect score. Good job. You know, I haven’t given a perfect score in so long that I had no idea what to comment on.”

Heh. I guess it’s good cuz we got all the points for that presentation. Anyway, I’ll write more later. Hopefully, tomorrow I get to do the La Llorona activity so I can tell you all about it. Ciao.