Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's the end of the year as we know it

Here is our end-of-the-year schedule at Simeon.

Wednesday June 1                   Final exams for seniors*
Friday June 3                            Grades due for seniors
Mon June 6- Wed June 8         Seniors are supposed to report to 1st – 3rd periods, then go to graduation practice from - 2
Wednesday June 8                   Final exams for all other students
Friday June 10                          Grades due for all other students
Friday June 10                          Prom - seniors
Monday June 13                       School for all students
Tuesday June 14                       School for all students & graduation (seniors) at night
Wednesday June 15                 School for freshmen – juniors (originally a teacher institute day, changed to student attendance day to make up for a snow day)
Thursday June 16                     Teacher institute day
Friday June 17                          Pick up report cards

*I have seniors mixed into all my classes, so all my students completed a final in my class on June 1.

Please notice that students are supposed to attend school for 6 days after their final grades go in.  What a waste.  This is a good example of why the people who decide things like when to have days of student attendance should not be people with no previous experience in a school building.  Because if anybody who works in the infamous “downtown” was making up the schedule, they would add those 6 days on earlier in the year.  The would know that putting them after finals gives students a reason not to come to school, gives no opportunity to “celebrate” at the end of the school year, wastes 6 days of potential academic instruction, and increases the number of “behavior” problems (fights, pranks, etc…). 

Over the past 10 days or so, attendance has gradually dwindled.  Today, I had the following numbers:
1st period – 1 out of 29
3rd period – 0 out of 56 (seniors)
4th period – 10 out of 49
6th period – 8 out of 43
8th period – TBD J

What have I been doing for 7 hours a day these past couple weeks you wonder? 

Grading final exams (until grades were due)
Creating piano and voice lesson advertisements for private studio
Looking for apartments
Reading lots of blogs
G-chatting with my brother
Looking for jobs in Lincoln
Getting latte's and doing target-runs on lunch period
Writing rec letters for students' summer jobs
Cleaning classroom and packing up my stuff
Chatting with students about summer, prom, etc...
Organizing resources I created this year for teaching
Working on our home budget
Pizza party with 8th period!

Let me just say that I did EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF that was school related before I started doing personal stuff, but I just ran out of stuff to do for work... 
Maybe if the people downtown knew what they were paying teachers to do these last 2 weeks, they would rework the schedule.

In closing, I heard the following announcement over the intercom yesterday in the middle of 6th period (name changed): "Ms. Williams, please return to your classroom.  There are students waiting for you and you are supposed to be in your 6th period classroom."  [You should know that Ms. Williams was suspended earlier this year for sleeping in class.]

Signing off from the almost-end-of-my-first-year-in-CPS,

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