They say a messy desk is a sign of intelligence.

November 6, 2007 at 9:52 pm 1 comment

And if that’s true, I’m a total genius.

I can see about two square feet of my desk. The rest of it is covered in books, paper, pens, miniature clocks with movable hands, etc. And it’s not even in piles – it’s just tossed on my desk like some sort of typhoon moved through.

I have wanted to write a new post for about a month, but I have a lot going on that the rest of the world doesn’t really need to know about. Some things have happened in my family that are distracting me right now. Perhaps I’ll be able to share more at some point.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I gave my Government students my very first attempt at a layered curriculum. It worked well for some; most of them, however, accomplished very little. I had to have the “No, you cannot turn it in tomorrow; I’ve already extended your deadline; next time you’ll have to work on it rather than goof off” chat with more than a few.  I am not sure what they thought would happen if they didn’t do the assignments…. I’ve decided that because they’re seniors and because we’re turning them loose on the world in eight months, I’m really doing them a disservice if I let them get away with not doing anything. I’m not afraid to keep them in high school an extra semester – or even an extra year – if it helps them be better prepared for life and the demands of a boss in the long run.

But I still hate telling them “no.” I have to get over that. I have to be okay with them failing when it’s legitimate. It’s something I go back and forth on – especially when their sweet little faces are practically begging me to take a paper. Sometimes it’s easy. But sometimes, like last week, it counts for a major grade and their lack of effort is going to cause them to fail. They have to participate if they want to graduate, and I need to figure out what I can do to make them want to participate.

Around the same time in AP Government, we had a “class debate” about the Electoral College.  I say “class debate” because really, it was more of a one-sided conversation by one student and the rest of the kids just sort of let this particular student dominate.  I tried to involve them as best as I could, but it just wasn’t happening.  I ended up asking a pro from down the hall to come speak during our next class about the need for the Electoral College today and enjoyed his lecture very much.  I was impressed that my kids asked him a lot of good questions, but I’m left wondering why they don’t ask me questions….

Generally, I feel I’m in a bit of a rut right now and I need help digging myself out.

On the plus side, I started another layered unit with my Government students late last week – only this time, I didn’t tell them!  I’m just giving them the assignments one by one, and when they finish the C Layer (as early as next class), I’ll surprise them with the news.  I made sure to put some really fun activities in the A Layer and some interesting (but less fun) activities in the B Layer to encourage them to work for a higher goal.  We’ll see how it goes.

Went to my best friend’s wedding over the weekend and it was fabulous.  She’s on her honeymoon now – which is why I suddenly find myself with time to blog. 🙂

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

A List, Thursday-Style Second verse, (almost) same as the first…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Brian  |  November 9, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Sarah it’s Brian, I read your Blog; it’s fascinating. Hahahaha brings me back to high school from a perspective I never knew. Not to mention, hearing about your work reminds me how brilliant you are, which you are always too modest about. So…high five to coolest sister-in-law ever, even if I had 38 polygamist brothers.

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