siempre a las carreras

I made it throught my first FULL year as a bilingual teacher with no injuries and/or lawsuits and I'm still somewhat sane and have a job for next year! Go me!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Don't get me started...

During the training, I've met a lot of teachers who are in the alternative certification program. Basically they've gone through the courses of the teacher prep program in six months, then they get a classroom and keep going to seminars during the school year. They were from all over the U.S., Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, etc. and many of them were teachers there. Some of them were in other professions and now want to teach. I don't care if you go through a university program or alternative certification, as long as you WANT to teach and KNOW what you're doing.
I asked a guy in my group what he did before and he said he was a nurse. I asked why he changed professions and he said that he's from the Caribbean and doesn't "have papers." Since everyone in the program hired from another country gets a work visa, that'll make it faster for him to establish residency. After he said this, THEN he says, "Oh, and I like teaching little ones." I'm sorry, but that totally got under my skin. It got me wondering how many people are there for other reasons - getting your "papers," having summers off (mostly), b/c it was an "easy" major in college or whatever. I really don't think those should be the reasons you go into teaching b/c you're not only affecting yourself, but also a bunch of little ones. Maybe you can have those be your reasons and still be a good teacher.Hmmm... I sure hope so.
After the session started, our instructor asked if someone could give an example of a learning disability. So, a future BILINGUAL teacher says,"like when they don't speak English?" WTF?!? I'm all for participation and taking a guess, but she's a bilingual teacher! That should've NEVER have been her guess. Yes, I said NEVER. Her mouth is a disability.

A couple of tips y si tienen más, pues share :)

At least I got a couple of things from the training sessions...I think that's the idea..

Instead of raising hands during independent work:
1) Set an open book upright on the cornder of the desk.
2) Make a flap or triangular prism to tape on the edge of the desk that the kids can flip over on top of the desk when they need help.
I liked this b/c the kids can keep woking while they wait for you come over and you don't have a bunch of waving hands and "miss, miss, miss." The instructor had us hold our hands up for 30 secs and it starts hurting after about 15, so imagine our little ones :)

Also, you should have an TA available. Not all day like they do in pre-k and some k, but usually at least one per grade level that you sort of share. They can provide some extra help with a student or group of SS or if you have to do some testing. It never hurts to ask.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

PDAS sux!!!

I had to sit through the Professional Development Appraisal System training ALL DAY!
It's a state mandated eval system and we HAVE to sit through it. I'm at a new district so I have to go through the new teacher academy and this is part of it. I do want to do the new teacher academy b/c I didn't get a chance to with my old district. HOWEVER, one of the trainings I DID get at my old district was PDAS! I just went over all this crap in MARCH! It was just as boring then. So this is what I realized after this very wasted day while I was falling asleep and daydreaming (nothing to do with school):

1. My feet look horrible! Chancla season has taken a toll on them and I need a pedi.
2. My press-on nails (thanks C) look pretty good. They've improved since I was little when they would fall off as soon as you touched anything. (and a bargain at $5)
3. Seeing the lights on the ceiling dance and blur is a sign that you are falling asleep.
4. Always take a sweater to school in July in Texas b/c school districts like to keep you awake by freezing you to death inside when it's 110 degrees outside.
5. My worst realization today: I will have to wear panty hose if I wear a skirt to school b/c they are implementing a new dress code. NOOOOOOOO!!!!! (guys must wear ties :p).

Oh yeah, we have to dress business casual starting tomorrow as if we were teaching, even if it's just us and we're just sitting there for training.

I hope it's better tomorrow. Probably not, but I can hope.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Am I the only one NOT reading Harry Potter?

Apparently so :p But there is so much mindless TV to watch before I go back to school and can't do that anymore:) I never get tired of the home shopping network. They have some of the most hideous clother EVER. They still sell tapered pants and a bunch of clothes with fruit appliqués. WTF! Suzanne Somers sells un poquito de todo...from food to clothes to appliances. What about all the cooking, decorating, makeover and who's-my-baby's-daddy? shows? There's just too much to watch. Then there's the good ol' Law and Order and telenovelas. It's baseball season, players with nice butts. Of course I admire their skills, too (My poor Pudge hasn't had the best season, but oh well) :p Then there's the internet. It supplements my information from People and US.

Don't I sound like a fine example for my students? I actually do other stuff besides reading gossip mags. I've read only one book this summer, but I like reading newspapers a lot. El Universal, Reforma, a.m. León and La Crónica de hoy have good online versions. I'm trying to keep up the Spanish and keep informed at the same time :) I don't know how to link stuff, sorry (I tried linking stuff/people before but it didn't work, so I'll try again sometime). I get to see the familia and have dinner with them often :) I get to help my abuelita with trips to the doctor so my mom doesn't have to take the day off. So who cares that I haven't read tons of books or worked this summer (aside from sporadic tutoring and babysitting). I'm savoring these last few days before the chaos starts :)

Come to think of it...I have been doing plenty.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Es casi igual

I looked up info about certification to teach in Mex. It looks similar to what we have, recommendations and tests to take. I guess my cousin has some sort of different teaching permit or maybe it's an interim one like you would get here if you had a degree in something else and were completing a cert. program at the same time. If she does have full teacher certification, then it makes no sense for her to be making so little money.

A sub that I had in my class this past semester told me that she used to live in Australia and she was a sub down there. She said they get paid really well. She had a nice apt. near the beach and everything. Then, she moved back here and was shocked at how little subs make and could barely make ends meet.

I need to go to bed or I'll keep looking up all this stuff.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Ya casi se llega la hora

It's almost time to go back to school! YIKES! I have to report for the new teacher academy at the end of this month. It's kinda scary but very exciting. I hope it's not as boring as my friend's staff dev. crap. I'm scared it might be even worse since many of the teachers will have no classroom experience besides student teaching...OR... I can be hopeful that stuff will still be fresh in their minds since they were going over all this a few months ago. We'll see. I still have to read through the insurance stuff and sign up for that. I can't say I know much about that stuff considering I haven't had health insurance since I was like 11...and that was under my parents. This is scary grown up stuff :)

My parents got back from México a week ago. They went to check on my paternal abuelito y a jalarle las orejas. He gets sad and drinks. It's a long, depressing story, but mainly he's been very lonely since my tío, who lived with him, passed away in December. The good thing is that my tía had already petitioned to bring him over here and they're just waiting for the appointment in Juárez. In the meantime, we just call him often to check on him.

Wanna hear something really sad? Teachers in México make crap money. Shocking, I know. My mom said that a cousin (actually I don't know how related we are, but we're some sort of distant cousins)...anyways...she is a teacher and she makes like 1800 pesos a month. That's only about $180 dollars. And she works on Saturdays, too. Earning 1800 pesos there is not like making $1800 dollars here. A soda is about 4 pesos...a soda here is NOT $4 dollars! The thing that I don't understand is how you become a teacher in México. Supposedly she's had a certificate to teach for about a year, but she's only 21 b/c you start in preparatoria or something. I don't believe she went to a college or university. It's not that easy to go to a college or university either b/c Fox y los bancos aren't exactly lining up to give you a loan like they are here. Claro, que si tienes dinero, en dondequiera entras. Anyways. I guess if she had gone to a uni. maybe she'd be making more money. I'm actually curious now. I'm going to go look that up right now.

Oh yeah, I will not complain about how little money we make anymore :)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Awww...I'm a pretty teacher :)

My cousins saw my class picture and one of them says, "You're a pretty teacher." How cool! That just made my day. My tía still says she feels weird thinking of me as a teacher with a class and parents calling me "maestra" b/c I'm still Lupita to them (nickname comes from my middle name). A while back, my cousin says, "Man, it's so dumb. My bf has this aunt who's like 50 and they call her Tía Lupita." Then as soon as she says that, we both look at each other and laughed. She tried to fix it and said that with me it was different with me b/c the name suits me. LOL Of course it suits me better...we're related.

Monday, July 04, 2005

It wasn't so bad :)

I was so yucked out about sleeping with the dog yesterday, but wasn't so bad, since when I sleep, I'm dead to the world. I only woke up a couple of times to the jingling of his collar and when I could feel him getting closer to my face, so I would just turn around or nudge him to move and he did. He's a pretty cool dog and obedient if you ask me :) You know how you have certain things that you just think are going to freak you out? Well, sharing the bed with pets was one of them for me. Now, at least I'm over that. It doesn't mean I'm just going to run out and get a pet, but at least now I know that it's not as bad as I thought and I get to share the bed again tonight :p Laterz.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Yuck... I'm about to sleep with a dog!

We're visiting my bf's family and a friend of ours came as well. My bf, being the gentleman that he is, gave me and our friend (she's a girl) the spare bed and he's going to the couch. Here's the friend brought her dog as well and he's on the bed :( I like animals, but I don't like having pets b/c I don't like cleaning up after them or smelling like dog breath when they lick you. My friend already fell asleep and the dog is next to her. I can't put the dog in the other room b/c he'll cry and wake up the family dog and it'll be barking all night! I know this would happen b/c we've had to separate them all day. Maybe I'll go join my bf on the couch...hmmmm.

Disclaimer: I LIKE animals, and I know that pets become family and all that. I'll be around them and pet them, but I don't like them all over me.