Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What I did on my summer vacation.

Well I thought it would be important for me to write what I did on my summer vacation before the first day of school. The most important thing I did, if you read my previous post was to finish my BTSA! Yahoo! (and I don't mean the web-site)

Summer was my maintenance time. I went to the dentist. I went to see my podiatrist for a "Toe Problem". This turned into a month long "sitting in bed with my foot up" ordeal. Then just for fun (thats sarcasm) I also sprained my wrist. I did it on July 3rd. I was in a brace for 4 weeks, which didn't help, so my doctor put my arm in a cast for 3 weeks! Yeah - Joyous fun! .

As for preparation for school, I really gave myself a break. The completion of my BTSA was all I worked on for school. I have a few lessons planned for the first three days and I will work on lessons, lesson labs and activities over the weekend.

So now that school officially starts tomorrow, I'm ready for it. We will introduce each other and start on the rules. I'm ready for school. RU?

Monday, July 16, 2007

BTSA is done!

I am happy to join the ranks of those that are free from the chains of BTSA! How big was it? Well here it is:

Yes it was over 2-1/2 inches thick. In truth it took 1 semester to work on. Why only 1 semester, well that was my fault. See I have been on the "two-year" plan, but during the first year of teaching I found I was way too busy (hence the title of my web-blog) to really start collecting all the documents and student work. At the end of the first semester of my first year I knew that I really could not gather all that information that are part of the tasks of BTSA, so instead I decided to just attend the classes.

Now I think I agree with other BTSA-sufferers. The classes pretty much repeat what you have learned in your credentialing classes. If you are lucky you will have a presenter who understands this and will provide something new on the topic of your class, or at least be energetic! Having attended all the classes I have personally found they provided nothing really new. It was only Health classes that were interesting, and the presenter was excellent! He was energetic, knowledgeable and answered ALOT of questions!

My plan was to start collecting the information at the start of the first semester of my second year, unfortunatelyI found out at the start of the year that the long term sub they hired for the teacher next door did not take the position (the regular teacher in that room is on maternity leave). To give the kids in her classes a chance I volunteered myself to create lesson plans and crunch grades for the classes next door.

I introduced myself to each of the classes and let the students know if the had any problems to come see me after school (unfortunately not many did). It was a big undertaking, and It's not something I think I would do again. The main reason why I would not do it again is because it did take away from lesson planning for my classes and my students (and it definitely took all the time I had planned for BTSA).

That left only the last semester to collect data for my BTSA. I essentially started with one task and sequentially completed each task afterwards. It's not the best way to complete it, but it was the easiest way for me. I really cut it to the wire, having students complete one of the tasks 5 days before finals. But done is done!

So now I am enjoying my summer. I need to reevaluate my lessons. They have changed the pacing plan at my school so I need to redo lessons. Thats ok, I am looking forward to teaching without BTSA hanging over my head!

Enjoy Summer!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Well I actually FINALLY STARTED working on BTSA. I will complete task 17 by next weekend. Its easy to complete because I only need to work on 17.4, not 17.1, 17.2 or 17.3. Basically I create a lesson on equity and diversity and show how I apply my lesson to a class with that has a wide variety of learning styles and challenges. I still have 4 other tasks to complete. When I am completely done with BTSA I will have written a small book that is a reflection of trying - applying and learning from different learning styles. It is essentially a third year of education, but through the State of California verses in a graduate school program. While I understand the importance of it, I would of have preferred to do this in Graduate school, even if student teaching lasted an entire school year, than after my own school because of the large responsibility a teacher has to the students, parents and administration.

The new semester has started! Now we are working on evolution, ecology and physiology. I really want to find some interesting things in physiology this year. I have computers in my room so I will be looking for and adding some computer investigations on these topics. That way I can blah blah less. On the plus side the teacher next door has returned so now I only have to worry about my 5 classes that I teach, rather than 10 classes.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Now I'm ready for school

Well, it is the start of the second week back to school from winter break. My winter break was GREAT! Not that I did anything special, I just relaxed at home. Had Christmas breakfast with my family, had Christmas dinner with my husbands family and kicked it with friends at home for new years eve. My break felt Looooong, that was a problem. When I got back to school, it was HARD to get back in the groove of things. From Tuesday to Thursday I had a major case of the BLAHS! It was real work to keep on task. Friday I finally felt better.

So Now, I feel pretty good. Its Monday night (thank goodness for three-day weekends), I'm organized for the week and can even go to bed early so I can go to the gym in the morning.

In my Intro Physical science we are going over electricity. We will be doing a lab with batteries and Christmas lights. I have never done this lab before so it should be interesting. In Biology we are going over transcription and translation. I have a notesheet for that one. A notesheet is a graphic organizer for students to take notes on AND still pay attention to lecture. In a way it is a way to ensure students have organized notes to study from.

My next goal is to look to see how to get students to use their notes effectively!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jan 2007 Teaching/Work

Well its Tuesday, which means I am in my office going what I have to be done with for next week. I still have 1 week of Christmas break left, but I have a ton of papers to grade and enter into the grade book.

I started out well. I got up early, I exercised, and I ate a good breakfast. I cleaned off my desk and unpacked my schlep bag. A schlep bag is the bag teachers schlep from classroom to office which will ALWAYS have the grade book, and sometimes mail from school, field trip ideas, the lunch you have not eaten all week (My lunch was NOT in my bag) and unfortunately for me it has all my Christmas-Break grading. "Lucky me"! I also have some college recommendations to write up for different students. YEAH FOR THEM. I should have one for each of the seniors that I have taught, but I don't.

What are my New Years Goals for the 2007 School year (which ends in June)
1. Finish BTSA - If you know what this is and have to do it (or are in it) I sympathize with you. If you don't know what it is and are planning to become a teacher just so that you know its a whole 'nother year of paper writing and evidence collecting.

2. Try to plan an ecology field trip

3. blog more, not just when I have time.

Short term goals for just this week

1. Fill out recommendations
2. Add outstanding grades and late work.
3. Make a list of what was gone over in the Intro physics class for the teacher that was on Maternity leave.
4. Grade a ton of papers
5. Plan out the next two weeks for Finals.

Thats all for now. I must go back to #1 on my short term goals this week. Enough wastin time.