Thursday, January 29, 2009

First It's Christmas!

And then I vent!

My principal asked me to put together a list last May, of science equipment that I thought we needed, repairs that were needed and inservice or training (out of district, which means $$$) that would be good. The school is over 25 years old, and we have not bought any science equipment of substance pretty much as long as I have been there (10 years). I got a partial list of equipment that they are putting in the new middle schools and started from there, warning him it I did not think it would not be pretty.

First up was cleaning, calibrating, and repairing all the triple beam balances and microscopes we have. That would be around $1500. Next I started looking at what I thought every science teacher should have in his/her classroom all the time - a class set of calculators, a class set of meter sticks and a class set of timers. Add to that the class sets of graphing marker boards that we bought every teacher last year.

There are two trainings I want to go to or send teachers to - 3 science ones at the Dana Center in Austin and a science one by Margaret Kilgo, also in Austin.

Then my list turned to other equipment that we need/could use for various labs - density cubes, probeware, torsos for 7th grade life science, replacing glassware (beakers, graduates etc) etc.

Today, as I presented my principal with the invoice for the balances and scopes work he says that he approved the calculators, meter sticks, timers, and inservices. AND to give him the rest of the "wish list" and we will start looking at what else we can get.

Oh, and we had to turn in a request for capital outlay items last week. These are equipment requests and come from a district catalog, so the choices are limited. I asked for 60 electronic scales (with a note attached that I would be happy with 20, since they were expensive). He approved purchase of 40!!!

I am so tired of hearing teachers complain that they can't do certain labs because we don't have enough equipment, blah blah blah. A few of us make do with what we have and we manage to do some decent labs. Anyway - now there is no excuse. Now to find a way to get them to quit crabbing about their kids in the classroom and actually do something about it!!!

Two of my sweet girls are suspended for three days. One made some wrong choices and was with a group that stole a couple bicycles. She did not steal them, but was with them and did nothing to stop them or turn them in later. She will most likely go to Alternative Learning Center for 6 weeks. Another got in a fight yesterday with the same girl she fought with 5-6 weeks ago. In the fight she got one of her earrings near the top of her ear ripped out. She has a court date for the citation from the first fight this week. She will go to court for the second fight in a few weeks. By that time the judge will have paperwork from two fights and she will likely also go to the ALC. Why do they do these things???

To end on a good note, one of my students was telling Chris today that he loves my class. Asked why, he replied "She gave me a B! My other teacher never gave me a B." Now this was a kid that the other teacher insisted the counselor get out of her class because she could not handle him, she never had a kind word about him in team meetings. (I have inherited 4 of her darlings) Chris said he was going to answer him with the standard reply that he has heard from me a thousand times when kids complain about low grades "She didn't give you a B, you earned it." But instead he said "Yeah that's cool!" because he wanted the kid to go on thinking his mom was cool! Gotta love it! Thanks Chris! You're cool too!

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