Random Musings

I actually have a post with good news, shocking I know. Before you go thinking my air conditioning has been fixed, let me correct you it hasn't and I am in fact still bitter.

But onto my great news, on Friday a computer technician came and actually fixed my remaining broken computers. So for the first time in 9 weeks of school everyone of my students was able to use a computer to complete their computer based assignments. It's crazy how excited I was on Friday, nothing could ruin my mood.

So now that I have all 30 computers up and working I feel like we can start moving forward and completing more complex projects in all of my classes and I can quit feeling guilty about some kids having to sit out of some activities.

One of the tech tools I lean on heavily is lanschool. It allows me to be the big brother of the classroom and I use it in many different ways during the period to prevent students from being able to freely use the computer. 

For teachers that are already using it, I have been having a techy issue that perhaps you can address. My campus IT tech told me she doesn't have lanschool rights so she won't even look at it, sigh. When I go to unblock one thing for one student it unblocks it for the entire class. For example, a student wins a "listen to music while I work pass" so I unblock their sound and suddenly the whole class can listen to their sound. It is completely driving me insane because it didn't work like this last year and I am dreading the process of putting in another IT ticket for a simple question.  Probably wouldn't have an answer for another 9 weeks. So any suggestions would be incredibly helpful!

I have some pretty exciting projects going on right now in all of my classes, which I will be posting about this week, hopefully. In Robotics we are working on programming for our robot races, and this race course is probably the most challenging I have ever created. In Career Tech we will be doing egg drops this week, I am feeling brave! And in Web Design we are learning HTML which proved to be the hardest thing I taught last year so hopefully this year will be a bit smoother.

I am hoping the weather gods are on my side this week and this amazing weather change hangs around and keeps my room closer to 80 than 87. A normal person might hope for the AC being fixed but I have given up, in fact I am considering calling my union person and seeing if there is anything that can be done beyond me asking for the AC to be fixed. This whole situation makes me feel uneasy but I have no clue what else I can do to get the issue fixed. 

In other random news one of my girlfriends works at the Iron Cactus downtown, which I have frequented a lot over the years, and last night she got to meet Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flannery. I am beyond jealous! If you don't know who they are, they are the brothers from Boondock Saints, one of my favorite movies. And Norman Reedus is in Walking Dead, a show I HEART. There really wasn't a real reason for sharing this besides my jealousy and to post a picture or two.

The Babbling Box!

I'm Melting...

It's been awhile since my last post.
I have been avoiding the blogging world with a vengeance.
I knew the moment I started a new post it was going to be a big dump of frustrations and I have been trying to stay positive and avoid being a Negative Nancy.
But it's time for a bit of venting.
The AC has been out in my classroom for SIX weeks this Wednesday. I should add I teach in Texas and its been hot, humid and HOT! Average temperature in my classroom is about 84 when I arrive and 87 by 8th period. 87 degrees, with 30 middle school boys and 31 computers generating heat. And I am fed up!   
What really has been adding fuel to my fire is no one seems to care. "It's still not fixed, I will call the guy again." "You have fans." "87 degrees isn't bad for the computers." "The part is being ordered."
Perhaps I am being dramatic, maybe some does care, but I haven't really located that person yet.
Yes, I was given 5 fans so I have a wonderful loud wind tunnel going in my room right now. So fans keep it about a degree or two cooler and my students can't hear me unless I scream. Totally a healthy learning environment.  
 On a positive side to this school year, my classroom behavior has been SO much better. Like, every single one of my students passed the first six weeks. Like, the only referrals I have had to put in this year have been for tardies. Like, I have only sent one student out of the classroom. Like, I have only called the officer once this year. Sounds like a dream start to the school year.
BUT its declining quick! My classroom behavior seems to be declining as the weeks of no AC drag on. I don't blame the students, it HOT, we are sitting there with sweat pouring down our faces and we are all miserable. I would act out too. And my patience is also dwindling, a student messes up and I don't really do my best effort to redirect in a positive manner. I am jumping to detention consequence way to quickly.

At this point the students just blame me for the heat too, which doesn't particularly help their behavior in the room. They are literally walking in huffing and puffing, "it's hot again" "why isn't fixed" "I see you have done nothing about the AC."

The awesome humidity in my classroom has resulted in things following off of my walls, which means all of my hard work over the summer was for nothing.
And the icing on the cake, I have had two classroom observations and both have made negative comments about the lights being off and not having the proper items on the wall. I wanted to scream, the lights are off cause its hot!
I know that positive things have happened this school year, that I have created a really good connection with most of my students and that things are running really smoothly, but the last thing I think about when I leave for the day is the heat and the first thing I think about on the drive in is my dread of the heat.
I don't like to throw out statements like this, but I am considering trying to change schools next year if this is something that is going to be a consistent problem. The room was without AC off and on most of April and May last year so its not like this problem is new or shocking.
Throw in the fact that I still don't have of my computers up and working, the classroom seems like a hot daycare and not a place where great learning is actually going to happen.
If you are still reading this post, THANK YOU! I know it was a lot to dump but I needed to get it all out and perhaps everyone can send positive thoughts this way and the AC will be fixed this week. A girl can hope!
On a completely different note, I am running the Robotics Club after school this year (because I need to spend more time in my hot classroom). There is a local competition that the TCEA hosts and my students want to participate but I don't have any funding for this. Registration is $40 per team, and I have four teams. 

I have been searching the Internet all day for grants or funding options and have come up lacking. Donorchoose is a great site but we don't need supplies we need registration fees so I can't use that site. Does any one out there have any advice for getting a grant/funding for a project?
I hope everyone has a great week! Our homecoming is tomorrow so I am expecting a very spirited start to our week.

The Babbling Box!