Thursday, August 16, 2012

Still plugging along


Hey I wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know I’m fine if not exactly back on top of everything.  When I don’t have time to think about TTWD I’ll never be at my best, but it’s only a matter of time.  I do want to tell you what is taking up so much of my time and thoughts.

You all know I’ve changed from math to social studies. Not my first choice, but I like social studies so I’m okay.  As it has worked out I get to have my lunch with Megan and I don’t have to sit with Mr. K and Ms. T.  Everyone is still being polite and mostly trying to be accommodating to one another.  Mr. K stays out of my way and out of my business,  lets hope that keeps up.

But we have changed to a different curriculum in SS this year.  We are teaching “Ancient civilizations through 1400”. Now you know as much about what I’m supposed to teach as I do – Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, okay I get that.  But what about ancient China, India, anything in Australia? Aborigines?  What about Aztecs, Incas? Ancient Native Americans?  Am I responsible for teaching all of this, some of it, which areas? When I ask these questions of fellow teachers, the administration and anyone else I can think of to ask I usually get a, “ Well… ummm…” and that’s about it.  Yet I found out today that there will be an accumulative test at the end of the year.  (The content of which is to remain a mystery.)

You’d think I’d be all right if I just followed the book wouldn’t you? Might work, but we have no books – none, nada and we’re not getting any.  So where am I supposed to get my information?  Wikipedia? I’d be satisfied with one teacher’s edition. It’s frustrating and taking up way too much of my time, which would rather spend reading, writing, commenting and in general visiting with my blogging friends.

I know all will settle down soon. I can get a little ahead.  I had all my lesson plans and worksheet for math.  With math, I taught a little, and then the kids practiced a math concept with me there to help for a while – I’m talking/teaching a lot more now and it’s more tiring.  But as soon as I get a little ahead I’m going to make a real effort to find everyone (PK, Badass, and even Wimpy). Cassie is in the process of telling me another story so things are definitely looking up. Don’t forget to come by for a new Fantasy Friday tomorrow.

Written by PK at 4:30 PM

12 comments

12 Comments:

At 4:38 AM, Blogger Bas said...

PK, maybe I'm stupid, but somebody must have thought this up and he/she must have had an idea which civilizations were meant. Cannot you just ask? OK, yes I’m stupid, I still believe in uncomplicated fairy tales. But you cannot be in the dark completely!
Even if you limit this from say 10,000 BC to 1400 AD, you can write a very thick book containing nothing but the names of civilizations.
BTW, define civilization!
Then your next problem comes up. What to teach about these civilizations? There must be some idea of what to teach! The only reason to study history is to learn why things happen. You cannot just present a static picture. There must be dynamic or it is useless and forgotten before next year’s class starts.
But these are very young children! You must stay at the surface. Stay at what is familiar to them.
You have no choice, you will have to limit what you give to them.
Those kids will probably know Rome from Bible class, I remember in my youth that was a starting point. We had this parallel history lines. From Rome to Charlemagne. And from the earliest dwellers in the Netherlands also to Charlemagne. After that, European history was all together and we saw the rest of the world through the eyes of the explorers.
In the US the situation is a lot more complicated. American roots are all over the planet.
Funny, but I could have understood this better if the ending date had been a little bit later, say 1550.
It could have been something like: “which civilizations contributed to the US as we see it today”.
Ok, let’s talk about important stuff.
I’m excited to hear from Cassie somewhere in the near future. The gang must be getting really close now.
I’ll stop writing now before you think that this is so long that it could be a Fantasy Friday entry.
See you tomorrow!
Love,
Bas

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Terpsichore said...

Hi! I am glad to see you are plugging along. I cannot believe that there is not some guideline as to what specifically they wish to be covered. Ok I believe it. I just don't understand. There has to be a middle ground somewhere between telling teachers word for word everything that needs to be taught and how to teach it and letting the teachers be totally on their own - I think providing a framework and giving the teachers the freedom to teach how best they feel the students will learn would be great. I know that is a simplified thought but still. That is a lot of material to cover. thinking of you...

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger Minelle Labraun said...

Didn't they even give you something indicating the standards you need to follow? I get a photo copied sequential- curriculum outline, etc....With all nine levels I have to teach. No teacher book etc. maybe a bunch of info I may or may not be aware of. (but they don't think art is imp)

Oh I can't wait for Cassie!!!

Keep plugging away 'WE WILL COME.'

 
At 8:05 AM, Blogger SNP said...

Hang in there. Sounds like things are looking up a little bit. That is good news.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger Paul said...

PK,
you simply have to develop telepathy, then you won't have a problem.
I'm sure you will manage, after all you are a clever girl and a good teacher.
Love and warm hugs,
Paul.

 
At 9:36 AM, Blogger sunnygirl said...

Glad you seem to be settling in. I have no doubt you will find your way in teaching your new subject.

Is there going to be some kind of test they are going to have to pass at the end of the year. If so, maybe there is materials available from which they make up the test - just a thought.

First week is almost over. One down -41 weeks to go.

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger ronnie said...

I know you'll be fine but isn't there any teaching aids or worksheets you can get to help?

Look forward to Cassie writing.

Love,
Ronnie
xx

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger faerie said...

You are sounding better, that's a good thing :)

I stink at history, so even with a lot of material I'm afraid I wouldn't be much help, lol.

 
At 5:46 PM, Anonymous TJ said...

Ugh! Ancient civilizations??? Just, UGH!! I'm sorry you got stuck there. I like social studies and history too, to a point in time that started somewhere in the 19th century. Anything before that completely puts me to sleep. LOL.

I know it's pretty cliche' for me to say hang in there but that's really all I've got. Good luck and God speed.

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger PK said...

Bas,
It really is crazy, but I’m not going to sweat it anymore. I’ll teach what I find interesting about each civilization that I choose to teach about. At the end of the year I’ll either have done what they wanted or they can tell me how they want to change it. I’m not going to let it worry me. By the time they figure out what they want I’ll be retired anyway.

Terps,
It is crazy, but true. My administrator says ‘They’re probably more than a thousand good website out there.’ I told him I wasn’t spending my time going through a thousand – if he’d like to recommend three or four I’ll be glad to look at them.

Minelle,
We used to have the ‘standard course of study’ but we’ve gone to the ‘common core’ this year and no one seems to know anything. Hoping to give Cassie some time this weekend.

SNP,
Nothing is changing except my attitude. And I’m working on that.

Paul,
Since they won’t tell me what they want, I’ll just teach the way I want and make it fun for the kids.

Sunnygirl,
There is a test – but since this is the first year it won’t really count. It’s just a bench line. Seriously by the time it’s normed I will be retired.

Ronnie,
What ever I can find on line and so far I really don’t know where to look for sure. I’m looking forward to Cassie too.

Faerie,
I feel like I can teach most anything as long as I understand it and you give me a hint of what you want. I like history so at I’ll teach things that interest me.

TJ,
The kids like the bloodthirsty part of this time period. I can also bring in the study of the Olympics, the election and any current event that strikes my fancy.

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger trazuredpet said...

PK that sounds like the modern day school system and then they wonder why not only the teachers but students have such a hard time. Hugs

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger Jean said...

PK, I have taught those for years/ email me if you need anything

 

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