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TROUBLE-SHOOTING MODE


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For some reason today, I have been in trouble shooting mode on my school webpage today.  First my calendar events were not showing up on my Google Sites, (just a blank calendar was appearing with you are not authorized to view this – message) when I used a different Browser and was logged out.  So I got to see what my student’s parents would see if they attempted to use my website.  Not good – I am trying to improve open communications, not make them more frustrating and this just wasn’t acceptable.

I did some trouble-shooting and I had made it so that viewers had to be logged into my District’s Google Apps account to see calendar events.  Now nothing I am putting in the calendars is confidential or proprietary (just when assignments are due, activities that are going on in the class or school), so I just opened up the calendars to everyone and now they are working great.

I just want to make sure that I am able communicate with everyone what is going on at school

The other issue that I was having was about using Google Docs – Documents, I really like the option of being able to post to my blog and using the Word Count function that also has the Flemish-Kincaid scale for the document in class.  I haven’t been able to use these functions all summer and couldn’t figure out why.  I have posted my displeasure at a couple of Google Bulletin Boards and whined about it on my blog, but no one has given me a solution so that I could continue using these functions.

Just out of the blue it occurred to me that in the spring I had switched to the “New” version of Google Docs (which has a lot of new features that I really love, but not these two yet.  So the solution was actually quite simple, I went in and unchecked the box

Once I did that, I had access to the old functions that I had missed.  It was that easy!

There, I am happy with Google Docs again now, I can post a draft to my blog using gDocs and all of its functionality, then post it as a draft to my blog, clean up the draft, insert Zemanta and publish the blog. Not elegant but it works for me.  I am beginning to use Google Docs for around 80% of what I do that requires a Word Processor, Spreadsheet or Presentation.  It may not have all the features of the Microsoft, Apple, Open Office or some other full Office Suites, but it does 95% of what I want and is only getting better.  Hopefully I will be able to switch back to the “new” gDocs soon, but until then I still have the tools that I wanted by simply using the “old” gDocs which is easily accessible.
I guess I was the only one that didn’t realize how to fix these two things were, it shows that no matter how good we think we are with things, that sometimes it is the little things we miss that are a or become a big deal.  A good reality check for me to remember.

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WEEK IN REVIEW – 8/21/10


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The week in review – I was very lucky this week, I got to go into school every day without the stress of having to be there any day.  It is different to voluntarily go into school than being told that you have.  You are doing something because you want to, not because you have to.

I also give two presentations during the District Technology training sessions – Blogging in the Classroom and Intro to Google Docs.  I thought that both went pretty well and I can see things that I need to improve before I would do them again.

Below are my top 5 posts for the week:

  1. DON’T TELL ME THAT MOST TEACHERS AREN’T
  2. TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION – A VIEW
  3. DRAFT TEACHER ACTION PLAN
  4. IEPs – WHAT A WASTE OF TIME
  5. SCHOOL SCHEDULE STARTS TOMORROW

Number 5 is a post from last year, not this year 🙂

Thank you everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and comment this week.  I am pretty sure that blogging will be sporadic over the course of the next month or so until I get the school routine down and build my endurance back up.

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DON’T TELL ME THAT MOST TEACHERS AREN’T DEDICATED


Today was the start of technology training in our District.  There were “only” around 30-40 teachers who showed up, even though they were not being paid for it  When I got out of training on break, I noticed on the second floor almost all the lights were on and those that were not attending the training were setting up their room and getting ready for next week – again without getting paid for it.

WHY DO WE DO IT?

Why do teachers come in on our own time, to set up our rooms, prep lesson plans, finish up the summer projects when we don’t have to.  It is pretty simple – Teachers are for the most part very DEDICATED to our profession and we want our students to be successful – which means we have to be ready.  Our actions speak louder than other’s words do.

We teach students even though many  some students don’t want to be there, work with parents that sometimes take their frustrations about their child’s academic performance out on the nearest person – usually us, and a public that often doesn’t understand what we do day in or day out in our classrooms.  Many members of that same public say outright they would not do our job, but we still do.

We show up when we don’t have to, we show up when others wouldn’t, we are there before schools starts while we still are in a Non Pay Time Off (NPTO) status; even though our elected officials, (who seem to have their own agenda for public education), simply pay lip service to what we do and in the next breath talk about the need for accountability and using standardized testing or merit pay to improve the teaching profession.  Which won’t work because we don’t make “widgets” – we educate future citizens and leaders of this Country, who each have different abilities and needs.

Kind of a strange dichotomy isn’t it – the direction  today’s political leaders want teachers to go in (standardization) and the direction that many in education want to go (more individualized instruction) – which is better for students?  But that is a different soapbox.

I guess the reason that we do all the things I talked about and put up with the negativity that we have to endure on today’s American political stage is that we actually do care about our students.

I want to say to all those dedicated teachers out there –

Good luck everyone and have that great year!

You know after this summer with my PLN and today at my school, seeing what teachers are doing for their students, I can honestly say

“I am proud to be a teacher.”

DO THE RIGHT THINGS FOR THE RIGHT REASONS.

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SCHOOL SCHEDULE STARTS TOMORROW


THIS HAS BEEN A REALLY, REALLY GREAT SUMMER!!!!!

There are only 4 things left on my Honey-do list and 2 require us to buy something and 1 to take it to get serviced (I just have a sneaking suspicion that the snowblower will get a workout this winter).  There are a lot things crossed off that darned list that has been the bane of my existence this summer.   It kept me from doing fun things as often as I wanted to – I guess it is work before play, but I really wanted to play more this summer.

I consider the chopping and stacking wood one thing (and that is at least 1/2 done).  It is a good thing that I got a lot done today, because tomorrow, I basically am choosing to go back on my school schedule.

No school doesn’t start until 8/26, but I have so much to get done between now and then that I feel that I have to go in and get what I can get done – done.  I probably over-committed myself with the ELA stuff, but I really think it is important that Special Education has some input into the General Curriculum.  Things that are coming up:

  • Technology training all week
  • Get ready for my Special Education Caseload – 15 at last look (more to come I am sure).
  • Write up 10 7th Grade ELA Lesson Plans for change over to Common Core Standards
  • Prepare my classroom for the upcoming year
  • Figure out where my students are and what the needs of the classes will be, because I can’t really do a syllabus until I know where my Special Education students are academically.
  • and a lot more.

So starting tomorrow, I am just going to go to the school to be there at 6:45 (my usual arrival) every day, either go to trainings/meetings and work until I get tired of it, then go to the gym (gotta lose some of this poundage) before I head home, to do some more work at night, until the 26th when everything “begins agin”.

I really can’t wait!
🙂

I wonder how I will feel in November?

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WEEK IN REVIEW – AUGUST 15, 2010


This was my last week of vacation, next week we start technology training and I am going to be at school ALL week.  I primarily spent it working around the house getting the final painting done, working on firewood and the other little things that I have been procrastinating all summer.  But I have aso been work a little on negotiating about school related things, looking at my caseload and some IEPs, attempting to prepare lesson plans and so on.

As part of the Technology training I have been asked do an Introduction to Blogging presentation for 3 hours.  I will probably post a draft tonight to see if there anyone has any ideas to improve it.  Yes it is a slide show, but a lot of activity stuff will be woven in.

I have also been working on 4 other blogs – 3 classroom and 1 very, very school related blog that I plan to use for communicating with parents/staff and anyone else who reads it.  So my blogging here is lagging behind quite a bit.

My top 5 posts for the week were:

  1. TWITTER/GREADER REDUCTION TIME
  2. SUMMER REFLECTION
  3. OMNIFOCUS REVIEW UPDATE
  4. TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION – A VIEW
  5. WHY RESOURCE ROOM 220?

Thank you everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and I wish you all well, especially all of you/us who are starting to gear up for your return to the classroom.  The laid back and relaxed schedule we have enjoyed this summer is now over – time to get back into the routine.

I even found out that I have to have a PET the first or second day of school.

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FISHER CAT ATTACKS CAT IN WINDOW


Friday the 13th was an interesting evening, we were sitting around watching the Red Sox on TV (they were still ahead at this point, but that is another story), when we heard a commotion in the bedroom and what sounded like the screen in the window being ripped.

When we rushed in our black cat Joey was facing the window all puffed out and Bennie our Jack Russell terrier was barking and attempting to out through the screen.  When we got the dog away from the window and looked at the screen it looked as though something had attempted to come in through it (below is a picture I took this morning).

Joey loves to sit on the window sill looking out over the yard and evidently our local Fisher Cat, which we have seen several times this summer decided that he would make a good midnight snack.

How does this relate to Special Education?  It doesn’t but it gives an idea about where I live (out in the country) and how quickly events can change even in our own homes on a seemingly quiet night.

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