Friday, March 20, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Neglecting the Blog

It's been an eventful past month and a half, yet I have neglected to blog about any of it. Here are things I truly enjoy about being a teacher so far:

-4 out of my 5 classes are fantastic. The kids are respectful, on task (for the most part), and they participate in my lecture/discussions.

-Passing time. As soon as the bell rings, I see my class out of the room, hustle down to the social studies office to get another cup of coffee, then lean on the wall in the hallway and watch the world go by. I'll say hey to the kids I know and usually end up cracking jokes with a few. It's funny how some kids know me, yet pretend they don't see me. Must be a high school thing.

-How "spent" I am at the end of the day. Yeah, I'm tired. And yeah, I could definitely use a nap before hustling off to 490/650, but I'm starting to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes along with putting in a well-planned, full day in the classroom.

What I don't enjoy:

-That 5th out of 5 classes. Once I realize that hour is approaching, I kind of get sick to my stomach. I've got a handful of kids in that class that, for some reason, don't like me and it drives me crazy. Those kids make it their business to test my limits and see if they can make me upset. I know teachers aren't supposed to hit kids, but what about duct taping them to their seats with their mouths shut? Is that a grey area?

Until next time...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fall Semester=History

And just like's over. Fall semester has come and gone and, though I'm happy to have survived it (assuming my Maps and Timelines final project receives a decent grade...fingers crossed!), I'm getting a little wistful thinking of the great memories we created over the past few months. Here are a couple highlights off the top of my head:

-We saw the election of a new president, much to the joy of many of us...and the dismay of a few. I enjoyed talking politics with everyone, and I especially enjoyed the video that Shannon B. sent out with those kids performing "vote however you like." That was one of the two best listserv emails of the year so far, yask me. The other being Dan's "touchy subject" email with the Ferris Bueller theme...totally slayed me.

-The fall semester saw the beginnings of what will no doubt be a lifelong chess rivalry betwixt myself and Benjamin Cherif-Goldberg. BCG currently leads the lifetime series 12-7, we also have had two draws.

-I've really enjoyed discussing the idea of somehow making it possible for humans to photosynthesize so that we don't have to eat anymore with some of the science majors. I mean, let's be honest here: The idea of having to go out, purchase food, prepare food, then take the time to actually sit down and eat food bite-by-bite is just too much for me on certain days, considering all the other stuff we have going on. It would be so nice if we could just photosynthesize and be full.
We went to the moon almost 30 years ago, we can clone human beings and do all this stem-cell stuff...there's gotta be a way to surgically implant chlorophyll and have it link up to our digestive systems....we just gotta put our heads together. I've talked to a few about this already (Brenda and I say it's possible, Sarah and Meghan have their doubts), and I would love to hear everyone else's opinions on whether or not this is possible.

-I thoroughly enjoyed my Wednesday carpools--up to North Campus with Laura S., then back to the SOE with Shannon B., Bobby, and Kristin F. Some good conversations on those car rides and THANKS AGAIN to Shannon and Laura. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't get those rides from you two...might have quit the program and became a drifter.

-Speaking of carpools, who could forget the good times we had in the John Glenn carpool? From issues with Bobby's punctuality, to my enjoyment of the "silence game," to Kate's bat-out-of-heck driving style, we sure had some good times. Personally, my favorite memory from the fall semester carpool has got to be when I "got" Sarah with that fake spider. When I purchased the fake spider, I never thought in a million years I would be able to get the authentic, horror-stricken scream that I was able to get as we pulled out of that halloween store on Ford Rd....for those who were there, you know what I'm talking about. For those who weren't, I don't think you'll ever be able to truly understand how perfect it was. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

-Academically, my favorite assignment of the fall semester has to be the Webinars. I got teamed up with a heck of a partner in Shannon C., and it was the most fun I've ever had with an assignment. For those who missed it, do not worry. I don't think the world has seen the last of SeanShan!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stuff That Has Happened Since The Last Time I Blogged

Alright, so it's been a while since I last got on here, so here goes a recap:

-There was a teacher strike in the Wayne-Westland School District, so me and my comrades had to find something else to do for a week. We had the pleasure of being guests at Western International High School on that Tuesday. Rena and her mentor were wonderful hosts and I was very impressed with their classroom, their students, and the way the class operated. For some reason, I kind of expected it to be a zoo in there, but the class ran very smoothly and there were some very sharp kids in there.

-That Thursday, as the Wayne-Westland strike continued, I was able to track down my friend Andrea and visit her second grade classroom in Farmington. Wow, this was a heck of an experience. Much different than high school, that's for sure. It seemed to me, because the kids were so innocent and young, they didn't have that "I'm too cool for this" attitude that plagues kids at the high school level. For the most part, these little tikes were attentive and engaged the whole time. Usually when a question was posed to the class, most kids raised their hands and were almost desperate to be called on. Oh yeah, and I also got to read "Charlotte's Web" to them....WITH voices! I did notice, however, that Andrea's job is not easy at all. She's got kids in there that really struggle with reading skills, and she's also got kids that are reading at advanced levels. So how to get the slower kids caught up while still challenging the gifted ones? Quite a balancing act.

-Let's see, what else, what else? Ben Goldberg has a strong hold on our chess rivalry at this point. He currently holds the championship belt as well as the lifetime series lead (I believe it currently stands at six games to three). I have also learned that I'm much more likely to make bonehead mistakes when we play chess at the bar. Gotta steer clear of that!

-I had a chance to sit down and "shoot the bull" with two former MACers on Friday (my brother and his buddy), and it was nice to get their perspective on things. Their advice: Stay positive, don't get bogged down by the BS, focus on aspects of the program that you enjoy, and above all else: Stay Positive!

-Mr. Galvin, OUT!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Random Thoughts in Early October

-Well, here we are, October 3rd. I'm sitting in the student lounge at the SOE waiting for Ed Tech, and I feel it's time to blog again.

-I've come to notice that there is not much going on in terms of technology in my classroom. Each day there is an assignment displayed on the projector, but that's about it. The rest is textbooks, discussions and lectures. I wanted to use a map of the world yesterday as I was lecturing, but all I could find in the room was US maps that never get used!

-Once I get to run my own show in January, I want to make a point to include visuals for my students as often as possible. Maps, powerpoints, outlines, all that kind of stuff. Nobody takes notes on lectures or anything, so I feel there is quite a bit my instruction that gets lost because students have a hard time paying attention to one person for too long. Visuals, man....visuals.

-There's a good chance the teachers at Wayne/Westland go on strike next week, so this may be a good opportunity to see some other schools and such...should be fun.

-To all who made it to Alli's debate party last night--Thank you. I needed that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Random thoughts about my last two days...

-I was off my game on Monday it's as simple as that. We were reviewing for the test we had today, and every time it was my turn to explain a particular term or concept, it seemed as if I took FOREVER to get to the point. I found myself being very redundant and dull to the point where, as I was talking in front of the class, a little voice came on in the back of my mind and was like, "what are you even saying right now?" Man, was I off. And the worst part about it is that I didn't even get much of a shot at redemption today because we were testing all day. So it appears that "How Mr. Galvin got his groove back" will have to wait until next week.

-There was this kid in one of my classes today that was obviously cheating and I didn't know what to do about it. I was helping with some of the slower readers by reading the test to them, and as I was reading one of the questions I could totally see him whispering with the girl next to him. My teacher "move" was to just walk over there and stand by him as I was talking, but it was pretty weak attempt. As soon as I walked away he was cheating again. I should have at least moved him to another seat in the room, but instead I looked to my mentor--who was busy typing something on the computer--like a frightened child. In the end, the kid got away with cheating because I didn't have the cojones to do anything about it. Now I worry that I'm getting a reputation as a pushover student teacher. The same type of pushover student teacher that I took advantage of all the time back in the day, how's that for some bad karma?

-Technologically speaking, I haven't had a chance to do much more than operate a few power point slides on a projector just yet. Although I guess I did have the pleasure of running scantron tests through the machine today--something I've always dreamed of doing and never thought I'd see the day that it happened. The thing looks like a 1970s sewing machine to me, and there's even this old-school looking tarp that goes over it when not in use--presumably because if any dust particles get caught inside the gears the thing would explode. Despite its primitive features, the scantron is a fine piece of machinery. It took a total of 8 minutes to grade like 200 tests, so props to that.

-It's pretty cool to experience passing time between classes as a teacher now. The kids are all running around pushing each other and just being teenagers, then I'll walk past another faculty member and we'll acknowledge each other even if we haven't met before. I guess that's what teachers do, give that little nod or smile to the other teacher as if to say, "yup, we're on the same team here." Of course, the kids are the exact opposite. I passed a group of kids today just as one of them cursed, and right away they all looked at me to see if I heard it....which I did. But again, being the pushover student teacher that doesn't want any trouble, I pretended like I didn't.

-Because it is simply not in my "reach" to pack a lunch for school, I have been eating the cafeteria food at John Glenn every time I'm there and I have no regrets. The food is surprisingly tolerable, the price is only $3, and I get to drink CHOCOLATE MILK every day. When's the last time you had a chocolate milk?!?

-I've had a few kids say "Hi Mr. Galvin" in the halls to me so far, and each time has made me feel sweet. I think I like getting that kind of respect and I wonder if I could get them to start calling me "sir" now and again, just to change it up a little bit.

-Seriously, chocolate milk is so sweet. And I love the little carton. It takes me back, man.