Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Still A VERY BAD Knee

The muscle/tendon above my knee is swollen, something that has not been true since my knee surgery years ago. The knee joint itself feels better, but everything around it is SO sore.

If it doesn't improve significantly within the next two days, I will call for an appointment with my knee doctor. I'm pretty sure he can do something to make it feel better.

I suppose I could ride, though it would not be exactly comfortable, but I'm not sure that's a good idea.

And, typical of how school operates, this morning, as I was teaching my first period class, the office called into my room over the intercom. This interrupted my lesson, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. I was being assigned a substituting job for one of the Special Needs teachers the next period. Where? At the complete opposite end of the building. (Now, mind you, I think doing four laps around our main halls measures a mile, so you get a feeling of how big our school is.) With my students in the room, I replied, "And I'm going to have to hike all the way down there with my bad knee?" The only answer was from the secretary who said she was sorry.

Thanks a lot. At that point, my muscle was pretty stiff and it took me well over five minutes to make it down to the class. The teacher was there and apparently a little surprised to have a sub...for whatever reason, I'll never know. It was a math class with 6 students in it. She left a bunch of work for them to do, but it was pretty clear that more than half of the kids had no idea how to do the basic algebra problems and even less motivation to do them.

Instead of sitting there being totally bored, I began doing some individualized instuction with two of the kids who were doing nothing. I managed to get the first student started off on the right track and then sat down with the other one who hadn't even lifted his pencil. When I asked him why, he told me he didn't know what to do. We got the book out and started in. These were fairly simple basic equations but a lot of them had negative numbers. I helped him learn the technique for solving them and after about four problems, he was doing them on his own. And, he continued to work there beside me, solving one after the other until he'd done the whole page! I kept cheering him on and he seemed really pleased. He also seemed to actually master the technique of solving for the unknown. He had the whole page filled with correct answers and all the work as well. I was so proud of him. I hope he can continue to succeed like that and his teacher encourages him for all his effort. He didn't have time to finish the long list of problems on the blackboard, but he surely did nearly all the bookwork. (we did not do the two word problems as I told him to wait on them until he was sure he could solve the basic problems.)

Times like that make teaching a rare pleasure. Little successes and seeing a student "turn on" after being "turned off," are really nice. My classes are far too big to do that often. I have 30 students in each of my 9th grade classes, and they are the ones where the kids need the most attention. Somehow, students always get "lost" in classes that big.

Ah well. By the time that subbing class was over and I took the long, slow, limping hike back to my classroom at the other end of the building, my little group of computer students were wondering if I'd fallen off the face of the earth. Fortunately, they waited for me and didn't disappear.

My Principal is asking each teacher to select the best student in each class for an awards assembly honoring our top students. Frustrating. In a couple classes, the choice is obvious, but in other cases, whom do I pick? In one class, two students I had last year have really stepped up to the challenge this year. One girl is easily earning an "A" average, but the other, a boy who really struggled last year is probably working on a "B" and has just been super responsible about completing all his work. They both deserve accolades. Somehow I am going to have to break the rules and see they are recognized.

Maybe I can come up with my own award certificate and get the Principal to present it even if my kids don't win the schoolwide honors. They really deserve something special!

H-m-m-m-m....wonder which one of my horses deserves the honor? Shall I base it on cuteness? Intelligence? Work ethic? Mastery of the subject material? Overall physical condition? Cooperativeness? Manners? Etc.??????????


  1. Adequan injection for your knee ???^-^

    Jean you are a good training, because you are a teacher in your soul.

    I am using my little basic training knowledge to home-school my son. And my son teaches me to be patient and calm when he is in difficulty.

  2. Muriel, your blog is not letting me post. It says I am not a team member. What's that all about???

  3. Sorry I messed up my settings.
    It shoudl all back to normal, now.
    SORRY !