Sunday, January 31, 2010

Talk radio

Now that I have joined the ranks of the commuters, I feel like I'm an adult. I even listen to talk radio all the time now, and yes I love it. I think Doug Wright is awesome! KSL Newsradio 1160 really has become my favorite pre-set. Haha.

Anyway, the other day I turned on the radio at night and the man (not my beloved Doug Wright) was talking about teachers. In a gist, these were his comments. "Teachers do so much more than we give them credit for. They are overworked and under appreciated." Now, I was so happy he was saying this. I was like, Yes! Good, stand up for us! but he then went on to say "This is exactly why we need to link teacher's salaries to their success rate. We need to have a way to compensate the teacher's with high test scores and punish those who aren't performing well."

Okay, I've known this is a big issue for a long time, but this did not make me happy. There is absolutely NO way you should be compensating a teacher based on standardized test scores. Not all children in your classroom, no matter how effectively you teach, will receive "adequate scores" as outlined by the government.

Let's say, for example, that a teacher has many students for whom English is their second language. They may progress leaps and bounds past where they began in the course of a school year, but chances are they won't score as high as native English speakers. Test scores, then, would indicate the teacher is not a "good" teacher, since the whole class isn't in the exact same place.

So the government is going to punish me for being an ESL specialist? Because I have an ESL endorsement, I may have many ELLs in my classroom. Even if I do my best and help them progress past their initial level, my salary will be lower than teachers with a classroom composed mainly of native English speakers and "gifted" children.

It just doesn't make sense, and I haven't even touched on alternate assessments yet, which is something else to consider. If the salary needs to be linked to something, link it to how much students progress through the year, not on their final test scores.

How can I jump on the bandwagon and kill this idea?

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Join the darn club.

Monday, January 25, 2010

1st Semester

Well, so far the "Arts Semester" has been...weird. Like, a lot of random busy work? I don't know, it's not really my style. I like my PE class because I feel like we're actually learning really practical things about how to teach but the other classes are just kinda vague, like integrate the arts! Okay. Anyway, this week for VAEDU we have to do 5 crayon processes. I am not crafty, or creative. The hardest part is actually coming up with something to draw. We're supposed to be drawing things that somehow connect to us, so I turned to the pictures on my phone for help. This is what my latest crayon process turned out to be (the process is "stained glass"-that's why there are lots of random, dark lines and awkward colors everywhere). I'm just proud that I actually created something.

The Inspiration

The Interpretation

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The truth

So, my teaching partner and I taught our first day of PE yesterday. We were very nervous because1. we have never taught a full lesson before and 2. we had to teach Kindegarten. Yes, you heard me right...kindegarten! I am not an Early Childhood Education major. I never imagined that I would have to teach these youngsters.

So anyway, we got to the school, set up our Rules/Consequences, Time Out, and Circuit Training signs, and then the class arrived. At first I was terrified and had no idea what I was saying, but after a few minutes I just fell right into the teaching routine and it went really smoothly (I think).

The kids were great. It was surprising to me how enthusiastic they all were because, as a jaded college student, I don't really get excited about class. Especially not PE class. But they were so happy.

One little girl kept running across the gym every time I called out "Toe to Toe!" because she wanted to be my partner. At one point she just reached up for a was really cute. I only had to give one girl a reminder, and later I had to send the same girl to time out. Hopefully she will get better at following rules.

But I wanted to share a bit of honesty. I was demonstrating the hula hoop station, and told the kids that if they didn't know how to hula hoop they could jump rope with it, or spin it around their arm. Then...

Me: "If you can't do it around your waist, try spinning it on your arm like this..." and the hula hoop promptly flew off my arm. "Yeah...just like that."
Ezra: "Um,'re not very good at that."

Um, nope. Thanks kid.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is the reason I left the MTC

And I think it was a pretty good trade.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quote of the Weekend

Completely random, older man at a wedding reception, to me: "I don't know you, but I hate you. Because you're taller than me."

Me: "Um....thanks?"

Really, what are you supposed to say to that? Whatever.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

...and Elder Speakmann runs away with the matches.


I think.

So, today at work a missionary came up to me and started a conversation. This can be really awkward. Here is our exchange. Verbatim.

Elder Speakmann: Hi.
Me: Hi.
ES: You look bored.
Me: Well...yeah. But that doesn't mean I want to have an awkward conversation with you. No offense.
ES: We're leaving soon.
Me: Where are you headed?
ES: Chile. Do you ask everyone that? How do you keep all the missionaries and where they're going straight?
Me: Well, I can't keep them straight since there are thousands of's really hard to remember. I do remember some people though, those that I have had extended contact with. Like...I'll remember you, since we just had this conversation!
ES: Oh...we've actually had like two conversations before this one, though.
Me: Um....sorry.

So it was kinda awkward. But THEN! The best thing that has happened to me in months happened. Who should appear out of the South entrance but LEONARD! I love this man so, so much. Not only did he appear to save the day, he appeared with a homemade banana cream "going away" pie. Leonard came to say goodbye to me (even though he doesn't even work in the MTC anymore)!

I could not have left the MTC on a better note.

Monday, January 04, 2010


As I watched the ball drop from 2009 to 2010 , I almost started crying because I felt hopeless and lost. It was not the greatest start to a new year. Later that night as I got ready for bed, I found myself wishing that it was the beginning of 2007 instead. I thought I could make so many different, better choices if I had a chance to do it again.

But then I started realizing what the consequences for changing my actions would be. For instance, one of the first things I would do differently is breaking up with Jarom. But if I had never broken up with J, I would never have dated Scott. Had I never dated S, I never would have worked at Aspen Grove that summer.

Had I missed out on the opportunity to work at Aspen Grove, I wouldn't have met Alice or Mike D. If I had never met Alice, I wouldn't have developed a great friendship, or learned how to have fun, or how to get an A in religion. I wouldn't have moved out or met any of the amazing people in the BYU 210th ward. I wouldn't have met Ben or Thayne!

If I had never met Mike D, I never would have met Mike W. And I wouldn't trade that time for the world-MW is one of the funniest people I've ever met. If I had never met MW, I wouldn't have learned how to make proper fried rice, or how to have a Tim Tam Slam!! Also, I would have delayed watching The Dark Knight (actually, that wouldn't have been so bad...)

Well, I could talk about stuff that never would have happened for hours. But as I thought through this series of my life events, I realized that, although I've definitely been through some tough times, each experience helped me grow and shape my life in amazing ways...and I love what my life is becoming. I wouldn't trade any of these experiences for the world.

So, 2010, I'm glad you're here.

Also...bring it on.