Saturday, January 16, 2010

Skipping down the Hall

Friday was an interesting day. It started off innocently enough when I gave my quiz to my first period class, and when they finished I read to them an excerpt from Churched by Matthew Paul Taylor. I had been reading it during out (allegedly) silent reading time, and laughed the entire time. In the next week or so I'll post a review of the book. After our team meeting our principal looked rather concerned and told us to go to our classes. When the bell rang students came in from PE, but no one else. We were told to stay in our classrooms and lock the doors. My honors class is third period and I only had half of them, so I was stuck without a Plan B.

Like the students, I was without a clue as to what was going on since there was no mention of our crisis plan, but I decided to just let the students do whatever they wanted provided they didn't get too loud. After a while of chit chat I read them two chapters of Churched, we discussed the effects of the earthquake in Haiti, why Haiti has earthquakes, looked at satellite footage of the damage in Port-au-Prince, hung signs up on my ceiling, and played charades. After about an hour of this I peeked out the door to see police officers, Central Office employees, and our administration searching students. Apparently, we were in the process of a random search day. Hooray! Some of my students freaked out about the K-9 dogs, but I sufficiently calmed them down enough for them to not break down in tears at the thought of it.

We were in the midst of our Charades game when there was a knock on the door. The principal couldn't stay serious because she had been watching me give the clues on top of my desk. When I told her and the group of very serious individuals what we were doing, they all laughed. We went into the hall and the students were wanded with metal detectors. The dog and a couple of deputies went in and searched the class. When they came out, the principal and the officer in charge complimented us on the fact that no contraband was found, and this was the first class for that to happen. I beamed with pride because I go out of my way to give good attention and love to my honors students. Oftentimes our school's issues mean the kids with problems get all the attention, and I believe that high achievers deserve to be doted on also.

After 150 minutes of imprisonment, we were finally freed. The search turned up no drugs, but enough cell phones (One student had three [!!!] cell phones) and mp3 players to stock an electronics store. For the rest of the day the students were in full zoo mode. I had to take one out of the class and tell him to calm down because he was so upset his iPod was taken from him. To his credit, that talk was what he needed because he was back to normal after that. When the bell rang to end the day, I was thankful the critters were out of my sight. Phew!

As I sat down to check my e-mail, I had an e-mail in my Inbox entitled "Offer of Equipment and Trainng." From the head of the Technology department. I opened it and found out I was one of two teachers from my school chosen to receive a Promethean interactive whiteboard for my classroom, as well as comprehensive training. I was floored. In one of our computer labs is a small board that is never used, and I had been asking for it so it could get used. Now I was picked to get a 95-inch board just for me!

 Actual Promethean Board slightly larger than pictured

I've played with Promethean boards in the past and found them to be an exceptionally neat toy to use in the class because of its sheer variety of interactivity options. My brain's already cooking up ideas to put it to use as soon as I get it. But before I got too ahead of myself, I replied to say I wanted it. It went as follows:

Hi! In case you haven't heard the yelling and screaming from the west just yet, I'm just replying to you that I'll gladly accept the offer to receive a Promethean board. In fact, I'll be here on Saturday to open the doors to let them install it for me by Tuesday. Scratch that, I'll pick it up and install it myself tonight. Can you tell I'm excited? Cheers!
I went skipping down the hall like a student and everyone was just staring at me. When I told them what I was getting, I got a couple of odd stares, but a lot of congratulations from my colleagues. After that I was shooting the breeze with Mr. Schmidt, our Louisiana History teacher, we were laughing about who was the geekiest teacher here. He's a big music and history geek, but when I showed up, I kind of left him in the dust.Today was his birthday, and I knew of nothing else to give a fellow geek for their birthday a birthday card from the Communist Party.

Happy Birthday from the Communist Party, Comrade!

The three day weekend is going to be great, but I can't wait for my Promethean board!

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