Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

Here's the situation; my job makes me fat. After about a month, the pants that are a part of my uniform started getting tight around the waist. So I  figured I could either keep spending more money on pants every other month or get a real cheap gym membership at the YMCA (my job allows me to pay only $16 a month). So now my evenings are all booked, so trying to keep up with this blog has become more difficult (I'm also having a hard time finding time to type it up at work) but I will continue to do my best!
 As I've already mentioned I was taken out of my senior class and moved to another freshman class. The new freshman class is a special education class. All the students have a variety of learning disabilities, but none that you would notice until after you sit down and try to teach them something. This has brought a whole new challenge; I am not qualified to teach special ed. students, so I am going to have to come up with effective ways to tutor this class. The students definitely can't be taught the same and it takes a lot of patience.
Audra H! I don't know if you read this but if so I'd love to talk to you about it sometime, I don't think that the learning disabilities are the same as the students you work with but I'm sure you have a better insight on how to work with students who don't learn the same way.
Well that's about all I have, Happy Halloween everyone, have fun and stay safe. love ya

Saturday, October 22, 2011

a little more lingo

-if a student refers to  a "two piece" chances are they aren’t talking about a bathing suit but an order of chicken
-if someone was embarrassing me in front of a group of people, I would have been "treated"
-a students said "a lot of people are sleepin on pittbull*" and that meant a lot of people don't know who pittbull is.

So when I first started working here my hair was really short (as most of you may remember I shaved my head over the summer) but now my hair is coming back in.  The other day students were telling me how fresh I was looking with my hair and there was mention of me using "product". 
In sixth hour a girl asked " Hey Mr.V! What product do you put in your hair to make it look like that?" "Nothing" I said "I just wash it".  She looked at me funny, like she didn't believe me. "You don't do anything to make it straight or fluff like that?" "No" I answered, "This is just white person hair".  Apparently that was very a funny response and we all laughed, and after the laughter died down she asked if she could touch it.  To avoid starting an uproar  of students touching my hair I said I couldn't allow it, but I have a feeling a few are going to sneak a touch, these kids crack me up!

*pittbull is a rapper 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the teacher has landed!

To make a wonderful day even better, a teacher has been hired! Mr. E the same teacher who was the sub earlier in the year is back, we just aren't sure what day he can officially start. Probably thursday. Thank you all for your prayers, the have been answered!

best class ever.

So I was told something different yesterday about my being in classes. The school has until Wed. to find a teacher before my company will pull me from all teacher-less classes. So I went to my first hour math class dreading what was about to  happen, another day of uncontrollable students and me trying to just teach one student one thing.  About 15 min after the bell rang all the students were finally in their seats but they weren't being too loud. No sub. I felt uncomfortable being in there alone with nothing to work with; I was told if I ever felt uncomfortable and there was no other adult in the room I have every right to leave. So I announced to the class "due to liability reasons, I can't stay in here without a teacher".  "YES YOU CAN!" one girl yelled, "YA, DON'T LEAVE!" shouted another student. "okay", I said, but if I stay I need all of you to not talk when I'm talking and to stay in your seats"
The entire class agreed. I was stunned, I stood there a moment not sure what to do. The first time since I've been here I had a whole class sitting, quiet and looking at me (this isn't my class of 30, only 15, but still!) not only that they are all fully aware I'm not a teacher.
I pulled out a math book and started writing problems on the board, immediately students started yelling out what they thought the answer was. "no, we aren't doing that, one person at a time and no yelling" I said. And get this...they listened and obeyed. We went through about 10 problems on the board, many kids just sat quietly while about 3 told me the steps to each problem. Most were listening some were sleeping.
During this time the substitute came in and sat and watched me work, I was ok with that because I was on a roll! and so were the students. After awhile the sub was a bigger distraction than the students, he kept talking about what school was like when he attended. For about 20 min we got off track and had a class discussion about my organization and others. But it was a good talk and I don't expect many students are willing to do an entire hour and forty min. of math with no break.
Then I assigned some extra credit, about 15 math problems, I said as soon as we get a real teacher I'll be sure that whoever does the work will get credit for it. For the next half hour I made my rounds helping students with their work. It was like the way a classroom should be run, I was close to tears of joy by the end of it and thanked the class for being so amazing. Not a bad day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

they're baaaack!

So the students break is over! and I am very relieved, while a lot of work was done these past two weeks, working without crazy kids got a little dull.  There is no teacher for me yet, and for liability reasons I am not allowed in the classroom without a teacher. So this morning I had to leave 30 students to their own devices. scary! I'm hoping that this will encourage speeding up the process of hiring a new teacher. I still have 6th hour algebra (because by that time the sub has arrived) and I still have my senior class (college prep/post graduation prep.)
Talk has been that this winter will be the worst chicago has had in a long time, but talk has also been that people say that every year. Bottom line-it will get cold. I just need to mentally prepare myself, soon I will be arriving to work before the sun is up and leaving after the sun goes down and because there are no windows in our work room I will be living the life of a vampire.
Oh! almost forgot my team and I went to our students varsity football game on saturday and we kicked some tail! Final score was 64-21, a couple fights broke out (on the field only) ...but we won! and we had a great time, the parents got to see us rooting for their kids and that was pretty neat.  After that my teammate Kira had an engagement party for her roommate (who works at another school) It was pretty fancy, there was all sorts of cheeses and complicated appetizer type food, it was a really good time! I should really get to work now. Love to all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

nothing to report!

Another week without students! There is still plenty to do just not much to write about, so I'm trying to keep things fresh with new comics :)
The weather has been amazing, I love fall; my neighbors seem to be really good about keeping things festive with tons of decorations pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows and whatnot. My street is lined with trees so every morning I have the joy of crunching them on my way to the bus stop.  There are also many children in my neighborhood so the sidewalks are covered with drawings of traditional halloween ghosts, pumpkins and whatever images their active minds conjure up. If only there was a pumpkin patch or apple orchard nearby my fall experience would be complete!
Alan, you commented that some people have asked you where I am staying. I am in Roscoe Village, which is very near Wrigleyville (home of the Cub's Wrigley stadium)
It's an extremely safe part of town and is very far from the high school. I have about an hour 10 min commute to work. (I won't mention the name of the school on my blog but I'll let anyone who's interested know)
Since I don't have a lot to write about this week please feel free to leave questions in the comment section and I will do my best to answer them!
Love ya!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I've been craving pizza a lot lately, don't know why. Even after eating pizza, the next day I want more. Maybe it's because I'm in Chicago and the standard for pizza seems to be pretty high. So last week I went to Mariano's (a grocery store about 3/4 a mile from my house). This place is amazing, the produce is fresh, the workers are wonderful, they have an amazing bakery and there is even a piano player who plays so you can listen to his jazzy/classical music instead of what most stores play on the radio. Anyway, their bakery makes everything...including pizza! On Thursdays they have a deal of one family sized pizza and a 2 liter pepsi for $10. So of course I went to get myself some homemade style pizza. I put in the order, the baker was about to start when she told me that it was wed. and the deal was on Thursday's only. So I canceled my order and went about my shopping. I told my roommate Zach about the pizza deal last night and we decided to go and try again. I put in the order and was once again told that it was wed. not thu. Two weeks in a row I made the exact same mistake! I must be tired :)
Now I'm going to be thinking about pizza all day, maybe I've made you crave it too, if so come visit me! I'll treat you to some real Chicago style deep dish at a place called Lou Malnati's. Hands down best deep dish ever, the restaurant got it's start in the 1940's, so it's pretty legit!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Our school isn't going to have an students in it for two weeks! (its a year long school so they have long breaks throughout the year). So I'm afraid I won't have as many things to talk about. My team and I will spend most of our time just reorganizing and preparing for when the students come back. Today we had the alderman of our district come and talk to us and we discussed things that he wanted to do in the community to help beautify it and how we can help. I'm not sure if Missouri has any aldermen because I've never heard of that job before. Maybe that just shows my ignorance about such things but I'm learning :)
I'll try to come up with interesting things without my kids but I miss them!
love you all!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

birthday post

greetings all! I received an email from my wonderful Ginther grandparents and they mentioned that my posts were discouraging. I'm sorry to hear that! For that is not at all my intent, yes many sad things are happening at the high school; especially the recent death of a student I don't believe I had the pleasure in meeting.
So for some good news, things are looking up at work! Rumor has it that the board may be coming closer to hiring a teacher for my classes, lets hope that's true! And I have made some wonderful connections with quite a few students, they seem to be realizing that I'm not doing this job for the money :) and that I am truly there for them and have their best interest at heart.
I'm learning a lot of new lingo such as-
tweekin' and/or trippin' (there is a slight difference between the two)- to be out of sorts or "loosing it"
drapin' - a girl who has very long hair is "drapin'"
sweatin'- to have someone pressuring you to get something done is to have them be "sweatin" you

There are definitely more but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
Some students have been helping me keep the classes down to a dull roar; their tactics aren't the best but mostly affective. One girl in particular loves to yell at the class if they don't listen to me. I was walking the class down to the gym for an assembly and a student decided to slide down the railing and a security guard caught him and pulled him off. I said "what're you doin makin me look bad?" and this girl pushes the kid (lightly with one hand) and said "why would you do that to Mr. V? he's tryin his best and you go off and act a fool, makin it look like he can't do his job! what's wrong with you?" and the boy turned to me, embarrassed and apologized. I of course accepted and had to bite my tongue to avoid laughing!
I've never loved a job more than this one, but I think I might age a few years before it's over!
In Gods love!