today went off well. up early, no swim :(, i was too rushed just to get breakfast going and out of the house in time for the ESL district seminar at some local baptist church. yes a church volunteered their rooms and everything, how nice. went to the general meeting, then the first session, left and drove directly to my college class and prepared a wee bit, then to class to pass back papers and assign the final in class final assessment paper. that was over in about an hour, leaving my just enough time to get back to the church north of town for the last 3 sessions after lunch. whew. what a day, good thing is hopefully I'll get paid the stipend for being at the seminar even though I missed the one 2nd session... not sure but we'll see. I saw the guy whose job I wanted in admin. turns out he did NOT quit and leave to teach in Mexico like he'd planned.(he's an out gay teacher, white with bleached hair and speaks perfect Spanish. a bit younger than I am and an EXCELLENT teacher, the local news even did a story on him once! he spent 2 weeks in Mexico City this summer and said he had a LOT of fun, was even propositioned to be on a novella. ha but he was down there looking for a teaching job) although he did say he's still hoping to get a job in Mexico etc etc and who knows maybe there'll be an opening just yet! although the guy is such an expert I could never replace the dude.. ha...although to be honest not sure if I'd take it at this point, since I plan on leaving in Decemeber for the possible school job in Norman.... just specualtion blah blah.
overall it was great networking and one thing I like is knowing most of the facilitators in the dept already anyway. I also met some other esl teachers at other high schools which is great since I want to develop a stronger newcomer program at my school and am interested to know what's going on at other schools. one thing I've already decided is to consult with the other Newcomer teacher who teaches reading and foundations of English... You see the new first year in the country students are placed into a newcomer program their first year before being put into all the usual mainstream classes. so they have 5 esl classes and 2 electives. other than the 2 classes mentioned above they have an ESL social studies, ESL math, and an ESL science class. I teach the last two. the theory is that they are learning the language and the academic vocabulary of each different subject. However, I dislike the current setup of having 5 different classes the first year learning a language, and so I'm going to consult with the reading/foundations teacher and reinforce her same lessons daily so that it's more of an intensive daily program with more continuity throughout the day. at least for the first 9 weeks. I prefer getting them all the language basics possible FIRST before throwing in math and science concepts. NOW, no offense against Mexico, but the population at my school is that of Mexican immigrant children usually with pretty poor education backgrounds. SO for example if you had a classroom full of say Koreans, Russians, and Indians, chances are they have all the concepts up to 9th grade in THEIR language which makes it easier to transfer to the new English language. but most of my kids may have only gone to 5th or 6th grade, or if higher still have not learned integers or solving algebra problems etc... VERY difficult to try and play catch up AND teach English and get them ready for regular classes in only one year. WHOAH!
anyway, my last free day off from work is tomorrow. I'll swim, relax, watch tv, go out to lunch, chill all day and enjoy it thoroughly. then Friday back to school for teacher work day, weekend in AR hopefully, and then 2 more work days before kids come back Wednesday. ha and we'll see what our numbers are like and which newcomers come back from last year, if any....
I did go to the gym after getting home today, but only up there for about an hour. I did cardio and abs only. I noticed a high school kid benching the same as me and felt pretty lame for just doing cardio. ha actually this is because I was benching the amount of weight I USED to work out with last spring, now I'm 10lbs less on my sets. blah.. my social network status today was this: How about we stop the (govt funded privatized prison filling) War on Drugs already and start a War on Poverty in this country!?! :/ . I got various responses left and right. I was just throwing it out there after reading a few students' essays about the US prison system and the drug war etc.. ha