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The day to day happenings of a 6th grade classroom teacher

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(sad news) Wednesday

Posted by willkay on March 24, 2010

Every year is different, that’s one of the joys of teaching. No lesson is the same, no group is the same, no year is the same. This is good news because it means that every challenge is new and different. There is no chance to become stuck in a rut. Every day is a new day. Of course, the down side to this is that, those students you have come to know, move on. And each year those students will ask me: will you miss us? I do. No matter how grumpy I get, no matter how annoying they get, no matter how many times we bang heads (metaphorically), I miss them. I miss them all. All 700+ students that have sat, at one point or another, in my classroom. And so, when the time comes for me to say goodbye, there is a certain amount of sadness. We’ve spent a year together. We’ve shared highs and lows. We’ve laughed and cried (mainly me). However, there is a time to say goodbye, it is in July. I’m not really geared to say goodbye in March. Unfortunately, Jose Manuel is leaving. He is returning to Florida, from whence he came, and tomorrow will be his last day. The news broke this morning, just before morning line up. Which meant that the first hour or two of the day was very subdued. We shall miss him. However, thanks to living in the 21st century, we now have the opportunity for constant communication. Hopefully we shall stay in contact, and there is always an open invitation to him to write an entry on here as a visiting guest writer.

After the shock of the news about Jose Manuel, this was followed up with the shock of the History exam results. It sounds obvious, and it sounds like something that every teacher says (at least twenty seven times), but you really should read the question. Too often students don’t – I know, it is surprising isn’t it? I stood and listened to Miss Claudia explained her sadness, her disappointment, to the class, and I might not understand much Spanish, but I recognised what she was saying. As teachers, educators, we want our students to do well. We provide them with the correct tools to conquer the challenges they meet. However, it is soul destroying when students don’t use the tools correctly. They don’t read the question.

Maths and compound interest. Ha! And you thought that being able to use a calculator in maths would make it all so much easier. No such luck! After maths, half of the class disappeared to perform in the fifth grade’s presentation. Congratulations to those who volunteered. It appears that the best presentation was the one in which the sixth grade appeared. I know that Brian finally chose his bride. I heard how neglectful, as parents, Ivan and Larizza were, letting their sons (Carlo Ivan and Shai) die through neglect. And Ana Andrea spent the morning shearing sheep. If you want more information you need to go to Professor Rene’s FaceBook page, where he has uploaded videos of the performances. The English lesson was about parts of speech and tomorrow we start with sentence diagraming.


In science we started a new topic: Earth, The Solar System, The Universe. Today we mention the fact that the sun was a star, and spent time discussing phases of the moon, to much excitement.Although it is important to point out that I was talking about a new moon not New Moon the film! I was surprised stunned flabbergasted gob smacked mortified to discover that some of my students do not believe that man has walked on the moon. For some reason, and I don’t understand it, some of my students are convinced that manned moon landings never happened. They were staged. I find this unbelievable.Unbelievable that anyone doesn’t accept the fact that man has walked on the moon. Unbelievable that children, 11/12 year old children could be so cynical. Fortunately we have studied the Cold War in geography. The struggle between Russia and the USA to gain one-up-manship over the other. To steal an idea from Eddie Izzard (and there are fewer better places to steal ideas from), if the USA had faked the moon landings there was one country who had the technology to disprove their claims. That country was Russia, and they hated (hated with a passion) America and all it stood for. If they could prove that the Americans were lying, they would have shouted it loudly and proudly, and made sure that everyone heard the. They didn’t. QED: man has walked on the moon.

In geography I returned the exams. They were a very impressive set of exams. I had managed to catch sight of the 5th grade exam, and there was no comparison to the 6th grade exam. Answering questions about the Napoleonic wars, the Russian revolution, Communism/Marxism, Glasnost, and Perestroika showed a wonderful understanding of the subject covered. Well done everyone. A good end to the day, after the results of the history exam.

Something New: March 24th 1965, Ranger 9 crashes into the moon, sending back pictures of the surface. (I presented this as the first unmanned probe to the moon, I was wrong. Later in the day we read how the Russians had sent a probe to the moon in 1957. It appears this was the first televised event.)

Favourite Moment Of The Day (FMOTD): Green is black.

I’ve been teaching for over 30  years. At the age of 18, in my gap year, I was teaching in a school. This means that I have seen many changes in my profession. When I started it was all blackboards and chalk. No whiteboards, overhead projectors, smart boards, marker pens. I worked at the chalkface, and I worked on a blackboard. Black was the colour of my board, not green. Which was perfect for doing phases of the moon. You just draw circles and then (using white chalk) show where the sun is reflected. The area not touched by the sun is black. And that is exactly how I taught it today! The area not touched by the sun is black green! Oops. Ok, for the purposes of this lesson, try to pretend green is black. So, it might not be funny to you, but I got a fit of the giggles. It was funny to me. So that was my FMOTD. What was yours?

Attendance: All present

Signed Homework Notebooks: 21 out of 22. (We are 6th grade. We should be able to get all the homework notebooks signed.)


  • Maths: Practice 9-7 Nos: 4-8
  • English: Parts of Speech worksheet
  • Reading: This is not an option. You should be reading 20 minutes every night.

4 Responses to “(sad news) Wednesday”

  1. Miss Lilián said

    José Manuel has been a joy to know. I am positive he will have success where he goes, for he is a good human being. He is the type of boy one instantly admires for his courtesy and for being just….well…NICE.
    I wish him well and hope to be in touch with him. Bon Voyage, José Manuel, Godspeed to you!

  2. Heriberto said

    Mister Kay. I have bad news. Remember that Scarlatte, Alex Miroslava, Jose Manuel, and I were going together? We went to watch a movie and when we got back a person had stolen Jose Manuel’s and my backpack. So tomorrow we won’t be coming in with backpacks.

  3. […] comments on posts: Heriberto on (sad news) WednesdayMiss Lilián on (sad news) WednesdayMiss Lilián on Ivanna Maria Torres CastroLarizza on […]

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