I didn't do a "Take a Trip..." post because it was just too much although I did post some pictures along the way. If you missed the one about The Bloody Benders, scroll down for that.
When I returned from vacation I had just about enough time to unpack before I had to report for jury duty. It only took three days and as much as I griped about it when I got the summons it turned out to be an experience I'm very grateful for. I learned a lot, I was part of the justice system for a short time, and our judge was a real jewel. He brought us doughnuts, even! And at the end,, after the verdict, he came back to dismiss us, gave us some instructions about talking to media and lawyers, and ended with a prayer. It was a sobering experience.
School starts in about a week for me and I feel rested and ready to go. I hope that feeling lasts for a while! We will be fully implementing the new Common Core curriculum in our school this year and regardless of how I feel personally about the federal takeover of curriculum, I will do my job and teach my students what they need to know to be successful.
Whenever you get these new programs, and they come and go with regularity in education, there is never, never funding to go along with them. For example, for both my sophomores and my seniors I have a whole new novels list from which to choose their reading material. The seniors list I can probably work with from resources already on hand, but the sophomore list - no way. We do not have class sets of those novels. There may be one of the titles that we have a class set for, but it's not one of the better choices in my personal opinion; it's not one that my students would benefit most from.
I have written a grant to get funding to buy class sets of novels but it won't come through for a while even if I get it. A majority of our students are impoverished and on free/reduced lunch. For many of them getting basic supplies such as paper and pen is a challenge. Buying a $10 paperback novel for class is nearly impossible. So, I've signed up with SOS: Supply Our Schools, to help these kids. If you click on the new widget in the sidebar you can help us!
Last year I personally spent at least $500 on notebook paper, spiral notebooks, pencils, erasers, dry erase markers, tissues, hand sanitizer, construction paper, markers, copy paper, computer ink, and I even bought a large-print dictionary for a student who just couldn't read the print in a regular dictionary.
Please consider helping us with a donation (click the widget!).
If you'd prefer to donate through my PayPal widget, that's fine too.
Or, you can help us buy ordering from one of the links below, directly from Amazon, and have it shipped to us at Bossier High School, 777 Bearkat Drive, Bossier City, LA 71111. It should be addressed to the attention of Mrs. Becker (that's me.)
I'm ready for a new and successful school year, and I think my students will be ready. While I know that locally there are "Stuff the Bus" campaigns that hopefully get supplies in the hands of kids, sometimes kids just don't like to ask. And I know that parents should be responsible for buying supplies for their kids but the reality is that it just can't happen for some of them.
I, and my students, appreciate any help you feel moved to give.
Update: A HUGE HUGE Thank You to Bride of Rove for her Smashbook order! I'm overwhelmed. Thank you, so much!
Update II: Thank you SO MUCH to Karen at Pondering Penguin for the composition books! Your gift will directly help my English students by providing a place for them to write their daily journals. I appreciate your generosity more than you know! Thank you!