John in DC

Sometimes, in order to find out what my husband does, I google him.  This was his latest trip to DC.

http://nas-sites.org/revellelecture/files/2011/11/MeltingIceRevelleLectureFLYER2262013finalfinal.pdf

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Half Days

I like half days, as far as work load goes.  They are plenty tiring for me.  But the half days I have had this week have also been a bit disconcerting.  I am scheduled to be there at 12:30, but the classes I had didn’t start until 1:00.  I had 1st and 2nd graders (mixed classroom) for the first hour 1:00 – 2:00; Kindergarteners from 2:00 to 2:45; and 3rd and 4th graders for the final hour, 2:45 – 3:45.  The sub caller actually said I was supposed to be done at 3:30, but since that is a pretty short half day, I have stayed until the end of the class. 

The person I am subbing for is actually there – he is giving make up TCAP tests this week in the computer lab.  So we have been using laptops.  I hate using these particular laptops and I especially hate using them with the younger kids, the K-3s.  The touch pads are WAY TOO sensitive and the kids end up doing all sorts of things they don’t expect, just because they accidentally touched some place on the touch pad that got them into trouble.  What a mess.  And you can’t help 20+ kids at a time, even if there is an aide with you.  We survived, but it certainly wasn’t the best experience for the kids. 

I know that they might also have had problems on Macs, but I still can’t help thinking that the problems were worse on these PC compatibles. 

I don’t think I have computer classes tomorrow, since he said that they normally have “clubs” on Fridays.  I have no idea what that means.  I wish he had told me more – maybe I could have prepared something.

It is interesting to me how some of the teachers have been so nice and friendly and others have made me feel like the most bumbling bumpkin they have ever met.  Sigh.

During my free 45 minutes today and yesterday (no Kindergarten classes on Wed or Thurs) I have been working on organizing their bookshelves.  I am not sure what the other subs have been doing with their “free” time.  But, organizing the books has been fun for me – and I hope helpful for them. 

Sorry, for the rambling post – no real content, just blather.

Evaluating Teachers; Evaluating Congresspeople

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The above was posted on Facebook and it got me thinking.  What would be the best way to evaluate Congress?  How can we tell how well they are suited to doing their jobs?  Should we base their pay on whether they actually do their jobs, such as passing a budget?  
 
Or, even before they take office, make them take a PRAXIS exam, developed by an independent commission, in which prospective congresspeople have to demonstrate the knowledge necessary to make reasonable decisions on matters that might come before Congress, such as climate change, trade agreements, banking regulations, etc.  If they pass the exam, they will be qualified to get a Congressional PRAXIS endorsement and be certified for 5 years, after which time, they will have to apply to be re-certified.  They then must show proof that they have spent 15 college semester hours studying issues that they have had to make decisions on. 
 
If we truly believe that representing the people of the United States is an honor and an important job, then the people who do it should be qualified to do so.  Maybe they should be required to get a certificate declaring that they are HIGHLY QUALIFIED congressional candidates — because, you know, they actually know something about the issues.