Wednesday, May 30, 2007

less than two weeks left

That's right. 2 weeks from now we'll all be done. crazy stuff. i'm feeling more energetic and optimistic about the students' learning and less like a general charging into battle (even in the 12pm class).

but i'm going to bed early for a nice run tomorrow morning at 6am and then Stairs after school! (i'm still gonna try for that Olympic Distance Triathlon in less than two weeks! I'll have to do a lot of training I guess tomorrow, Friday there's no time, Saturday night, Sunday, then all next week!)

- grading tests is not fun :-) almost all but one class done though!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


the energy it's wearing thin!

Monday, May 21, 2007

taking the city bus

Two cool things today:

1) No sports practice of any kind (Although i will probably go running tonight by myself).
2) I dropped off my car at Midas to get its brakes fixed (been meaning to do that for months...) and then took the city bus home! It took about an hour, but was filled with great conversation and knowing that I did the right thing... great to connect with the city and live as my students live!

- tomorrow is a Jeopardy-style review game, which I'll need to prep tonight, but other than that I don't even need to bring anything tomorrow except markers... so I may just ride my bike! If I leave early enough it won't be that warm! Craziness... I'm all serious now about getting in shape! For sure gonna do the June 10th Olympic Distance Triathlon even though I don't think I'll be fully ready for that yet... just to see how it feels and get back up there.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

the beauty of pre-season

Water Polo pre-season started this week! It was fantastic. 14 kids on Monday (3 new!), more on Wednesday and Friday. Even 10 today (saturday) at 5:30pm! I was impressed. The best part is at least 4 of the newcomers are totally loving the sport. One guy already went and bought jammers and stuff. Pretty cool. It's been so encouraging for me and also to see that most of the triathlon team will be transitioning to water polo...

i'm not sure how I'm gonna manage water polo and triathlon and summer school though. at least a lot of the kids will be "cross-over" kids - doing both water polo and triathlon (and for a few, in my summer school class too!) that's too much Dorman for even me to handle...!). but it'll be fun.

last night and today all day was lifeguard training. not bad; there are quite a few cool people there and it's fun to be the "coach" to several of them (kids who did winter water polo) and yet talk with them normally about water polo and the like. i even let them call me Brandon with a stern warning to call me Coach Dorman when they see me in my regular role. good stuff. but... 8 more hours tomorrow! Then since i didn't do any planning/prepping tonight, i get to do all the recording and stuff tomorrow!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

should be a good week

This week will be the first week since starting the school year that I am not an official student at Fresno Pacific University, or an official coach of a sports team. Wow.

- I'm looking forward to using feedback from the letters into my classroom lessons this week. Tomorrow going to make volume flipbooks and do a few problems with some homework. i'll have to think of a cool project we can do for TPA Day/Symposium in two weeks. The other teachers have been working for weeks on them. Hmm.

- Coaching-wise, should be a fun week. I'm actually looking forward to getting some working out in myself - swimming M and W maybe, and water polo Tuesday night. I need to get back in shape if I'm gonna do that Olympic Distance Tri in June. WATER POLO starts tomorrow after school and I can't wait to see who is there and get started on that!

- The biggest thing I will do to change my practice in the classroom is collect homework and provide feedback on it every day. If nothing else that will help change the tone they say they've noticed in the class. My bad for not being better at handing back work, etc.

Again, I'm optimistic about this week!

Friday, May 11, 2007

more of a somber post

By all accounts, it's been a busy week!

Monday: nothing special, except working for a few hours on my graduation portfolio (so i can be a real teacher, not an intern) until 5, then triathlon practice @ fresno state from 6:30-9
Tuesday: regular school. one of my most optimistic students was apparently taken from her home (with bro's/sis's separated) by CPS last night. she was bawling. ... then me playing water polo not very well from 7-9.
Wednesday: school, then Coaching training from 3:30-7. found out another girl is pregnant (girl number five this year... they're 15 years old.)
Thursday: morning triathlon practice, then exit interview for FPU (Huge deal!) from 10:30-12, lunch with mark, finally got smogged, Junior High Graduation party from 6:30-9, party with the Fresno State triathlon team from 9-midnight!
Friday: Asked my class the following questions:
1) What do you expect from school?
2) Do you trust your teachers? (trust them to teach you, trust them to know you, trust them with stuff other than math/science/history/English).

After yesterday's exit interview (where i talked for an hour!) and today's letter responses... I was extremely humbled.

basically, more than a little kids think I'm too nice and let the other students run all over me. And I tend to agree with them. I've been trying to put up a front for a couple of months now, but I think coaching two teams for 3 months and allowing myself to get caught up in the kids' problems has taken a toll on my teaching and I feel like I just woke up from teaching in January. One girl was really pretty upset with me and it was great (humbling!) to hear her tell me what she thought - "when you tell people to leave or be quiet and they don't, it's just SAD." wow. honesty is good I suppose.

This weekend, of course I'll have no time to grade papers or get ahead on planning. Going to Great America with the JH group from church. regular sports practice next week after school, but I will most definitely take time at nights to DO SCHOOL. I get to form cool bonds with kids as a coach - apparently in the classroom I will HAVE TO BE all business now. I'm at once relieved and... crushed in spirit. Yet optimistic.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Triathlon Practice and the week

This morning was a great triathlon practice. Six of us went to Millerton and did some running (3 miles), biking (12 miles) and swimming!( 1/4 mile). It was a great time augmented by McDonalds afterward! Especially when one of my water polo+triathlon athletes said, "thanks dad!" and the old couple across from us looked at me funny.

Overall it was a great week as well. Good lessons on Thursday and Friday - constructing pyramids, cylinders, etc. with construction paper. only lost 2 rulers. Not very stressful except still for the 12pm class, although Friday was better with them.

Had a great conversation with a kid on Thursday night at jr high group at church.

gotta do one more paper and then i just gotta put together my portfolio for Fresno Pacific and then on Thursday's the meeting and then I can... be done with credentialing!

- swim season ended on Friday. it was great but thank goodness... now i'm only coaching one sport for the next two weeks (triathlon) then comes Water Polo!!!!

- questions i had for myself for this weekend:
1) Am I too involved in my students social lives? Getting called on a Friday night by one of my triathlon students because he/she was upset about breaking up with a fellow triathlete and didn't want to go to practice... a bit too much drama for me. it all worked out, sure, but still...
2) I need to have more personal time. although tonight has been nice... relaxing! Tomorrow will be church and spiderman+lesson planning! This week is gonna be too busy, so I need to make sure to try and make it to water polo Tuesday night... However, being 3 months late on my car registration and "needing" new brakes for teh past month and a half are signs that I haven't been great at my priorities.