Thursday, March 03, 2005

I get to make petri dishes... again.

Last night I stayed up late stirring beef bouillon, sugar, water, and gelatin, and pouring it into petri dishes. Gross. But this morning, after a night in the fridge, they were solid, though not particularly agar-like in appearance.

Today, none of the students who are doing bacteria experiments were ready to begin their experiments, despite my warning them that I would have the petri dishes ready. And then, sixth period, a box arrived from Carolina Biological Supply, with two class-sets of petri dishes and agar, so now I can make "real" petri dishes. Carolina is an awesome company, very responsive to teachers. I ordered the petri dishes on-line earlier this week. The expected delivery date was next Wednesday, but in the box where they ask for special shipping instructions, I explained that it would be really helpful if we could get them earlier - and here they are, almost a week early!

Otherwise, the day wasn't fabulous... a number of things came together to make me frustrated with the kids and with myself. They didn't do a very good job of teaching their invertebrates lessons, and many of the students slacked off on homework because it was assigned by fellow students rather than by me (although they knew it was getting collected and graded), and even though I gave them study sheets and articles containing extra information and even a whole period to study in-class, they did very poorly on the inverts test (at least based on the ones I've graded so far). Grades are due next week. I handed out an extra-credit assignment today, but I think very few kids will take advantage of it, since it is a lot of work - they have to watch either "A Bug's Life" or "Antz" and research one species of insect, and then write a five-paragraph essay analyzing whether the movie did a good job portraying that insect. I made it hard, because, quite frankly, I think they've been lazy about following directions, lazy about taking on challenges, and basically lazy about damn near everything in the last few weeks. Even walking from classroom to classroom, they practice the passive resistance of walking a s s l o w l y a s p o s s i b l e . . .

it's really getting on my nerves.

And I am concerned that this pervasive do-the-minimum attitude is going to mean that their science expo projects turn into a last-minute panic. I don't want that to happen because it means MY life will turn into a last-minute panic.

This teacher could use a few supportive words. Rough week.


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