Saturday, April 23, 2005

La semana de examenes y espanol

First off, my apologies. That title should say "La semana de exámenes y español," but I can't figure out how to get special characters into the headlines. Oh, well. For those who don't remember much of your high school Spanish (or, even worse, never took it), the translation is "The week of tests and Spanish," and that about sums things up. Monday I taught junior high science, and then on Tuesday the WASL started. That's the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, and it's the big standardized test that the state offers, so as to see how well students and schools are doing, and the like. Never mind, of course, that all students and schools are different, so you can't really expect them all to do the same on such a test... But that's for another day. In the meantime, Danny Westneat, a columnist for The Seattle Times, took the WASL as part of his column, and gave his readers this report on it.

So, anyway, with the WASL starting on Tuesday, I ended up not working that day, which gave me the opportunity to do a little more work on applying for jobs. Thanks to all of the legwork I've done already, it actually went pretty smoothly -- either that, or I've just been doing it for so long that now it's all become rote! Then on Wednesday, I got a high school Spanish job that ended up going two days, as the teacher was not feeling well. Good thing I had three years of Spanish in high school and another in college, so I'm passable, and can certainly handle teaching first or second year Spanish. The trouble with this assignment was that they'd had a substitute the previous two days, and the teacher didn't have much planned out, so I had to scramble a bit to find something for them to do. Fortunately, with testing going on for the first two hours, each class was only thirty-five minutes long, so I didn't have to do too much. It went pretty well, and while I also had to proctor some of the tests, that gave me an opportunity to catch up on some reading.

Then on Friday, more Spanihs, this time a junior high job that I'd already arranged some weeks earlier. Most of the classes got to see a video on the Aztec Empire, and the last one learned about the command form of verbs. I knew this well enough to smooth them over the bumps, but I'm not sure I was able to adequately explain where to put in the accents in those cases where you need to. Oh, well.

Testing is still going on next week in both districts, but I'm sure something will turn up. And if not, there are still those jobs to apply for.

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