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February 2008


I am having fun!  I've had trouble being able to stay in workshops, mainly due to diabetes issues, but it is getting better.

Microsoft, especially Kent, is treating me exceptionally well.  Their representatives are fantasic, and I love the ship.  As always the first day was very rough, but at least I didn't fall out of bed.

More when I actually have time to write something thoughtful.

I hate DNS!

I have a bunch of really good blog entries are they are ALL ON THE OLD SERVER!  I am going to try to figure out how to move them over, but it might not happen until Spring Break -- only a few weeks ago.

Ex-Ursuline Academy teacher gets probation for sexual contact with student | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News

This sort of thing makes me crazy, but probably gives the least painful outcome.  Though I'm afraid he'll try something like this again... so many do.


One thing I've done since day one, is to think of my students as babies -- even the 21 year olds, and yes, I've had 21 year old students in my classroom.  In Texas, as long as you haven't graduated, AND you don't give a discipline problem, you have the right to be in the classroom until you are 21 or you graduate.


Quoted from


Ex-Ursuline Academy teacher gets probation for sexual contact with student | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News

If Mr. Novinski successfully completes his probation, he will not have a criminal record. He is not required to register as a sex offender.


But as a condition of his probation, he is prohibited from teaching or doing counseling work.

Cheating in My District

I like to play it very safe on my blogs, but did comment on this with my real name, though the comment hasn't shown up yet. 


Dallas ISD Blog | The Dallas Morning News


Ward English, associate principal at Skyline High School, has this to say about alleged cheating at his school.


You need to read the memo. 


Ward was dean at my school for several years, when I worked very closely with him.  When I was teacher tech, the deans relied heavily on my technology expertise, and the ones we have had since then have relied on me some.


First, I have my own policy in similar matters -- if a kid gets put in my class in the middle of the semester, I'm always kind grade wise.  It happens too often.  In fact, whenever I know a kid's schedule was screwed up by adults, I'm not only kind in grading, but do what I can to fix the situation.


I will say that over my 16 years, several athletes have been placed in the wrong level of technology class and they honestly couldn't handle the work.  Many have been special ed -- remember I teach CS and it's not always the right placement. On several different occasions administrators have asked the following question:


"What can this kid do to pass your class"?

One or two times, I've honestly said, put them in the appropriate class (which I usually name) and I'll give the kid a 70.  The good news is that all parties involved are relieved, me, the kid, the parents AND the administrator.  And the kid does better in the right class.  Though sometimes I have to smooth over the feathers of the receiving teacher. 


On other occasions I've said, "the kid needs to do this work, and I'm available at these times". The kid always shows up at the time and place indicated, often with a teammate to help him.  And I help too, but the kid does the work.


Those two answers have always worked well for both me and the kids.  Even when I teach math.