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April 2010
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June 2010

May 2010

Office 2010 – Using Word to Blog

I've been running the Office 2010 beta release and really enjoying it but not really USING it. Especially Word. Most of the time, I do Word at school (work), and not much at home.

So I've started out by writing some blog posts – this one and the one on Outlook 2010. Frankly I prefer using Windows Live Writer to blog, but this isn't bad. It doesn't have some special commands for blogging.

I do like the file recovery – I have a blog post that isn't showing up for some odd reason, and I had already closed the entry without saving. It was very easy to recover it.

There are lots of nice templates, which I hardly ever use. When I do a word document, I am almost always writing some documentation. Especially now that I've got most of the people in my building at least knowing they need to read email. I hardly ever write a memo any more.

Loving Outlook 2010

I’ve been running the Beta of Office 2010 since it first came out, and I will be the first to admit, at home, I run Outlook the most.

I will be the first to say I never liked Outlook when it first came out and hated Outlook Express.  For years, I ran a third party program out of Dallas, can’t remember the name, but I actually have a Install CD for it around here somewhere.

I think it took getting a Windows Mobile phone and getting an Exchange account through to really like it.

I now use Outlook exclusively to do personal email, stuck with Groupwise to do school email though sometimes I cheat and use Outlook to do that too.

One of the things I really like is that two groups I deal with use Google calendar – the place I dog train at and school.  So I will download the calendar from either group, move the events I’m interested in to my calendar and I’m done.

Easy peasy.

However, I haven’t been using the task portion enough, and that’s one of my summer resolutions.  The tasks are there, but I don’t always mark the appropriately.

I even do twitter with Outlook using TwInBox.  I really like it.  Especially now that you can mark favorites.  I hope the next permutation is to unmark favorites.

Administrating the EOC

One of the things I really like about the EOC is that I can have my computer on and can monitor the students.  My testing coordinator complimented on the room arrangement as my CPU's block the next person from seeing the monitor.

My biggest problem?  I swear I am not exaggerating when I say that it is taking over 30 minutes to reload a test.  And the testing server IS in the same room.

I'm doing EOC Chemistry and some kids are taking over two hours to take it, especially the kids who have to reload -- I've had two.

We've got one more session today, and 3 tomorrow in my room.  We did one other lab today and will do two tomorrow.

We have no more infrastructure to test with, and my room is the only good one for it.

I'm working on the other rooms, but all the equipment in those are currently obsolete.

More on EOC – how it NEEDS to done

Lance just commented how he got hi-jacked.  If state wants us to test online, they are going to have to provide the infrastructure to do it.

Each district is going to have to have a stand alone lab(s) whose sole purpose is online testing.  Students will have to be tested by appointment. 

Again, if the state wants it to happen, they have to fund it.

As it is, secondary testing is almost completely impossible as it is now..  We have to shut the entire building down for about 5 days total.  We take up almost every classroom testing or warehousing students who are not testing.

Online testing by appointment would take a huge pressure off the schools and let us teach.  The on-line testing could actually be scheduled after the school year ends.

EOC Online Testing

Just as I posted that I had everything caught up, someone had to read my post and change things …

Our testing coordinator came to me frustrated and said we needed to test more students but we didn’t have any more days.  Which lab should we use.  I strongly suggested the one next door, told him we needed the software installed and I’d get it done if he could get someone to cover me.

Fortunately the sub arrived just at a time when I could get my special ed student out – he has to be escorted through the building by someone who has been trained.  He was upset we were going during the passing period, but I’ve been doing something that works – I tell him he’s invisible until he gets to the car. 

I finished installing the Testnav software – which is lovely software.  It reboots the computer without telling why, leaves us with the icons and no software.  That’s okay, because I need to run it and put the right address each time.  And that also ticks me off, it should put in the right address!  It often installs leaving an error message telling me to look at the log.  Do I really have time for that?  And the message in the log doesn’t tell me anything.

I started 4th period, right around 11:30, and finished just after 5:00 pm.  The power went out in the middle and I had to find a custodian to fix it.  There were three extension cords going into a single power strip.

We honestly don’t have the infrastuture to test the entire school online for EOC’s.  To do the field test, we have to kick students out of three labs, right before final exams.  Not a good time.

Caught Up

I actually have everything done I can go

I have everything graded -- I even have final grades in for my seniors. 

I have all the inventory done I can.  I need to send my kiddos out to do several different rooms, but those are things I can't do.

I'm prepared for the EOC testing.  Basically I just have to do whatever the testing coordinator says to do, when and how.

I've got the school web site in a nice shape, and it literally takes me seconds to update it. 

I'm actually working on next year stuff.

Summer and attitude

Things are getting better.

I just found out I don't have to go to the workshop week of June 7, which means I can relax that week.  I do have one appointment -- Kick off for ACP but that one is good. And it's LOADS better than going to the make up.  I had to do that last year and it was AWFUL!

Still have AP Workshop to do, which I am looking forward to.

Still have ACPs.

Still have Early Start.

So I will make some money, get some training and have some time to relax.  I think I'm just going to put two full days a week on my schedule for ACP's, and make sure that they aren't on Friday.  It's always a zoo on Friday.  I want to get my 40 hours in as quickly as possible and make a good test. 

While I really miss the coworker that passed, and we all do, I am okay about the situation now.  The one that is really bothering me is the co-worker that is on paid administrative leave.  I do feel guilty about the situation but I did try to get the teacher to change her behavior, and did tell the powers that be what bothered me and put it in their hands.  It's hard to hope that things go well for the other person but that I really don't want them back poisoning the atmosphere.

Coworker Death

I haven’t blogged for several days, most probably due to my friend’s death.  Friday hit us the hardest, as we were to go to her retirement party that day, and instead went to visitation.  One of her students came to me upset, as she had mistreated her all year.  I told the kiddo not to worry, that teachers don’t take that behavior  personally and that I knew and the teacher knew that there was more going on.  I did say that she had learned an important lesson though and that she needed to learn not to take things out on others.

The funeral service itself was Saturday afternoon and our principal did a nice job speaking of her.

Summer Falling Into Place

Still having problems with some staff development I don't want to take, but I am set for the ACP's this summer.  Our district has common exams for most of our courses, and they are called "ACP" or "Assessment of Course Performance".

We get paid $20.00, set our own hours, but have to work on them at site. Love it.

One of my coworkers died

One of our business teachers died Thursday night.  She is retiring, so it is doubly sad.  Several of my students are hers so Monday will be hard.

We lost another teacher unexpectedly about 15 years ago.  That teacher was one of the reasons I have always kept up with my grading and my lesson plans.  She left us a mess of incomplete grades.  Made it even harder on us.

The good news is that we have had a student teacher / now pretty much full-time sub who is or going to be certified in business so hopefully she can take over for the rest of the year.  The kids know her so that will make it easier on everyone, especially the kids.

Really hate to lose people and especially that way.