Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring Break

There is no school this week. I find that spring break is the least standard of all holidays taken by schools in the USA. Ours is a little earlier than some. Some wait until Easter Week, some a little sooner. Every school district has a formula or history that dictates when it happens. In any event, ours is this week.
Just before break, our grade level team (grades 11 and 12) had our regular meeting and we got to discuss some student awards to be presented at the end of the year ceremony.. The school has its own awards to recognize students who distinguished themselves in a variety of ways during the year. (Yes, I realize that the year isn't quite 3/4 over, but we have a pretty good feel for the students by now). In addition, colleges have adopted a way of promoting themselves while giving an award. They give a book to a worthy junior. The particular student is chosen by the faculty. That was our job last week and we had a bunch of then to figure out. This is a great time of faculty interaction. The greatest benefit for me is as follows: since the high school classes have around 200 students, it is not possible for a given teacher to know all students in a class. That means the decision must be reached by consensus using the input of a given student's teachers. In so doing, I learn about some great students that I have never taught (and will never teach). I also get to share info about some of my students that other teachers have not had. In this exercise, it really comes home, what great kids we have at Pine View. For the school awards, in particular, this is a problem. There are few awards and many deserving students. We do our very best to chose the best, most representative students as recipients of these awards, but inevitably, some who should be recognized aren't.
There are some things that are a fact of life at schools

The Saturday, March 7, Bonnie and I took our granddaughter camping for 5 nights. Several years ago we purchased an Aliner trailer to go camping with her. It has been a great investment. And I must say that Florida state parks are generally of very high quality. We have now camped at 9 different state parks and one county park. We have gone to several of these more than one time. This time we camped at Anastasia State Park near St. Augustine. We camped with some friends, so it was a great time. The first night was cold, plain and simple, dipping into the 40s. We had a big fire to ward off the chill and a little heater in the trailer that kept us nice and warm for sleeping. Sunday, the beach was nice, with some big (for us Gulf Coasters) surf. There was a motorcycle event in the area that included 5 parks, ours was one. So there were tents, displays and music that afternoon. We left and explored the town a bit in the afternoon. St. Augustine is celebrating 450 years as a town. During our time at the park we biked, kayaked and explored a terrific nature trail. We also had smores every night. (Nadia does not think it is camping without smores.)

Just before break I changed my school password for the last time. For the past several years we have had to change our password every 90 days. More final events to come. I can feel the end of the year rushing towards me.

I am getting closer to making that big announcement I keep mentioning. Stay tuned.

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