Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question? Check here...somebody may have just asked it. Feel free to ask for more information. Who knows...your question may make the FAQ list.
Regarding policy, please realize that I do like my job...and many of your requests are simply a matter of following the rules set out for me. It doesn't matter if every one of your other teachers allow you to do something. They may be about to retire, been here long enough to not care, or best friends with the SI...who knows.
Why do you have a FAQ? Three reasons. 1) I think you all deserve a full answer...but I am not going to take class time to explain the long answer. 2) When I was your age...I was like many of you...I wanted to know why...not just, "No." Well, here is your long answer. 3) Ever been asked the same question a dozen times? The first time...you answer pretty patiently, next time...same way...but by the 10th time...you start to run out of patience. Here, I can explain it completely.
Why do you teach several things all at once on the projector? Why can't you just teach one thing and then let us work on it? One of the things that I try to do is EXPOSE and INTRODUCE how to do something. But then, I want you to figure out how to do it using the written instructions, whether those instructions are hand written...or on the Internet. I will always SHOW you how to do it...and then let you work with that concept. Sometimes it just isn't practical to show small steps because it makes for a very stilted process. Indeed there are different learning styles. Some really do need to be shown one single thing...and then let them work with just that one step. But remember, I am not necessarily trying to teach you how to do that one thing...as much as I am trying to show you generally how to do it...so the written instructions will make sense. As one respondent said on the EOY Survey, "I think trying to figure out programs ourselves works better than you standing up there and trying to explain them. It goes in one ear and out the other for me." So, since there are people of both learning types, I try to show quickly how it is done, then provide you written instructions in the form of a self paced tutorial.
Can you slow down and not have so many projects due at once? Technically, we only do one in class project at a time. BUT, as people finish up...I start laying out the details for the next project. Unfortunately, we just can't wait until every body is done. I do lay out what is due by the end of the 6 weeks at the beginning so that you know what all is expected of you...and also for those that want to work ahead and accomplish more than is expected.
Why do you take class so seriously? Because life is serious. There is a time to play and a time to work. Besides, would you really want to sit in a class for an entire year with a teacher who wasn't as committed to what they are teaching as I am? The irony is that like all of your teachers, I know what it is like for you as a teenager. I grew up here and even graduated from West Brook. School is pretty tough no doubt. But life is tough. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of good things in life to look forward to. And life is generally good. But a strange thing happens after you graduate...you find out that the majority of your life is AFTER high school...and that in fact, high school was only a small part of your life. And the things (both academics and character development) that we try to get you to learn are to help you have a successful future. The reality is that MOST of you all WILL go on to some other training/or school after HS. You may not seek a degree at a college...but most of you all will enter into some formal OTJ (On The Job) Training or some certification program where you will need to be able to learn a skill quickly...and usually take a test to receive your certification. You see, I, like most of your teachers, KNOW what it is like to be you...AND know what it is like to 20 years down the road. One day when you are all "growed" up, with your own money on the line (a quote from Armageddon), you too will know the value of what were are tying to accomplish right now today. So, lighten up on me...take things a little more serious...there is MORE of your life AFTER school than these few brief years that will be over in a dash!
My printer at home is a great photo printer, why can't I use it? It is true that photo printers make nice prints. The problem is that a print from an inkjet or even a laser printer is just not the same as a silver based photo printed at a photo processor. It may be more convenient to print at home...but it can actually cost more.
Testing for Mid Term and Final Exams
Can I test early? NO! Unless you are on the co-op program. and the exam schedule would put you here after your normal release time...you may NOT test early. See above regarding policies.
Can I use a TAKs exemption for your test? NO. This has been specifically stated in writing from the admin. UPDATE: 2011-12 you CAN if you passed all 4 sections.
Can I leave early after the test? NO! Unless you are on the co-op program...you may NOT leave early. It has to do with liability. If you leave early, who knows where you will go. If something were to happen to you...I could loose my job. "Will you write me up if I leave early?". Of course...and imagine how you will feel starting next year year with SAC. Don't worry, you have all summer to sit around and be bored! Repeatedly asking me will not help as I am NOT going to change my answer just because you repeat the question.
Can I test on the first day of a split test schedule? NO! The test is short enough that you only need one hour. This is a good thing. The first half of the test day will be used to complete your work, review for the test and/or help others complete their work. In the case of the final, you may be missing people's presentation, which is important to me...and should be to you as well. Remember, you have just a few more days to sit around and do nothing all do for weeks on end...or quite possibly your entire life. So, enjoy the last few days of your school year and make something positive of the time.
Please review the following emails from Mr. Daniels:
I explained to department heads that we must follow Board Policy for exemptions. Seniors...are not allowed TAKS exemptions. I have seniors telling me that are exempt from everything. This is not possible.
If Policy is not followed, it may be that in the future no exemptions will be allowed. Please make sure you are beyond reproach in this matter. School Board members got involved last year and a change in policy is possible if we do not follow the current guidelines.
Students are going from one teacher to another telling them that teachers are announcing that seniors do not have to come to school at all next week. Be very careful. If you have told a student they do not have to come to school, you are breaking the law. Do not put yourself in a precarious position.
As predicted, parents have called board members saying that West Brook is allowing seniors to be off for an inordinate amount of time. This was relayed to me by an Assistant Superintendent. I am going to reiterate that senior teachers must follow the finals schedule. In addition remember that seniors are only allotted 3 exemptions. You may not give extra exemptions. This is a directive and failure to abide by the directive may result in suspension and/or a change in the teaching assignment for next year.
Why do you think a senior skip day is silly? Skipping a day of school is silly on any day. Skipping the last day of a 6 weeks is foolish. If you failed to turn in an assignment (i.e. the photo montage) because you skipped (i.e. you are a senior and you were absent on Thursday), I will NOT make a correction to the grades. Sorry.
Why are you so against tattoos (and other extreme behavior)? Simple...it's permanent...and how you feel about life right now is NOT. YOU will change. I promise. Be extreme with your accomplishments.
One day I posted the following pictures as an example of "Treatment of Motion". It had been in the news that day. But I never want anybody to get the wrong idea when I show a picture...especially one like this...that might portray motorcycles as COOL. They may be cool...but they are also EXTREMELY...and dangerous.
(check out the business article on Harley-Davidson. Note, this is NOT a PRO-motorcycle endorsement by me. MOTORcycles use almost as much gas and are FAR, FAR more dangerous than driving a car.
* 4008 motorcyclists died in 2004 and 76,000 were injured...approximately twice the rate for drivers of passenger vehicles. The one in the picture above in Pt Arthur.
Death is the least of your worries!
But even quadriplegics find a way to make the most of life. Point is? Be extreme and unique with your ACCOMPLISHMENTS...not your style or behavior!