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Shaundalyn Elliott's Diary
The First 180 Days


Shaundalyn Elliott, a recent college graduate, always dreamed of being a corporate lawyer. Her deep feelings of responsibility to the minority students in her hometown led her instead to a teaching position at her alma mater, an urban middle school in Montgomery, Alabama. Each week during this school year -- Shaundalyn's first year in the classroom -- she will share with Education World readers her thoughts and feelings about her first 180 days!

Shaundalyn's Diary

Week 14

Because of the short Thanksgiving week, I've allowed the students to spend a few days watching The Clash of the Titans, the story of Zeus' son Perseus and the obstacles he must overcome to win the love of Andromeda. The students thoroughly enjoyed the film and all its action-packed scenes. In fact, many of them said that the film helped make our study of Greek mythology more realistic.

November 27, 2000

The students are back from their brief holiday break. To help refocus them, I informed them of my plans for the remainder of the semester -- we'll sum up our unit on mythology with a test at the end of the week and then quickly begin our next unit on drama. As soon as they understood our objectives for the remainder of the week, we began reading the last myth of the semester.

November 29, 2000

The school issued progress reports today. Tomorrow, students must return the reports with their signatures and their parents'. Issuing any type of grading correspondence to parents is easy here, using the STI classroom module system. The teacher's primary responsibility is entering the grades into the system; the averages are calculated automatically. We also use this simple system to record attendance and textbook numbers.

November 30, 2000

I stayed late today to clean my classroom for the guests we're expecting for the school's first technology night. We anticipate a number of parents, teachers, students, and members of the community will attend. Several seminars are scheduled, including sessions on monitoring children's use of the Internet, finding jobs on the Internet, and what to look for when purchasing a computer.

December 1, 2000

When I arrived at work this morning, I learned that I had received several compliments on the appearance of my room. Parents found it very inviting, colorful, and especially clean. Honored by this, I decided to share the compliments with my students. I was surprised to find that most of them felt the same way! Now, we all make a conscious effort to keep our room attractive and clean at all times.

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Shaundalyn Elliot
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