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Annette Weeks

Officer Interviews

Posted by Annette Weeks Jun 7, 2011

We conducted officer interviews after school today. It is always an exciting time to meet the students who will be my officers for the upcoming year. There are times, however when I have to wonder about how the next year will go. Take for example the response to this question:

 

"There has been a great deal of drama in the chapter this year. How can you help to keep that from happening next year?"

 

The student's answer? "By not dating my fellow officers."

 

Short, sweet and to the point. Whose child is that anyway? Mine!

Annette Weeks

Student Pranks

Posted by Annette Weeks May 24, 2011

12 chairs showed up in my shop at the beginning of the school year. Not sure where they came from, but they sat there.  Since the chairs were being stored in the Ag Shop, we of course switched out the best chairs in the stack with the worst ones on our classrooms.

 

I put in multiple work orders for their removal. In April I noticed they were rusting. So, I sent our head custodian an e-mail about the chairs and he put in another work order. On one of the nice days in May I commented to my Engines class, “Why don’t you put those chairs out on the sidewalk, maybe someone in maintenance will notice and finally pick them up.” My class agreed to move them for me.

 

I was working with students in the shop when my principal came in and said, “Mrs. Weeks, did you know about your chairs.”

 

I said, “Yes, I had the students move them out…”

 

“…to the road?” he said with one of his half smiles.

 

“Oh my gosh!” I said as we went to take a look.

 

When we got out to the sidewalk, one of the security guards and our intervention specialist were standing guard over the chairs that by had been moved back to the sidewalk by then. The security guard was chuckling, but the intervention specialist was grumbling about the chaors and how they were broken and how they shouldn't be out there.

 

     My industrious students had lined the chairs up across the school driveway, blocking the entrance. Cars were driving up to the chairs, stopping and turning around!

 

     My principal actually smiled, just a little and the chairs finally got removed.

Well...the week of 2011 State Convention is over. It was a hard week as the students didn't do as well as they thought they should. But boy was it ever a growing week. Here are things I think my students learned a little bit more about:

 

*     The journey is what it's all about, not the end prize

*     You really do need to take practices seriously. Others do. And it shows during competition.

*     Competition at state is a lot tougher than it is at districts - you should respect that and be ready for it.

*     You can go to convention to have fun, but you need to be serious first.

*     Finally...Don't assume anything. Just because you think you have it all tied up doesn't mean you do. Be prepared for the unexpected.

 

I find conventions to be a wonderful mix of excitement, stress and wonderment. Young members learning more about FFA. Old members renewing friendships and seniors saying good-bye to an organization they have been so at home in for the past few years.

 

Time flies by in such a short time while we are in the microcosm of FFA members and Advisors. I love it and for me it always singles the beginning of the end of the year. There is less than 5 weeks left of school and even less for seniors.

 

Students and friends ask why I do this job. When I come home from convention I am both exhausted (so much so I didn't hear my kiddos sneak in from the dance Saturday night and take pictures of me sleeping - they claim there's a video of the snoring too ) and pumped for next year. I love my students and the people I work with. I love the daily change. While it is bittersweet to see my students graduate, it is satisfying to know I played a small part in that process.

 

As you come into the end of your year, I wish you the best.

Annette Weeks

FFA Week: Take 2

Posted by Annette Weeks Feb 24, 2011

FFA Week: Take 2 - That is what we are going to title our FFA Week festivities when we hold then in 2 weeks. We had a student kill himself this past weekend and it just didn't feel right for us to continue with our festivities while 30% of the school population, some of them FFA members were grieving. The funeral was today - which was a snow day.

 

The activities that my officers have planned for the upcoming week:

 

During lunch we will have a table set out for students to "vote" for the teacher they want to see get their face painted blue and gold the following Monday. They will vote by putting money in the jar with the teachers' faces. All of the proceeds are going to our local food bank.

 

Tuesday is blue & gold day. At our table we have wrist bands for anyone who comes up wearing our colors to show support. Then for those who are dressed up really well, we will have the camera to take their picture and vote for who gets the prizes we have ordered from the FFA Catalogue. We tie-dyed blue and gold t-shirts during our Feb. chapter meeting to wear for this day.

 

Wednesday - we already did the staff appreciation breakfast.

 

Thursday we will have a field trip to our science museum. Currently there is a cool exhibit on Egypt with a real mummy and an exhibit on designing everything from buildings to video games

 

Friday we will have guessing jars are both lunches. They are water bottles with m&m's. One is in our school colors, the other is in FFA colors.

 

Over all, I think it will go over better when everyone is in better spirits and the timing will be better for some fun.

For FFA Week, my students have traditionally done an appreciation breakfast. It has evolved over the years. Sometimes it is just a continental breakfast and sometimes we get way more breakfast foods involved. This year, the students wanted to try for something more tradiotnal - pancakes. We even had an advisory member who had suggested this to the officers and volunteered to make them. We have also included a hashbrown casserole that is one of my family favorites and has become a staff favorite.

 

Great idea your thinking to yourself.....

 

Last week, my principal came to me to inform me he had scheduled our proctor training for the statewide testing on the same morning as our breakfast (the morning of our collaboration). Could we move breakfast to another week when only the teaching staff and no support staff would be in the building? The officers vetoed that idea.

 

They did however decide to scale down the food to coffee and baked goods before the training. This would keep the intent of the "breakfast" and not interfere with the training. Our principal agreed.

 

Yesterday we started getting reports of the nasty weather that really was going to hit and snow that was going to come from the mountains all the way to the coast. Now I know most of you have been dealing with this weather for months now. We here in Washington have had it pretty lucky.

 

It came as no suprise this morning at 5:46 am when I got a call making today a 2 1/2 hour late start. So I started calling officers to make sure they knew not to meet me at school. I let me principal know, the food would still be here, because it was ordered and couldn't be let sit. I went I picked up the food and we have a staff graze today. I had the food out by 8:00 am (1 1/4 hours later than expected) and with no students to greet them.

 

Do you ever get the feeling that some things were just not meant to be?

Annette Weeks

Sub Plans...

Posted by Annette Weeks Feb 6, 2011

So I decided that I needed a sub for yesterday. I hate being sick because so often students don't make any progress and even more often they back-slide. Especially at the beginning of a semester, what rotten timing for flu-season to hit!

 

My Small Gas Engines Class was supposed to be getting the grand tour of the shop so I could point out the key areas and the safety items. I was also going to begin our big safety lecture. Friday was supposed to be the day when they got to get out of their seats and see the shop. Ugh! So at about 10:00 pm I got this brainstorm. Because i couldn't be in the class giving the tour, maybe the students could give themselves a tour. After all, I have some really good advanced students this semester who can help oversee their movements and know where the beginning students can and can't be.

 

Hey, I'm thinking, this could work!

 

So I begin to make a partial map of my shop and outside enclosure. The map included the off-limits areas and directions for what the students were supposed to look for and fill in.

 

I stopped by the school on my way home from the Beef Weigh-In this morning and read the sub report. The map worked. The sub says the students were great and they got the idea of where the safety items are located. I am pleased that this worked, I may keep this as my tour for the future. I guess in the long run having a sub was a good thing because I would never have come up with this idea had I been in class yesterday - I would have continued doing things the same old way.

 

So here is to a healthy cold and flu season for everyone. My school nurse says wash those hands and wash them often!

 

Annette