Kneecaps

The primary goal of this site is to provide mature, meaningful discussion about the Vancouver Canucks. However, we all need a break some time so this forum is basically for anything off-topic, off the wall, or to just get something off your chest! This forum is named after poster Creeper, who passed away in July of 2011 and was a long time member of the Canucks message board community.

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Re: Kneecaps

Postby ukcanuck » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:54 am

Skintag Necklace wrote:
When the NDP govern the province however all bets are off. They pander to the unions and give into every single demand instead of negotiating with them.

Oh? Why then did the BCTF have to take job action to get the government to negotiate a labour contract when the NDP were in power as well?

Skintag Necklace wrote: I believe the teachers should be compensated as well as they are in other parts of the country. There have been reports that they are not but I am not sure who to believe as I ahven't been following this very closely despite ahving children of my own in school. I am not hamstrung by closures next week as they are old enough to care for themselves while the wife and I are at work.


So you don't give a fuck enough to be informed, but you want to slap your opinion around willy-nilly?

Very rich indeed...




Skintag Necklace wrote: unlike yourself UKcanuck I DO pay taxes in this province and quite a nice fucking chunk of change at that. You can sit over there and throw rocks from your dump of a country. You probably have anawful set of chicklets, halitosis, b.o. and a boorish accent. Some of us actually live here and have to deal with the lousy school system and rotten teachers. You preach your commie bullshit and then insult everyone from Limeyland. Really rich. Probably thinks anyone making 80 K a year should gladly give back 60 % of their wages to the govt.


First off, I am not a communist or I would be in favour of gulags and "disappearing" subversives like yourself.
I'm am for lack of a better term, a socialist, an Orwellian socialist of you prefer.
Please get your labels right, you sound like a hillbilly.


And
I don't live in the UK at the moment, I live in the UAE.
Granted it's a bit of a dump but it's also your fucking heaven SN. You should move here, there are no taxes at all. Zilch.
You take your pay home and fuck everyone else. No social
Safety net. No civil rights, no elections and no NDP.

They do have firing squads and a lot of jails however...

Just so you know, I used to teach in BC but about ten years ago I decided to go check out the rest of the world before I got too old to enjoy it. I've since worked in the UK and now the UAE. I've worked in both public and private schools and I've taught rich kids and poor kids...

The BC school system by the way, is considered one of the best remaining public systems in the world.

BC and Finland...go figure ?


Ps my teeth are still in my head and I only have halitosis after eating Mutton Bryani..
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby Topper » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:04 pm

isle_nuck wrote:That premier has often stated that she is wanting to create jobs in our province. Here is a great opportunity. Reduce class sizes and bring in more specialist teachers.

Adding to the government payroll is not job creation.

isle_nuck wrote:Continuing on this theme, if you stand out in your market, flooded or not, more work will be available to you (theoretically - again, I don't know what you do). You might be able to put in a few longer days, work a couple extra weekends, but you will be able to get to the clients who want to put you to work. You might lose a few clients because of your backlog, but you still come out ahead. I can't do that. And unlike some other unions, I don't even have the option of overtime. (Yes, I can get a second or third job, but I'd rather be practicing my profession)

Demand, globally, has dried up for my profession, I am still working, albeit less than usual, most of my colleagues are looking elsewhere again until things turn around. I don't mind the cyclical nature as it is a very demanding field that is quite lucrative when things boom. The lucrative booms draw an influx of folks to the industry, the busts cull those not series about the field. Culls are necessary and the teaching profession is long over due for one.

isle_nuck wrote:I realize that the BCTF is asking for what amounts to at least a 10% wage increase. Everyone, not just teachers, would love that. But it's an insane number. I hope it's just a negotiation ploy. A number of teachers I've talked to have said that they would be willing to take the approximately 7% over 6 years the government is offering if the class size limits are restored to what they were in 2002.

And now we get to the crux of the argument. I have no idea why we are striking now. The 2002 class size limits (that we took in lieu of pay increases - at least according to the union) that were stripped illegally are the big thing in the this negotiation. The government isn't budging on that right now, which makes total sense. If they win their appeal they've got us over a barrel and it's done. Game over for Iker and the BCTF. Last I heard the appeal isn't going to be read until November. So, why would the government give us a wage increase and the class composition now?

Furthermore with the Me Too clauses built into all the other public sector contracts any wage demands higher than those percentages is a waste of time and paper.

Anyway, at the end of the day for me, I just want to be back in a classroom. Extra money is always nice, but I just like would to know that I'm going to have a job in September. I want a chance to prove that I'm as good a teacher as I think I am. And I would like to do it before I'm a bitter old ass clown who doesn't want to be there anymore. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Class size and composition is being addressed by the government outside of the labour agreement. To do so inside the agreement is foolish not only because of the pending legal case and further appeals but also because it removes the flexibility required between urban and rural districts.

From Iker's comments today, he has no interest in reaching a settlement.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby BurningBeard » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:21 pm

ukcanuck wrote:Did I expect that my wages would remain the same for the entirety of my career? NO

Did expect that wages would increase with the cost of living and inflation since it's a public sector job YES.

I don't know what you're talking about here, so you'll have to enlighten me. Does the BCTF not employ a category and step system that causes increases in salary based on both education and seniority?
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby Topper » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:33 pm

UK - Why should public sector jobs be given continual increasing pay while the private sector does not?

This is the reason why many previous public sector positions are contracted out. Quite possibly contracting out f teaching positions needs happen.

Nothing like some competition to bring about greater efficiency.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby isle_nuck » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:11 pm

Topper wrote:This is the reason why many previous public sector positions are contracted out. Quite possibly contracting out f teaching positions needs happen.

Nothing like some competition to bring about greater efficiency.


Many private schools are efficient at one thing: being factories that push out cookie cutter kids who can get 95%+ on provincial exams but not much else. Certainly not a lot of tradesmen coming out of private schools these days. Also, many of the special needs children who we are fighting for right now get immediately booted out of a private school because they will eventually bring down the graduating GPA or will actually require the school to hire more help to provide the best education for those children possible. And I'm not talking about the down syndrome students - they don't get accepted into the school in the first place. I'm talking about the slightly autistic kid who gets diagnosed in grade 4. They're the ones that get booted.


Topper wrote:Adding to the government payroll is not job creation.


Nor is adding to the salaries of MLAs. If the government is really worried about funding public school teachers, maybe they shouldn't give so much money to private schools.

Topper wrote:Demand, globally, has dried up for my profession, I am still working, albeit less than usual, most of my colleagues are looking elsewhere again until things turn around. I don't mind the cyclical nature as it is a very demanding field that is quite lucrative when things boom. The lucrative booms draw an influx of folks to the industry, the busts cull those not series about the field. Culls are necessary and the teaching profession is long over due for one.


If you want to cull teachers that's fine, but there needs to be an opposite boom. The last 12 years certainly haven't been a boom. We've seen our working conditions (oh that class size composition again!) worsen and lose purchasing power over that time.

I agree that there are weaker teachers that either need to be re-trained or relieved, but if you want to go that route you have to provide a proper and fair evaluation process that will also allow the standouts to gain over the average.

Topper wrote:Class size and composition is being addressed by the government outside of the labour agreement.


Really? How? And I'm being honest here; I either haven't understood what you're saying or there's something going on I've missed.

Topper wrote:To do so inside the agreement is foolish not only because of the pending legal case and further appeals but also because it removes the flexibility required between urban and rural districts.


I partially agree - as I said previously I don't think the government will settle before the appeal is read with the BCTF getting what we want in terms of class size and composition. As for urban and rural areas, I would hope that they put provisions into the class size agreements that have flexibility for area. If not it is a mistake on both sides.

Topper wrote:From Iker's comments today, he has no interest in reaching a settlement.


I disagree. There may be some outlandish pieces to the BCTF proposal, but there's been some massive movement in some areas with little to no movement from the government. (A 'fact finding' committee? Now, that sounds like government job creation!)

Twice in the past week the BCTF has dropped wage demands (Down to 8% over 5 years). Both times the government has said that they wont give back anything in the composition piece. Furthermore last night the BCTF wage decrease was met with an offer from BCPSEA that was lower then their previous offer (From 7.25% over 6 to 7% over 6).

Also, after promising 24/7 negotiation over the weekend, the government waited until Sunday night to table their proposal. There is some 'he said, she said' going on, but it sounds like there wasn't discussion leading up to the BCPSEA offer.

Another thing in today's offer from the government was that either side could terminate the collective agreement if they don't like "ultimate judicial decision". So they're worried about losing the appeal and want to try and protect themselves when that happens.

I'm about to get a little reductive for this last point, but stick with me: At this point the wage offers are close. It seems every other outstanding issue save for class size and composition is close as well. They all seem close enough to split everything in the middle so that neither side is happy with the outcome in those areas (isn't that the sign of a fair deal - both sides are pissed?). So it pretty much comes down to the class size stuff. Unfortunately it seems both sides are hunkering down and waiting on this one.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby BurningBeard » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:34 pm

isle_nuck wrote:Twice in the past week the BCTF has dropped wage demands (Down to 8% over 5 years). Both times the government has said that they wont give back anything in the composition piece. Furthermore last night the BCTF wage decrease was met with an offer from BCPSEA that was lower then their previous offer (From 7.25% over 6 to 7% over 6).

And what was the BCPSEA signing bonus on both offers?

The BCTF dropped their wage demands and asked for a 5K signing bonus. You make less then 50K right? So for you that's more then 10% up front, and then 8% spread out over 5. You're way more educated then me, so I don't think I have to explain the math. Don't you think saying they "came down to 8% over 5" is somewhat dishonest, when they did it in combination with asking for 4 times the signing bonus the government had on the table originally?

I'm not saying the teachers don't deserve the wage increase, they probably "deserve" more then that, but I really don't appreciate the fact that the union thinks I'm an idiot.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby Topper » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:09 pm

isle_nuck wrote:Many private schools......If the government is really worried about funding public school teachers, maybe they shouldn't give so much money to private schools.


I meant contracting out teaching at public schools. Quite possibly contract out the complete school district.

My grandfather fought the public funding of private schools 80 years ago and lost. That battle is done.

isle_nuck wrote:if you want to go that route you have to provide a proper and fair evaluation process that will also allow the standouts to gain over the average.


Teachers continue to fight against any means testing of students (FSA for example) as it may be used against them. I have commented extensively on that as well as the Fraser Institute's well thought out work with FSA scores. Note, read the Fraser Institutes guidelines for interpretation, not the BCTF's gibberish response every year when they are published.

isle_nuck wrote:Really? How? And I'm being honest here; I either haven't understood what you're saying or there's something going on I've missed.


The fund is now known as the Learning Improvement Fund and currently resides outside of the labour agreement. My mistake, the current government offer brings it into the labour agreement. Probably as a counter to the termination clause if either side wished after the court decision. Oddly the BCTF fails to mention this fund in their releases to the media.

isle_nuck wrote:There may be some outlandish pieces to the BCTF proposal, but there's been some massive movement in some areas with little to no movement from the government......At this point the wage offers are close.


The government offer was 7.25% with a clawback of 0.75% of benefits and a $1200 signing bonus. The new offer of 7% removes the benefit clawback while keeping the $1200 signing bonus. BCTF's 8% offer included full benefits and a $5000 signing bonus. I doubt the absolute cost of any of the deals from either side changed very much other than the BCTF's offer comes in heavily front loaded (cue - the Matt Cooke offers of old) with the massive signing bonus. I don't believe the weekend of negotiation brought either side any closer as both offers are a rejig of the overall numbers.

Laughable reading the BCTF's demands

Get down to the Benefits, Mat Leave and beyond.

$3000/yr for massages
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby ukcanuck » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:36 pm

Topper wrote:UK - Why should public sector jobs be given continual increasing pay while the private sector does not?

This is the reason why many previous public sector positions are contracted out. Quite possibly contracting out f teaching positions needs happen.

Nothing like some competition to bring about greater efficiency.


Who says that the private sector does not receive continual pay increases over time? Are you saying inflation doesn't exist? Increases in wages (costs) happen all the time across the entire economy.

I'm fairly confident that your pay has seen at least a net increase over time that reflects cost of living increases and inflation as natural side effect of free markets and competition. (Even with the boom and bust cycle you mention. )

The same thing however can't happen in health and education without a structure that allows for increases, because public service is not a free market. It is regulated to ensure universal access.
We don't charge tuition fees to students and we take everyone who shows up regardless of their ability or physical requirements.

If doctors, teachers, nurses, psychologists, were free to sell their services to the highest bidder, and were given freedom to sign whichever contract they can negotiate fairly as individuals.

Then by definition you don't have a universal system. The best teachers will teach at the best schools and the best schools will be private schools with the wealthiest board of governors.

I could go on at length about the inequality in levels of service and access in the UK since Thatcher destroyed unions

and I could tell you all about the uneducated children, whose parents cannot afford even the cheapest private school, I step over on the way to the school I teach at each day, here in the most unregulated economy on earth.
Somewhere there is a school that is run by the Red Crescent, for people who have no money, but I shudder to think about the quality of teachers that teach there.

Contracting services out is a two edged sword. It might work to contract out laundry services at a hospital to save on wages and pension costs, at the end of the day the sheets get washed whatever.

But it's entirely different when it's the nurse who's measuring the drugs in your drip or the teacher who has your child's future in his hands. Maybe you can afford to hire a good teacher for your kid, but not everyone can.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby ukcanuck » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:53 pm

FSA tests are bullshit as are all standardised tests.

You want to judge my performance as a science teacher using an FSA?

I taught at a BC public school in a highly conservative Mennonite community that didn't believe that dinosaurs existed, that the earth was more than 6000 years old, I wasn't allowed to teach cell reproduction or show diagrams of the nasty bits of plants or animals. Nor did they believe that people should be in space, that the moon landings were faked and they dismissed entirely the space program, and Canadarm as "garbage"



Not surprisingly the kids didn't know as much as kids in the lower mainland and their scores reflected that.
But when the FSA. Reading comprehension portion was expressly about Canada's space program then that put those kids at a distinct disadvantage, and it made it look like weren't even giving them basic reading skills. How is it a fair reflection of the job I am doing given those parameters?
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby isle_nuck » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:27 am

BurningBeard wrote:
And what was the BCPSEA signing bonus on both offers?

The BCTF dropped their wage demands and asked for a 5K signing bonus. You make less then 50K right? So for you that's more then 10% up front, and then 8% spread out over 5. You're way more educated then me, so I don't think I have to explain the math. Don't you think saying they "came down to 8% over 5" is somewhat dishonest, when they did it in combination with asking for 4 times the signing bonus the government had on the table originally?



Haha....yea, I figured that one might be coming! During my district 'study session' :hmmm: there were a lot of pissed off teachers in the room about that figure.

It was explained to us by the head of our local that it was a combination of three things: an attempt to regain the 10% lost due to the lockout, retro pay for the 13/14 school year (in the current BCTF offer the percentage growth doesn't begin until this September, unlike all previous offers that had an increase beginning last Sept) and a true signing bonus. The number is still way too high for anyone to rationalize but at least that breakdown makes it a little better. It's still a joke and a massive PR misstep.

Topper wrote:My grandfather fought the public funding of private schools 80 years ago and lost. That battle is done.


I realize that, unfortunately. That money could do a lot of things in the public system. Oh well. I'll keep dreaming.

Topper wrote:Teachers continue to fight against any means testing of students (FSA for example) as it may be used against them.


The BCTF might fight against testing because it could/would be used against teachers, but teachers fight against it because it really is a poor way to evaluate students, never mind rarely seen outside of schooling. Any teacher who knows what they are doing are using tests as a small piece in the day to day evaluation of student learning. Projects, presentations, discussions and classwork should be designed to get a better understanding of how and what a student is learning. Not only is it building better skills in students for use in later life, but it's also allowing for students to show their knowledge in more than one way.

Topper wrote:Teachers continue to fight against any means testing of students (FSA for example) as it may be used against them. I have commented extensively on that as well as the Fraser Institute's well thought out work with FSA scores. Note, read the Fraser Institutes guidelines for interpretation, not the BCTF's gibberish response every year when they are published.


In every BC school I've taught in, the Fraser Institute's work is little more than fire starter. If nothing else comes out of this discussion, I promise you that when the next report comes out I'll sit down and give it the attention you think it deserves.


Topper wrote:The government offer was 7.25% with a clawback of 0.75% of benefits and a $1200 signing bonus. The new offer of 7% removes the benefit clawback while keeping the $1200 signing bonus. BCTF's 8% offer included full benefits and a $5000 signing bonus. I doubt the absolute cost of any of the deals from either side changed very much other than the BCTF's offer comes in heavily front loaded (cue - the Matt Cooke offers of old) with the massive signing bonus. I don't believe the weekend of negotiation brought either side any closer as both offers are a rejig of the overall numbers.


Maybe it's the optimist in me, but when I look at the numbers I see values that are closer than they are before. Could it also be read that it's just moving things around and putting them in different spots? Absolutely. But again, I really do hope that the concrete numbers can be split and that a settlement can be reached soon.

Once those are dealt with, the rest should fall into place. For example look at the section on TTOC benefits. One side wants the pay rate set at a schedule of 170 days, one at 180. Call it 175 and move on. There's bigger things to deal with. (Yes, I know this is a simple and glossy way of looking at it, but if the TTOC schedule is what ultimately breaks down the negotiations both Iker and Cameron need to be taken out back)

Topper wrote:Laughable reading the BCTF's demands

Get down to the Benefits, Mat Leave and beyond.

$3000/yr for massages


Then I get to some of this stuff and I shake my head. I went to look at the similar grid on the BCTF member's portal and it's pretty much the same, but there's a few parts where the language is more specific on one, but not the other. (I'd link here, but at this time I can't find a public version of our offer online and I'm not willing to download it from the site and upload it here). For sure at the link you provided there is much more detail on the BCTF benefit demands.

I will say that while some of the things in benefits, mat leave and beyond are things that any union would fight for, no one needs $3000/yr in massages. I'm a marathon runner and last year I had minor knee surgery; I've been to a bunch of physio and massage in the past year (some on my dime because as a new teacher I don't always have a contract and therefore medical) and I haven't even cracked $1000. I hope $3000 is just a negotiation point.

Please keep showing me things from the opposite point of view. I'm going to follow my union, but I don't want to be a lemming.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby Topper » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:48 am

isle_nuck wrote:The BCTF might fight against testing because it could/would be used against teachers, but teachers fight against it because it really is a poor way to evaluate students, never mind rarely seen outside of schooling. Any teacher who knows what they are doing are using tests as a small piece in the day to day evaluation of student learning. Projects, presentations, discussions and classwork should be designed to get a better understanding of how and what a student is learning. Not only is it building better skills in students for use in later life, but it's also allowing for students to show their knowledge in more than one way.


Testing is a great real world situation. Multiple problem solving under pressure with a deadline. It doesn't get more real world than that.

Presentations, discussions, reports and what not are good tools for learning and social interaction, but rarely test knowledge. Too often they are glossy fluff.

http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1989/10/31

They offer feedback to the teachers, students and parents of what needs additional work. What reports and presentations are very good at is teaching ever valuable research skills. But again, there has to be quality and deadline pressure.

A huge beef with me and the current education system is the ever increasing removal of competition in the schools.

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/report-c ... rview.aspx

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/report-c ... tions.aspx

Interesting your comments and disenchantment with many of the BCTF bargaining chips. I wonder how far removed the BCTF executive is removed from the rank and file, but then i see 86% support for a full scale walkout, and then I read the BCTF contract demands.

Lemmings you say.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby isle_nuck » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:03 am

Topper wrote:Testing is a great real world situation. Multiple problem solving under pressure with a deadline. It doesn't get more real world than that.

Presentations, discussions, reports and what not are good tools for learning and social interaction, but rarely test knowledge. Too often they are glossy fluff.


I don't feel that way. Yes, the test creates the pressure, but it's an exercise in memorization. Just because you can memorize a few facts and spit them out on questions that are nearly the same as the work you've been looking at for the past two weeks (or five months) doesn't mean you've learned anything long term.

I would look at a properly researched paper as something that you've had to spend much more time with and had to dig deep to learn about a topic (or two or three) then use multiple skills from different areas to properly present your point of view. As well, it's something that you will have for reference down the road. I still have all the papers I wrote either in hard copy or on my computer. Those tests? They got recycled at the end of each term.

Tests are definitely part of the overall evaluation but they are not the be all and end all.

Topper wrote:
A huge beef with me and the current education system is the ever increasing removal of competition in the schools.


100% agree. It's not just schools that are responsible for this; it's the everyone's a winner culture that gives everyone a medal for playing in the 6-year-old soccer tournament where every game ends in a tie. Blech.

Topper wrote:
Interesting your comments and disenchantment with many of the BCTF bargaining chips. I wonder how far removed the BCTF executive is removed from the rank and file, but then i see 86% support for a full scale walkout, and then I read the BCTF contract demands.

Lemmings you say.


I think if you had the Devil himself heading the BCTF right now, saying the exact same things Iker is, you'd still have an 86% strike vote. The executive is reading us well on the major points of contention and are fighting against Christy Clark. Whether they are real or perceived the premier has slighted the teachers repeatedly in the eyes of membership to a point that whomever opposes her will be backed. I understand that Iker and the rest of the executive are looking at trying to get the best for us and also have an eye towards their legacy which is why they're fighting for the little things. That's where the disconnect comes in I think. If he's able to get the class sizes restored, he's got his legacy.

Get us a deal with the previously agreed upon class limits, a small wage increase that keeps up with inflation and cost of living and don't screw over the new teachers (TTOC's) and we sign it. Everything else is just gravy and fighting for that is what annoys me.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby Topper » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:52 am

Having taught at a Junior College, I have experience issuing tests. I gave quizzes often and then on tests I gave the same problem as on the quiz, but reversed the question and had the students working backwards through the problem. Quizzes gave the students and me feedback on where more work was needed and we could do that in reviews. By having to work through a problem front to back and back to front, you ensure the students understand what they are learning.

My take on reports is that little knowledge is retained, the value is in learning to research and find sources. To this day I maintain my own extensive library for both my chosen professions.

A comment on competition. My 4 yr old son races BMX at our local club. They give out ribbons at the end of each race night to all the kids but 1st (blue), 2nd (red), 3rd (white) and place (green). End of season there are similar trophies. Each kid leaves with something, but competition and placings are honoured. At 3, my guy was happy just to leave the evening race with a ribbon, at 4 he wants that blue ribbon.

Interestingly, a peer of my son's, who's one parents is a teacher, the other a school psychologist/troubled kid councillor, is hauled off home before the ribbons are handed out because they don't believe in competition.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby Topper » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:41 pm

Spoke with a teacher today. I asked if he had done duty on the lines. "Yes, 3 hours this morning. It was so cold. My feet were hurting it was so cold."

Where you walking?

"No, we were just sitting. It was so cold, my feet were hurting."

LOL, it was 15C in the shade at my place this morning.
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Re: Kneecaps

Postby isle_nuck » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:52 pm

Topper wrote:Spoke with a teacher today. I asked if he had done duty on the lines. "Yes, 3 hours this morning. It was so cold. My feet were hurting it was so cold."

Where you walking?

"No, we were just sitting. It was so cold, my feet were hurting."

LOL, it was 15C in the shade at my place this morning.


Haha...like I said I definitely have some whiny colleagues!

I like your quizzes then reverse test idea. Did you ever feel that the students were just studying off the quiz and not actually studying the material going into the test? If so, did that bother you? Or did you find that the quiz help focus their efforts leading into the test?

Btw - what professions are you in? Are you still teaching at the junior college?
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