Friday, May 28, 2010

Education and India

Education is a big deal in India too. This sounds a lot like our mission in Memphis.

Shukla Bose: Teaching one child at a time | Video on

The video is up!

Want to see one of the takes of the trolley ride? Here it is:

For some reason it doesn't show up all the way, but here is a hyperlink...

trolley ride Hotel Memphis - Star & Micey with Jeremy Stanfill

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Trolley nights are always crazy!

Any time you want to be wowed ride the trolley in Memphis. The most random things have happened to me on the trolley. Last night Erin and I got 3 dollar sushi, ate awesome Cheesecake, and then rode the trolley:

We thought it would be a normal ride on the trolley, but we were wrong....

A band jumped on the trolley.
The trolley driver started to do the drums and counted them off.
People were dancing all throughout the trolley!
And everyone was enjoying themselves thoroughly.

Check them out!
You have to click the play button

They were filming for the Commercial Appeal, so we might be on a video soon. Go to Hotel Memphis. That's the only instructions I have. It should be up in a few days!


Last days at MTR with everyone:

Friday night I had MTR graduation. It was so fun. David talked to us and we were presented with an MTR scarf! Here's a picture from the night:
It was really fun. Then Saturday we had a long day of graduation at Union's campus. It was one of my more fun graduations. We all got to sit together and we talked throughout. It was fun.

This is me walking to my seat. Terri and I were talking about how test scores work.
This is Ashley, my roommate last year. I don't know what we are doing and why she's sitting down. Mom liked taking pictures of lots of people.The group up on stage with our diplomas!
Throwing our hats!

Sarah and Henry came to see me!!
Me, Sarah, and Robert

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Good and The Bad

The Good.

We got our test scores today. My classes got a 92% passing rate. This means 92% of my students got Proficient or Advanced on the End Of the Course exam.

Over half the kids are missing, but the ones that are here have been really funny:

-- One girl tried to spin an umbrella like steppers spin canes.
-- Another student coming in and dancing because he made a 37 on his test.
-- Another boy grabbed me and practically picked me up because he was so excited that he passed.
-- One girl accidentally spewed water over two other boys.
-- I have a kid that isn't in my class, but in Erika's. She's told me lots of stories about how he's just a cute, sweet little boy. He's been hanging out in my classroom the past few days because I have been watching Slumdog Millionaire with the kids. He came in today and took a chair and set down in front of the T.V. He turned on the movie and spaced out the rest of everything else that went on. He's now been here for 3 periods. If you've ever seen 101 Dalmatians it's like the puppy that stands on the T.V. and gets left behind because he is so engrossed. It's cute.
-- 92% of my kids passed. 32% of my kids got Advanced.

The Bad.

-- I had 5 students not pass the test. They barely missed the mark, but they missed it. I also had 4 students not show up. It's not surprising. I had never seen one of the students all year, and the other 3 have been missing for the last 3 months for different reasons. I have a total of 114 students. I think this puts me at a 92% passing rate. Looking at who failed the class, 3 of them never come to school mainly because of children at home or suspensions. Another transferred in to my class in March, and the fifth has severe disabilities (mainly with comprehension). So this is where my cracks are.

-- As with all bad. Lessons were learned.
I need to provide a better way of integrating the students into the classroom in a short amount of time. I also need to prepare packets for students to take with them if they are suspended or out of school for an extended period of time. I should have pushed harder with the SPED teachers to get me the information I need to help make accommodations to those students that need extra support.

Worst moment of the day was having to tell the child with severe comprehension problems that she failed. She looked like she was going to cry. She's already been told she failed all her other end of the year tests. She deserves opportunity just like the rest. She is just as smart she just needs a different method of being taught. I almost cried when she walked out of the room (and still tearing up now). Teaching changes students life. I am messing with their life, when I don't give it my all and seal the cracks.

Thankfully I can take this data and run with it. Next year, I won't make the same mistakes again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Are you hungry for spaghetti?

"Boys are like waffles, girls are like spaghetti"

This might be a little random, but it all is one flow of thought....

Yesterday I went mountain biking with my friend Matt. It was LEGEND- (wait for it) DARY! I have been yearning to be outside, in the woods, by water... something not in the city. I love love love the city, but I have lived here an entire year without being outside away from the city for longer than a few hours here and there. I mean out playing in nature. I have been contemplating working at summer camps again just so I can spend an entire summer outside.

In fact, what I have really been wanting to do is hike to the cross at Camp Ozark. One of the best things ever. (I could not find a picture online of the view from the cross and was too lazy to get my external)

So when I got on the bike and was going through the trails I felt alive again. It was so refreshing. It was exactly what I needed. It is definitely something I am going to be doing more often.

Tonight I cleaned out my papers from MTR. I threw away lots, and condensed it to one binder (impressive I know). While cleaning I found this written on a sheet of paper...

faces places people always find bind grind saw wall suspension each six weeks verbal conference iss tardy consequences recess assignments com back to class gross pepto diet coke love grapes goodness keep up clue half day work to do don't plan extra work competed sheets NO VACATION

I had just written down whatever word came to my mind at the moment. It was during our first MTR class, Classroom Management. I obviously felt my need to be outside very early on in the program. Unfortunately, no vacation was quite literal. Good times.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Best Day Ever.

That is a slight exaggeration, but it has been terrific (why does no one use that word in everyday conversation anymore?)

Woke up a little early and took a shower. It had been a while and was necessary. I got ready so much earlier than usually. So I got to fix some coffee and leave with my roommate.

She was running late, so I got to see Frank (the doorman) for longer than usual. He's a nice man.

I got to school a little before the bell, and I brought Slumdog Millionaire for the kids to watch. Here is why this movie changed my thoughts about today...

1. I get to tell all my kids about India. If you don't know how much I love India... It's A LOT. I'm kind of obsessed in some ways.

2. All my kids were thoroughly enthralled. They would linger after the bell rang to see what was coming next. They were asking many questions about things that were happening in the movie. They were laughing and commenting throughout most of the movie.

3. I got to tell all my kids about India. Because it provoked questions I got to go more in depth with what is going on in the slums of India.

So all three of these reasons are why I have enjoyed today so much. Discovering this will help me to integrate more of my passions into my classroom. Hopefully they will all have awesome movies to go along with it. ha.

The movie has won lots and lots of awards and really does give a fairly accurate idea of life in the slums as well as some of the things children in the slums go through.

Other notes: I passed MTR officially and student teaching. I will graduate with a 4.0. Somewhere along the way I have developed into what semi resembles an adult (minus one set back which might be discussed later).

Thursday, May 6, 2010



Two new great blogs:

Great times with Erin

Great times with Sarah

I love my friends are making blogs. And they're super funny!

You FAT!

So Erika and I are not doing anything today while the kids are testing. We were talking about some of the highlights from the year, and I forgot to share this on my blog. It was pre-blog.

My fourth period class on B days are a mess. They are some of the craziest kids. This one kid in particular always made me laugh. One day I was talking to him before the bell rang.

"John, what are you going to do when you get home"

"Probably going to watch T.V. and get some pizza for dinner."

"That sounds delicious. What kind of pizza are you going to get?"

"Probably the works. All of that stuff on it."

"Have you ever had pineapple on your pizza?"

"OH Yes! That is so good!"

"Heck yeah it is! I love pineapple on my pizza, and sometimes I get pepperoni, with a hand tossed crust and with cheese that's melting off the slice..."

"Ms. Cogzdill, YOU FAT!"

"Uh, Ph or F?"

"Ms. Cogzdill, you a fat at heart. You don't look fat, but you are! Listen to the way you described that pizza. See you fat."

"Uh, thanks John..."

"Ms. Cogzdill, I might look fat on the outside, but underneath here I'm skinny. Really! I have abs under here. I really am a skinny person."

"John, why don't you try and show that off?"

"Cuz Ms. Cogzdill I'd have to miss that pizza you was describing."

There we go. I'm a fat kid at heart. I don't know if my student had ever heard that expression, but he called me out on it. Later he told me Weed does his body good and lowers his blood pressure. I don't know how much of that is true, but he believes it wholeheartedly.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


All schools cause it. It is the expectation and desire to be done with school. If we didn't have breaks, I don't think it would be a problem. Motivation would hit lulls throughout they year, but it would never be this bad....

--- Frequent thoughts of calling in sick *cough, cough* (WARNING: too many thoughts can cause follow through. Drink lots of water and get plenty of rest.)
--- Bloodshot eyes
--- Shortened attention span
--- Longing looks outside
--- Forgetfulness
--- Desire to listen to fun, upbeat music (or country. it swings both ways) much like summer
--- Change in schedule (go to bed later, wake up later)

Unfortunately, me and all my students are experiencing these symptoms. Each morning I wake myself up and look in the mirror. "You can do this Christian. You are changing lives each day. There is nothing better you could be doing at this moment. You're an adult now. You're being responsible. Now Go Kick Some BUTT!" (Refer to How I Met Your Mother Marshall runs a New York Marathon speech)

Side note: I played tic-tac-toe with a student today. It's the most real he's been with me all year. He beat me 13 games to 9 and supposedly he gave me two of those games. It was so fun.