PNIEB and Conaliteg, 2014 edition

Reflexions after a secondary reunion... the diet theory

Back again to the time to select the textbook for next school year. For third year in row, we have the opportunity to select the book according to the syllabus 2006, not 2011. Hurray! (BIG sarcasm sign) Well, acording to the list that my coordinator showed to me.

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I have very elocuent in the matter in previous posts like:

I really thought that this year was the year. Well, good luck next year.

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If you are going to pick your old-fashion textbook, please check: Selecting a textbook

3/14/14 NEWS: I found out today. That at least in my schools. NO English teacher will have the opportunity to choose. We are locked on the system. I asked around and apparently everybody will get the same book.

And the plot has just thickened…

Someone told me that PNIEB textbooks will arrive directly and my two schools are on the list… OMG! New textbook on August hopefully.

According to my source, the textbooks to arrive are

  • All Ready – Editorial Macmillan (known and used in copies)
  • Brilliant Teens – Editorial Santillana
  • Teens Club – Editorial Castillo (seen and looks OK)

Before the graduation, the 4th bimester

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I am not GOD of planning or anything like that. I am just a simple minded teacher who likes to share examples to other clueless teachers.

This is just to get an idea of how to do it. It’s not written in stone or it’s perfect. It’s for 3rd grade, 4th bimester (March-April)

Workshop and Official Format for PNIEB cycle 4, 2014

On Feb 5 at 1:00 PM, I was asked by my principal to attend to a workshop earlier that day and the following day. I was clearly annoyed to the fact that I had already lost a day of the workshop. However, it’s not unusual that news of workshops and meetings get misplaced in the every terrible monster of burocracy. Yet, I wasn’t happy at NO being there but I really needed a cool off day. I had  a horrible sore throat and nearly non-existed teaching voice.

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In the second day of the workshop and my first, I was late because I had to go to my work places to announce the workshop and leave some paperwork to my subprincipal.

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Once there, I realized that it was about planning with PNIEB. Something, that I already have been doing for 2 1/2 school years.  It was OK since I had a terrible headache/sore throat day that I could just lay back and be a consultant for my teacher peers. (Also last year attended to a similar topic reunion. See Reflexions after a Secondary Reunion… the Diet Theory)

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They presented a new format which is EXACTLY the same I have been using in Elementary for over a school year. (See New Planning Format).

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On the super bright side, we had a visit from Idolina Camargo from McMillian. It’s been years since the last time I saw her. However, she was a bit under the weather. She misplaced presentations, some links didn’t work and the audio was low (lack of speakers). It’s the first time in 9 years that I have seen her like that. Well, there is a first for everything.

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Also on the super bright side, Idolina brought a set of All Ready books (all three grades) for everybody.

On the peachiest side, apparantelly they will be textbooks in August for students in only 175 secondary schools (looks like General only)

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On the sweetest side,  I found a teacher friend who I spent a whole month with in Chicago (along other 60 teachers). That was awesome!

Planning in Secondary, a big reflection and roundup

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I love my visits in the posts about planing, specifically those clicks on my lesson plans. No kidding! I understand the difficulties on the topic, something so important and yet so complicated. (Related posts: Reflexions after a secondary reunion and New Planning Format)

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Having the textbooks helps a lot, especially if you choose it to fit your students. (check my post: Selecting a textbook).

However, only a couple of schools have updated textbooks in the trail version. Most of us, don’t. (Check posts: PNIEB and Conaliteg, PNIEB and Conaliteg, 2013 edition)

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Through influences some have textbooks only one for the teacher, the students go to get copies. That’s the way we are working at school #2. (check post: All Right! 2 – My textbook review)

Last year in my #1 Secondary, we worked (I mean: me) using the syllabus and use printables made by me, which I shared on:

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This year, we received a note from the supervisor to work with old syllabus since we have old syllabus textbooks. Honestly, I felt betrayed. All year trying and working with the new syllabus and I wasn’t listened or cared by some peers. OK by me, even better I have all for the school year, ha ha ha.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder it could be less stressing if I justgot the lesson plan from someone, follow it and sleep at night. Kidding!, that’s not my style. Even with a textbook, I like to make extra activities. (Check post: Lacking textbook)

Honestly #2, I like to plan by myself. When I just started in Secondary, I bought a planning book ($150 pesos) which I didn’t like and ended up planning all anyway. There wasn’t anything helpful in that book. It was the same that reading the syllabus.

If you want to check out other lesson plans very general too but yet more helpful than that book that I bought a long time a go. Check this 3 places:

  • Programa de Ingles del DF. It has all grades. I like the suggested activities at the second page of each lesson plan.
  • PNIEB Coahuila. I don’t like the format but it has activities, vocabulary and structures which is very helpful to focus on.
  • Planeaciones de Secundaria OLX. This is for sale. It looks interesting. I would buy it if several pitch in.

What the wocka, PIP Sonora? A summer to remember

I love that movie!

I love that movie!

This is probably my most controversial post ever. Last week were the appointments for new contract in Elementary school, and preschool too, like every year…

Except, what a summer!

Taller de Fortalecimiento imagen

All started in June. Previous years, you had to hand in a form containing your continuation in the program and wiliness to change school with principal’s signature and school’s stamp. During the workshop at the end of the school year (still June), in the attendance sheet next to the attendees name, there was a small check box to state the continuation. That was all!

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July started and we received the announcement to complete a survey about our coordinators. All around Facebook, peers discussed the topic in length… some didn’t like the idea at all because there was no anonymity since you sign the survey with your email address. Some did appreciate the idea of being really listened about the issues with the coordinators.

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The summer went by uneventful except for paycheck day at July 12. FIRST TIME EVER!!! We received with glee the paycheck for the month of July and with the promise of August in December  like X-mas bonus.

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Two weeks went  by in a/c peace and quiet. And in July 26 another announcement… We needed to get 3 requirements for next new contract: health checkup ($75) , no criminal records ($104), and a new one: no bad public server record ($260) . Total spent: $439 + gas money + husband getting dehydrated in the car waiting for me due to no parking space = priceless.

Asignaciones 2013-2014FInally, august started and winds of new school year blew by, in August 8, the expected day arrived: the dates for new contract were available. 3 days for the 200 teachers (more or less) in Hermosillo. For the first time ever, I was appointed to the second day. I am always in the top places in the ranking. The appointments don’t have any logic in the ranking. It’s not about seniority, alphabetical, or good performance.

Some peers immediately called the coordination to get an inside or a reason for such strange ranking. The answers shocked more than one and provoked multiple comments on Facebook (blessed it): new school for everybody.

Five years ago, the same thing happened. You got to choose the school available at the moment of your turn. I lost my school for 3 years. It was pretty much get in line and hope. I was hopeful and saw this as a new opportunity to get a school near my kids daycare or my new secondary. I even made a wishing list with school names, number of students, number of classroom, etc.

However…

Over that weekend and week, Facebook comments were back and forth with rumors and news of peers who called or went to the coordination. Three things were definitely happening in Hermosillo:

  1. New school
  2. It wasn’t your choice
  3. More importantly some schools would be closed to EFL because some will increase in 1st and 2nd grade. Very big reorganization (Only happy news. I miss those cute small kids)

One friend told that the coordination told him/her that we could SWITCH between two peers two schools if it was beneficial to both as long it wasn’t their previous school.

So the days arrived (August 20-22), I was there the first day, although my date was the following day. (Just to gossip) Most of my peers came out half-happy. They were moved to a different school near their previous one. A few stayed in their same schools because they worked in the country side. Only a couple were truly happy because they wanted to change schools.

A meeting with the main chief was arranged to explain and express concerns that same first day. However, it was rescheduled to the end of the third day.

The next day arrived, my day. I was half nervous like everybody: I needed to get near to my new secondary or get a sabbatical year. That was my plan.

They called my name and I sat. I was already assigned to the same school that a good friend, out of my zone and far from my new secondary and daycare. I explained my situation. I was very lucky that day because there was an opening in the new zone and with 1st and 2nd grade, next to the secondary. It all fell into place. Ufff!

I went to my former school to say goodbye and pack my office (only one year of usage)… I was sad but I needed to change.

However…

What about the teachers who were in total bliss in their schools for years? Some had 7-8 years in the same schools. Some had their kids in the same school, or it was easy to access to it by bus or walking distance. Some got very far away schools. Some were split in two schools, and so on. The list of issues is endless.

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On Thursday at 5 pm, the meeting with the main chief of us was scheduled in a NEUTRAL place: a square in downtown. Our chief listened our concerns, situations and gave some explanations and promises: We would return to our old schools next school year (Myself and others don’t believe it), and teachers who wanted to check options to make changes on Tuesday.

These previous weeks have been stressful to no measure. This week we relax. We go to our new schools or go to make changes. We prepare to start new school year on Monday September 2nd.

All we can do is hope and work together to improve our working situation. Let’s hope we get paid soon or we will raise again. Unity is force!

Tuesday, August 27 update: Yesterday, I went to the coordination to hand out some papers and there were plenty of friends trying to change schools.

Also yesterday, a friend posted on Facebook that the new principal at the new school wouldn’t sign the papers because he/she didn’t approve her/him and wanted the old teacher back. That really happened to several friends actually… that’s another issue, both teacher and principal didn’t want any changes. Then WHY DO IT?

Today, I found out that there wouldn’t be more changes for now. Probably, the main office didn’t expect so many of us and got overloaded. Then again WHY MAKE CHANGES IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Concurso Alianza 2013

Last year, I didn’t do the test. I decided to go on vacation. Lovely Queretaro.

This year, I did. I got 4th place in the whole state for old teachers (79 teachers did it too).  HURRAY!!!

However,

What about PNIEB? Another year has gone by and the permanent post is only available in DF.

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The requirements are for both old and new teachers and… there are totally easy to obtain, pretty much all public elementary school english teachers can fulfill those requirements here in Sonora.

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Pretty much, all goes to English and Elementary. I am not kidding there weren’t for other subjects and levels.  Hundred of  lucky elementary school will have a brand new EFL teacher this August.

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It’s the same thing for old teachers. Poor math and other teachers, no more hours for you! That’s a lot. In summary, a thousand schools will have EFL teachers forever.

For more info, the state public announcement for new teachers and old teachers in DF.

Meanwhile in Sonora

There are only one option for EFL teacher and…  it’s Secondary both for new teachers and old teachers.

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The new guys must be from teaching school from the government. There is no room for good teachers from other teaching training programs in universities.

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However, once you are in, you only can get more (That’s my situation).

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There are  only 368 hours to divide in all the subjects… it’ s not looking good for the new teachers.

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466 hours for all old teachers in Math, Spanish, English, Science, etc.

For more info of the public announcement for new teachers and old teachers in Sonora.

Options for good EFL teachers

For new teachers:

  • 12 hours in Benito Juarez
  • 12 in Puerto Peñasco
  • 12 in San Ignacio Rio Muerto
  • 12 and 15 in Esqueda
  • 21 in Magdalena

Total: 69 hours

For old teachers:

  • 9 hours in Pitiquito
  • 15 in Puerto Peñasco
  • 12 in San Ignacio Rio Muerto
  • 12 in San Luis Rio Colorado
  • 15 and 18 in Sonoyta
  • 9 in Hermosillo

Total: 90 hours

Sadly,

This is the last year of this way to obtain more working and financial stability. It’s already on the news and this contest as it is, has been axed. Probably, there will be another test or way next year with a different name. I hope it’s similar and it will give oportunities for non-Normal teachers and EFL in elementary schools.

Now, the awesome news: I got the 9 hours in Hermosillo!

More complains and info about the topic, check last year posts right here…

What is PNIEB?

After one year, I think is necessary to mention what is this thing that is changing my life and other English teachers working in public Mexican schools.

Well, it’s a new syllabus for the national basic public education system. That’s it as simple as that.

The idea is to improve the EFL in our students since preschool (5 years old) all the way to the end of secondary (15 years old). Currently, EFL is only mandatory during the 3 years of Secondary.

The idea is good. It’s giving employment to a lot of teachers and making our career a true profession. A lot of people think that any English speaker is an English teacher… yeah right! Teaching is soooo easy.

PNIEB started in 2009 in some schools around the country. It’s still in probation due to the lack of money, materials and teachers. Every state is trying to make their part but the picture doesn’t look good really.

My state teaches EFL around of 1/3 of the total students in elementary.

For more info, check http://www.pnieb.net

The odyssey for free PNIEB textbooks

I don’t talk for the other states. I am just reporting the situation in my beloved Sonora…

Last year, I didn’t use a textbook because I still wasn’t fully incorporated in PNIEB. Well, that’s Ok. I managed it as well as I could. Some teacher friends did have textbooks and they were more or less.

Back in September I was so happy that finally I could have the textbooks and use them. However to my surprise, the textbooks weren’t due to arrive until November. Knowing the Mexican bureaucratic system that November truly meant December which ended in January. I know from a very good source that the textbooks were in the warehouse in October.

So I waited and continued working like usual, no textbooks.

This January started with some payment issues and some freezing days.

Finally, on Thursday 17th there was a post (in our official bulletin board and email) stating that the textbooks were ready to pick up (NO school delivery). Some friends went that same Thursday or the next day and they didn’t get the textbooks because the warehouse didn’t have the order to do so. Others did get the textbooks but there was an outdated list of materials and they got incomplete material. Some did just fine.

I sent my principal that Friday and he was sent back with empty hands…

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That Monday 21st, there was a “new” post announcing to pick up the textbooks (only someone changed the date from Thursday to Monday). For the rest of the week, a lot of teachers have sent their principals to make the pick up or they have gone with the school stamp.

There has been a long line in the warehouse, a lot of incomplete packages or some got different publishers textbooks. Some were required to make a warehouse appointment.

Of course, there are some teachers that got everything right in time, amount and quality.

Until this day Monday, January 28th, 2013, I am still without the textbooks. I feel awkward to resend my principal for the textbooks and for him to return empty-handed. Hopefully, I will get them over this week…

Probably not, someone told me that the warehouse in under inspection, so next week

Probably I will post the experience with my textbooks as well as a very graphic and detail analysis of them.

New planning format

This post is simple.

Last Friday, we have a meeting with my elementary teachers peers.

The office presented a new planning format which being honest I don’t like because I am accustomed to plan weekly and now by projects or months. Of course, it’s less paper and more trees, but I think I will be doing some double planning to get all the ideas right. Awful!

For those who want to see the new format or want it, this is the official link in excel format.

But, I made my version in WORD which for me is more printer friendlier.

Reflexions after a secondary reunion… the diet theory

Today, I attended to a reunion for Secondary teachers in my hometown.

I saw the same faces of concern, disbelief and general overwhelm that I and my elementary teacher peers’ wore last year. Also, it’s the same thing over facebook and received emails from friends all over the country.

3 questions were marked in each face:

  • How are we going to do this in general? (overwhelm)
  • How are we going to plan? (concern)
  • Are the students going to learn something without textbooks? (disbelief)

 

After one year, I am still concern, a bit overwhelm (it was a contagious feeling in the reunion) and expecting for textbooks.

Something I think it has been missing: it’s a diet approach to this new syllabus… WHAT?! you may ask, let me explain.

DISCLAIMER: I came out with this approach during our buffet lunch after the reunion. It’ something I made up.

As any person who has gone on the quest of personal improvement: losing kilos or pounds… there are some general tips:

  • Going drastic is not always good. The miracles diets are in general drastic and leads to brief results… in the new syllabus probably it is not the best idea to throw 2006 out the window, but to combine both syllabus AT FIRST in order to get comfortable using the new one. I recommend one month to make the transition if your superiors let you.

  • Research. When we hear about a miracle diet herb, we want to try it at once… but there is always a disclaimer: ASK YOUR DOCTOR FIRST. Since there is not a teaching doctor to consult all the time, we have to do the work: Go online for news and ideas (blogs are good!), ask your peers, go to every reunion your hear (commission or not), exchange lesson plans and emails, and please READ what someone sends you.

  • Set small goals. Don’t do everything at once in one clean-cut. In diets, cutting carbs at once only end out with a growling stomach and awful cravings. You have to do it slowly and progressively. In teaching, you can start each week with something new from the syllabus or set lower bars at first and go up from there.

  • Trust your instincts: every body is different. Some diets don’t work on everyone. So, don’t do exactly what this or that teacher did. You have prior teaching knowledge and experience: use the ideas that will work on you and your students. (The same as in diets)

  • Don’t expect awesome results after the first week. (BE PATIENT) Good diets and teaching take time to take effect on your body and your students.

  • Check your progress weekly. In diets, results are measured in kilograms and centimeters. In teaching, it’s a bit more difficult but writing your thoughts helps, also talking to your peers. Do autoevaluation or ask students for constructive opinions.

  • Good and awesome results are always shared big and loud. When a diet is working, we pretty shout it to the whole world to hear. In teaching, it’s the same. If you manage to do something to be super-duper proud, share it. These are ideas to help other confused and overwhelm teachers as once you were… some we still are.

Extra: Hopefully, this blog will grow due to this…