Friday, July 27, 2012


I'm always shocked at the end of summer, how it all goes by so fast. This summer more than most I know that there has been time that passed, but the fact that I'm three weeks away from school starting all over again makes me sad, and yet happy. Do I miss work? No. Do I miss structure? Yes. Do I miss my students? Absolutely. So I will smile, plaster a fake excited expression on my face, and then I will march into school as if I'm wearing bells, but what do I really want to be doing? Sitting at home, drinking coffee, and watching some of the world pass me by. Good luck to those who have gone back already, take luck for those who have yet to return, and, always, may the odds ever be in your favor ;)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bad Trainings

I cannot, more than most things, stand bad Professional Development. So the fact that day one of my ISTE training has been so lack luster makes me irksome at best.

Either the trainers have been lame and have been un-engaging, or they have lectured about topics that were not to be discussed. Either way, here is hoping that tomorrow goes better!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weight of the World

Two things are off of my plate. The parent meeting and prom.

The parents meeting for the trip went well, and the parents did exactly what I needed them to, which is to give me constant positive affirmation that what I am saying makes sense to them. That may sound immature or stupid, but in all honesty I didn't become a teacher to talk to parents or adults, I became a teacher to work with kids. I may be hella good at my job, but that doesn't make talking with parents any easier. When I do not get those positive head nods, I start to talk more and more, and then I don't breathe, and then I'm fifteen years old giving a presentation in Mrs. H's STUPID World History class where I couldn't breath I was so nervous. *GAH* I really do hate that part of my job.

Anyway, in addition to it all, I somehow survived my first prom, and I'm SO glad that I did. It was a beautiful event, the weather did exactly what it needed to do, and as my boss would say "Many hands makes light work" (he's from Texas if you couldn't tell). I truly enjoy working for him, for no other reason than because he is a real person.

But more than that, I enjoy working at my job because of my students. Those kids are FUNNY! Today's highlight before I sign off, was an entire discussion on Emperor's in the Roman Empire and Star Trek. To be more specific, we were deciding which emperor's wore red suits, and were therefore expendable, and which emperors wore red and gold suits. Apparently, this was a very effective way of discussing emperors.

On that note, keep fighting the good fight my fellow teachers, and may the odds ever be in your favor ;)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

THAT Skill

When in life do we learn the skill to work with another human being? Not just see someone and talk with them, but work with them. Know their movies. When in life do we get to a place where we can look out for each other? Today at work my students took the PLAN test. In general, proctoring a test is an easy assignment; read the directions, sit, monitor the time, read the directions, sit, monitor the time, rinse and repeat.

This was not my job today. My room was simply a house, a place to put these students, and the college counselor who also seems to double as a test coordinator was running this lovely exam. I have enjoyed working along side her, to the point where the fact that she is even going on my trip with me as my other female chaperon is not freaking me out. I'm not sure if its her, or a point in life you reach, but that ability to look at someone's face and read their lips, know what they need from you without uttering an actual verbal word, I wonder, when do we gain that skill?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I Was Reminded

I was reminded last night, at our student council Coffee House event, of this poem. One of our teachers, a man of thirty plus years of teaching got up, and read this to parents, students, and administrators. At the end, the teachers stood to give this gentleman a standing ovation for reminding us why we do what we do. I thought therefore I would share this so that you too in these last few months of school can remember why you do what you do. 

What Teacher Make
By Taylor Mali

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.
"I mean, you're a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"
And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.
I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).
Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! 
What about you?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Exam Week - End of 3rd Quarter

I cannot believe that its the end of 3rd quarter. The last year has flown by. In all the confusion, the chaos, and the lack of cohesion its actually just moved so quickly. My trip to Italy is finally coming together, and with that comes the pure fear that it will all far apart. So far, so good. My "i"s are dotted and my "t"s are crossed. Last things to do: Find a hotel room in Italy for the last night before boarding the plane, Find bus companies to take us around. So okay maybe its not ALL put together. And yes, I should be doing those "last few details" now but my brain is fried. I've been grading and working on my novel non stop. Having a person life has been refreshing and rejuvenating, but it has always come at a cost for the world of teaching. Its hard to have a personal life, hobbies, when still being a new teacher.

So why did I do it you may be thinking? I'm smart enough, knowledgeable enough, have in theory BEEN a first year teacher before. I did it because I know so much that that burn out was worth avoiding. When I finally reach that burn out, when I finally reach the end of my rope, I find that I have to do something OTHER than working on teaching. Not lesson planning, not grading, not goal setting, and NOT sitting around not working which is really just me stressing about work. No. Writing this novel provides the escape I need and it provides me little tiny escapes in the grand sceme of things. Because in the grand sceme of things, everything is about to change.

In the next sixty days, really everything will change. Personally I will be one more year older. Twenty-six has been a year of lots of change, lots of turmoil, lots of teachers, but professionally has been amazing. I am using my wishful thinking and the power of positive thinking to tell myself that twenty-seven will be a fantastic year both professionally AND personally. Wouldn't that be a change of pace ;)

Professionally the changes will be that my students and I will have left for, gone on, and returned from our tour of Italy. Having never traveled internationally before I couldn't be happier about this upcoming experience. We will have survived prom, we will have survived elections, we will be well into our end of the year portfolios and portfolio presentations. Year books will be signed and we will be preparing for our FIRST ever graduation. In a way, its amazing how much WILL change in the next sixty days. The scary part is, with all the guaranteed change, how much will still change that I have NO idea about!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Its March

I can't believe so many months have gone by and I have neglected both of my blogs in the meantime. What has happened thus far?

Well being a new teacher means exactly that, being a new teacher. I am unsure why being a new teacher is so hard, but it is in fact one of the more awful things I have experienced. FYI, teachers who have been at the same school all their lives, STAY! Being a new teacher was no fun the first time, and the second time you see the injustice in it all. I am frustrated that things have stayed as busy as they have. The only benefit, something I have actually stated to my boss, is well thank god I'll at least know what to expect next year. I am hoping, no I am praying, that next year go more smoothly than this year.

Student Council has been a pain, but I'm actually looking forward to staying on one more year so that we can have a better year next year than we have had this year. In fact, I am even contemplating taking it on all by myself. This year myself and another woman have worked to keep it going, but in truth she has been miserable doing it from day one it seems. I however am not that miserable and I wonder how bad running things on my own REALLY would be.

Pro: I get the stipend for myself.
Con: I don't have anyone to talk to at the event.
Pro: With only one person on SC then other teachers would have to show up, its actually a duty that we have assigned to us at the beginning of the year.
Con: If someone bails on me, I would have to cover for them and I'm not good at "telling" on people when they don't do their damn jobs.

Anyway, if you have opinions, please let me know.

I already had my end of the year evaluation with my boss, in fact, it was weeks ago that I had it. I was fascinated that he just sat and listened to me, but I wonder how much he actually cared. Everyone comes across as caring at my school, and for the most part they seem to be genuine people, but then, I can't get a good read on him. His British upbringing gives him a dry sense of humor and an even drier sense of emotion. I truly struggle to see his true self, which is probably why he is the head of an entire school.

I don't have a great note to end this on. I know I will have a job, so that is a plus for the year, but in general I would just like to say that I have missed you all, I've missed my blog, and I hope that this means a turn for myself.