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?