Monday, February 20, 2012

I didn't mean for this to happen

Dear Blogger,

I didn't mean for this to happen. I'm in a serious relationship with Tumblr now. It started awhile back - to be honest, I forget when exactly.

But even without Tumblr, you've gotten to be rather high maintenance. Your editing platform seems to change every other day, and I'm never quite sure where the publish post button is. Also: it's kind of a pain in the butt to attach photos to your posts. They never seem to be placed where I want them to be. Or sized the way I want them to be. And the caption layout leaves much to be desired.

I also want to expand on the topics I write about. Don't worry, it'll always lean a little towards education. But there's more to writing than commenting on American education policy, and the basketball antics of Arne Duncan.

We'll still be good friends. I'll come back and visit. Who knows, my fickle heart might find Tumblr too shallow, too contrite, not original enough (all the reblogging and whatnot). We'll see.

In any case, good times. Come visit me too.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

This might explain why...

...some of my students act the way they do when they work in a small group.

Click here to read.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Want to read something awesome?

Click here. This person just described every. Single. Day. Of my life in the classroom.

Except sometimes - just sometimes ::ahem:: - it doesn't turn out as peacefully as that.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Control issues


Question: What are some good tips on how to handle students who highly enjoy minding everyone's business but their own?

Three school days only since winter break and I'm ready for another two weeks off.

If I don't get to that problem, let it go.
          If I don't teach them that procedure, let it go.
                    If I haven't succeeded at making a positive connection, let it go.

Let it go, let it go, let it go.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


A little more than a week has passed since the last day of school before winter break, and yet I feel so much more relaxed. What have I done since then?

~ participated in a "teacher flash mob" for the winter assembly
~ drove home to see my parents for a night
~ flew to Japan
~ flew to Hong Kong
~ saw all my relatives
~ ate a lot of really good food
~ shopped a lot
~ people-watched a lot
~ rested a lot

I've also had a lot of time to think. In general, I think too much, and I don't act enough. Thinking a lot about the new year...about being closer to 30 than to 25...about the future and what it holds...

Professionally, I would like to accomplish these things in 2012:

~ become tenured at my school:lots of people have this thing against tenure. So do I, actually, if it's automatically given and never contested in the future. But I think I'm well on my way to earning that status. I work really, really, REALLY hard. I have positive results. Last year, I had better CST scores than the other Algebra Readiness teacher - who, according to the principal, is the best teacher on campus. By the end of June, tenure would be deserved.

But I don't mind the possibility of it being taken away if I don't work hard, or show positive results. I don't mind that kind of pressure. I don't mind that kind of fire. I'll simply continue proving to everyone that I'm a great teacher.

~ learn Spanish. Just cuz' this skill is a no-brainer in Cali.

~ restart that dang masters program I've been procrastinating on. Yep, I keep saying I will, and I keep telling people I will, but in the end, I haven't yet. I push it aside, convincing myself it's not urgent. It's certainly not as urgent as handling Textbook ADHD Boy, or Rude Boy, or I-Double-Dog-Dare-You Girl (huh, I haven't blogged about these students have I? The stories I can tell about these kids are killer). No, it's not urgent.

But that doesn't mean it's a good idea to purposefully make it non-urgent.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Patience is not a thing

Patience is not a thing right now. It is an escapee of the prison that is my soul.

Ha. Was that emo enough for you?

Even without a calendar, it's really easy to tell when it is the last week before winter break. The students are tired. I'm tired. The admin is tired. The support staff is tired. I think even my backpack straps are tired.

Four more days until break.

Four more days until HK (!!!).

Four more days of 6th period (actually, three! I don't see them on Wednesdays! gasp!).

Four more days. Hanging on for four more days.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Dear Sub Who Bailed on Me:

This does not bode well towards you being called back. Nuh-uh.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Small logistical steps, big leap for me.

Riding on a positivity wave, results of the 10 day Thanksgiving Break. It wasn't great in 6th period today - but it wasn't terrible either. Chatty, at least no one was rude.

I also have a plan. A glorious, mind-boggling, complicated, life-long-work-type of plan. It involves that D-word: Differentiation.

I love the idea of differentiation. I love it in theory. I have yet to love it in practice. So many places to begin, and seemingly each thing can't live without the other being implemented at the same time as well. Which only adds to the "Dude, I am SO. Not. Doing. That." feeling.

But I must. Hell if it's done piecemeal in a haphazard fashion! The kinks can be ironed out later - nothing can be ironed out at all if it isn't implemented first.

It also looks like those 12-hour days are coming That doesn't sound appealing. Setting a limit for myself to no more than two 12-hour days in the classroom.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Things I'm looking forward to

Winter assembly is coming up! I wonder what the teachers' skits will be like? It's time to start brainstorming.

Wrapping up the first half of the Algebra Readiness curriculum and giving the semester final BEFORE winter break. Gotta love that!

Writing more. Just, writing more. Carving out time to write, on purpose. Not just because I feel like it, or want to, or have a few minutes to spare. But consciously making it a priority.

This time of year makes me want to set and plan goals. Come on ideas! Bring it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I remember it being really difficult to go back to work after Thanksgiving break last year - much more difficult than after winter break. Not quite sure why - it certainly isn't because of length.

Perhaps it's because Thanksgiving break comes during a time when a break is needed - highly needed. I've needed this break a lot. I've cut my hair (after 1.5 years without a hair cut!)//got a flu shot (after 5 years of no flu shots!)//got my car serviced (6 months since the previous service!)//baked//read//wrote Christmas cards and sent them out//bought a pair of waterproof boots//organized personal papers//slept a lot.

I love Thanksgiving break. I also love the fact that I got to spend a whole day in the classroom - no students, no colleagues, just me. Prepping, cleaning up, grading, organizing. You would think I do that everyday anyway - and I do. It's just never enough to keep up with the rest of the action. New system perhaps?

Leisurely breakfasts were also taken during break. So nice.