Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Year in Review

XKCD posted my year end review for me. Iceland, I may never forgive you.

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of Not School

Last night I had trouble sleeping. I had a bad stomach ache last night and this morning I woke up about an hour before my alarm went off and couldn't fall back asleep to save my life. Pretty common for the first day of school. Teaching-related sleep anxiety has been a staple of my August-June life for the past six years.

But today was different. It was indeed the first day of school in my district, but it was the first day that I really didn't go back to teaching. Yes, I worked all summer in my new role, and I even did it half time (sort of) last year, so it's not like it's completely new. But today was the first day that I really officially did not go back as a teacher.

Lots of people have been asking me how it feels. I thought today would be weird and milestone-ish. But it turned out to be just another day at the office. Except for the weird sleep last night (maybe I just woke up early because my roommates were getting up at a work hour for the first time today?), nothing felt different. On Saturday when I helped a friend set up her classroom, it didn't really feel weird that I wasn't setting up my own. The only time I have felt weird was about a month ago when I was at Target and I started to look at the school supplies and then realized I didn't have to. It wasn't necessarily happy and it wasn't necessarily sad. It was just a small jolt out of a usual August routine.

Will it hit me at some point? Probably. It's hard to imagine that quitting the career I intended to do for a lifetime wouldn't emotionally screw with me in some way or another. Is that a good thing? Probably. I still unquestionably believe that teachers are the most important part of our educational system and that everyone else in education should just be working on how to support them. So I definitely see myself as some level of failure for giving up on doing that most important job. I just hope that as I continue in a different direction that I do everything I can to take care of the teachers who take care of our kids. Maybe if I can make some teacher's life easier and her job more exciting, she won't burn out like I did.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Purple Binder

Yesterday a couple of students came into my class, saying they had been sent by their teacher to retrieve his Purple Binder. It took me a second--the only binder I'd borrowed from that teacher was a binder he probably wouldn't need, especially not in the middle of class. Then I remembered what the Purple Binder contains: the greatest classroom management strategy in the world.

You know those days when kids are getting really squirrely and annoying and you wish you could just send them to run laps? Often on those days the kids aren't doing anything completely out of line, so turning their behavior into a discipline issue or kicking students out of class would just make everything explode. You want to avoid a negative interaction for your own sanity and theirs. Enter the Purple Binder. Kids love running errands for their teachers, so pick the 1-2 of the most annoying kids and ask them to go to Ms. _____'s room to see if she has your Purple Binder. Ms. _____ tells them, sorry, she doesn't have the Purple Binder. She thinks she gave it to Mr. _______ (who happens to teach all the way across the school). Turns out Mr. _____ doesn't have it either--he is sure that he gave it to someone else. After traipsing back and forth across the school a couple of times, the kids will probably give up, but in the meantime they will have burned off all their energy. And they will never know that the Purple Binder does not actually exist.

Bonus: getting a Purple Binder visit makes my day. Maybe it's mean, but I love seeing how confused/exasperated kids get when I send them to yet another classroom on a wild goose chase.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Wrong Similie

O: Can I go to the bathroom?
Me: Do you have a bathroom pass?
O: But your eyes! Your eyes are as blue as the deep blue ocean.
Me: You still need a pass. And your sucking up doesn't even make sense because I have brown eyes.
O: Oops, I mean, your eyes are as brown as the stain on my--
Me: That's supposed to flatter me?
O: Wait! I wasn't going to say 'underwear'!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Next Fox News Anchor

I know teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but N. happens to be one of mine. He has an unbelievably quick and sharp wit. I know I can always count on him for a perfectly-timed smart remark.

The other day he was working on homework in my room after school and was whining about not wanting to do the problems and arguing (in a nice way) about why they weren't worth doing. He turned to the ludicrous circular logic he so adores, and this conversation ensued.

Me: You should work for Fox News. 

N: I bet at Fox News they don't have to do math. 
Me: Very true. 
N: They just have to tell it like it is. They just have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. 
Me: This is an incredible conversation. I'm writing this down. 
N: Can you send it to Fox NewsCorp? And see if they'll give me a job. My news show is going to be called "The Voice of Reason". I'll be like "Good morning, America. The other day I was walking down the street and saw some liberals protesting, asking for rights. You want rights? You can get right out that door!"

Seriously, he could get a job there. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I choose C.

This video is so out-of-touch. The other day I overheard a group of principals talking about how "A" is the new "C" for multiple choice tests. This girl should choose A.

I am teaching full-on CAHSEE prep right now. It is the worst teaching I have ever done. And this is what it will lead to.

Monday, December 03, 2012

At least one kid got it

From the one student's "About the Author" section of a recent project in my class:

"I am the type of person who doesn't typically ask questions when I am confused on the subject, however, after doing this certification [project], I learned that sitting there and copying things off the board doesn't help me learn and I would always not understand things that we were learning. So, I started asking questions when I didn't understand something and I feel like that's what everyone who is confused should do because when they don't understand something and just sits there copying what the teacher tells them, it's not going to help them learn anything when it comes to something that is in the real world."

From another kid's "About the Author" section:

"I want the world to know that im a cool person and that im a boss. I want respect from a lot of people. I want everybody to pay me cash and give me awesome things. I want all the ladies to love me."

(Obviously, sic)