Posts Tagged 'teaching'

EDD: If your school did teacher superlatives, what do you think your students would vote you as?










Mine: Most Likely to Break Out in Song

Most Likely to Wear Black and White and Biggest Kid Magnet. The latter being true because everywhere I go kids just come up to me. I had a little girl at the library program today just climb in my lap and I’m like…who are you?

Most Likely to Take Over the World and Most Likely to Break Your Mind. It would be a tie.

Most likely to know the words to every song.

Most likely to keep going and going and going…

Most likely to sit on something that’s not a chair

Most Likely To Hospitalize Themselves With Their Own Furniture

Most Likely to Tell a Terrible Pun…Intentionally.

Weirdly enough, I got Perkiest Teacher this past year. I told my friends at my old school and they laughed out loud.

I used to work at a school that did superlatives; my first year there I got Most Likely to Marry Vergil. (I’m a Latin teacher. But I never actually taught Vergil…I had the lower level classes at that school. Go figure.)


What I’ve Learned So Far


Seven years ago I was hired for my first teaching job. Two schools, four principals, four levels of English, a humanities class, two coaching positions, and over 500 students later, I’ve learned a lot.

Seven Lessons in Seven Years:
1. Plans fail and that’s okay. Schedules change last minute. You’ll learn how to be awesome on the fly. Being adaptable and flexible is one of the most important traits to develop as a teacher. It’s important to grow and change. Stagnancy and complacency are the enemies of good teaching.
2. Some kids just won’t like you and that’s fine because you won’t like all of them either.
3. Kids (especially teenagers) can smell bullshit. They know what is busy work and what isn’t. They know when you’re not being upfront with them.
4. It’s okay to not always be “on”. Kids can be so caring if given a chance. You don’t have to be a happy, peppy teacher robot every day. A bad day/week/month does not equal a bad job.
5. Always have more planned than you think you can accomplish. That way, when you go waaaay faster than anticipated, you have something to do.
6. It’s cheesy, but teaching is a calling. You have to want to teach to be an effective teacher. If you don’t want to teach, don’t be a teacher. It’s not a “fallback” job, kids can see straight through you. If you start teaching and realize it’s not for you? That’s okay. It’s definitely not for everyone and it is not a reflection of you as a person or a reflection of your skills/knowledge.
7. My first year teaching I was definitely not the world’s best teacher. Which isn’t bad. I learned. I grew. I’m still not the world’s greatest teacher. But I love my students and I love my job and I want to be the best I can be for them. Isn’t that all anyone can really ask for?


#ThrowbackThursday to my favorite Bill Nye the Science Guy quote, which I liked to point to when I asked kids to pick something up off of the floor and they said “But it’s not mine!!!!”

Must Be Nice


We have reached that glorious time of the year, a time when 50% of my conversations with others will include the phrase, “It must be nice.”

Why yes, thank you, it is.

It is nice to have my summers “off.”

It is nice to have a couple of months a year where people call me by my first name.

It is nice to be able to use the bathroom when I have to go.

It is nice not to have stress dreams about other people’s children.

It is nice not to have to repeat everything I say at least three times.


See, here is the deal, people.

During the rest of the year, I wear a specific costume. I do not wear my “real clothes.”

During the rest of the year, I answer to a different name.

During the rest of the year, I plan everything I do and most of what I say ahead of time.

What is that called? That’s called a performance.

Most of the year, I am literally performing most of the day.

And writing the script.

And my audience does not always (or even often) particularly want to be there.

And I am responsible for them remembering most of what they have seen and heard.

And I am responsible for designing ways of assessing how much they have remembered and can apply from everything they have seen and heard.

And I am responsible for grading these assessments.

Except when those assessments come from the state. Then I am responsible for making the audience remember everything and care about proving they remember everything.

Or else.

All of which is not so bad. I chose this job and I love it.

But if that sounds daunting, or overwhelming to anyone else, I just wish they would remember that the next time they want to say in a snooty voice, “Must be nice.”

Journals: I’m following the topic list here

June 2: Something good from last week

If last week can include “the past 7 days” and not “the
Sunday through Saturday prior to this one,” that something was the last three
days of school. Final exams, yes, but also final moments with a great group of
students. My Latin 1 class used the time to read ahead in the textbook and
translate the chapters we hadn’t had time to go over fully, with me just
glossing over any new grammar for them so they could just get through the
story, and they have progressed so far in their reading skills, I was so proud
of them! Also on the last day we celebrated the end of the school year in song.
Latin songs. Translated from English songs. There’s nothing quite like belting
out the Latin version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm when one’s finals are all

If I am technically obliged to refer to May 22-28 for this
post, that something was visiting my parents and their KITTENS! So here are some
gratuitous kitten photos to accompany this journal entry. Because gratuitous
kitten photos never really need an excuse, do they? Oh, and also on Sunday we
had a mini family reunion for Memorial Weekend since my uncle, who is also a
pastor, was the guest speaker in church Sunday morning and then we got to spend
the rest of Sunday with him and my cousins and their kids, who play really well
with my sister’s kids. It was a lovely, long weekend all around.

Happiness is

Wrapping up the Memorial Weekend stay with the parents and heading home to get your lesson plans for the week done, only to recall upon arrival that you actually got it all finished before leaving school for the weekend and now you have the whole evening free.

today I recited Shakespeare to a small army of eight-year-olds


So last week an email got sent round my college asking if
anyone wanted to read some poetry to primary school kids and I was the only one
who responded and I asked if I could do some Shakespeare, since I have quite a
lot of experience with it, and the teacher said that would be fine.

So I was discussing with friends what I should do and they
said ‘er yeah, don’t do Shakespeare.’ And I was like ‘what why’ and they went ’well,
maybe if they’re over 10 but otherwise you’ll just get blank looks’ and I went ‘well
I don’t want to insult their intelligence’ and then another friend was like ‘hey
you should do that kid’s song ‘When I Was One’, they’ll like that!!’ (it’s a really
babyish song for toddlers with silly actions) and I thought about it and was ‘like
nah actually, I’ll do the ‘Once more unto the breach’ speech’

So I learned that over the week, and I was walking up to the
school, and the whole way I was thinking ‘Oh god this was a terrible idea they’re
going to hate it, they’re going to look at me blankly like those kids in The
Polar Express, my friends were right it’s going to be a disaster’, and I was
there early, so I sat in the classroom for the first half an hour, got given a
cupcake by some kids from a different class, said hello to some of the kids in
my class, they got a look at me.

At half 2 the teacher mentioned I would be reading some
poetry, and I asked if we could go outside, which she was more than happy to
allow, and the kids were all so confused (‘where are we going? Isn’t it only
poetry?’) and we got onto the field, the teacher got them all to stand an arm’s
length apart from each other, so I could walk around them, and I did a brief
overview of where the scene came in the play, how the king is on the
battlefield, talking to his soldiers (“Could all you be the soldiers?” “Yes!!”)
and they’re attacking the French, who are all in a castle (forgot it’s really a
castle town), and they’re attacking them through a gap in the wall, the breach.
Me and the teacher emphasised that if there was anything they didn’t
understand, that was completely fine and they could ask me at the end. I asked
the kids to watch for when I held my fist in the air, which is when they had to
cheer loudly, we had a practise at that, and then I did the speech.

Everything I had been scared about evaporated. All the kids
were totally engaged, they were all watching me, they all listened right the
way through, I saw lots of excited faces, and they all cheered really well at
the end.

Afterwards, there was a lot of chatter, several of them
asked me questions (”how do you remember all those words?”, “what did you mean when you talked about nostrils?”), one boy asked me to do it again, they were all really
lovely and had genuinely enjoyed it. It was so much fun, and they especially
loved it when I told them how my big college friends had told me not to do
Shakespeare because they wouldn’t like it. Those kids 100% proved them wrong

Blogger Gatherings!

Click the button for reports from the 2010 Spring Blogger Gathering, hosted by Linett of Nimrodel!

Berethron of Brandywine hosted the 2010 Summer Blogmoot.

The Winter Blogmoot was held on December 4, 9 p.m. EST at the home of Telwen of Silverlode.

Next up: The Spring Blogmoot of 2011 shall return to Nimrodel with Tuiliel (Whart, aka user-1027520) hosting! Linett is looking forward to another local moot!



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