Category Archives: teaching

Surprise thank you

Surprise thank you

To whomever sent Jared a copy of The Hunger Games really for me and for my classroom, thank you. Jared kept your identity a secret as requested.

It reminds me of my amazon wishlist. I had the my Classroom Book Wish List from Amazon up for some time on my blogroll, but never received anything from it for my classroom. I actually took it down a few weeks ago because 1) I didn’t feel like updating it and 2) I figured nobody ever looked at it anyways.

I went ahead and updated it today and put it back because I usually lose around $200-$400 worth of books every year to maintain my classroom library. There are a lot of people who argue that I shouldn’t have that “library” in my classroom, but it’s worth it to me because it helps the kids have books in their hands. As a teacher of writing and reading, isn’t that pretty important? Especially for the kids who can’t go to the real libraries, or even the school libraries for whatever reasons?

So, whoever thought of me and my students. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly appreciate it.

I’ll end with a quote from a very wise man:


“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

-Mark Twain

Write with Me

Write with Me

Today, I shared one of my poems that I wrote over the summer (during my time with CTWP) with my students. I explained to them that this was my promise to them that writing can be meaningful, and that I have done, or will be doing to some extent, the writing process with them.

I then had them glue it to the inside of the front cover of their writer’s notebooks –we’ll be decorating them tomorrow, which is one of my favorite things!– and I told them that I wanted this to be their reminder that I promise to give 100% to them, and I’m asking them to give some of that effort back to me.

Then I read the poem to the students:

And you know what my kiddos did when I was done reading?

They all clapped and cheered. And one class even did poetic finger snaps.



(PS- Copyright of “Write with Me” 2011 belongs to me, and blah blah blah. Please respect the work!)

Sibling Students

Sibling Students

This was the craziest first day of school I’ve had yet.

My feet hurt. My voice hurts. My head hurts. I’m exhausted.

But I’m still smiling. You know why?

Because I had a handful of students who came by to visit me from last year. And they weren’t all the star students. In fact, one of the boys (he came by twice, because he was super excited to see if I had had his sister yet) I had failed two of the six grading segments last year because he was just being lazy. lol. I guess you never know who you are motivating, even if they are being toots.

So, the fact that I had students coming by to say hi was incredibly sweet. Very endearing. I am so happy to have been a positive enough influence in their lives that they would take the time to drop by and say hi to me the first day of school.

Also, this is the first year for me where I actually have several sibling students. I have about six or seven students whose older brothers/sisters I have taught in previous years since moving to Texas. Crazy! And I have a few sets of twins this year, too! Hopefully that doesn’t throw me off too much.

So despite the doubling of students I have had in the past, some between teacher dramas, and failure of technology, I’m going to remember those good parts of today.

Hold on to your hats, people. It’s going to be a WILD ride this year!

Positive thoughts for the day

Positive thoughts for the day

1) Jared got home early early this morning. I really missed that guy.

2) My classroom is 95% of the way completely set up, compared to about the 50% that it was set up yesterday.  Jared helped me out so much today, especially with moving the desks and ridiculously heavy chairs that somebody thought would work okay for 7th graders. Despite a lot of the stresses that is unavoidable with starting a new school year, just having the classroom taken care of helps me feel so much better.

One school-related thing down, 100 more to go!

Some people think I’m responsible!

Some people think I’m responsible!

Yeah. I said that! (Or wrote it, actually… but we won’t nitpick about it.)

So, this week has been moving along way too quickly. Between trying to get my room ready and trying to get my curriculum ready, I feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. There’s always so much to do to get ready for a new school year!  But that’s not very positive to say, so I won’t go into that.

Anyway, I was asked to be a team lead this year.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, essentially in middle school, we have “teams”. Up until this year, each team had 1 science teacher, 1 social studies teacher, 2 language arts teachers, and 2 math teachers. Teams would then share the same students between them and could talk about best ways to help the same students, etc. (The two LA and math teachers were there because SS and science would switch off every other day with the kids for a 90 min period, where math and LA got the kids every day for 90 minutes.) This all changed thanks to Gov. Perry and state budget cuts. (Yet another thing I will try to refrain from going into detail about here.)

This year, a team ‘should’ be 1 science, 1 social studies, 1 LA, and 1 math, all for 50 minute periods, and seventh grade ‘should’ have two separate teams. Due to weirdness and scheduling problems, we are the seventh grade super team. Before the scheduling issues came up, I was asked to be the head of one of the two teams, meaning that I would be in charge of meetings, reminders, keeping consistent policies, passing along information, etc. But when the scheduling wouldn’t work out, I figured it wouldn’t happen.

But my principal did want me to still participate with the campus leadership team stuff over the summer, so I did. And this past week, as I was talking to the awesome girl I work with who was our team lead for most of last year and would be again this year, she mentioned that she was trying to talk to the principal about doing a co-team-lead sort of thing. Or that I could have it all, because she didn’t think she could do it all on her own. So I opted to co-lead (because I didn’t want all that solely on my shoulders, either!).

Today, in talking to one of the assistant principals about a unrelated subject, she paid me a nice compliment by saying that this year, the principals put a lot of thought into choosing who they would like to be leading the teams, where the previous year was more just trying to fill positions. She continued saying that I and ______ were chosen because of our dedication to our students and coworkers, along with how we’ve handled ourselves and situations last year. And that was really a nice thing to know. (Especially because this AP is usually very stoic and doesn’t throw around compliments freely. She then mentioned that since we were both “mild-mannered” people, we needed to stay firm to what we both felt were best teaching practices for our kids and impart that to team as well. lol.)

So, despite all the times when I feel like I am putting it all out there and nobody has noticed or cared, they were watching. And I was making a difference and a positive impression, and it wasn’t just a random happenstance or lack of other choices that put me there.

With all that said, being purposefully chosen for a position like this is a very nice thought indeed.