Post 9: Finding Silver Linings on Monday

Mondays are tough to get through. I almost feel entitled to get a girl scout badge for surviving Monday. Each week. However, today I was determined to take notice of good things that happened. Thankfully there were more than just a few. Here are a few things that made me happy, smile, or just be thankful.

  • I was on time to our morning staff meeting. Yay!
  • Students were taking their final unit exam of the year (testing always sucks), but I was able to play music throughout the entire hour for each of my classes.
  • At the end of the day,  my advisory students sat through a demo lesson. Our 8th and 7th graders are used to this since we are a growing school, but this is the first of few for my kids. This is how I pitched it to them. -Me with a completely serious face-

    Okay 654, you have been given a great responsibility. You will play a role in deciding who teaches YOU at our school. After this lesson we’ll share some glows and grows. I want you to consider if you want this person as your teacher next year when you are 7th graders because you never know, this person just might be your teacher!

    We got a bit rowdy after a while, so when I mentioned maybe the responsibility needs to be passed on to another class, I heard a unanimous cry…

    Okay, so they weren’t that passionate about participating…
  • During the debrief the last comment.

    I would want him to be a teacher because he explained well, but no because I want you as my teacher and I would miss you.

  • I got to see my math coach at the beginning of the week. He usually comes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but with a modified testing schedule we won’t be able to meet, so he came in today. We were able to sit down and work together for an hour or so. Also Rob rocks!
  • Speaking of Rob, one of my students asked if we go to the same college, “because he’s really good at math too” because duh–all people who are great at math went to the same awesome college.
  • Hands down, it’s really the people that I work with that help me make it through tough weeks and make me love the place I work! Today a bunch of us stayed back to watch demo lessons and debrief about them. We had a team member out sick today and the 6th grade team flawlessly took care of all coverages within 5 minutes. Reminding me day in and day out we do the BEST for the children and the team even if it may inconvenience us. I’m glad to help because I know when I need them, they will pull through for me!
  •  A bunch of kids have started come up with me during lunch to play Heads Up, a combo of charades and taboo. Today the category they were playing was animals, so needless to say it was entertaining. Especially when my student made a werewolf sound when the word was elephant!
  • I did the “I’m watching you” signal to one of my students today when he was trying to be sneaky and he kept on doing it to me, but he did it by poking his eyes every single time. He’s not with it just yet!
    I didn’t look as creepy.


Bring it on Tuesday!


Post 5: Being Candid…

Our school is looking for a few new teachers for the following school year and I have been watching some demo lessons and have gotten a chance to speak to some of them. Everyone has asked at some point to share my experience working at the school and it seemed like a great prompt for a blog post.

  • There are high expectations: Thats usually the first thing out of my mouth. This is the first school that I have worked at, but from what I’ve been told by teachers who have worked at other schools, we are asked to do a lot more than at any other place they have worked at. For example, implementing cross content instructional tools, looking at student work protocols weekly, keeping in touch with parents, assisting special education teachers in completing IEPs by giving them current student info on academics/social emotional behavior. All of this can be really overwhelming sometimes.
  • With bullet mentioned above, it can get pretty intense in our building at various times of the year, but it’s okay (and very encouraged) to reach out for support.
  • We hold our students accountable because we believe we are stakeholders in their success and many of us do that on our own time. Our AP and principal have standing detention with the students during our extended day, but I usually opt to hold my students. It’s just more meaningful that way, especially because sometimes it’s “we need to make up work because you chose to not finish it in my class” detention and that is just silent work time detention, “you didn’t do the work because you were so lost and shut down and then started goofing off” detention and the looks more like one on one support, and other times it’s “you had a bad day, so let’s just talk and reflect” detention, and sometimes it’s not “detention”, but come hang out with me and “let’s build a relationship” kind of thing. This too can be very, very overwhelming.
  • We collaborate A LOT, we get a lot of feedback, we give a lot of feedback, we are up in everyone’s business and that’s great for us, but might not work for everyone. We have time built in our schedule for much of this collaboration to happen.
  • We use SBG and there tends to be a learning curve (3 years in and I’m still towards the beginning of that curve).
  • We really emphasize supporting diverse learning needs and in an ideal world would love to have every single class be in an ICT setting!
  • From knowing my colleagues, working with my admin–majority of the people are happy here.
  • I’m happy where I work and with whom I work. I feel really supported and consider the people I work with an extension of my family, who really understand what I go through every day.
  • I work with really smart and awesome people who make me reflect on my own teaching constantly and who remind me I can do better each day.