Skip to main content

Reflecting

Students would be surprised to know how nervous teachers are about the first day of school.  After over twenty years in education, I still have trouble sleeping the nights leading up to the first day .The first few weeks are a little awkward.  It takes me awhile to learn their names.  It takes me a few weeks to find out who they are as people. 

Now it's May 15th, and every year around this time I start to feel a bit of sadness.  I know most people think teachers are just counting down to the end of the year, but I never do that.  I couldn't tell you how many days are left.  I feel so connected to my students, and it is hard to see them go  They are all individuals with unique personalities.  I can only hope that each student has not only learned from me but has enjoyed my class.  They can't possibly understand the joy that they bring me on a daily basis.  

Last week we had a fire drill.  Here are two quotes from students:

"Am I allowed to take a book to the fire drill?"

"Do we have to get under the desks for the drill?"

See what I mean?  This job is the best. 

In seventh-grade I had an amazing English teacher at Valley Middle School in Carlsbad.  Her name was Carol McKee.  I had just moved to Carlsbad and was a gawky girl with braces and freckles.  My parents had just gone through a divorce, and it was a very hard time for me.  Mrs. McKee's class was a highlight of my day.  She treated everyone with love and respect. She cared.  In February of that year I had to move again.  I remember having her sign my check-out sheet.  She looked up me and said, "I am going to miss you."  I will never forget those words.  They meant the world to me.  I have thought about those words many times over the years, and I know now that she meant them.  I know because I am going to say that to each of my students and mean it.  
Image result for quotes about making a difference
P.S.  I had the opportunity to tell Mrs. McKee the impact of her words.  When I met my husband in 1994 his roommate was her son!  They had even been in a fraternity together.  

Popular posts from this blog

Ditch those Reading Logs: Try Flipgrid Instead

If you've read my posts or follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about pointless projects and homework!  This year I made it official and ditched homework.  It's the best decision I've ever made as a teacher.  My students are loving it, I am loving it, and I think most of their parents are loving it! I have completely transformed the way I run my classroom and feel like my students are more engaged and excited than ever. 

Student Example (Click to watch)

Like homework, I never felt quite right about assigning reading logs.  Whenever my own kids had to read a book on their own for school, they were initially excited. First, they were told they had to read twenty minutes each night. Then the dreaded reading logs began.  They had to write  down what pages they read, as well as a summary.  Urgh! I can only imagine lying on the beach with my own book and having to complete a reading log.  No thanks!  And I am not going to lie. I just might have signed one of my son's read…

Have a Dance Party Before Class Starts

This year I decided to play music as students are entering my classroom and before the final bell rings.  I had no idea what a difference it would make!  Why didn't I do this before?  It creates a positive, upbeat mood and seems to energize my students and ME! 



At first I thought they'd complain when I blasted disco tunes by artists like Chic, The Bee Gees, and Vickie Sue Robinson ("Turn the Beat Around").   I thought they'd groan when I played Bon Jovi, Journey, and Whitesnake. I thought they'd roll their eyes when I played clean versions of songs by Tupac and Snoop Dogg.  I really thought they'd lose it when I played Gypsy Kings.  NOPE!  They loved it!  I had NO idea that my kids would react they way they did.  Here are the results:






If I don't have time to put the music on, several kids will ask, "Where's our dance party?" I really like Pandora because I can create my own stations.  If you're looking for a way to create a positive vi…

Creating a Cell Phone Sanctuary

Over the past few years, I have noticed a change in my students.  Not only are they tethered to their phones, but they are more anxious than ever.  In the past two school years, I have had at least three students experience school anxiety so severe that they could not come to school.   Those are just MY students.  This year I have had one student leave our school after her mother spent three weeks trying to drag her to class each morning as her daughter screamed, cried, and sometimes refused to get out of the car.  According to an article titled "Teen Anxiety and Depression: the Kids are not Alright" published in 2016, "In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder, according t…