Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

My desire to teach started at such a young age.  It's all I can remember wanting to do.  The bond with children that I form each year is so special.  Teachers spend more time with other people's kids than their own in a day, so it's natural that we get close to them.  Loving the kids isn't that surprising.  It's the bond with my coworkers that surprised me more.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What A Difference Time Makes

One of the hardest things about being a teacher is wondering if I've made a difference.  Every day as I reflect, I think about what I could do differently next time or what went well.  I'm a pretty harsh critic of myself so I'm usually looking for things to improve. Did I make a difference today?  Sometimes I just ask myself, "Did I survive today?"

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Are We Smarter Than A Third Grader?

If I've learned anything from this election season it's this:  the lessons I teach to third graders could easily be taught to the adults in this country and we could all conquer the world!  Sadly, I don't work with adults so I'll just do my little part and hope for the best.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Living the Dream

When I used to dream about the future as a child, I was always in front of a classroom.  Every image of myself was teaching little kids.  I played school every day.  I dreamed of grading papers and decorating classrooms.  (I now have nightmares about grading papers and decorating, but that's a story for a different day!)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Just Some Words

*This is not a political post.  I'm an advocate for children, not political parties!

Recently we are hearing a great deal about the value of words.  It confuses me that so many people are ready to verbally attack others and then say that words don't matter.  To me, it's like a free pass to be a jerk because words aren't important anyway.  When did this happen? When did we decide that words don't matter?

Everything I say every day goes into the ears of young people that think I know everything.  (Not even close, Folks!) Words do have power.  I know that I have control over my response to negative words.  I can choose to not be upset and realize that people are just mean and that's their problem.  If I've learned anything from Oprah, it's that I am not the problem when someone says mean things, it's the person saying mean things.  I don't have to give power to those words.  But try to teach that to young, impressionable children.  It's not easy.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Learning Isn't Just For Kids

Teachers teach more than just reading, writing and arithmetic these days.  We also are required to teach students how to be good, productive members of society.  That's a job that we take very seriously.  We implement character education programs into our days.  When I first began teaching, character education was not really part of the curriculum.  We just told students to stop doing whatever they were doing if it was wrong, and they knew their parents would say the same.  Now, we know that not all the students are hearing it at home so we need to reinforce good character traits at school.  In the process, students sometimes teach us more than we teach them.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

This is Why I Do This

After a really hard day I have been known to say things like, "I'm not going back tomorrow!" or "If I didn't have to get ready for a substitute, I would definitely take a personal day tomorrow!" Some days just don't go the way I plan.  From start to finish, a day can just feel like I've accomplished nothing.  Students are misbehaving and plans are not working.  I just want to crawl into a hole and hide until summer!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Using My Time Off Wisely

When people say, "It must be nice to have all those days off," I used to get angry.

"Do you have ANY idea what we DO on our days off?" That was a popular response that fell on deaf ears.  No one cares to hear all of that.  Most people just want all those days off.  Most people also realize that what comes with the days off are days on.  Days completely on.  Never stopping to take a breath.  Those days off are not just to be nice to us.  They are to keep us from losing what brain power we have left.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Let's Do This!

Every summer since I started teaching, I've said to myself, "This is the summer I'm going to write my book!"  It has taken me 23 years of teaching to realize that I'm probably not going to write the great American novel.  Let's be real, here.  I'm not even sure I can keep up with a blog.  But I have so many thoughts in my head, stories to share, years of therapy to avoid, so I thought why not try this?