Tag Archives: Teaching

What I need – Poem


Give me my classroom.
Give it to me with a tea kettle in the corner,
and a stack of tea waiting
to be brewed on cold rainy mornings. Continue reading


And the Band Played On

Last Week. Friday. Twilight. Perfect weather. Driving home from a sojourn to Herrell’s, a sojourn that happens far too often, a sojourn for what my grumpa calls medicine, but is more often called ice cream. So we’re heading home- And I have the windows cranked down because the weather is warm, and I find James Brown on the radio, and I crank that up. And I turn around and dance with my 18 month old who is exemplifying funk while he boogies in his car seat. Yah, people are staring while we are stopped at the light. This does not bother my almost grown-up self. It would have bothered my 17 year old self.

After James Brown, I flip the radio from channel to channel trying to orchestrate the perfect soundtrack for the rest of our ten minute drive home. First, it’s a story about Julio down by the school yard, but then Dylan is singing “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” Bob gets it right every time. I listen to him croon while the sun roof is open to just let in the moon on me and my family — And I think of how I’m remiss to start school when there are nights like these to be had– But I’m so much younger now than I was in June, so it’s time to get in line for another go-around.

So, I’ll see you in just about a hundred hours.

Dog Days of Summer

Driving through town the other week other day, I saw this sign that said “help prevent summer learning loss”. Which of course was code for, come spend your money here, at our tutoring service, and we’ll help to make you smarter. Now I have no qualms against this particular tutoring service, it’s just I think there is so much to be learned and acquired in these warm days.

I could rumminate on and on, but instead I’ll just post a video, of your teacher learning something new during summer break. A couple weeks back, at AP camp, I, well I, I learned to shoot a gun. Seriously.

No summer learning loss here.

ps the first thirty seconds will give you the gist.

Oh those lazy days of summer

I’ve updated the summer reading pages for 9th and 11th grade English.

I hope this information is helpful and you’re enjoying your summers.

-ms. b

All is fair in love, war, and . . .

. . . Crosswords.

I need to figure out how to incorporate crosswords into the curriculum.   A few days ago one of my kiddos picked up the crossword in class.  An aside here, my kiddos, are teenagers, and I have 98 of them this year.

After reminding him that we were supposed to be working on research, I found myself turning towards the crossword in the paper I was perusing.

Now for three days straight with the help of some  students, I have been rushing to finish my crossword in any spare moment I can find.  And it’s turned into a bit of a race.  I don’t know how long this can go on, but for now it’s tied up two-two.

Have faith, the teacher led team will pull through in the end.

Just another manic Monday

I have a case of the Mondays. I had a long weekend which included a trip to Boston for a swank wedding in the South End. Then yesterday my late afternoon mother’s day brunch rendered me useless and in bed with a terrible stomach ache as soon as Kai’s head hit the pillow.

Today Is my long day. I teach three classes in a row. Three high energy classes. Thankfully we are in the midst of major projects in most of these classes and will be in the library writing and doing research.

This afternoon, we have a yearbook meeting to prepare for next year. We have a great crew of returning students next year, and should put out a quality product. My only concern is recruiting some underclassmen for the upcoming years. After the meeting, I’m going to town on my, getting larger everyday, list of administrative tasks. I have emails to return, union elections to plan, and lesson plans to submit. I don’t think I could of ever imagined, while sitting in any number of of my grad school classes, how much would be required of a teacher outside of just teaching.

What is most challenging this year is balancing my work responsibilities with my new mom life. In the two previous years I could stay until the work was done, and then work at home. But my very active one year old doesn’t really let that happen. He has to be picked up at a certain time, and when I’m home, it takes both Russ and I to manage him, and dinner, and the house. This is the extent of academia at my house after five-

So, by the time the kiddo is in bed, I’m so ready to fall asleep to another episode of American Idol.

And so, I do what I can. Which is why the occasional day of work in the library is a welcome respite for this teacher with a case of the Mondays.

Houston, I think we have a problem.

Ugh. Do my students not realize I’m reading their blogs? HELLO- I’m reading your blogs.

If it isn’t something your mom could read. . . you should think about revising.

And for those of you out there sighing and rolling your eyes – appropriate does not need to be boring. The challenge is to not make me blush, and to be interesting — all at the same time.

Full speed ahead

My first goal is to not have any cliche’ titles for the rest of the year. Or maybe, I should just have all cliche’ titles.
So most of the students have blogs. Most of the students have a blog roll, and most of the students are writing. Some students had a harder time getting things set up than others. I think it had more to do with how web savvy students are, and how intuitive they are about where things will be while setting up. There are some student who have chosen not to move forward with this, or who are doing so with much mumbling, but in general, I think students are enjoying the project.

My biggest concern is keeping the blogs at a school appropriate p.g. level. My dilemma is how to do that while ensuring that each student feels like they have the ability for their voices to be heard. That’s the thing with being a newish teacher. Each new assignment is an experiment and you spend a good amount of time failing miserably. Assignments and projects are not always perfect at the beginning, and often need much tweaking in future terms and years.  But among the failures there are often monumental success, and those help this newish teacher to keep-on, keeping-on.

Ready or not

Looks like after a week of figuring things out with the proxys and what not, we’re good to go for tomorrow’s class. I’m hoping we can get everyone on and ready to go for tomorrow. I really like the set-up part of blogging. I get such a kick out of setting up the side bar, picking a theme, and listing links. Of course that’s the easy part. And it’s the same way when I’m setting up a paper. I pick out my font, adjust my margins, write my working title, bold my name, before I even type my first thought. There is something about the anticipation of a clean page, ready to be filled, that gives this nerd a thrill.

A project in blogging.

I’m hoping to get my entire journalism class blogging by the end of the week. I’m excited about the prospect of the students having an opportunity for public voice. Have hit a few roadblock with students having access to the rest of wordpress after they sign up.  Will have to figure that out soon.