Monthly Archives: December 2013

Winter Break Revelations

I did not realize until last week that I come from a family primarily composed of educators. Just on my mother’s side, I have four cousins who are teachers and one who is a principal. I realized so much just from the few days I was able to share with my fellow educators. Here are some things I noticed and found very interesting.

Teacher Probs

Teacher Problem #38
"You give us too much work!"
… said the student who handed in nothing for four weeks.
Submissions welcome! Yea… teacher probs….

We talked teacher problems. I felt like I imagine the teacher’s lounge to be like. The environment was toxic when we began talking about our teacher problems. I heard things like, “the kids just don’t care” and “students need to be held accountable-there are no redoes in real life” and “my students just don’t get it.” I didn’t know what to say, so I just listened. I listened to my cousins and realized that I do not and cannot be like them. I was angry and just wanted to tell them that students don’t care because you don’t care, there actually are redoes in most real world situations, AND your students don’t get it because you don’t “get” what your students need to learn. Arguments erupted between my cousins as the administrator blamed teachers for not doing their jobs and getting funding cut while the teachers retorted that it was the administration’s job to find the funding for things that are necessary. Then I realized something else…

Non-teachers avoid and ridicule teachers

As soon as we engaged in our discussion of teacher problems,  I noticed that everyone who is not in education left the room within 10 minutes. I can’t say I necessarily blame them, but that sucked a bit to realize that non-teachers do not care to hear about issues educators are having. To top it off, one of my non-teacher cousins ridiculed the teachers and scoffed us for “actually believing what they were saying.” He acted like what was being said wasn’t at all accurate. He continued to joke about a “pecking order” and the disbelief he felt for all that had occurred while he paid attention to the conversations. Is this how everyone outside of the education world feel this way? What could happen if everyone could spend a couple days as a teacher or administrator? Would things be different?

 

On the bright side….

1. My administrator cousin might be opening an alternative school in the next 5-10 years. I told him to let me know and I would gladly help him out/ if he needed an English teacher he has my number. 

2. I am now more aware of the stigma surrounding teachers. I can do my best to fit or not fit into that stigma. 

3. I do not have to be like my cousins. I have the choice and power to teach each of my students in a way that I think (and research shows) is one of the best ways to get my students to learn. 

4. I have a big fat kitty that loves me. 

Image This is an old picture.

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” -Albert Einstein

As a teacher, I am privileged with the opportunity to learn many new things everyday. I love it. I can’t wait to see what my students have for me.

#NCTE #Nerdlution #Hashtags

16 pages of composition notebook notes, 28 free books, and an insatiable thirst to get into my own classroom are just a few things I carried home with me after this year’s NCTE conference in Boston. Furthermore, I probably doubled my PLN in the whole sum of three days of convention I attended. I feel so connected! Twitter has been an amazing tool to help me get connected and to borrow ideas from others. Though skeptical at first, I fell in love with the hash-tags(?) and all the information they have lead me to discover. #Hashtags

Things I Loved about NCTE:

Boston: the city, most of the food, some of the people, the cutesy buildings

The Sessions:*

    *NoRedInk- people who use red pens tend to find more errors (even when errors do not exist), also red pens are always seen as negative (even when the comments are positive)

    *Impromptu Grading Discussion- what do you do when you can’t fit anymore people into a room for a session on grading? Naturally, you start your own mini-session on grading outside the room of the filled session. That’s what a few people did, so my friend Kelsey and I joined them. This was honestly one of my favorite sessions. I talked to real teachers about what they do in their own classrooms. What I enjoyed most from this session was the many different ideas and methods each teacher has used or continues to use in the classroom. I heard everything from “pity points” to portfolio classrooms to “Bloopers and Supers.” 

Penny Kittle: This woman is simply amazing, in my opinion. I am glad we were able to meet her. I loved the Ignite session. I loved her session with Kelly Gallagher (he is pretty great too). I would like to run a classroom the way she does.

Improvements for the Future:

Next year, I would like to see the room planners put the bigger names and sessions into the bigger rooms. For example, Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher shouldn’t be in a one of the smallest rooms possible when they are doing a session together. However, the room planners tried very hard and did a wonderful job on the rest of the venue. Other than that, I loved the convention. I cannot wait to return to the NCTE convention soon!  #NCTE

ncte

 

Nerd+Resolution=Nerdlution

I have been hearing much about this new craze. Here’s how it works: You come up with something that you want to accomplish. This could be anything; run everyday, find happiness everyday, read for 30 minutes everyday, or even browse the internet for pictures of cute cats for an hour everyday. Pick a resolution and stick to it for 50 days. I like this because it seems like a much more manageable time than a whole year.  My Nerdlution? My goal is find my happiness every single day. #Nerdlution

#nerdlution