Tag Archives: teaching

In Search of Balance

I posted on Twitter last week that I could probably work 24 hours a day and still not feel caught up.

It’s not that I don’t love my job. I do. I’m where I need to be, right where God wants me.

But it’s way too easy to sink back under all that paperwork, that grading, that mountain of work-work-work, until I’m drowning in it, losing sight of the important things in favor of the tedious.

Let’s just say that keeping a healthy balance is not my strong suit.

Lord, help me to do the best I can and let the rest go.

Bypassing Scratch

Confession: There have been times that I’ve spent so much time decorating my classroom for the new year that I ended up behind in planning my lessons.

It all got done, of course, but only by taking it home to finish. (The room, of course, I couldn’t take home with me, but probably would’ve if I could’ve.)

Well, I can’t live that way anymore, see.

So today, my first day back in my classroom, I spent time arranging furniture and organizing my desk, clearing out the junk.

But I didn’t draw a brand-new poster for outside my door as usual.

Instead, I took the wrinkled one that I made last year and cut out the words.

It still looks pretty cool, and no one will notice the difference.

A small step but it’s something. :P

Response to Mr. Clemens

I agree, Mr. Clemens. It truly is a mess in here!

And you standing there in your white suit…

I’ve done all I can do. I’ve emailed and forwarded and caught people in the hallway. Since Monday the 6th. Sigh.

Today, I trashed my students’ papers, the ones that were drenched when that tile fell. It’s a good thing we decided in this morning’s department meeting to do away with that whole portfolio thingy, huh?

Well, everything’s packed up, and you’re left to watch the slowly filling bucket.

Water torture, indeed.

Planting the Poetry Garden

This morning, I put the final touches on our Poetry Garden. It’s outside my classroom and is full of flowers that my students decorated with Spring haiku (for the most part).

We’ve gotten lots of compliments so far, and it definitely raised my rainy-day spirits. :)

Here are some closeups:

And here’s my haiku:

Tiny flowers burst
into a symphony of
hue: Springtime Revisited.

My Little Helper :)

By Atticus, who came to help me get ready for my sub yesterday morning. :)

One thing about being a teacher is that a day off is almost never a day completely off. Plans and copies must be made; classroom desks must be organized; agendas on the board must be written.

So while I took care of all that I need to, Attie amused himself with the markers and board. Love it!

Writing with my Students

I have tons of these little pictures that I printed from a website, laminated, and cut up. They’re of all kinds of things: people, famous and not; animals; objects; places.

I asked students to pick one that appealed to them. First, they described it. Then, they responded to it creatively by telling the story behind the picture or writing a poem about what’s happening or writing from the point of view of one of the people, animals, or objects in the picture.

Afterward, I let them share with each other what they’d written.

This was mine.

62/365: ELMO!

This is my ELMO.

Yeah, it’s not red and fuzzy. And no annoying whine.

And, okay, it’s not really mine. It’s my inclusion teacher’s, but she lets me keep it in my room. (She’s awesome like that!)

And really it’s not exactly hers, either. It’s one she’s been issued to use.

Regardless, I’ve been using it all the time this year, and I’ve barely even touched the surface of what it will do.

Here are just a few examples of how we’ve used it so far:

  • Talking through MLA formatting of source cards (above)
  • Magnifying student work during presentations. (See symbols cards, for example.)
  • Diagramming sentences, one student at the ELMO, and the rest of the class participating while watching the process
  • Showing on-the-fly models of what students are working on at the moment

I can’t wait to find new ways to use it!