School started what? Three weeks ago? And I’ve already gone through 3 boxes of tissues, 1/2 of a huge thing of hand sanitizer, and a full container of Costco-size Clorox wipes.
And it got me anyway.
Things are not better on TeachersPayTeachers just because they’re $$$, and they are definitely not any better than the free things I can find on Google.
But neither are what I would ever use in my own classroom anyway so I just end up manipulating them beyond recognition and saving absolutely NO time (which was my intent when Googling/Teacherspayteachersing in the first place).
I was successful in writing the test then :)
Something is working, even if it feels like everything is not
Ok y’all. These seniors are rough. Rooooooough. I’m pulling even longer days than I did last year just to make sure my plans are on point, my content is relevant (with like no holes), and my grading feedback is beyond personalized and detailed, but some days I’m standing in front of a classroom of blank stares and apathetic expressions and wayyyy too many side discussions and I’m just like, “Is anything working?”
Today was ‘one of those days’ and I was SO ready to roll out as soon as the bell rang. But I couldn’t. It started with one student coming in to ask a question about an essay. Then a handful of boys came in to work on quiz corrections. Then another group came in to finish up their study guides. Still more came to look at the projects I hung up. Pretty soon my room was abuzz with laughing, teasing, talking, and (most importantly? least importantly?) Brave New World.
No but actually, I know most importantly is this: when I had to kick the last few out after 7:00, one of the young men turned to me and thanked me for letting them stay and for helping out. “Not many teachers do that, Miss,” he said, “And like, this is the first book I’ve read since freshman year because you made it sound so good. And I liked it. And I think I’m going to read for your class this year.” His friends nodded.
When they walked out, I legit started crying. These kids are something else, yes, but they are so much more than just a ‘trouble’ class. They are complex, intelligent, thoughtful, and unique. They are creative, persevering, strong-willed, and opinionated. They are assertive, fiery, passionate, and witty. And they are kids. They just need to know someone is there. That someone sees them, cares for them, and is there for them (whether they did the reading or not). And so even when it feels like everything you’re doing is for nothing and nothing is actually working, something is. To someone. And that in itself is the most important thing.
Student work because you know I loveeeeee it :)
Do you ever ‘wtf white people’ even though you are a white people.
Every damn day
Typically once every other minute.
"Ugh, Miss! Now every time I see AF I automatically think After Ford."
— An exasperated senior attempting to demonstrate that I’m “doing too much.”
I know I’ve posted so few things since, like, ever, but here’s a quick list of what’s up:
- Three+ preps is insane. But you already know ;)
- I think—I think—I’m winning over the seniors. They’re a tough crowd with attitude for dayyyyyys, but after school on Friday I had a classroom full of them working on their English assignments/hanging out. It is a tremendous privilege when 17 year olds opt to dedicate their Friday afternoons to hanging with a teacher and completing her assignments—one that I will never take for granted.
- Back to School night was last Thursday and, although it was a longgggg day (i.e at school from 6am-9pm EW), I got so many hugs from sophomores and their PARENTS thanking me for last year. Aweee.
- I haven’t been able to leave school in under 11 hours a single day this year so far. And that’s just keeping up with everything current! I am NOT getting ahead AT ALL! How some of you balance planning/grading/teaching at this level is awe inspiring to me.
- I have to keep reminding myself to not ignore my freshies this year—I am placing A LOT of emphasis on my seniors and, as a result, I tend to overlook planning and grading well for my sole English I class. I totally have to not do that.
- Justin and I bought a juicer a month ago and, seriously, I have no idea if this is mental but I totally don’t care: I haven’t felt this good in like, ever. Although school is stressful and long and I’m sleeping just as little, everything seems a bit more managable when I start it with a weirdly green juice of kale, spinach, apple, and lime. (+coffee, which completely might cancel out the juice but WHATEVER no me importa).
- I decided against my natural inclination to hermit myself up every weekend and stress out about school and have committed to driving to Michigan in October to celebrate my sorority sister’s wedding! Another sister lives here in DC and we’ll be driving together. I’m wayyyyyyy excited :D
- We have a late start on Tuesday for “Professional Development” but in classic my school style this will not be helpful to my development as a teacher at all. The topic is dedicated to a particular saint that my school is named after and his educational approach. For two hours. All of which I learned about last year at extra new teacher PD meetings. Ughhhhhh.
- We are still without a librarian, a College Writing teacher, two Theology teachers, and a Heritage (Spanish-speaking) teacher. And—as many of you know—my school doesn’t have any outside substitutes, so SURPRISE! I have become a College Writing teacher sooooooooooo I’m down a planning period indefinitely. Sigh.
- Although everything is just as stressful (if not more) than last year, I’m trying my best to stay positive. I do love these students. I absolutely do. These ones are going to test my patience a bit more than any other year I’ve taught, I think, but I adore them nonetheless. There is a lot of individuality, creativity, personality, and thoughtfulness in this class—I can’t wait to help them realize it :)
Teaching Brave New World is so weird.