I was totally not looking forward to spending my whole Saturday at this thing, but it turned into a blast! I got to volunteer at the robotics FLL table and learn to run a bunch of robots, I turned heads when ten teenage girls rushed me with hugs screaming my name, and three of my kids took first place!! I’m exhausted, but today totally motivated me to kick butt the next few weeks, until spring break. I needed a reminder of the great things teachers do.
Just a shout-out about teacher tumblr buddies, too: getting stuff in the mail feels great, so don’t forget about your buddy! Mine has something in the mail, and will get it this week! I haven’t gotten anything from my buddy yet, but I hope I do soon! I love getting cards!
“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.”—
For those who know me IRL know that I love working with children and teens.
I TA’d (kinda) for a class in college and loved it. I’ve worked at childhood enrichment centers and have taught theatre for 6 years in middle schools, after school programs, and summer programs.
I’ve been working in a Montessori School, but teaching the middle school level. The main idea of Montessori is that the child dictates his or her own education. Instead of whole class lessons, teachers work with individual students or small groups, and give a short lesson, and give students time to practice independently. Once the skill is mastered, the teacher moves to the next skill. Everything is taught to mastery. These schools instill independence in students at a young age, so that by high school, the child is an independent, active learner who loves to learn. I absolutely love teaching in my Montessori school!
I know some of you are already back, but for those of us going back Monday:
What are you looking forward to/(dare I say) excited about?
What are you dreading/trying to forget/hoping to avoid?
I am really excited about implementing some new “getting to know you” activities, as I…
I’m looking forward to having a routine again. I am the type of person who does best when completely booked—going from one activity to the next. With lacrosse starting soon, I’ll be busy again. I’m also looking forward to seeing my kiddos and interacting with people during the day (other than the people who work at Starbucks, Panera, and Target).
I’m dreading feeling behind. Because break wasn’t as productive as I had hoped it would be, I still have a lot to do. I think I have a good handle on this week and next week, but I hate not knowing about the rest of the quarter. It’s all a blur right now—too many ideas and not enough selection (mock trial? debate? individual presentations? I can’t pick).
I’m looking forward to seeing my kids and getting us all back on track after a crazy December. I have a poetry unit planned that should be fun, and I’m ready to kick my slacking math students into gear!
I’m not looking forward to having to wake up early and dress in something other than sweats… Someday when my husband is rich and famous, I want to hire someone to buy my clothes and choose my outfits each day, because I suck at it!
I originally wrote this as a reblog, and then decided I didn’t want it to seem like I was coming down hard on the poster.
I spend a lot of time working on math. Teaching math is my passion. I participate in ongoing math research in the classroom. And while I understand…
Yes!!! I think people, teachers even, forget that math is just like every other subject… We don’t just teach kids how to recite words, we teach them to understand words in all kinds of contexts, and how to use words to share our own thoughts with the world. The same must be done with mathematics! Give them the tools they need to express what that want mathematically, so that they can go and explore the world their own way.
However, I don’t want to throw away all math “tricks”. These can be great teachable moments where students explore why the trick works, and what foundational skills are at work.
… Well, kinda, his dad was a famous sports guy thing. Anyway, it doesn’t really have much impact on the class, so I usually forget, but I remembered this week when he gave me a Christmas present: a Coach scarf. Like, a real one.
Now, I don’t own any coach stuff, but I know enough to know that the scarf probably is worth more than all the presents my husband and I bought each other, and then some.
I think it’s incredibly sweet that he got me a gift. I feel kinda weird about getting such an expensive gift from a student, regardless of how well off the family is. They will be getting a very nice thank you note when we return, for sure.
Have any of you ever dealt with extravagant student gifts, #education?
So my Montessori school is all about celebrating different cultures and stuff, which I’m all for. So each year, they have an International Culture Day (ICD), where each class is assigned a continent, and they present a 15 minute presentation on some aspect of a culture from that region. Simple, right?
My class, 6th through 8th grade, has Europe, and my co teacher (the head teacher) had decided before I was hired even that we’d be doing skits of Greek myths. “Great,” I said. “Sounds like a blast,” I said.
After our return from thanksgiving, we had three weeks to get ready. “Cool,” I thought. “My co teacher has been doing this for 20 years. She’s got this.”
Now, I love my co teacher. She is an amazing teacher, knows a ton about it and the Montessori method, and cares deeply about the kids, and it’s all second nature. She’s my mentor. But lately she’s had a lot to deal with in her personal life, and so I’ve taken on a lot more than I’d originally expected. I totally got it though.
Until the Saturday after thanksgiving, when she informed me that I’ll be handling ICD. “I got this.”
It’s next Friday, and I want to just sleep till Christmas. Managing 31 middle schoolers making props, writing scripts, gathering supplies, and still doing lessons leaves me more exhausted than any job ever. By 2:50 every day, I’m ready to scream “Never say my name again!” To everyone one of them. I love them, but they’re making me crazy.
It’s going to be a great presentation, but I can’t wait for it all to be over.
Most of us prayed for the days when we would get a “sub”, but now that I’m older (and in love with a teacher, who happens to be a substitute because means experience and pay), I understand something direly important. Substitutes are not there just so we can put off turning in work and slack off….
Everyone needs to remember this, students, teachers and parents.
I tell my students that being a substitute/supply teacher is one of the hardest jobs in the school/world. I spend a lot of time preparing a binder for supply teachers, and working on day plans. I put in a lot of detail, and let my students know that I expect a good report. If there are students who needlessly act out, then I deal with it the next day. Last year I had students who could/would not control themselves if I was away. I made arrangements with my admin that whenever I was away, those students would spend the day in a different classroom. No one needs that hassle.
It’s so hard being a substitute. I never know, one day to the next, one period to the next, what I’m going to get. I don’t know these students. I don’t know their names, their habits. Most of the time, I don’t know what the teacher expects of them. I’ve had - on multiple occasions already - students who walk into class, see me, and literally jump up and down and cheer that I am there and not their teacher and I take that as an insult. Because they assume that I am going to let them slack off, that I won’t give them work, that I won’t reign in awful behavior.
I don’t expect students to be perfect angels. I just expect them to act like decent human beings or to be treated like I am a human as well. Who has feelings and actually knows what she’s doing.
Thank you for this. I know when I have my own classroom, I am going to be as detailed as heck for my substitutes.
In my area at the very least, you need to have some college experience, and before two years ago, you could just have a high school diploma. There were a lot of people in it just for the money, and I head some horror stories about subs that would only sit at the teacher’s desk, and listen to music on their phone/iPod. I have also heard from some subs (and even teachers!) that they are only “glorified babysitters.” I was so angry about that, and whenever I see these people, I cannot hold a conversation with them because I know they are in it for all the wrong reasons.
So, it is appreciated, that my extra effort is being recognized, even by people who have never met me. I just know that if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t be doing it. I am no babysitter. I am an educator.
Oh my god thank you. I subbed for two (very very long) years, and encountered numerous situations where I was treated like they just pulled me off the street… Subs are professionals, and should be treated as such. I really think that ever teacher should spend a year subbing before getting a position… I learned more in my two years subbing about classroom management, curriculum development, office politics, and making do with limited resources than any class in college taught me.
But learning happens when someone wants to learn, not when someone wants to teach.
Wouldn’t we do a better service by encouraging our children to take advantage of learning opportunities as they arise? I think many problems we see in upper grades would be lessened if we spent time manking independent, active learners who saw each opportunity to learn something as valuable, rather than making passive learners who expect everything to be available at their will. Because we are trying to make good adults, too, right?