H is for Halcyon Days...

Tonight while searching for H words that celebrated how I feel today, I came across Halcyon, meaning peaceful. This word sums up my last two days. In a year that has been frenzied and chaotic, I have had two beautiful, calm days at work. Teaching 8th grade math can be crazy...frenzied and chaotic pretty much rule the school, which is why these Halcyon Days...peaceful have been such a 180 that it is noticeable!

This year has made me question whether I am a good teacher, even an adequate one. It has challenged my strength of character, my final nerve...I have been teaching for a long time and, although I get tired and worn, have not questioned to the degree I have this year, whether or not I am in the right career. This is not really a good thing since I just finished a second masters degree last year as a final punctuation on my commitment to teaching math, but this year has been rough!

So, you might ask, what is different? I am not really sure. After fighting with the apathy of my current eighth graders for the year, I made some changes in the classroom (my room used to be the drama room, so I have a stage in my room...some think this is awesome, but it is a bit limiting at times!). I moved my desk from the stage onto the floor and then staged their desks like sunbeams off my desk. Their first response was, "We love that you're down with us." (Who knew that they thought I wasn't "with" them...) The second thing that I did was put together a booklet of worksheets (insert eye roll here) which has changed the way I am delivering the math. We now take notes, do a worksheet together, then they do their homework. They are engaged, asking questions, and seem to be excited (and accountable to learning to the point they are shushing one another when someone is talking.) Whatever I have felt about worksheets in the past, I am trying to revise to make them applicable and engaging for the students. I feel that genuine learning is actually occurring and I want to stay on the path.

Needless to say, I have had two Halcyon Days in a row...hopefully the next nine weeks will be filled with more...


  1. I loved your post. I've always said, teachers should make teaching fun and creative.

  2. Halcyon. Not a word I ever have used. But a lovely word. Glad you have had two halcyon days! I'm fascinated by the fact that your kids think moving your desk off the stage makes such a difference. Hmmm. And so glad they are buying in and focusing better! Hope you have three more halcyon days this week!

  3. I love how you've arranged their desks like sun's rays! That's wonderful! And they are excited about their work to the point of shushing each other - that's awesome! I hope you have many more halcyon days to come!
    Teaching is challenging work. Every student and every class seems to have a different way of learning and engaging with the information presented. It sounds like you are up to the job of making changes to make a difference in their learning!

  4. That's just wonderful! I always appreciate the amount of time and effort that teachers dedicate to educating our children, and you just went over and beyond that to connect with your students! Wonderful!

    I wrote about school teachers and how they are underappreciated in this post. Please do read if you wish: http://www.bigaandlittlea.com/2012/09/public-school-teachers.html

  5. Awesome, sounds like all they needed was to feel connected with you!


  6. I commend your commitment to make changes that will help make it all work for you!! I am definitely an eye-roller when it comes to worksheets, but only because most worksheet lovers live and die by them. I do think there is a place for PAPER, and ways to use it that is in a worksheet form, without being overkill. :) Hopefully these Halcyon days will continue for you!


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