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Showing posts from September, 2015

A Tower of Giraffes...

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A group of Giraffes is called a Tower...a tower is a place where information can be communicated over a long distance...my Facebook feed has been flooded with Giraffes over the last few days...my tower is communicating.

A few days ago, I posted this to my Facebook page after what seemed to be days with a lot of Giraffe Traffic...

"Every time someone posts a giraffe to my page or thinks of Javad when they see a giraffe, I like to think that at that moment the universe is sending him beams of healing energy. Every giraffe makes me smile because I know that their presence is bringing my boy back to me. ‪#‎giraffestrong‬‪#‎ittakesavillage‬ "

I have been having a bit of a rough time...somewhat of a crisis of emotions. I am not complaining, but there are areas of my life that are almost too much to bear sometimes. I work at overcoming, work at being strong, but frankly, it can be overwhelming. The cutest boy, not being himself, is, at times, the blow that almost brings me to my knees…

Are Freshman like large preschoolers?

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Tonight I am up with the littlest because we don't have a nurse. I only share this piece of information because it explains why I am up this late and why my late night makes me think about strange things...So here are some thoughts on my first full week of school.

Question of the day...

Student: Ummmm...I don't want to seem rude, but...when are we going to start learning real math?
Me: You don't think this is real math?
Student 2: If this is real math, then I think I'm going to love Geometry!

Algebra thoughts...

I spent some time during the summer reading about twelve books that talk about how to best teach the students that go to my school and are in our community. After reading these books, I set out to truly create something that would be a powerful academic experience for my students as well as personally affirming of their skills. Algebra is such an area where so many of my students feel unsuccessful, I really want to create something different for them.

So far, t…

Does thinking make your brain hurt?

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This has been a great beginning to the school year. I wasn't sure what to expect having six classes of (almost all) freshman. I spent the summer rewriting math curriculum and, so far, it is amazing. Students asking each other questions, working together, challenging each other in a positive way. I know it's just the beginning, but I think that I will hold out for now that things look good...that's all I have to say for now...mostly because I'm tired. Peace out...

Thoughts about the day that the US changed...reflections on 9-11...

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I supposed that my experience with 9-11 is similar to anyone else who has lived through a major event.  These events, when you watch in horror...living each and every moment, etching it into your memory. Previous to this moment, some of the most impactful had been the day the Space Shuttle exploded with Christa McAuliffe, a teacher determined to change the world and Columbine, a school shooting beyond imagination. On both of those days, I sat horrified as I watched the television...unsure of what was happening in our world..the Space Shuttle being a random event, while Columbine was far more sinister.

Then, I woke up fourteen years ago...It was the beginning of the school year. I was in my second year in my current district and hugely pregnant with the cutest boy. School started later in the morning then, so I was blissfully sleeping in when I rolled over to see the first plane hit. I was so confused, thinking my husband was watching some kind of bizarre movie, only to watch in horror…

A Flock of Freshman...

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Today was the ninth graders first day in our school. Wide-eyed and excited they came and participated in their Link Crew groups, meeting other excited and nervous freshman. The energy was high.

All of my classes have Freshman...some will get sophomores tomorrow and apparently I also have a sixth grader...I told the freshman to embrace that tonight and then get over it! :)

I was exhausted...I came home and took a twenty minute nap that, frankly, felt like I slept all night...I woke up feeling confused and not sure what was going on...it was comical, I imagine, my conversation with the nurse...thinking it was tomorrow morning.

I am encouraged by the students...having all freshman means that I am working with HOPE...I am going to instill hope and power to each of them...This year will be a turnaround for me, them, and whoever else is touched and impacted.

I am prepping for bed or I would add more cleverness...

Goodnight and sleep well! <3

A quarter of a century...

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I'm not sure what item you give someone
in their twenty-fifth anniversary but I'm  sure I might find it tomorrow. Tomorrow is my twenty-fifth first day of teacher school. It seems strange. I don't feel different than I did on that first "first" day. I'm up late...have everything ready for tomorrow but am a bit nervous. Needless to say I'm confident it will be fine. 
This year I'm feeling far more settled than last. I have a sense of direction and feeling focused. I am excited about what the year will bring. 
I would love to blubber on about everything that will be awesome but the reality is...I need to go to bed. 
I must get my slumber on for now but tomorrow? It's on!

A road not taken...

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This year represents so many things to me...personally, professionally. I am trying to find peace. This last year there has been much chaos in my world and now I am trying to calm the noise that has been happening in my ears for months. This is good...focus is good, peace is amazing.

I will let you know how its going...tonight I am going to try to sleep, so that I can get my classroom ready for the ninth graders that arrive Wednesday...I'm hoping to create some peace for them too!

A Blubbering Fool...Teaching at it's finest

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I have been using the last few nights to get back on the blogging bandwagon, something I did a few years ago with amazing regularity. I found a great blogging suggestion list from #TeachThought and launched onto the last few nights topics that were suggested. I was ready to continue on the path until today...Now I am thinking that there might be something more than how I want to be evaluated, what the most difficult obstacle might be and so on...I think that it is the beginning of the new year and I am feeling the passion...to the point that I spend much of my driving time with tears in my eyes and ears to podcasts.

Before I go on much more, I want to put a bit of a disclaimer in here about Podcasts. I realize it is the 21st Century and all, but Podcasts aren't really an area where I had delved...until this summer. Last fall, when all my friends were listening to Serial, I was blissfully unaware of what all the hubbub was. This summer I began listening and was immediately hooked. …

Evaluate this...

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Day 3: What would I like to focus on when being evaluated?

First of all, the real evaluation occurs from my students. When I think about being evaluated this year, I think about those students that I have that I may impact just by being their teacher.  My hope, of course, is that my impact will be a positive one...one where students feel noticed and appreciated.

Teacher evaluation is just a part of the deal. I am a seasoned teacher, which by no means means that I am a pro. Seasoned teachers who are worth anything examine their practices regularly to make sure that they are doing the best for their students. As I think about what I really want for my supervisor to "notice...," please make sure I am acknowledging each students, praising their hard work, and giving them space to learn about themselves.

I want to be a powerful force for good...I was my evaluations to be powerful...I want my teaching to be impactful...

That's my goal...let's do it!

Technology...what? what?

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Day 2: Write about a piece of technology that I want to use this year?

Technology is both a blessing and a curse. Students of today are attached to their personal technology in a way that I can't really understand. Don't get me wrong...I understand liking technology...I love playing on my phone. I have about a zillion apps and I am constantly surfing through more to try to see what's interesting or new. This year I am hoping to teach my freshman how to use their personal technology in a way that is powerful and educational. There are so many things that they can learn that is beyond their current way of thinking.

In my experience, most students know how to do very few things on their phones. They can access Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, not to mention searching on Google. Beyond these, there is not much they know and I feel like this year is the time to change this. Wolfram Alpha has an amazing capacity to research information and Desmos can do incredible graphing.

Some f…

Teaching Blog...Day 1

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For the next thirty days I will be blogging...about school. Now, it may (or may not) be about my actual school or my actual students, but I will be talking about my experiences. Sometimes I will talk bout the past or the future, but I will talk...mostly because I know that there is nothing less expected than the truth.

Tonight I am going to write about my goals for this year...

This year I am teaching all freshman. They are a unique breed of human...sort of grown up and yet still children. This year, in my class, I want to create a stronger sense of community, a sense of belonging. I will be implementing elements of Tribes as well as concepts from Teaching with Poverty in Mind, which I read over the summer. I am committed to helping bridge the gap, finding connections and building them for students, making academic and emotional strides, helping them build their path.

My second goal is to build an academic pathway...work on academics that will help my students find academic success. Ma…