Monthly Archives: May 2014


I have a couple of students who could fail my class for the year.  One is capable but behaves more like a black hole.  The papers go in and disappear into the abyss. Some assignments that I give her never see the light of day again.  When I have spoken to her about it, her eyes glaze over and she gives me the “you’re wasting your breath” look. She passed our state’s reading assessment with no problems, so it’s not a matter of intellect. It is a matter of accountability. The other student I fear will fail my class has scraped by each marking period, but in this last one, he has not put in the effort to complete his work for the maximum credit. He is mere hundredths of a point from passing for year. I have contacted both parents about this before and now at the end of the year, so no surprises happen when report card grades are posted. We are now required to keep up with our failure rates  for each six weeks grading period.  If the rate is too high, then we will have to let our PDAS (Professional Development and Appraisal System) appraiser know. If my students don’t put in the effort to get their work done, then how is it my fault? If they don’t come in for help, or if their parents don’t force them to complete the work, then how is it that I am accountable? I am.

My the times are changing. . .

My the times are changing. . .


Some Young Men Who Made My Day

I was rather sluggish yesterday but managed to get to work on time before the rains hit. One of my co-workers gave me a Mother’s Day card; I nearly started crying because it was so sweet. I hugged him thank you. Yes, he is young enough to be my son, but he isn’t. I jokingly tell the students that he’s my younger brother. Some of them don’t believe me, but I think others do.  He has visited my classroom just to say hello; the kids adore him because he invests love, time, and energy into them by eating lunch with them on a daily basis. I’ve never done that except on special occasions.

Around the middle of the day I have my conference period and teaming period. We had nothing scheduled today due to progress reports coming up today. One of my team members saw some students working on their science assignment in the hall during a “gallery walk.” She teased them about being their favorite teacher. One of our shared students didn’t realize it was her talking and said, “Mrs. Johnson’s my favorite.” My friend stood arms akimbo and said, “Really?” He slid back around the corner where he was working. She told me, so I went out into the hallway just to smile at him and give the kids a hard time about not being everyone’s favorite. All I could see were sparkling eyes and a smile on his face. I didn’t need to hear it out loud myself because I already knew it even before he’d said it. His dad had emailed me a nice compliment that I am saving in my forever folder.

Later in the day after dealing with a student who has given up on himself and would rather be in the in-school-suspension room than in my classroom following my directives, my good mood had dropped down to so-so. At the beginning of my last class, one of my students in my afternoon class handed me a small envelope with my name on it. “It’s for Teacher Appreciation Day.”
“Thank you. Do I open it now or later?”
“Later,” he replied. After school ended, I opened the envelope and found a gift card inside; even better were his words that he wished all of his classes were like mine and that he always leaves school in a good mood. I am touched and will really miss him when the school year ends. He is bright and funny; despite my best efforts not to smile sometimes when he’s especially wiggly, I still do. We connected when for some reason during the first semester in mock frustration I told him he was hopeless.  As he left class, he stopped at the door, turned around and looked me in the eyes, and said, “I have hope.” He smiled  and walked away.  We have been engaged in daily “battles” ever since.

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