Category Archives: Classroom

All Too Human

I was at a minor breaking point and felt I should taken a rock and bashed my brains in. I had made a really cool PowerPoint for Monday for my ILA classes. I decided to delete junk from my desktop and empty the recycle bin. UGH!!!! An hour’s work. Gone. Forever!!! I am only human.

I went home with take out from Whataburger for my husband and me since our son was still at work. We ate and watched a couple of innings of the Yankees-Red Sox game. My restless perfectionism kicked in. I finished my work while listening to Love, an album by The Cult. It worked. Now I am able to enjoy both days of my weekend. Whew!

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Setting Up

Before I added words to show that I am in the best of both worlds.

After I finished adding the word welcome in several languages and showing the elements of language arts.

RLT

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Reality Sets In

I attended a workshop yesterday for 90 minutes. We were learning the intricacies of ordering using our district's Print Shop aka Copy Center. The copy center Earth Angels are worth their weight in gold. Large jobs are completed in a timely manner, and I have no complaints whatsoever about their quality of work. Any mistakes are mine and mine alone. For example, I have desired stapled copies but forgot to request it. They don't read my mind. That's just fine.

Reality has set in because I have a two day workshop next week. The hours are 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. I will have to use an alarm clock to get up and drive in rush hour traffic. Hmm. In two weeks, I will be a part of the sixth grade orientation at my school known as Cougar Camp. This is year thirteen of Cougar Camp for me. Wow. School is really just about here.

In the meanwhile, I will sleep in, drink my coffee slowly, and complete laundry on a week day while the sun shines instead of madly cramming my housekeeping chores into one Saturday morning when I'd prefer to lollygag and recharge my batteries. It is still summer for a while longer.

RLT

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No Spinning!

Those horn-blasted spinners are the current bane of teachers’ existence. We have signs up around our campus as reminders to not bring toys to school. Here is one I took up on Monday and did not give back until the end of the school day. 

This meme sums up my opinion. I have trolls who will not bring their pencils to class. I am letting them suffer natural consequences: more homework, wasted work time, and some much-needed time to reflect on personal decisions about preparation for their one job. Going. To. School.


RLT

It’s Okay to Say “No” to Sharing!

I just read an article about a mother who received dirty looks when her son did not share his toys with some perfect strangers at a playground. They ran back to their mommies and told how the Toy Man wouldn’t share. Toy Man brought his toys to share with his friend, not a pack of other kids. Tsk! That struck a chord with me. I have demanded that other students share with those who chose not to come to class prepared. No longer. I will have to learn to let it go and not seethe with rage when I see an apathetic middle school student sit there and do nothing. For forty-two to forty-five minutes. If they don’t have a pencil in their lockers, then that is what they will do. If they have supplies and don’t bring them, it will be a disciplinary issue. Three strikes means you serve a consequence.

Personally speaking, I paid money for my son’s supplies. I did not buy them to be shared. Other parents pay money for their own children, not some punk who won’t bother to bring his supplies. I am not speaking out against those who have an economic need. I take care of them with school supplies I buy with my dwindling budget. I try to plan ahead for the next year each spring. It is an expectation to have pencils, paper, colored pencils, rulers, etc. because “not every child has them.” When we use technology, I have to reserve enough devices or I am not allowing everyone equal access. That is a rant for another day. I am not advocating selfishness to one’s fellow man. Each student should be able to say “No” at the appropriate time. They should not be expected to give their prized pencils and/or erasers to someone who does not care and/or would not reciprocate. Mama bought me personalized pencils. That meant they were mine. All mine to use. Mine. The change begins the next time my class starts on Tuesday morning. Believe it.

RLT

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Me and My Feet

I am absolutely notorious about being a workaholic. I constantly think about my students, my lessons, my organization skills, and my list of things to do. 

I have recently discovered I have plantar fasciitis. It hurts. I get up and keep on moving forward. However, taking moments to sit and relax are more important now. When your feet hurt so badly that you want to hobble around, it’s time to listen to them and rest a bit more. My spirit, mind, and energy are undiminished; yet, if I want to remain happily active, I have to chill. I gave my kids a test on Thursday. Usually, they would know their grades that evening. I am taking my time since this test has short answer responses that require reading. I told them they would know before the weekend ended and definitely before the Super Bowl. I will get them graded and post scores later today. It has become important to me to let go of that drivenness just this once. I may discover there is more to enjoy in life by making myself take the time to recharge.

RLT

Holiday Break 2016

I am glad to be home with my family seeing my son from college. One of my students gave me some sore throat bug that had me craving a frozen fruit drink at 3:00 A.M. I had wanted to learn “Silent Night” in Bulgarian, but this drainage made me too miserable. My Bulgarian-speaking student understood. I will have to learn “Amazing Grace” phoenetically and surprise him in the spring.

 I threatened to breathe on Papi to make him sick if he did not complete his online practice work for math class. I sat by him and ignored him trying to talk to me. He enjoys what he considers to be positive attention. He surprised me by turning in his project on time. I could not say something good because that is taken as a means to stoppage. Reverse psychology as we know it. I hope all of my students have a great holiday. I know I plan to do so.

RLT

Be Careful, My Dears

We will be completing partner work next week in the library. I chose the partners for my students. One of my more talkative students was persistent with the noise level during work time. I announced partnerships. As the Future Ladykiller prepared to leave, he asked if he could not be partnered with Watchful Wally. “We talk a lot, Mrs. Johnson.” Feigning surprise and barely restraining a smile, or was it just a baring of teeth with my eyes crinkling in the corners?

“Future Ladykiller, this will be an oppportunity for you two to focus.” He left.

Watchful Wally was so pleased to be paired with his buddy. Why such a moniker? He watches me during work time if I happen to sit at my desk or walk about. I told him today, “If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, then you never have to worry about where I am or who I am watching.” He responded, “Yes, ma’am.”

RLT

Nearing the End

I did a little bit of detail work in my classroom with my name on the door and cutting out letters for my bulletin board. It was time consuming, but I felt accomplished. I have one more final touch to add to the bulletin board before it is finally finished. Here is a picture of the door sign. More to come next week.

RLT

Day Two of Room Preparation

I spent several hours cleaning, organizing, and decorating my new room. I am pleasantly tired as I put my feet up to rest at the day’s end.

RLT