Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AWWW! Spring Break

SO far this week (mind you, we are just two days into the week) I have slept in twice, ate out twice, reconnected with an old friend (who we just found out is expecting her first baby, Yeah Sam and Aaron), and graded absolutely ZERO research papers. I am planning on grading them on Friday night. All in all a perfectly fabulous break week. I did get my copy of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and loved it. I can see Lia in so many of the girls that I have taught over the years--they are so unsure of themselves and full of self hatred that they are miserable. I am going tomorrow to buy Sophomore Undercover that was featured a few days ago on YA Fresh. I have to travel to bookstores as my small town only has a Christian bookstore. If I had the money I would quickly open up a bookstore in town so I don't have to drive to Louisville all of the time.
Well for those of you working, keep striving to do your best and for those of you on break enjoy it while it lasts; I know I am.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three days until Spring Break

I sit here this morning three days to go until Spring Break wondering why I decided to become a teacher again. The kids don't want to be at school, especially since the snow days have taken away all of our little three day weekends that tend to help keep the natives calm. So as the tribal leader I have to keep them safe from each other. While they are busy building secret alliances with each other, crossing tribal bounds, and driving their leader nuts, I am trying to grade research papers. Fun times...I know many of you are wondering where can I sign up for this job. Let me remind you the pay stinks, the hours are not 8-3 like you think, and I have not had a full summer off since I started teaching...
BUT nothing can replace the feeling I get when:
a parent walks up to me and says, "Thank you. Zak has never been a big reader until your class."
a football players tells me that he read 3 books for my class and that was more than he had read in the last two years.
a student comes to my room for support when their day is going wrong.
I see the look on a student's face when they see their writing posted on my top author bulletin board.
I know a student finally understands the concept we are talking about because I can see it in their face.
students ask me what to read next because I pick the best books.
I read a story from one of my students with special needs and it blows me away with how deep it is.

For me teaching is so worth it, even when there are only 3 days to Spring Break and the natives are restless. Is it time for a tribal council yet?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Last night was the premiere of Dancing with the Stars or DWTS. It was good but I haven't picked a stand out favorite yet. I really liked Gilles Marini. His dance with Cheryl was awesome.

Meanwhile...our Principal announced yesterday that he is retiring after this year. It is sad because he is a good principal and now my son will not what it was like to have Mr. Ralston as a principal. Things just keep changing around here and I am not sure I like it all.

In other news...I started reading the new John Green book Paper Towns. It is good and if you liked Looking for Alaska, you will love this one. I have such a huge reading list that is almost makes me feel intimidated to think about it. I have this summer to catch up.

One last thing...I think I have started writing a book. It started as just some freewriting exercise but I think it is actually going to shape into a book. Now whether or not I ever publish this book is an entirely different story.

My planning is about over so I must sprint down the hall to use the restroom before the herd comes tromping through.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Five

1. I am so glad that this week is over because doing research papers with high school students is tiring work. They basically want me to write the entire papers for them. I have a difficult time understanding why they think everyone will do the work for them. I know no teacher ever did my work for me.

2. Off of students and on to books. I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls last week and it was an incredibly engrossing memoir. As I was reading this book I couldn't believe some of the things she had to endure. It made me think of some of the students I have had over the years. I knew some of my students lived in severe poverty but their parents would not admit to the fact. This book provides an insight for me of how deeply poverty changes children. I also pre-ordered my copy of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and I cannot wait until next week. Please hurry. Right now I am finally reading Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs and it is different than The Glass Castle but equally as good.

3. Now on to TV. Dancing with the Stars will start next week and I am so ready. I love the dancing and Max. I danced in high school for the dance team and I like to watch the celebrities progress from the first week. I also like the clothes. Outside of NCIS, Dancing with the Stars is the only other TV show that I try to make sure I am home for every week.

4. Last night my husband and I registered our son for high school classes. It was a weird feeling to be picking his classes out for 9th grade classes. I can still remember taking him for his kindergarten shots and that feels like it was only yesterday. I am so proud of him though. He tries very hard in school and he is a good kid for the most part.

5. Lastly, did I mention that it is Friday? This week has lasted way too long and now that it is almost over I am relieved. The other good thing is that the weather here in Indiana this weekend is suppose to be nice. Yeah. I feel a whole day of outdoor activities coming on for tomorrow. That will take care of my winter blues for sure. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

just learning

Someone just sent me a link to a teacher's blog where the students interact with each other on the blog. The students have taken ownership and they are writing unique daily logs of the class activities. I think I am going to have to try this method on for size because you could see the personalities come through the daily logs. I think this type of writing pulls that out of kids because they have to take the ordinary things of what went on in the classroom and make it interesting to read. I am going to start this next year with my classes. It will require some more time of me outside of school but it will be worth it. I would love to start a YA blog where my students interact on the books they read outside of my class also. I am so excited to start this next year.