lunes, septiembre 07, 2009



wow, it's been literally YEARS since i've posted! i'm actually having my husband (oh yes, i'm married now!) create a complete website for me so the blog will likely be left by the wayside once again in the next few weeks. in the meantime, let's get caught up...

school started two weeks ago. i'm teaching fifth grade for the fourth year in a row, this time with inclusion and transitional English students - no bilingual instruction! i'm working on my Masters in bilingual/bicultural education and want to do a study on the endless tutoring our students are subjected to because of TAKS. my inclusion co-teacher is awesome, and we have a great time working together.

i'd spend more time babbling but my copy of "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" is shooting daggers at me. i'm avoiding graduate homework, imagine that!

sábado, noviembre 03, 2007


definitely a maestra

the tables have finally turned...


i was supposed to have a student teacher last year, but when i changed grades in december that didn't make much sense to have someone watch me do things for the first time. but this year i at least have some of the material down and am at a good place in my overall teaching (this is my fourth official year), so i signed up again with a local university. and now i have two bright, shiny interns that come into my room nearly every day of the week.

it started off rather strangely... they would come in right in the middle of a lesson and i'd be in the middle of FULL TEACH. so i'd ignore them. kind of weird, knowing they were taking notes and wandering around and not having the time to do more than a quick explanation of what was happening.

then one of them started being flaky. she would schedule a time outside of her usual internship hours of observation, then not show up. then she didn't show up for her regular time, either. THEN, she came one day when i had a sub (but was still on campus) wearing shortie running shorts and a t-shirt that showed a little belly. i had already notified her supervisor of the inconsistent attendance, but was totally pissed about her violating not only the teacher dress code, but also the student one. we put her on a growth plan, and as far as i was concerned, down two strikes.

the other intern was much more professional, but then she taught her first lesson. totally unconfident. totally flustered. no "presence" to her at all - doesn't know how to harness her energy to command the kids' attention and get them to listen to her above all other distractions in the room.

the flake, on the other hand, is a bit too confident given the already poor impression i have of her. but she's excellent at mimicking my attention-getting strategies in class and has quickly learned from her co-intern's mistakes.

it's strange being in the position of teaching the craft to others now. they hear when i misspeak, make stupid mistakes, and get upset with a student for severe misbehavior. they know some of my weaknesses as a teacher and in spite of that come to me for advice and guidance. like i'm supposed to know what i'm doing.

weird, weird, weird.

but as slightly irritating as they were at first, now that they're teaching lessons i get a lot of flashbacks of my time in college. and i feel old.

martes, junio 12, 2007


on the road... with teachers?

i'm going on my first official teacher training outside of the city. we are going to a texas town out in the middle of nowhere, a place i would definitely never intend to visit on purpose (if you've seen a bit of texas, you understand what i mean). i am spending two nights rooming with my teammate (we're cordial, but not buddies), which should be interesting, and i've got two days of science training to get through. i've kicked back a lot these first two weeks of summer so i think i'm ready for a brief return to work, but --as i realize every summer at teacher trainings-- i don't like other teachers. they ramble endlessly as if they are experts (i'm talking about my peers, not the trainers), they're rude and disrespectful, and sometimes they're just plain stupid.

and normally that's just a fact of life, but i've never had to deal with them for 48 hours straight. we'll see what happens.

viernes, mayo 18, 2007


educating eric

this has been my first year having special education students in my classroom since our school does not offer bilingual services. since i have a whopping nine students that qualify for various special ed services, this article definitely freaked me out... especially since i have a kid or two that walks that emotionally disturbed line. read it and forward to your friends:

domingo, abril 29, 2007


one would think

...that post-TAKS, the madness would have ended. it has not. the failing kids require daily tutoring, extended guided reading/math, and time with the instructional specialist (who is not so special given that they rarely show up).

primary grades, appreciate what you've got. intermediate grades are hell. i'm seriously considering full-time grad school after next year.

martes, febrero 20, 2007



TAKS day is the most boring day EVER. and if *I* was bored out of my mind, my poor, poor kiddos. but alas, round one is over. if they knew it, they knew it. if not, the tutoring and practice test madness continues. sigh. at least tomorrow will be taks-free.

jueves, febrero 15, 2007


san valentin

my favorite teaching holiday is usually the craziest day of the year based on sheer sugar intake. need to post a pic of this year's loot, replete with Homies valentines. cuz that's how my kids roll.


knee deep

pre-TAKS preparations SUCK. covering all reading-related signage in my room is ridiculous. pray for my kiddos to pass the first time so actual education might take place in two weeks instead of half-education, half-test-teaching.

viernes, enero 26, 2007



1. Starting to teach a TAKS grade mid-year with no training sucks.
2. Having to tutor TAKS stuff three days a week sucks.
3. Getting an apple, cookie and two donuts for breakfast from your ridiculously sweet and silly students rocks.

I really really REALLY love my new students but oh my goodness do i HATE all the test-related bullshit. and the stress it puts on me and my students and co-workers. it's fucking ridiculous. and Bush wants to make things WORSE?

I had a day of planning and data analysis this week where I was on campus but not in the classroom. I had the unfortunate experience of seeing exactly how shitty subs can be. I had randomly gotten someone from the district-wide system and had to get to my classroom early to finish typing out sub plans. This old dude wanders in and starts rambling about Latin and Hispanic kids. I go over the technical details and my bilingual students' needs and he continues to ramble about race and bilingual student behavior. I tell him to go ahead and teach as if I weren't there while I collect my stuff for planning and sort out a few things in the room. He begins to teach my ESL lesson but keeps trying to speak to the kids in horribly broken Spanish... ESL is English class, meaning NO SPANISH. I find him a little dumb (my lesson plans are very explicit) but whatever. Then he goes over a worksheet called "Who is Samuel Adams?" And THEN HE SAYS: "You guys know who Samuel Adams is, right? Like the beer? Have you seen the commercials?" Whaaaaaaa the ffuuuuuuuuuu... So I high-tailed it out of there figuring ignorance is bliss. I had to pop in awhile later to grab some materials and he was getting frustrated with my kids poor work ethic with an open-book quiz. He threatened them with "This is not like real life. In real life you'll flunk and be poor and have to beg for money on the street."

How? What? Huh?

You just can't make this shit up. I am, of course, going to blacklist the weirdo. Sigh. Sometimes it's just soooo much easier to avoid other obligations and just stay in the classroom rather than try to find someone capable to take your place. Not that I'm Superwoman, but geeeez... Some of these folks have no business in my classroom. Or anyone else's. Have a good weekend.

miércoles, enero 17, 2007


snowed in

i live alone with two cats. after the second day stuck in the house, i decided to venture out into the slush. this is my cat, who had just taken a snowball to the neck like a champ. then he promptly went inside. enjoy your day off, if you're so lucky!


you know you're not in primary anymore when...

1. ice days are bad because you lose two days of TAKS prep.
2. you spend your ice days reading up on the chapter books you're teaching in class. because you have to know FOUR of them.
3. independent reading time is a rare treat.
4. the principal visits your room regularly to give TAKS pep talks.

i have to say that so far, things have been pretty good. my students have been on their best behavior and are very receptive to my style and newly-implemented rules. i got a greeting card from one of them on my third day with a very sweet message pronouncing me the best teacher and hoping that i'm comfortable in fifth grade. and in spite of the massive amount of adjusting i have to do, things have been manageable and my teammate has been very patient and thorough in answering my bazillions of questions. quizás la maestra ha encontrado su lugar.

if you're ice daying it, too, enjoy... i had MLK, Jr. Day off and haven't left the house since Sunday night, so i'm going a little bit bonkers. never thought i'd say it, but i can't WAIT for school!

miércoles, diciembre 13, 2006


but of course

they are moving me, mid-year, to an intermediate grade. because these things ONLY happen to me. (at least at my school)

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