A day without immigrants taking tests

Today, our school is engaged in day 3 of 4 of a period of district-mandated testing. This involves schedule and class changes and has contributed to a feeling of generalized chaos in the halls this week. Students are not only going to classes for different lengths of time, but they’re going out of order, and… Continue reading A day without immigrants taking tests

Students · Teachers

Daily Prompt: Enthusiasm (or, how karaoke tips apply to good teaching)

Please excuse my tardiness in posting a day late. I was working on getting a different post up last night, but between proctoring exams this week and attending multiple holiday parties, I fell asleep with a dog in my lap before I could publish it. Now, I see that the daily prompt is “Enthusiasm,” so… Continue reading Daily Prompt: Enthusiasm (or, how karaoke tips apply to good teaching)

Administration · Students

Why don’t teachers take kids on field trips anymore?

Here’s what I put into a large tote bag when I took my classes to a museum this morning: 1 field trip proposal 1 signed principal approval page 1 signed museum agreement 1 transportation request form 14 completed chaperone forms (minimum ratio of 1 chaperone per 10 kids) 94 completed permission slips (with sections for… Continue reading Why don’t teachers take kids on field trips anymore?

Curriculum · Students · Teachers

The importance of timing

“The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us.” – Alexandra Elle I try my darnedest to make the most of the 45 minutes of “light” I am given to divide among 25 or so students every day. But sometimes, unannounced interruptions… Continue reading The importance of timing

Curriculum · Students

How I’m dealing with election fallout as a classroom teacher

When there was no more room for error Tuesday night, I cried. I cried for myself and my guilt and my future but mostly for my children. The results of the election we held at our school were overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton, and my classes had been no exception, so I knew that… Continue reading How I’m dealing with election fallout as a classroom teacher

Students · Teachers

Fault versus responsibility

I would imagine that all jobs entail a series of “unwritten rules” and additional understandings and protocol not listed in the contract. I’m here to respond to complaints that I hear all too frequently from teachers who have already accepted their positions — as both a counter position and a word of caution to those… Continue reading Fault versus responsibility

Students · Teachers

#FTK: For The Kids

“Why am I here?” Yes, I ask myself that question while standing in front of my kids. But more often, I ask myself that question at 8:00 p.m. in an otherwise empty copy room. I ask myself that question at 8:00 a.m. at a Starbucks…on a Saturday. I ask myself that question as I get… Continue reading #FTK: For The Kids

Legislation · Students

College for all?

“I am much more in favor of a college education than a college degree.” – study desk in my college library Disclaimer: I say this as someone coming from a place of great privilege. I went to college for the education, not for the degree. I know that not everyone has that luxury. But after… Continue reading College for all?


Research proposal

I want to do some research. I’m no sociologist, so I’m not sure how best to go about this. Oh, and I’m a teacher, so I work approximately 60 hours per week, give or take a few. During student dismissal procedures after school the other day, we had not one, not two, but three fights.… Continue reading Research proposal


My end-of-term dilemma

Retention of students in a grade for an additional year has been shown, time and again, not to actually help in catching students up to grade level, but to increase the likelihood of students dropping out. Whether it’s based on grades or attendance, think about it: hearing something the same way twice does not likely… Continue reading My end-of-term dilemma