Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another reaffirmation

Pissed Off wrote a powerful blog today which reminds me of several things. (OK, she didn't write it today, she wrote it a week ago. I read it today) I know I am not a rock star teacher but I know I can reach students. I know I am here to teach more than math. And I know administrators can make the life easy or unbearable.

A former student wrote me a note this week. She told me about a horrible experience her younger sister is having and said it moved her to tell me what a difference I made in her life. To me, the amazing thing is I may be able to help with the sister's problem, even though I am not at that school and do not know the teacher, simply by way of having lived in this community for a generation and knowing people.

I had an aha! moment this week and reached a student who has been a pain in the butt. More, I guess, he had an aha! moment. In any case, he learned I am not "an assistant teacher" and you can learn from people you think are beneath you.

PO - we provide affirmation for each other and for others on the WEB as we write of our problems and the joys of teaching. Thank you for giving me hope as I traverse this path - and I hope i offer that to others as well.

Life is too short to be ugly. Pass the love onl

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Time is passing, are you?

Why do kids think that if they pass up the extra credit options when they are offered, that I will suddenly create another when they need it later?

Had a kid ask today how he can raise his grade to passing in 2 weeks so he can be promoted to another rank in JROTC. I asked if he had done the three things he had already been offered. Oh, yes, he assured me.


He hadn't done any.

There are no copies left - everyone took the copies and few did the work.

So, now, I don't want to create more work, dig out the old work and make new copies, or look and see if there are copies squirreled away some place.

Karma is a hard teacher.

Instead, I am going to give him another copy of his progress report with the missed options marked.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

I had a dream . . . . or a nightmare

[I wanted to post the Prickly city comic for today here, but it won't post. You will have to go look at it]

The current Prickly City comic reminds me of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago.

What if Hillary and Trump made a scheme together - that Trump was to act the buffoon, destroy his Republican opponents, rile the masses - so Hillary could ride in and save the election.


Trump became the hero and nothing he does turns his followers away and he wins the election, even doing stupid things like asking 2 other serial adulterers to join him in chastising Bill for his affairs.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Let's all walk in lock-step

I am getting tired of people assuming that because I am ____ I will do ___. A co-worker said yesterday that if every woman, black, Hispanic, and LGBT voted for Hillary, she would win. So every woman thinks like every other woman? Every black thinks like every other black? Every Hispanic thinks like every other Hispanic? Every LGBT thinks like every other LGBT? Let us forget, first, that she is lumping everyone into groups. Which is offensive. I am an individual and resist doing what i am told to do.

My second question is why, as someone who fought stereotypes for decades, who got where I am by fighting for it, why would I want someone who crows that she did as well, when she rode her husband's coattails?

I am listening to books on tape as I commute so I can ignore all the hatred this year. I feel better, and they are not changing my mind.

I am voting for Cthulhu.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Red flashing lights on a schoolbus means . . . . .

Obviously it means blow your horn because you are being inconvenienced - even the bus is really really good at keeping to a schedule.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The wheels go round and round and go nowhere

I have spent time since the accident dealing with all kinds of things they found because of the accident but weren't bothering me. The major thing is dealt with. A couple of smaller things need to be dealt with - but like i said, they weren't bothering me.

Now, I feel like I need to deal with things from the accident (soft tissue damage in my shoulder and leg) that are both bothering me. And I am so tired of doctors at this point.

And feeling very sorry for myself.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why I Detest Playing Games in Class

I am teaching a new course this year that has a lot of card matches. The school provides 1 ream of paper per week - and that isn't cardstock - so I made a class set.

Played the game in one period out of 4 - and 1/3 of the cards did not make it back at the end of class.

These are seniors.

The next class wanted me to create a new game for them.

Yeah, I have nothing better to do.

The difference a second can make

I was in a bad car accident a month ago.

I had 2 thoughts, seemed like several minutes apart, but in retrospect probably no more than a few seconds.

The first, as a car suddenly appeared in my lane, headed toward me "Oh, shit, I am going to hit her."

The second, after we hit, as I tried to catch my breath (airbags deployed, my seat either moved forward or the front of the car collapsed or both) "I can't breathe. I can't breathe, I am going to die." I watched the other driver jump out of her car, run to the other side screaming "my baby" and she opened the door to get her child out of the car.

I did catch my breath. I somehow opened my door and swung my legs out, and sat, my head in my hands, trying to catch my breath.

If I had been a little faster, she would have hit the driver's side that hard.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Nickel and Dimed

For the past several years, the school has asked a nominal amount ($50) for various charities, in return for which you could wear jeans every Friday (36 times). Jeans is a small perk, not really necessary but enjoyable.

This year, they are asking for less money but each $5 gets you one jeans pass.

Guess who isn't giving any money?

I will just do without wearing jeans. And they can do without the "contribution."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

If you can't spell, how can you teach English?

I walked into a room at one point and found the following on the board:

Young immigrants in Texas Classroom
1) 150 young immigrants and refugees
2) Left their Country's (sic) because of the violence or war in Las Americas new comer's middle school
3) located in Houston's low income gulf town neighborhood
4) Principle (sic) Maria Moreno hired five new teachers and a social worker
5) has the history of helping people

{I added the (sic)}

BTW it was not a lesson of finding the errors.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Re-evaluating lifelong opinions

There was one high school teacher I never liked.

She was a friend of my parents, but I always felt that she hated me. So I hated her.

I survived her class and vowed I would never speak to her again.

Then (remember she was a friend of the parents) she was invited to my wedding - and then various family functions over the years. I avoided alumni functions from high school, but my parents would invite her.

This past week I was home for another family function. And I took time to actually talk to this teacher as an adult to an adult. And I found that a lot of the opinions I have about teaching are opinions we share. And the hate is gone.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

AAAARRRRGGHHH or I can't make this S**T Up

Six weeks ago I told an administrator something a student had told me - that his English teacher had not given a test all year. (which can be verified in the gradebook) Let that sink in a minute. No tests. All year. Six weeks out of a school year that only lasts 36 weeks. OK?

In less than 2 weeks we have our state comprehensive tests.

1) The teacher has still given no tests. (which can be verified in the gradebook)

2) She has done no review for the upcoming state tests.

3) Guess who is going to teach how-to-take-a-test and (hopefully) the rudimentary parts of passing a test in a subject I am not certified in?

There are only a few class periods left and I have to assume something is better than nothing. And - they are my students even if it is not my course.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Should your life be defined by the worst thing you have ever done?

There is a Blue Bloods episode where a father shoots (and doesn't kill) the man who, as a teenager, accidentally shot his daughter - who ultimately died from the shooting. Erin makes the comment something like, should your life be defined by the worst thing you have ever done?

I think we do that too often.

When I was in high school a young man killed a stranger, someone who had picked him up hitchhiking because the student wanted to steal the older man's truck. And the young man, sentenced to a life in prison, was let out after about 40 years.

More recently, one of my ex-students, in a moment of stupidity, did something that resulted in a dishonorable discharge form the service he intended to donate the rest of his life to.

My ex-classmate has returned home and is living among his former friends, attends his childhood church, and appears to have made rehabilitation.

How to help my former student see that this doesn't have to be the rest of his life - that it will not be what he planned, but he can recover?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

You can't teach them to care

How would you teach your students so they could pass this test?

A Chik-Fil-A manager has developed a quick test to determine whether he wants to hire someone. He puts trash on the floor before the interview and watches what they do with it.

How do you teach students to be aware of their environment and to care?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

When professions do not police themselves

Talking with friends - well, gossiping, because it has been a long week and telling teacher horror stories was somehow relaxing - and the story of one PE teacher came up. He was caught having sex, at school, with a student teacher. He was escorted off the campus, arrested and fired. I looked up his certificate. It is active and shows no ethics violations. What?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Emory students traumatized by graffiti - no, chalkings - of TRUMP 2016 on the campus.

I heard about this on the way home today. The talk show host referred to the students as "Emorrhoids".

I cannot believe that this institution - which has had a reputation as a good university - would seriously humor these kids.

Makes you want to grab some chalk and strike fear in the hearts of the college students.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Let someone else be in control

I do not understand people who keep wanting to give more control to other people.

A friend posted on facebook that he wanted to share The Sweary Insults Colouring Book pages with his "younger friends" but didn't want his "older friends" to be insulted so he wanted facebook to come up with a filter by age.


That presumes that only young people would like those pages or that no young people would be insulted by those pages.

Rather than giving someone else control, let;'s see. He could assume that his "older friends" know enough to hit a delete key. (OK, in FB it isn't called a delete key but you can hide a post if you find it insulting.) He could assume that people can ignore what they are not interested in. He could send a private message to those people he wanted to see these pages.

Why (and when) did it become someone else's job to filter things for me? Am I so lame that I cannot filter my own?

I want to be in control of my own life and be insulted or not without someone else protecting me.

If allies are strong with power to protect me
Might they not protect me out of all I own?

(A Puzzlement, the King and I)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Do Not follow DUMB Advice

We tell students and our own children all the time to think about the advice they are following - or at least I do.

"If someone told you to jump off a building, would you do it?"

A friend was forced out of the profession this week for following, you guessed it, dumb advice. The administrators (or at least one wack job) lectured us in a meeting that if students say something that offends us, we should repeat the same word/phrase back to them so that they see how offensive it is.


Most of us realized this is an unsustainable piece of advice. I mean, I don't know what your students say daily but I know I am not repeating what mine say unless it is writing it on an office referral.

Friend had a student ask if he was the "only n***a" required to do something and she told him, yes, you are the only n***a. Sorry, most of us cannot say that word without penalties. Her penalty was her job.

Don't get me started on how THAT word needs to go away.

But, to go back to my point, it was dumb advice to begin with and it was dumb to follow it.

Shaking my head - you can't fix stupid.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Now is not the time to become a Georgia teacher

The state took a survey of teachers earlier this year. The methodology is flawed in that teachers received and email and could choose to answer it. Basic result, more than half would not recommend that their students or children become teachers.

I know I would choose a different route, even though I derive a lot of satisfaction from the successes my students have had.

Here is a story of the survey and here is the state's report.

Today, the same columnist is talking about the state's evaluation system which is designed to run teachers out of the profession.

Let's see. A large percentage of teachers quit teaching before they have taught for 5 years.It would seem if you are already eliminating the ones who cannot teach, if you know that that the stress of the profession is wearing on the teachers, AND you chose to implement an evaluation system where most cannot win after 10 years with furlough days and no increase in pay . . . the result seems obvious to me.

Those people with children under the age of 14 or who intend to have children in the future, you may want to plan on paying for private school or homeschooling. I do not think the public school system will survive much longer.

Monday, January 11, 2016

You teach all kinds

As a teacher, you run across all kinds of students.

Today I learned that one girl (I taught her several years ago) has just purchased her first house. She is 19 and had an incredible work ethic.

I also learned about a current student with a different set of ethics who was arrested over the break for robbery.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Had an interesting nightmare last night, last night of vacation. I can tell what it means, so I thought I would write it down.

I was being chased through the school by someone who wanted to kill me. I believe it was a teenager, but not one I know.

At one point I needed to go through the ladies' bathroom to get to the other side. An principal wha had it out for me was standing at the door, monitoring the long line of women teachers waiting to use the restroom. I went to the front of the line (since I just wanted to go through) and got some catcalls and some rude remarks from the ex-principal. Then he left and I went through and couldn't find the door that was supposed to be on the other side of the room.

So I went back outside and I don't remember anything else.

Happy second semester.