May 26, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I'm a glutton for reality television. One show that I love, in particular, is the "Real Housewives." There's something about watching these entitled women live their drama-filled, luxurious lifestyles that I will never experience that captivates me. Maybe it's envy, or maybe it's disgust. Either way, I'm hooked. The Bravo series has been on for a few seasons now and seems to add a new cast each year. So far we've seen...
Orange County with their oranges

New York with their apples
Atlanta with their peachesAnd New Jersey with nothing. Hello, Garden State! Give the girls some flowers!It's only a matter of time until we see a Chicago cast, and I'm dying to know which "forbidden fruit" those ladies will hold in the opening credits. Do you think they'll go with deep dish, Italian beef, or a hot dog? :)

May 25, 2009

Come What May

As we approach the end of the school year, I admit that I have some anxieties about the things that are still unknown. For one, my team is still short one employee, and we have no idea who our principal has in mind for that position. Depending on who fills that position, my teaching assignment may change to include a section of social studies. I won't mind if this happens, but I'd like to know sooner than later... I'm a planner!

Also, we do not have our room utilization assignments for next year yet, and as a new teacher, I run a chance of not having my own classroom. Should this happen, I will be on a cart, and I will travel from room to room throughout the day. As a language arts teacher with multiple classroom texts, novels and activities with manipulatives, this will be a huge disadvantage.

The worst part, for me, is that if I don't have a classroom, my desk will be located in the "teachers' office" (which has really turned into the SPED office). I am mostly fearful that I will not be very productive in this environment because of amount of activity that happens in this space. Teachers pass through this room all day to get their mail, make copies, pick up paper from the printer, etc. I'm a bit of a social butterfly, and I fear that I will be unable to resist the temptation to socialize as much as needed.

I acknowledge, though, that many others have endured these frustrations. I know I was extremely lucky to have a classroom my first year. I know things can always be worse and that I should remind myself often to be grateful to have a job that I love. So, if it comes to it, I will drive my cart with a smile on my face (and pray for a classroom for the following year).

Here's to hoping I have some answers soon!

May 21, 2009

More Things Students Say

My students were working on a project in class when one of my students decided it would be fun to annoy me by moving everything around on my desk and push the keys on my laptop while I was writing. I made some comment (I wish I could remember what I said) about him (only joking, of course), and his response was, "Shut up, Miss L! You still live at home with your parents!" Ouch! Needless to say, the entire class erupted with laughter (including me).

Two of my students were pretending to fight while they waited in the lunch line. I thought it would be hilarious to yell at them as if I thought they were truly fighting, so I marched over to them and said, "That's enough. Both of you, to the back of the line, NOW!" at which time they both looked at me and laughed hysterically. "You're really bad at being mean!" they told me. I guess need to work on keeping a straight face when I discipline my students.

Today, we took a fieldtrip to Brookfield Zoo. While I was walking through an exhibit, I lost my footing and tripped a little bit. The boys in my group thought this was entirely too amusing and proceeded to joke that I spiked my pop and was an alcoholic. No matter what I did for the rest of the day, it was because I was drunk. For the record... I had not had even a sip of alcohol.

Oh, middle school. :)

May 15, 2009

Daily Laugh

Yesterday, in the midst of frustration, one of my favorite students delcared, "I don't hate this class; I just hate what we do in this class - like the learning."

Oh, the joys of teaching!

12 days to go...

May 10, 2009

On Mother's Day

I remember a time when I thought that being like my mom was the worst fate possible. I shuddered at the thought of being anything like her and vowed that I would never let it be so.

As I grew up, though, the inevitable happened; I turned more and more into my mother with each passing day. Her laugh, her sense of humor, her ability to find delight in the small things, her love of family, her passion to make a difference, her selflessness - all of the qualities I've grown to admire in her are rubbing off on me... and I couldn't be happier about it!

My beautiful mom

Mom and her girls

I love you, Mommy! Happy Mother's Day!

May 5, 2009

My Favorites

If you know me, you know I like to be the favorite. As far back as I can remember, my siblings and I have loved to ask our parents, "I know you love me, but am I your favorite?" There must be some validation that comes with hearing that you are the "best." It gives me warm fuzzies inside - even when I know it's not true.

I think I enjoyed this "game" even more than my brother or sister. My entire extended family knows that I revel in being called the favorite cousin/niece/daughter/granddaughter. My favorite aunt has taken this joy to the next level by simply refers to me as "Favorite" at all times! I love her! :)

In the classroom, I love to tell students that they are my "favorite" and I do so often. The best is when I tell one student that he is my favorite and then wink at another and say, "Just kidding. You know YOU are my real favorite."

Today, for Teacher Appreciation Week, we received letters of thanks from our students in our mailboxes. I received many letters that made me laugh or touched my heart, but one stands out today. A student I had last year (during my student teaching) commented that I was the first teacher in her entire life to ever consider her a favorite.

She knows (as do all of my students) that I am only joking when I called her my favorite, and yet it still meant something to her. I don't know what her relationships were like with past teachers, but I am happy that I was able to give her the validation she clearly needed.

Things Students Say

My classroom sometimes has a foul odor. You're probably not surprised because you know, by now, that I work with adolescents and the warmer weather certainly equals the release of body odor, but that's not the type of stench I'm talking about.

One day, I had my studyhall students turning my classroom upside down looking for the source of this odor. We looked inside the podium, in the garbage cans, on the bookshelf, in every drawer, under every pillow... we looked everywhere... to no avail.

One of my favorite students made a frustrated plea to the class, "Seriously, guys! Whoever did it, go wipe your butt!" I literally had tears rolling down my face as we burst into laughter. This boy's mom runs at at-home daycare where "accidents" are really commonplace. Not so much for the rest of us - but we did enjoy a good laugh!

In case you were wondering, no one volunteered to visit the bathroom to take care of any mess. It's too bad because the stench still lingers on some days (like today). Ew!