Introverted teachers,

How do you deal with the exhaustion of being “on” all week long?

I’m not so sure I’m handling it well.

How I know I picked the right career:

Even with less than four hours of sleep, waking up 30 minutes after my alarm, NO COFFEE, terrible traffic on the highway, and the Gradebook being a jerk, as soon as I saw my students, everything lifted, and I knew it would be a good day. 

And it really, really was. 

AMAZING things of October 24

1) During my Check-In with my content manager, I was informed that my kids’ scores on their benchmark were the highest 7th grade ELA scores (for the 1st benchmark) in the school’s history. 

2) It’s been such a productive, positive week with my homeroom. They had the highest scores of all my classes, so I’m hosting a pizza/movie night next Friday. The kids are super excited, and they’re finally working as a team to keep everyone on track. 

3) In class, we’re working on writing original myths, and the kids are having so much fun with it. Final drafts with illustrations are due tomorrow, and I cannot wait to see what they’ve come up with. 

I think the hardest thing about my job right now is that my students don’t understand how much I care about them and that everything I do is because I want the absolute best for each and everyone of them.

I’ll post something about my difficulties with classroom management later.

Please tell me I’m not the only teacher suffering from bouts of pre-Monday anxiety. 

Because oh boy. 

We finally got our books today! I’m pretty excited about all the writing projects and the diversity in our texts I’ve seen just glancing through. 
Sarah is a happy first year teacher right now. :D

We finally got our books today! I’m pretty excited about all the writing projects and the diversity in our texts I’ve seen just glancing through.

Sarah is a happy first year teacher right now. :D

I’ve decided I’m going to record my daily thoughts about teaching starting next week. I haven’t done a daily journal since mid-Spring semester, so I’d like to get back into that routine.  Plus, this is going to be an extremely arduous time for me; reflection would probably help a ton.

I want to chart my growth as a teacher and document what it’s like to be an RGV student at a charter school. I know what my life was like as a Valley student,  but the culture of where I’ll be teaching seems like the exact opposite of my high school. In a good way. I lived for my clubs in high school since so many of my classes were completely unstimulating.

I probably won’t post much about it on Tumblr, though.

Well. 
Maybe.  

Harry K. Wong’s The First Days of School

One of my tías bought me this book and said she found it extremely useful, so I was wondering what the #Education community thought about it. 

Love it/hate it? What did you find helpful? Or, what didn’t you like about it?

I’ve been on the hunt for great teacher resources, so any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

I have an idea for a classroom theme.

I’ll be teaching 6th grade English-Language Arts next year, and I remember my 6th English teacher had an underwater theme in her classroom. Everyone really loved it, and we got to bring in little things to decorate, and she had this really cute board called “Our School of Fish” with our fishy-faced pictures on it. It was a really wonderful environment, so I kind of want to do something similar in my class.

I’m toying with the idea of having a jungle theme? And my students will be “Explorers of Literature?” I’m sorry but not sorry that I’m so incredibly corny, but I think it might work and be kind of fun?

Anyway, I was thinking that with each learned objective, we’d add a new leaf to a massive vine that can wrap around room, high up on the wall? And I could have a board that features students like “Explorers of the Week/Month?” And have another board called “Gems of the Jungle” that features awesome student work? 

I’m really just thinking these things out loud. I want students to feel engaged with my room and feel like it’s a stimulating, creative, nurturing environment, but I also don’t want my room to distract them. So I suppose moderation is key. Keeping things organized is key and will be at the forefront of how I go about planning my room. Keeping all this affordable is also key, so I’ll probably try to hand-make the decorative things—like the vine. Or have the students do a little craft-y thing. Like I said—this idea isn’t fully fleshed-out yet. 

Ideas on how to make my room functional but still incorporate a theme? Is this theme even good at all?

So, I just finished my final interview.

The two interviewers asked me pretty general questions: why I wanted to be a teacher, why I wanted to work for them, how I’ve overcome a challenge… questions similar to those of the phone interview.


I was most nervous about my lesson plan, but they said I was very well prepared and provided a great lesson! They did have some constructive criticism, but they thought the overall lesson was successful.

SO YES.

I’ll know if I’m going to be a middle school ELA teacher by the 17th! I’m relieved and excited and nervous and so many things I can’t put to words.

"OHMYGOODNESS" Good Things of Today

1) I delivered a 20 minute presentation about Arizona’s HB 2281, and got the class engaged in a critical discussion for about 30 minutes.

BUT REALLY:
I GOT A FINAL INTERVIEW WITH THE CAMPUS OF MY DREAMS.

image

The interview is for a Middle School English-Language Arts position, and I have a little over a week to prepare a lesson plan and 5-10 minute production of it.

Guys.

This is a big deal.

Like

Huge.

gjmueller:

Students Place a Premium on Faculty Who Show They Care

Most teachers know that caring for students is important, but do they realize just how important? A recent article by Steven A. Meyers offers a succinct, well-referenced, and persuasive review of research that addresses the topic. It begins with what most teachers already know: Caring is regularly identified as one of the ingredients or components of effective instruction. What many teachers do not know is that students value the dimensions of caring more highly than teachers do. 

photo via flickr:CC | peoplesworld

gjmueller:

Students Place a Premium on Faculty Who Show They Care

Most teachers know that caring for students is important, but do they realize just how important? A recent article by Steven A. Meyers offers a succinct, well-referenced, and persuasive review of research that addresses the topic. It begins with what most teachers already know: Caring is regularly identified as one of the ingredients or components of effective instruction. What many teachers do not know is that students value the dimensions of caring more highly than teachers do.

photo via flickr:CC | peoplesworld

world-shaker:

What Online Tools Work for Teaching Language Arts?

Tucker started off by trying to improve her students’ communication skills both online and in-person by using the free online platform Collaborize Classroom, which offers more tools than an average discussion board. The online discussion, debate, and collaboration replaced homework, with assignments like posting a response to the discussion topic and responding to three peers. “It was interesting to see students who don’t engage verbally with their peers be super engaged in the online space,” Tucker said. Once those students found an online voice, she said they participated more in class discussions too.
She also realized that just because students have been exposed to technology at young ages and use it often doesn’t mean they know how to have an appropriate online discussion, a skill Tucker knows they need.


"For example, her vocabulary lessons — one of the few areas where she still found herself lecturing, and a necessary part of any English class — have been transformed. She now starts out by having students look at words in context and predict what they mean. Then they go home and watch Tucker’s video lecture. When they come back to class, they use mobile devices to find synonyms and antonyms, then go home and incorporate them into poems or stories. They share their work online, the class votes and the winner gets to read aloud in class. Suddenly vocabulary, a traditionally dull aspect of English class has some spice and students find a personal connection to the words they’re using."
That is so cool.

world-shaker:

What Online Tools Work for Teaching Language Arts?

Tucker started off by trying to improve her students’ communication skills both online and in-person by using the free online platform Collaborize Classroom, which offers more tools than an average discussion board. The online discussion, debate, and collaboration replaced homework, with assignments like posting a response to the discussion topic and responding to three peers. “It was interesting to see students who don’t engage verbally with their peers be super engaged in the online space,” Tucker said. Once those students found an online voice, she said they participated more in class discussions too.

She also realized that just because students have been exposed to technology at young ages and use it often doesn’t mean they know how to have an appropriate online discussion, a skill Tucker knows they need.

"For example, her vocabulary lessons — one of the few areas where she still found herself lecturing, and a necessary part of any English class — have been transformed. She now starts out by having students look at words in context and predict what they mean. Then they go home and watch Tucker’s video lecture. When they come back to class, they use mobile devices to find synonyms and antonyms, then go home and incorporate them into poems or stories. They share their work online, the class votes and the winner gets to read aloud in class. Suddenly vocabulary, a traditionally dull aspect of English class has some spice and students find a personal connection to the words they’re using."


That is so cool.

gjmueller:

5 Reasons The iPad Will Stay The King of the Classroom


It’s a simple reality that if you give someone a way to do something that they can relate to, engage with and enjoy, they will do the job you give them better.  Students are vey workman-like when I give them laptops. They know what is ‘expected’ and they get on and do it. When I give them iPads, I don’t know what they’ll produce at the end of it and often neither do they. If that scares you as a teacher then iPads are probably not the right device for you. If this excites you, then try and get hold of just one.



Hm.

gjmueller:

5 Reasons The iPad Will Stay The King of the Classroom

It’s a simple reality that if you give someone a way to do something that they can relate to, engage with and enjoy, they will do the job you give them better.  Students are vey workman-like when I give them laptops. They know what is ‘expected’ and they get on and do it. When I give them iPads, I don’t know what they’ll produce at the end of it and often neither do they. If that scares you as a teacher then iPads are probably not the right device for you. If this excites you, then try and get hold of just one.

Hm.

"If you’re about to undertake a life in the classroom, be aware that this is no normal job. It will consume you absolutely at times. It will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. You will convince yourself at least once a day that you can’t do it. That never really goes away. But when you get it right – which will be most of the time - when your lessons explode with learning, when the students just get what you are trying to do, then it is, without any hesitation, the best job in the world. Your days will be filled with the unexpected – laughter, tears, rage, frustration and complete happiness. You will arrive at those long holidays a wreck of your former self. But that is why the holidays are there. To recharge and refresh, to return to a normal life – to an extent. Show me one teacher who doesn’t see a lesson possibility in just about everything that comes their way. And each year you will be desperate to get back into the classroom."