Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thanks Mom!

“I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known..” -Author Unknown

I guess a little bit of kindergarten teacher rubbed off on me.

One of my favorite creative things that I did with my students this year was to design bulletin boards around the kids' photos. At the beginning of the year, I took the kids' pictures holding speech bubbles with their name on it. (This really helped me learn their names!) Then when we began our exponents unit, I photoshopped superhero capes on students in order to create a "Powers of Ten" bulletin board. And, then to finish off the year, I took each students' photo and then placed them in a "What are we doing over spring break?" venn diagram before we learned about set theory. Of course, I didn't take a single picture of any of the bulletin boards. But believe me when I tell you that they were pretty cool.

The students loved looking at the photos. Every trip to the pencil sharpener, every class change was extended with a look at the board. Let's hope that it helped them master the mathematical concepts, too.

To celebrate the end of the year and to invite the students to reflect on how much they've grown through the year (note that I did not use the word "matured"), I made individual hybrid scrapbook pages for each students, complete with an inspirational quote and a note from me.

Of course, these are middle-schoolers and half of them are boys. So, expecting that all of my students would cherish and treasure this special sentiment was a bit unreasonable. My favorite question of today was from Anthony who asked me with a quizzical look on his face, "what in the world am I supposed to do with this?" I'd like to think that even those who tossed their souvenirs got a kick out of seeing their photos. These kids will definitely hold a special place in my heart. My first 93 kids.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dance like nobody's watching...

"Dance till the stars come down from the rafters. Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop."
-W.H. Auden

I spent Friday night chaperoning the 8th grade formal dance. Loud music, lots of dancing, many smiling faces. It was a memorable night for all. And a wonderful way to celebrate the end of the school year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An epiphany

"I never think of the future - it comes soon enough."
-Albert Einstein

I read something inspirational on a teacher blog this weekend, and it has stuck with me. Of course, I looked all through my history but cannot seem to find it again. But, it has been what's getting me through these last days of school (10 days left!!).

So, I'll paraphrase...
Something is wrong when the teacher is stressing more about the students' passing than the students themselves are. I refuse to stress about it any more. Natural consequences will just have to occur.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Seattle bound

"Vacation used to be a luxury, but in today's world it has become a necessity."
-Author Unknown
"Seattle Space Needle" by Leone Ardo

We're booked! I love posts like this so much. See here. My heart overflows with anticipation and hope, enough to get me through another day, and hopefully through the next 52 days! Rob and I are in much need of vacation.

And vacation we will get. After completing my first year of teaching and then completing my two-week long class this summer, we get to celebrate.... Seattle style.

At this point I'm thinking a couple days in the city, a couple of days at Mt. Rainier, and a couple days at Olympic. Haven't nailed down the particulars yet.

But as of this evening, we've got roundtrip tickets and rental car booked!

Tacos diablos...

“I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.”
-George Bernard Shaw

A shot of our fateful dinner.

Dialogue from dinner tonight...

R: Do you want to go out for mexican or make it here?
J: Make. I've already got the ingredients for our own Cinco de Mayo celebration.
J: Dinner's ready.
R: Mmmmm... tacos, guacomole, salsa, refried beans.
[J takes a big bite of taco, and it is so spicy it takes away her breath]
J (whispering): DO NOT EAT IT!
[Not heeding directions, R takes a big bite, too]
R: Oh....wow.....

[Sweat pours down their faces as they work their way through the meal. J stops at two bites, but R hurries to try to get both tacos down.]
J (trying to hold back her giggles): I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.
R (as he runs to the bedroom to turn the fan on): On The Border is looking better and better.

Needless to say, the dinner ended up in the trash. We never even made it to the tequila shots. Our tummies (and our tongues!) will ache tonight.

The crazy thing is that I've used the same recipe before, needless to say, with much better results.
This morning I found the problem. I mixed up the teaspoons and tablespoon, twice! I guess it's official... I'm definitely too tired to cook.

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