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In a previous post I mentioned how I did not know if and when I will sign my contract for next school-year and how whatever the case may be, I will just have to wait and see.

Well, I still did not sign a contract, but my High School Principal informed me that some changes would be made to our Department (and yeah, that is how he began THAT conversation) and that I will be part of the faculty for next year.

ME: Wait, just to be clear, you are renewing my contract?
PRINCIPAL: Yes. We like you here.
ME: SWEET…I mean, thank you.

Then I shook his hand and went about my day. I needed this feedback. I really like what I do and although I can really be bummed out by the end of the day because I am tired or a student just really irked me, I am still happy to wake up the next morning willing to test the new adventure.

I have met some really cool teachers. Teachers who really know and own their craft, and there are teachers who I do not necessarily agree with but use that opportunity to ask myself, "What would I do…?"

I am still going to go about my business and strengthen my skills even though I did not physically sign a contract. I am glad to hear that the Principal say that he wants me to come back next year, but life experience has told me the same thing, and though my Principal’s word is like gold on campus, nothing is set in stone just yet.

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hithertokt:

First ‘Girl Meets World’ trailer.

It’s really happening. ..

Source: hithertokt
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Do Teachers Really Need to Dress Professionally?

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  • Question: My A-level students are currently studying 'Paradise Lost Book IX' and ''Tis Pity She's a Whore'. During the next lesson we will be looking at the original epics, notably 'The Odyssey', and their similarities with PL, as well as looking at Caroline Theatre and TPSaH discussing similarities in language and theme. I've made my worksheets but I'm struggling to integrate activities into the lesson - do you have any suggestions? Thanks. P.S. Love this tumblr :) - literaryutopia
  • Answer:

    Oh, good question and great reads. Anyone have a suggestions?

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Since the 10th and 11th graders are going into California State Testing, my 9th graders will be taking a preparation California High School Exit Exam. My 9th graders have anxiety for an exam they may or may not even take during their sophomore year. I told my students to always try their best for whatever test this state, this school, this country will give them.

Since the 10th and 11th graders are going into California State Testing, my 9th graders will be taking a preparation California High School Exit Exam. My 9th graders have anxiety for an exam they may or may not even take during their sophomore year. I told my students to always try their best for whatever test this state, this school, this country will give them.

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As most of my followers know, I am an interning teacher. I am paid to teach as long as I am enrolled in a University and earning my teaching credential.

But I have worked the education system for about 12 years and I have learned to accept changes in education which included losing a job in the afterschool program industry due to budget cuts.

And having been assigned two different long-term Substitute Teacher gigs and then dismissed three days and two-weeks before the school-year ended.

Yes, I am a bit jaded about how long I can keep a job.

This uncertainly probably will not go away until sometime between having my teaching credential and tenure. But for the meantime, I keep telling myself to not be too comfortable, even if teachers and the administration express how much they like me.

The state makes decisions.
The district makes decisions.
The school makes decisions.

In-between their decisions:
I teach.

Tomorrow I have my final meeting regarding my observations with the High School Principal. I do not know when I will sign the contract for next year, or if I will even get offered the chance. Whatever the case may be, I will just have to wait and see.

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My best friend posted on Facebook that she wanted these yarns. She is big on knitting at this point in her life and she is rather good at it. Plus, when she talks about knitting she has the excitement equal to the time she first talked to me about the man who would later be her husband. That is a pretty big comparison!

So I bought her two of each color from Craftsy.com

I always tell her it is the little things that make all the difference.
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:) 

Words, words, words…

(via michesith)

Source: belleresources
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The day may pass, but the question will always remain. Today, of 180 students, less than 10 participated. Next year, I hope that number triples. But I am glad (and I hope) that today’s classroom discussion brought some insight.

The day may pass, but the question will always remain. Today, of 180 students, less than 10 participated. Next year, I hope that number triples. But I am glad (and I hope) that today’s classroom discussion brought some insight.

Source: dayofsilence.org
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Earlier in the school-year when I told my students we were going to the computer lab, many of them were excited and thought they were just going to do a bunch of this:

But through trial and error (and in-between a whole lot of discipline and raising my voice), the students slowly understood that when we are in the computer lab:

And, like I said, with a bit of learning experience from trial and error, I have learned to teach in the computer lab.

I wanted my students to create online trading cards before creating their 3”x5” character cards. Today’s goal: submit 4 cards within 35 minutes.

Did they meet that goal? Absolutely not! But I like to aim high for my students, but more on that in a bit.

I found this lesson plan from ReadWriteThink, an excellent resource.

But before we did this assignment I went out of my way to make sure I spent the time effectively preparing the computer lab.

First thing I did, I managed to get into the computer lab early enough to turn on all monitors and towers. By doing this I discovered that 3 out of 36 computers were not functioning or missing something. (1) A computer was missing a mouse, (2) another would not turn on at all, and (3) I could not reach the wiring on another computer tower because it was under the desk and against the wall but I knew the tower was not connected to the monitor. Upon discovering this, I removed the chairs from these computers and wrote down on sticky notes describing the malfunctioning.

This preparation served two purposes: to deviate from students wasting time trying to make something that does not operate to work and to inform the next teacher who arrives in the computer lab that the following computers do not work and that it occurred BEFORE my the class started.

Also, to save my ass because I do not want to be blamed for the things that was already broken before I got there.

Having check the computers prior to class helped transition the learning well. I did not have students fidget with computers. I knew what computer did and did not work. And I made sure ADOBE worked on the computer for the program I wanted them to use.

My first class of the day were my test subjects for these new teacher learning experiences, which they usually are. Through this experience I found two more computers that did not function: (4) one computer can not login because it needed some administrative access and (5) the screen on the computer was blurry and could not be adjusted.

Oh, an through my first class, I found out using Internet Explorer was definitely out of the question!

In the end, the lesson went well. Like with any technology, some students lost their projects because they did not listen to my repeated instructions nor did they read the paper that had the instructions. In which case they naturally reacted with a:

No really, they tried staring at the screen looking, clicking anywhere and everywhere, and I am like, “Dude, it’s gone.”

Oh, and I did not assign seating arrangements like I used to. Instead, I had them sit where they wanted and held them responsible for their learning space by having them sign the paper that was taped at their station. This will also help if a student should accidentally (or purposely) damage the computer or save something inappropriate (teens like to change the desktop images) and I would know who it was, or you can look at this as a preventative measure.

Anyway, it was a good day in learning. I finally found a technique of teaching and learning in the classroom.

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Before we started our Shakespeare Unit, I had my students research the Elizabethan Era and create cards based on topics covering that era.

As we come to the end of the Unit, I decided to display these projects only just now. I kept their projects so we may revisit their topics around this time as a review.

Their renewed interest is refreshing.

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Ever since I posted my TEACHER ADVENTURES: Removing the chair I received a gracious number of suggestions and responses to maintaining healthy, and less painful, feet as I move about the classroom.

I have always read from various teachers about how they removed the chair from their desk so they may actively engage with their students, conduct formative assessments, and maintain classroom management. I removed my desk this past week and I like the benefits. Unfortunately, it came with achy feet by the end of the week.

I looked into the suggestions of fellow educators and Tumblr followers. Here is some of the information I came across.

1. I may have to sacrifice style for comfort. Style is one of the factors to consider when thinking about how to stay comfy and stylish. Maybe it is a first-year teacher thing and I will slowly make my way onto the fashion police’s Most Wanted list as the teacher career takes off, but for now, I will try to make some things work.

2. Being a hippy may be costly. Birkenstocks are expensive! ArtEdWithMissAllen made this suggestion adding, “…worth being called a hippie.” And I am all for being called a hippie, maybe even looking like one, but these bad boys are pricey. The sandals, shoes and clogs for women look great! According to the website, Birkenstocks “…provides pronounced arch support, our soft footbed offers a more moderate support, and our high arch styles offer the most aggressive support” and all of that sounds like EVERYTHING I need. I may need to work this into my budget.

3. Look into insoles for my shoes. I took a look at Dr. Scholl's stuff and (though I am not product placing nor am I sponsored, but Dr. Scholl if you want to sponsor my feet and the feet of other Tumblrs, I am sure we can work something out) clicked on tired, achy feet. Not only did I find other information that lead me to other information to research, but I found a product that may support my feet. It is affordable and I would not have to sacrifice an of the 22 pairs of shoes that I own (yes, 22…). I should be running over to the nearest store some time today to check it out. I got a coupon of the website.

WAITAMINUTE! Dr. Scholl shoes?! *throws hands in the air* That’s it, SPONSOR ME NOW. I’ll take coupons!

4. Lean with it, rock with it. Leaning posts. I need this. KateStewartTeacher has a piano she can lean on! How cool is that? I am a simple size of 5’2” and the only thing I can lean on are desks and the wall. But I am sure I can make that work. But, yes, finding objects in the class I can subtly lean on may be a smart addition to my classroom.

5. Looking for a good pair of shoes. This was probably the most advice anyone has given to me. The Walking Company was one of the suggestions to look into and I kind of dig some of the styles, including those that, if I shop by comfort, are under Plantar Fasciitis. I can work with work with those shoes, especially with boot cut jeans, but those are a pretty penny as well. So, The Walking Company, if you feel like sponsoring me and a few Tumblr teachers, feel free to contact me! (I mean, really, why hire testers when the real consumers are out there…just saying).

6. Stay healthy. This is probably the most health conscious advice I was given. I looked into leg workouts: calves, hamstring, and ankles. Do ankle rotations, clockwise then counter clockwise. I am even considering looking into Real Simple’s Relieve Your Sore Feet in 15 Minutes which may be a good idea during lunch or even after school. I was also advised to eat protein to keep the energy throughout the day; snack between breaks, like carrots or hummus.

So, to avoid this achy-breaky feet at the end of the day (or week), maintain health, wear comfortable shoes (even if it might sacrifice style), and find something to occasionally lean on to alleviate pain. Sounds good to me! Thanks fellow educating Tumblrs!

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Eating at the nearest food place, sleeveless (took off my cardigan; it is 91 degrees in this part of Southern California), and a teacher I NEVER met walks in. No greeting. Went something like this…

TEACHER: You have tattoos?!
ME: Hello.
TEACHER: I would NEVER think you had tattoos (rambles about her own ink). WE should hangout, I mean, you seem cool.
ME: Now that I have tattoos?
TEACHER: You probably like to go out and (proceeds to say activities have no interest in doing or try).
ME: Uhm, not really, I’m…
TEACHER: Your students probably think your tattoos are cool.
ME: Actually, I cover them an…
TEACHER: Because [the school admin] tells you too, huh? They suck some…
ME: ACTUALLY, it’s my choice. They’re okay with m….
TEACHER: Well, don’t let them tell you to cover that pretty arm. They can be mean and…
ME: They are good to me. They like my…
TEACHER: Until they see your tattoos! Ok, you have a good day, Ms. COOL teacher.
ME: UH…

I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THERE.