Tuesday, September 28, 2010
If you had to choose...
1. Chalkboard or Whiteboard? Whiteboard. I would be the teacher with giant chalk prints all over herself otherwise.
2. LCD projector or ELMO? Tough call! If I had to choose...probably the ELMO. That way we can mark up student papers as a class.
3. Teacher on a cart or a Classroom with 3 bulletin boards? OK, so at first I thought "Cart, as long as I could have a filing cabinet somewhere" because I really hate bulletin boards. Really hate. But then I remembered you'd have to travel through the halls during class changes...and I sighed and accepted the bulletin boards. Final answer.
4. Computers in classroom or a computer lab? Computer lab. Maybe if I went to an in-service where they showed us realistic, useful ways to use stations with high school students, I might feel differently.
5. Fire drill or tornado drill? Fire drill. Mostly because it's a nice break, we get to stretch and get some fresh air, and it's not a big deal if the kids talk. Why fire drills are okay to talk through but not tornado drills, I dunno.
6. Field trip or pep rally? Pep rally. The idea of planning/running/being responsible for a field trip terrifies me.
7. Office volunteer or club sponsor? Club sponsor! The idea of answering phones and dealing with all that administration stuff: also terrifying.
8. Old quirky classroom or independent mobile/portable? Mobile. I've heard teachers say they enjoy it, plus I've had the old quirky classroom. The paint peeling off the walls, the threat of termites...no thank you!
9. Faculty meeting, PLC*, or In-Service? PLC definitely. I love to swap ideas with fellow teachers, and I liked my fellow 10th grade English teachers. Perfect combination.
What ONE thing do you want your kids to know when they walk out of your classroom at the end of the year? I want students to know the art of questioning and critical thinking: to know there is always more below the surface, and to explore those depths with enthused curiosity.
Monday, September 27, 2010
If you had to choose...
Chalkboard or Whiteboard?
LCD projector or ELMO?
Teacher on a cart or a Classroom with 3 bulletin boards?
5 computers in classroom or a computer lab?
Fire drill or tornado drill? (and if you choose a Code 3/Lockdown, what is WRONG with you?)
Field trip or pep rally?
Office volunteer or club sponsor?
Old quirky classroom or independent mobile?
Faculty meeting, PLC*, or In-Service?
What ONE thing do you want your kids to know when they walk out of your classroom at the end of the year? Yes, ONE.
*professional learning community or whatever your school might call it.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I have a stockpile of ideas that I collected in anticipation of "slow days." I expected to be able to still use my day-to-day experiences as motivations and discoveries and keep the stockpile for emergencies. But I didn't anticipate having a collection of No Days.
That and I just haven't been "feeling it," which I know (from telling my students) is no excuse.
So stay tuned as I give my rear a much needed kick in the pants.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
1. Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee
2. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
3. 100 Cupboards by ND Wilson
4. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
5. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
6. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
7. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
8. Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney (or one of her more contemporary works, Code Orange)
9. White Fang by Jack London
10. Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Monday, September 6, 2010
1. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Looking for Alaska by John Green
3. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
4. Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess / Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
5. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
6. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
7. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
8. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
9. Book of 1000 Days by Shannon Hale
10. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
(ok, so it's technically 11...I'm not good at making decisions. Even still, I feel bad about leaving others out...but these would be a top 10 to give an adequate variety, I think)
Friday, September 3, 2010
3. Chocolate stash
4. Post-Its. Many, many Post-Its.
5. Calendar with School Appointments/Events/Dates
6. Colorful pens (orange, bright blue, pink, green, purple...anything but red)
7. Legal pads for notes-to-self, faculty meetings, and professional learning communities
8. Dry erase erasers (I run out of these before I run out of markers)
9. Fine-tip Sharpies in a variety of colors
10. Color-coded hanging accordion files
What are your must-have teacher supplies?
Thursday, September 2, 2010
1. I am a good teacher because… I constantly strive to make learning fun through researching creative & challenging lesson plans/strategies.
2. If I weren’t a teacher, I would be… a stay-at-home mom.
3. My teaching style is… centered on respect and student-empowerment. I respect them and expect respect (for me and their peers) in return. I give them opportunities to take ownership of their learning through responsibility and passion.
4. My classroom is… currently much smaller and without any personal touches.
5. My lesson plans… aren't always fantastic but generally reflect the amount of time and thought I put into making the material engaging.
6. One of my teaching goals is… ONE?! to strive to learn more and be a better teacher every year. And to try a variety of grade levels.
7. The toughest part of teaching is… not always reaching every kid, by either just not knowing how or just missing him/her in the crowd. (it's a tie between this and bringing the kids home with you, emotionally)
8. The thing I love most about teaching is… getting to know young people and working with a new generation, wondering who they will become.
9. A common misconception about teaching is… that we are done by 3pm, have free & easy weekends, and 3 months off. All real teachers know the truth of those myths, so I won't get into it.
10. The most important thing I’ve learned since I started teaching… has been two things: 1. it is possible to love them through strict/strong discipline (i.e. don't be too nice.); 2. Don't beat yourself up for mistakes/little things.