Bad luck: Story of my life

Yup…sounds about right.

A Blonde's Point of View

Not saying I don’t just LOVE teaching, but with my original degree being journalism…it would be nice to get back into my first chosen career path.

So, a friend sends me this great job opportunity for a morning show host at a really good radio station in the area. Of course, I update my resume and apply! BAM! So proud.

I type up a nice cover letter, attach my newly refurbished resume and even attach my Westside Radio air check that I made a couple years back.

Send the email…

That is when I realize I was on an ex students email address. I had forgot I had saw her Friday before break and she wanted to show me her scholarship essay to help start working on funds for college.

Crap though. Send of a job application in a students email.

So, I logged into my email and sent all…

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Things you shouldn’t say to kids…but you do

I am the poster child for phrases and comments you should not really say to students, but sometimes…it happens. So, for a little giggle and to know you are not the only one, here are some comments I have heard before that came out wrong or should have been thought through a bit more beforehand.

*Please note these quotes had conversations behind them. Students took them jokingly & were NOT offended by comments made*10269441_10152412248823038_2715149489830719757_n

  •  “Don’t make my life hard” (According to my kids this is my motto)
  • “And…you bettered my life by telling me that…how?”
  • “GO AWAY!”
  • “I will roundhouse kick you into your seat if you don’t sit down!”
  • “I will eat your soul for breakfast with strawberries and skim milk.”
  • “You kill me…”
  • “No I don’t want kids right now, you all remind me of that daily.”
  • “Shut your face.”
  • “This class will be the reason I go back to journalism.”
  • “Now, I know you are not that stupid…”
  • “It’s a good thing you’re cute.”

I like to think of this as being “real” with my students. I sit on a desk, look them straight in their little faces and I say what is on my mind and level with them so they know I am serious.

My students love me for my sarcastic and witty personality, but at the end of the day, I build relationships with my students before allowing them to get to know the real me. I want them to know that even when I am sarcastic and giving them a hard time, I care about them and am just getting my point across in a joking manner…AKA “Middle School Kid Speak”.

I am not saying to start off this way with students. You need to see what your student base is like to decide what will make them appreciate you as an educator and friend more. Older students need to build that trust with you. You need to earn that “street cred” as one might say.

For all teachers, my one tip I have learned is: Be “real” and level with your kids, especially if you work at a rougher school. These kids need to know you see them as a person, not that you think you are better than them because you are an adult.

At the end of the day, each and every one of my students know I love them and support them. They know I care about how they do in class, school, how they are feeling, and most importantly….they know that I care about them as a little individual and see them as something more than a silly kid.

 

Fool me once…shame on me.

If you are a teacher or have children, you learn quickly how easily lying comes for them.

Whether it is “my dog ate my homework” or “Someone threw my project out the bus window” (yes, I really got that excuse last quarter), we all know the excuses. And yet, they still keep trying to pull one over on us.

I am pretty sure that middle school students have a Book Of Excuses that they pass around and try to see which ones work on teachers.

Thanks to all those darlings who try to lie to me on a daily basis…this blog post if for a few of my favourite “white lies” that my kiddos try to use on me (because I am silly in the noodle that naive to not know what their real intentions are).

#1:

Me: “Welcome to class, which started 15 minutes ago.”

Student: “Oh, my bad…I was busy eating pancakes while shaving my unicorn in the bathroom.”

(or whatever other word diarrhea they have to spit out of their mouths when they are tardy.)

 

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  <— #2.

The pass I received the other day from a student who wanted to come to my room.  

 Very sly…I barely noticed the change and the difference in handwriting… -_-

*Please note I also caught this child CHANGING the pass in my doorway with a pencil. Smooth move, slick! 

 

#3:

  Student: “Mrs. Hill, I don’t think I can interview people today    (journalism class). 

  Me: “Why not?”

Student: “Well, before I answer *stumbles over feet*..I have a question to ask first.”

Me: *awkwardly looks at student with the “please continue” face*

Student: “Do Monster Energy Drinks have alcohol in them?”

Me: “Um, no. They have caffeine in them, not alcohol.”

Student: “oh…never mind then.” *stands up straight and walks away*

 

#4:

Me: *points at a student* “Put away your phone or it goes in phone jail!”

Variety of student responses:

  • “I was checking the time!”
  • “My mom texted me!”
  • “I got a picture on snapchat!”
  • “I had to check my hair/makeup!”

My favourite student answer to catching them with their phones is the following;

Student: “I WASN’T ON MY PHONE!”

Me: “Well, I can assume you were not just smiling at your crotch for the last 5 minutes…if so, I think I need to send you to speak to a councilor.” 

(Gets them every time, LOL!)

 

#5: 

Students who are not in my class, walk in a sit down ALL the time. I teach 8th grade ELA…and I get kids from all grade levels who do this daily. Their reason….

Student:”I got my schedule changed. I am in here now.” 

Me: “Good try you cheeky monkey. Go to your ACTUAL class. Goodbye.” 

 

Silly children, thinking I don’t know all the tricks in their little book of lying lines to tell your teacher. Although they kill me and the lies crack me up…I must say, at least it adds entertainment to my day. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Excuse November

I don’t know about the rest of the teachers out there, but DANG…this year has been a rough one so far!

I, for one, have completely let the stress over take my life.

I stopped working out. I stopped eating healthy (Chickfila has been my GO TO). I have really just stopped doing everything that relieves the stress of work because I rather come home, pour myself a glass of wine, and watch Once Upon A Time and forget my troubles.

My excuse to do this nightly ritual? “School was stressful, so I just want to do nothing.” Seemed like a legit excuse to me…

Well, I decided NO MORE!

NO MORE FAST FOOD!

NO MORE SITTING AT HOME BEING A COUCH POTATO!

NO MORE STRESS TAKING OVER MY LIFE!

Starting today (November 1, 2014) I am getting my stress and life back on track to a healthier, fitter and happier me.

Men have “No Shave November” or “MOvember”, well….I am starting up the #NoExcuseNovember trend.

I challenge all of you, teachers or not, to find something to give up this November to help decrease stress and help create a better lifestyle habit for your future.

Don’t let the stress of your job take over your happiness and personal life….find a way to relieve that stress so you can enjoy the little things in life without the worries of your work.

So, help me start the trend! Let’s do this!

#NoExcuseNovember

You shall not pass!

Quarter one is done! 3 left till summer! This should be exciting…right?

Well, finished up grading my lovely kiddos’ projects and OH MY LAWDY! I have never seen such terrible, done the night before, I taped paper to a poster board projects in my life.

First off, if I EVER turned in a project like that my parents would have killed me! So, why these kids find hand written, paper folded and half taped on work acceptable baffles me.

Let me give you some insight. My kids have known about this project for five weeks…yes, FIVE ENTIRE WEEKS! It is worth 100 points and 20% of their grade for the quarter.

Still had kids turn nothing in. Zeros for you. Thanks for making my life easier. Means I drink much less wine while grading your fantastic understanding of how to write a paragraph summary.

After that frustration of grading (mostly) crap projects, I decided to go ahead and submit report card grades in the systems. Jesus_facepalm

36% of my ELA students have FAILED the first grading period.

I’m sorry, was I unaware that since you sit in class you deserve an “A”? Don’t make me giggle.

I am aware that working at a Title 1, turn around school is rough, but I did not realize that the kids just did not care this year to even try. Trying gets you a grade.

Being lazy and not doing anything gets you a big, fat 0%.

Secondly, how is it that us, as educators, get judged so harshly for how our students do, especially if you can look at grades and see some just refuse to do anything but sleep or turn in work? Seems like the education system needs to TLC and needs some people to look at it more closely.

Is it just me? Or are other teachers out there feeling my pain with this generation we are attempting to educate and make successful?

Being a teacher is a stressful, unfair, politically heavy job. Thank goodness we all do it for the kiddos…and the amazingly great paychecks we receive for our hard work and overtime 😉

 

 

openhousephobia

So, you can talk and direct 25 kids in a class, but talking to a handful of parents at open house makes you stutter, sweat and slightly die inside?

WELCOME TO MY LIFE!

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Dang, it is the worst! Those parents probably wonder how someone who stutters and says “um” every sentence can teach their children Language Arts.

I can hear it now, “Darling, your English teacher can’t seem to talk, is she like that in class?” (I doubt they are really saying that, but in my mind…it happens!)

This was my problem last week when having to do 7th and 8th grade open house!

Parents are intimidating and ask some strange questions that, sometimes when put on the spot, you answer incorrectly or can’t answer AT ALL! (embarrassing)

OR you have what I had the other night…awkward silence and my hesitation giggle came into play.

Making a fool out of myself…it really is a special skill I have.

LONGEST 8 MINUTE ROTATIONS IN MY LIFE!!!

I felt like a “Bad Luck Brian” meme : Made a nifty slide show with important information to use up time…7 minutes left, spoke too fast.

Is this just me…or are parents SCARY when you teach their kids!

I know this may sound ridiculous, but I hope I bring fear into the eyes of the teachers who teach my students one day.

Perhaps it is because I am a younger teacher is why this makes me cringe? Perhaps next year it will be less nerve racking…one can only hope.

What do I know for sure?

1. Longer slide show.

2. Talk slower.

3. Picture all the parents in their underwear to take away some of the anxiety 😉

 

Y U NO USE MEMES IN YOUR ROOM?

We all have learned to love the awesome memes that are floating around the internet. Grumpy Cat, Willy Wonka, Intense Baby…they are all hilarious. Why, however, do we not use them in our classrooms?

Students LOVE social media…memes included. So, my fellow 8th grade teacher and I had some fun this summer finding and coming up with clever memes to get across our classroom rules and points we thought our students needed to get.

Below I will list some of my favorite memes hanging up in my classroom:

   <– 1. Grumpy Cat! This is brilliant due to the fact my students can get chatty…I now can point to            this meme and give them this look. They get the point and appreciate my humor.

 

 

 

 

 

1222050c9183a33afae801a63f1bb550c2f5fe60a2c1770be8d859019a37f03b 2. Evil Happy Asian Boy…I love him. I want to  carry him around with me. Plus, he is hanging    on the inside of my door so as my kids leave they can roll their eyes at how “unfunny” I am while I giggle at them in my head….because I am funny…sorry kids. 😉 –>

 

534bbd282472f55f3d694c2b06562738<– 3.  Beyoncé will take your “no name” papers…and she will toss em to the left… into the trash…if you do not claim them and write your name on them. Make your papers happy, write your name on them! (#1 teacher pet peeve…no name papers…rawr)

 

 

 

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4. Last, but not least: Willy Wonka at his finest! Kids are always asking me a week before grades are due for extra credit. If you want extra credit you should have done your original work…then you would not need to get your grade up necessarily!

Silly children, get it together. –>

 

 

 

As a side note. I was worried my kids would find me “lame” for covering my walls with memes to create some comedy relief in the classroom. However, most of them find my memes funny. Want to be a “cool” teacher like me in the eyes of your middle schoolers? Give memes a try…you never know, you may just turn into the most awesome teacher on campus…or, at least, we can help students hate school a little less with some entertainment they can relate to and appreciate.