Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Good teachers come here, and they stay here."

The title of this post is exactly what the principal of my new school told me at the time she hired me. It filled me with both pride and fear. I was identified as a good teacher, a good fit for the school, but also the hope that I would fulfill that role to everyone's satisfaction enough not to be pink-slipped in May. One becomes fairly skeptical after working three schools in a single calendar year.

In being a "half-glass full" kind of gal, I thought I'd share some of my favorite student & teacher memories:

That time in 9th grade when my English teacher referred to Ren & Stimpy's log song.

Referring to that same Log Song while teaching Algebra 2 eleven years later talking about the inverse function of exponentials.

The time in 10th grade when my Science teacher described a worm buried in sawdust as the same species from Dune. I was the only one who laughed in that class of 30.

Thirteen years later, I quote Yoda's, "Do or do not, there is no try" and one kid thinks the line was written by Shakespeare.

"Oh, wait!" he corrects himself, "It was 'To be or not to be.' Well, they're kinda related."

I love teaching. I love the part where you get to interact with the students in the classroom. I love the part where any activity can become personalized and they understand that you are trying to get who they are as a person while they are trying to get who they are in "the big picture." I love building the rapport and getting them to laugh.

On Friday I showed how 4 can be rewritten as 2-squared. "Change the base," I instructed, "just don't drop the base." A worthy chuckle came from one single student who just outed himself as a dubstep lover.

I feel so lucky to be where I am right now. Sitting at the dining room table, with papers surrounding me, on a Sunday night, updating grades.

Such stuff life is made of.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"[Untitled], oh what a cliché."

Approximately 12 days ago I started writing poetry again (thanks, Google Docs for documenting this). There is an unfathomable amount of writings and drawings I composed in middle and high school but once I assumed an authoritative role in my career they diminished to perhaps one or two obligatory sketches per year, not including sketches of graphs. Although I try to blog/journal a sufficient amount to let out my emotions and sort out my thoughts, it is no substitute nor is it anywhere near what it once was. What happened to the Dreamer? Did she get consumed by the Worrier that also lay in my soul?

My search for a work-life balance is itself a work in progress.

We call those "wip's" in the knitting and crocheting community.

i eat my emotions
happiness never tasted so sweet
and sadness, so salty
jealousy was bitter
i think i’ll save that for december.

my fingers itch
when i don’t knit
oh fiddlestitch

soup needs to be a year-round celebration
ladle me some love, dear
let’s baste our passion with pearl onions and emerald chard
along with carrots and stalks of celery
to become our BROTHel, at your service.

in me
my brain
inside my emotions
vulnerability is power
i’m tired and i don’t want to fight anymore

I’m just beginning to realize that the way I handle situations with people is a direct reflection of how people have handled me in the past, and how I have dealt with it. As much as I am an advocate of utilizing coping strategies, I am an advocate for change. I notice that I am a very passive-aggressive person, chill, and with that there comes a certain pride; however, I find it detrimental to some integral situations happening in the classroom or in my life, and the recognition that change needs to occur transforms me into a person that I don’t know and am not comfortable with. Knowing that situations of rudeness, cheating, and lying will sort themselves out in the future calms me, but when I stop to think that they will be stopped due to the actions of people like me, the Teacher, I know this necessitates change in my personal attitude towards my professional career.