Latest posts from Greater Boston

May 25 2013

Win Some, Lose Some, Get Some Rest

Day 160: Thursday’s Theme: Win some, lose some, then try to get some rest. The sixth grade was presenting plays on Greek myths at various points throughout the morning. This means I got my third period class intermittently over a period of 10 minutes while I was trying to start class, and teach a really tricky…

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May 24 2013

Improvement! Sort Of …

Day 159: Wednesday, I had one of the best classes with my homeroom all spring. Sort of. After three or four quick warnings, the Do Now was silent. Not sort of silent, but actually silent. When it came time for the food web demonstration – throwing balls of yarn around the room to make a big…

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May 22 2013

Searching for Creepy Crawlies

Day 158: I can’t think of any overarching theme for today. Classes went well, whether it was the “we need to shape up” speech I had to give 2nd period or the “we have a lot to celebrate” speech I gave 8th period. So, in the absence of any big theme, here’s a cute story. My…

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May 21 2013

When a Sick Day Isn’t Enough

Day 157: Well, 157 days into the school year, I finally took a sick day. It turns out that being out at receptions and dinners and family time for an entire graduation weekend – for my youngest brother, now a Skidmore College graduate! – and subsequently missing your regularly scheduled catch-up-on-rest time, combined with some head-inflating…

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May 20 2013

Praying for a Stronger Finish

Day 156: Students might not know it, but they love routines. Structure and schedule helps them know what’s expected of them. It helps them focus on learning. So, what happens when you try to teach on a Friday, when Tuesday and Thursday were high-stakes tests, Wednesday was a half-day, and Thursday afternoon was mostly recess and…

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May 20 2013

Ready For Routine

Day 155: Done with MCAS! If I were a Math or English teacher, I’d be excited because the finish line I’d been aiming toward all year had finally been crossed, and it would be time to do a project, or some sort of year-end activities. However, I teach a non-tested subject. So, what am I excited…

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May 17 2013

Growing, and Proud of It

Day 154: Teaching is often an exercise in delayed gratification. You might struggle with a child for months, only to have him or her come around in June and say, “Thank you.” Given that, when the wins are big and obvious and staring you in the face, you embrace them. IEP meetings are not typically tons…

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May 15 2013

Compliant, But Hoping For More

Day 153: Does compliance lead to buy-in, or is compliance the best it gets? Tuesday, we did a homeroom reset. Silent entrance, silent to desks, silent to the morning meeting circle. First warning = three minutes of recess. Second = ten minutes, plus sit in a fourth grade room. We got to the circle quickly and…

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May 14 2013

Not Giving Up Yet

Day 152: My homeroom has been, on the whole, trending downward for months. They enter classrooms like they’re entering a party. They fail, consistently, to quiet down when asked. They throw balls around the room like it’s recess. For a while now, I’ve been letting a lot slide. Science class is going well, and giving certain…

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May 13 2013

Remembering With a Smile

Day 150: Often, when I finally remember on Sunday that I haven’t written about Friday yet, I can only remember a blur of exhaustion and frustration and please let me finish this day and get to the bar as fast as I can. As usual, I don’t remember many details. However, the ones I do remember…

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