• Musings

    The Musings of a Mid-Life Crisis Career Changer

    A couple years ago I decided that I was tired of sitting behind a desk, tired of collecting records and shuffling paper, and tired of being what I was. I think it’s common for people to hit the middle of their life and be unsatisfied or want more. They get new cars or new partners or change careers. I upended my world by deciding to change careers, get married to an Englishman, buy an electric car, and adopt a bluetick coonhound. Yep, closing in on 50, I feel a whole lot better! … And sleep-deprived. For my new career, I decided to follow my dream of teaching. Not just any…

  • From the Classroom,  Substitute Teaching

    Continuing Adventures

    I’ve been working as a substitute teacher for about a month now and have decided that I am NOT cut out for the younger grades. Cute, sure. Funny, yes. But I can’t even with the hitting and whining and crying. I’ve had the chance to work with all ages now from high school seniors to first-graders. I’ve been in affluent schools and lower SES area schools. Other than the fact that I prefer older students, I haven’t narrowed it down at all! I would love an ELA resource room or an Austism or Behavior Cluster. Yet, I’m also in love with older students…say ten to twelve year olds in a…

  • From the Classroom,  Musings,  Student Teaching

    Moving On

    This past Friday was my last day with the 3rd graders. They tried really hard to convince me to stay, but it wasn’t up to us. All good things must come to an end, and we move on. I will miss them though. They were good kids. I spent the final week exploring other grade levels and situations. I was able to visit three Special Ed clusters known as “the behavior units.” The students there, for whatever reason, do not play well with others. They still deserve kind, caring adults and an education. They need to be able to read, even if they can’t control their tempers. Cute kids all…

  • From the Classroom,  Student Teaching,  Substitute Teaching

    And Stop!

    I’ve done it! I stand on the cusp of completing my education degree. It has been an amazing journey. Favorite moments will forever include the science experiment where I spent a month waiting for a couple buckets of dirt to dry. I am graduating in the midst of a pandemic, in the middle of a school year like no other. I have had a couple job interviews, but I decided to spend some time honing my classroom management skills by signing up to substitute. Later this spring, the plan is for me to take over a class whilst a teacher goes out on maternity leave. The list of people who…

  • From the Classroom,  Student Teaching

    Elementary Teachers Rock!

    During this pandemic, so many parents have learned how hard it is to teach their child, never mind trying to teach a whole classroom full! My lesson, as a student teacher, is that elementary level teachers are the most insanely amazing workers. They are generalists who build upon the work of one another in coordinated teams who are constantly bouncing ideas off one another. Their goal is to bring out the best in every single student they see. I’ve been working as an elementary teacher for … well, seemingly forever, but probably about three weeks…maybe four. The days are a blur and so are the weeks and weekends. I am…

  • From the Classroom,  Musings,  Student Teaching

    Second Placement

    Soo, it’s been a while. 🙂 I finished my placement at the middle school and I have to say I miss them terribly! I adored the ninth-graders who had given up on school and being smart and I hope with all my heart that they will keep trying and remember that life does get better. They mean the world to me. I will sorely miss the seventh-graders who tried so hard and worked so much. We will always have Brooklyn! Most of all, I miss my host teacher. She is amazing and I will be forever grateful for her words of wisdom and advice. (Even the advice I didn’t follow!)…

  • From the Classroom,  Student Teaching

    When do we Go Home?

    It’s been nearly a month of in-person classes. The coronavirus is spreading through the communities. Schools are losing students and teachers to COVID. The students are good at keeping their masks on for the most part, but they eat and drink on campus. They take their masks off. As teachers, we take our masks off. The virus is airborne. It’s honestly only a matter of time before someone comes into contact with the virus with their mask off and becomes infected. There are spiking cases this week…almost right on time with several private guesses I’ve heard. I predicted schools would stay open into October…not because there were no cases but…

  • From the Classroom,  Student Teaching

    Two Weeks In

    Today I sit at the start my third week student teaching. Here is what I have learned about myself and others. First, I ADORE teaching! There are hard days, there are frustrating children, and there are some bitter, worn-out co-workers (not in my department, mind). However, this is truly the best job. Each day is new and each child is a unique glimpse in how the world works. In Special Education, some children work so hard and try so hard that it is inspiring. They struggle to make sense of what many “get” easily. However, because it is so hard, there are also children who have given up long ago.…

  • Student Teaching

    First Placement

    Life is an inevitable parade of trials, tests, and obstacles to overcome. They are simple and complex all rolled into one. I have my first student-teaching assignment finalized and ready to go Monday. A middle school resource room veteran teacher has agreed to let me join her class for 8 weeks. I start by just getting a feel for things then slowly take on more and more responsibility until I’m teaching the class myself, while she just sits and watches. I am terrified. I keep reading about all the things I’m supposed to do and I’m overwhelmed by all of that. Trying to think how I’m going to do all…

  • Student Teaching

    T-Minus Two Weeks

    It’s just over two weeks until I join the experiment that is opening schools with an out-of-control pandemic comfortably settled in the community. I do not think this is wise but I also feel like I have no choice in the matter. People I would NEVER follow into battle are using their coercive power to force me and countless other teachers and students into crowded classrooms. We will wear masks and wash hands and social distance as much as possible, but we will not be safe. My prediction: Back into lockdown by October. My goal: not dying. I don’t know how much learning on the job I’ll be doing with…

  • Musings

    Get Thee into a Classroom!

    It hit me the other day just how little regard our society has for teachers. Here we are in the midst of a pandemic and our political leaders are forcing everyone to go back to school. “Kid’s don’t get it [COVID-19],” “They don’t die from it,” and “All the other countries are doing it!” [insert tired child whining at the store here.] Oh, good. The children don’t get it. … But their families do and their teachers do. You know, the people that do die from it. I find myself with two options at this point: go into the classrooms with the rest of the teachers or sit out the…