A Family Hero

A Family Hero

In my 8th grade language arts classes a few years ago, we used to write essays on the topic, “What defines a hero?”  Students spent all quarter studying all different types of heroes, and from those various texts, they had to come up with their own definition of heroism.  Year after year, we almost always came to the conclusion that a hero is someone who puts others before themselves.  This might mean someone in a position to physically save lives, like a police officer or a doctor.  Or it might…

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Why We Cancelled Our Family Vacation

Why We Cancelled Our Family Vacation

I’m supposed to be camping in the mountains right now.  Did I tell you about that?  Back in March, Chris and I decided that it would be super fun to take the family camping just outside of Gatlinburg the first week of summer vacation.  For several weeks, I pinned every Pinterest pin possible (say that five times fast) about what to do with kids in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  I even came up with a little schedule for our vacation. And then May and June happened. I don’t know about you,…

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Purging My Schedule

Purging My Schedule

The other day at lunch, I ran up to the grocery store near my school to pick up a few things for an ice cream party I was throwing some of my students.  At the grocery store, I ran into a teacher that I used to teach with.  She has kids my own kids’ ages, and she quit teaching last year to stay home with them for a while.  I asked her how she was doing and what she was getting herself into these days. “Nothing,” she said.  “I gave…

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The Magic of Teaching

The Magic of Teaching

This past Friday was our school’s 8th grade Gradventure to Universal Studios.  Did you have a class trip when you were in 8th grade?  Yeah, I didn’t either.  These kids don’t know how good they have it.  Why, in my day, we carried pagers and walked to school both ways uphill in the blazing Florida heat. But today, kids get to leave school on a big fancy tour bus and go play at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure from 3:00 in the afternoon until 1:00 in the morning. Which…

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Talking to Middle Schoolers

Talking to Middle Schoolers

Here’s what I love about middle schoolers.  They, like me, don’t like small talk.  Not at all.  So sometimes, when adults try to talk to them about school or sports or something generic, middle school students just won’t participate in the conversation.  And, let’s face it.  Most adults would probably prefer not to participate in small talk, either.  It’s just that we are mature enough to know we have to suffer through it sometimes.  But middle school kids are like, “That’s stupid.  I’m not going to talk about that.”  And…

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My Blooming Husband

My Blooming Husband

Last week, Chris was in tech rehearsals almost every night, which means he didn’t get home until about 11:00.  And I was fighting a cold, so I was going to bed when the kids did around 8:00 every night.  Chris and I basically saw each other over breakfast in the mornings, and that was about it. (Have I mentioned how much I hate tech weeks?) On Thursday night, I was finally feeling a little better, so I stayed up late to see him when he got home.  We sat in the…

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Like Wifi

Like Wifi

The other day, I was singing loudly during one of my classes.  This is not an infrequent occurrence, by the way.  I sing and dance often in my classes.  My students are used to it by now.  They just roll their eyes and continue working until I sing myself out.  Sometimes I make up songs about activities we are doing in class, sometimes I sing Disney princess songs (Gracie’s fault), and sometimes – when they are REALLY good and deserve a treat – I rap for them. I submit the…

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Middle School Boys

Middle School Boys

I teach 8th grade.  You need to know this before reading the rest of this story. Now that the scene is set, let’s enter my classroom.  It’s 7th period and the bell has just rung to end the school day.  And I am so glad because my 7th period class is full of middle school boys.  And not the fun ones.  It’s full of those little turds who just annoy you to annoy you.  All day I dread my 7th period. So, yesterday, the bell rang and that familiar feeling…

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The Voices Inside My Teacher Brain

The Voices Inside My Teacher Brain

Sometimes when I tell people that I am a middle school teacher, they give me these horrified looks and say something like, “Are you INSANE?”  And I usually just laugh and say something like, “I know, I know.  But it’s easier to teach them than to raise them…” or something generic like that. Coming back after a two-week winter break, though, I’ve been asking myself that same question this week.  ARE YOU INSANE?!?! My dad used to say that raising girls was like being pecked to death slowly by ducks.  I’m…

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All Good Things Come to an End

All Good Things Come to an End

Last week was my first week back at school.  Boooooooo!!!!!!  Hisssssssssss!!!!!  Students don’t come back to school until August 18, but we had to go back early for a two week training and then our regular pre-planning the week of August 11.  It’s just no fair, I tell you! I spent all last week teaching other teachers about digital technology in the classroom.  My master’s degree was in Educational Leadership and my focus area was in technology in education, so digital curriculum is a passion of mine.  I’ve been lucky…

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