Hello, Summer!

Hello, Summer!

Today was the last day of school for our family.  Hallelujah!  I woke up super early just so I could have time to get these pictures taken, which involves scouring all my computer files to locate the little signs that I have used for the past few years.  Can you see the 2015-2016 year on them?  I tried to mark it out with a gray marker this morning because who has time for Photoshop (and also because I don’t know how to use Photoshop… Summer goal:  learn how to use…

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Endings and Beginnings

Endings and Beginnings

I always get nostalgic at the end of the school year.  For my own babies, it marks the passing of time and growth, which to a parent is bittersweet.  I’m so proud of how my kids have grown and changed over the past year in school.  Bean has tested boundaries and pushed himself when his best wasn’t good enough, and he’s learned throughout those processes that growing up is sometimes about more than just having a later bedtime.  He’s learned to work hard for things he really wants and he’s…

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Teacher Friends Are the Best Friends

Teacher Friends Are the Best Friends

I’m not usually one to put teaching above any other profession.  Every job is different and taxing in complete unique ways.  If I stood in your shoes, I might not make it until lunch on a regular work day.  If you stood in mine, you may murder a teenager before 2nd period ended.  To each their own.  But, let me tell you, I would put teaching up against any job as being one of the most exhausting career paths. We plan lessons and track data, of course.  But the real…

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ClassMax is Live!

ClassMax is Live!

You. Guys. I know I have been a terrible blogger lately (you should see what kind of mother I have been… Oy…), but the first phase of launching our new digital classroom management app went live yesterday!  We have spent the past few months working with our ClassMax team to create not only an app, but a web component, as well.  The app will be ready to launch in a beta test later in April, and will be fully launched for purchase in late July/early August, just in time for…

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Small Goodnesses

Small Goodnesses

Last week, I was hurrying through my 6th period class, counting the minutes until the bell would ring after 7th period.  It had been a long day of teaching argumentative writing to 14 and 15-year-olds who argued expertly with me all day that they didn’t really NEED to know how to write essays.  I was ready for my pajamas and maybe a Girl Scout cookie… or 12. I had been walking around my 6th period class for the past forty-five minutes, attempting to control a classroom of low-performing, high-energy students…

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End of Year Teacher Gift Idea

End of Year Teacher Gift Idea

For once in my life, I am ROCKING the end of the school year.  I’m teaching a unit right now that I taught at this same time last year, so planning each day has been a piece of cake.  My lessons are basically prepackaged and ready to go, which is heaven to any teacher.  I’ve already started to take down my classroom little by little, removing a poster here, a decoration there.   I even went ahead and had some things laminated for next school year so that I don’t…

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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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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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Confession: Sometimes I Suck at Life

Confession: Sometimes I Suck at Life

The last two weeks for me have been some of the busiest of the year.  Not only have my own children begun their end of the school year activities (our daycare uses a school calendar, and so their curriculum goes up until the end of school in June, too), but my own school where I teach have started their own end of year activities. Though I am not required to participate in any of my school activities beyond teaching, I love getting to hang out with my students at the…

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Advice from a Teacher

Advice from a Teacher

I get asked a lot of questions about my job. I teach 8th grade language arts, and I absolutely love it. Most of the questions I get are from parents of middle school students who want to know how they can help teachers help their students. As a teacher, I will admit that parents are often left out of the loop when it comes to educating their children on a day-to-day basis. It’s certainly not an intentional thing, but with over 130 students, it can be challenging for teachers (especially…

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