Posts Tagged ‘education’

Homecoming Spirit Week Contest!

It was spirit week this week and the Homecoming theme was HOLLYWOOD! I’ve included pictures of me all dressed up and thought it would be fun for you to guess what the spirit week days were.

Have fun!

Day One.

We even danced to The Lion King

 Day Two.


Day Three.

Those tights have sturrups on the bottom and are authentic '80s.

Day Four.

Ta da!

Day Five.

Yes, that's purple eye shadow.

Time to start guessing!


Ms Frizzle In The News!

I am so thrilled to let you know that Just Call Me Ms Frizzle was just honored as one of the Top 50 Science Teacher Blogs!

Teacher Certification Degrees, the website sponsoring the list has great resources for aspiring teachers. Resources include information regarding teaching degrees, state certification, education related careers, and other helpful tools!

Check out the other 49 recognized blogs as well and enjoy the summer!

Highlights: Homer Hickam

Several months ago I showed my 9th grade students October Sky. As a quick end-of-class assignment, I had them write Homer Hickam letters expressing their personal reaction to his story.

I expected a few fluffy sentences finished with, “thanks for making your movie” type statement.

I received well-crafted, insightful letters expressing their gratitude for knowing Mr Hickam’s story. They could relate to Hickam’s rocky relationship with his father and feeling trapped by a blue-collar community that tends to discourage higher education.

A few weeks ago I finally mailed them and today I received a reply! The letter was from Mr Hickam’s wife, but it included his photograph signed just for us! I cannot wait to get to school tomorrow and share it with my students – now I need to find a special frame to treasure it always :)

Homer Hickam himself!

Will you be at NSTA 2011??

I sure will!!

Last year, several grad school colleagues and I presented research on parent-teacher-student communication via this blog and we were selected to present our findings at the National Conference in San Francisco.

Please feel free to come to our session on Saturday, March 13. More details to come and we will be collecting more data from our new schools…until then, feel free to read our data and conclusions from last year.

See you in March!

Stories from this week 10/28 (revised 11/10)

  • Students explaining what it’s like to be 16 and having emotional ups and downs. If only they could have seen me!
  • “Miss, are you annoyed with us?” Ya think?!
  • Kids owe me quarters when they use inappropriate language, but can sit in another teachers room for 2 minutes if they can’t afford it. The kids prefer the quarters because the other teacher is “scary”. Phil is one of the least scary people I know.
  • My kids don’t believe I’m a first year teacher because I’m better than most of their “old” teachers. Haha.
  • I have better stories than other teachers – my kids think I was a trouble maker after telling them of all that my peers got away with in my 10th grade spanish class (e.g. a kid jumping out the window and going to study hall without getting the teachers attention)…and then they tagged on the wall in washable marker. Just another story to add to the list!

A week and a half ago I was relatively entertained by my students.

Entertainment quickly turned into frustration and maybe a bit of resentment when I realized the energy it takes to be entertained by my 9th graders leaves my husband without dinner and clean clothes. I’ve always known I don’t do well with middle school aged kids (I put 14 year olds in that grouping) and this teaching assignment has only confirmed that.

I feel like it’s important to share my thoughts/ideas via the blog because I know there are other teachers who experience the same emotions (a la my kids got me so angry I was pretty sure I would enjoy staying up all night with a newborn a whole lot more than teaching them!). I am so thankful for my colleagues and mentors who have encouraged me through the last few weeks.

On this side of the situation, I’m doing much better – there are no resignation letters in the works, I promise!

The issue IS NOT:

  • me not caring enough
  • my kids being absolutely horrendous, ugly, evil people
  • being at the wrong school
  • being in the wrong job/profession

The issue IS:

  • I am not suited for (or even have positive feelings about) working with large groups of young teens
  • my goals as a teacher include giving students skills for the “real world” – 14 year olds could care less
  • I am a Physics teacher; I don’t want to do anything but teach Physics!

I will certainly be finishing out the year with my crazy 9th graders, but after this year it’s only Physics for me! It’s just a good reminder of what my limits are and how well I know myself.

For all those teachers who are feeling like they’re not in the right place, I encourage you to talk to people who know you as a teacher and as a human. While friends and colleagues have good intentions, you need to work through a situation like this with people who know the context of your life.

My attitude changed when I set out to find something fun to do – only having school in my life is not good for my stability. Looking forward to seeing how my new hobbies progress!!

Thanks for reading. I hope you might be encouraged!

Why I Blog

I was talking with a teacher-friend today about why I started this blog and why I’ve stuck with it. It all started as a way to catalog all the great resources I was receiving in graduate school in a way that I could easily search and access them once I was in my own classroom. Once my student teaching began, the blog became the ideal place to process my experience and seek help from veteran teachers. Now that I am teaching, I am utilizing my grad school resources and finding it just as important to process my days in writing.

I blog because it gives me a connection to other teachers, it provides an outlet for my thoughts, and it records my experiences so I can read back through them in the future. If you have found any of my posts useful, I’m glad; if you have given me advice and suggestions, thank you(!!); and if you just read to be entertained by my antics, I hope you enjoy them – I am so thankful for technology that allows all of this to happen in one place!

I sometimes wonder why other teachers blog – feel free to share your thoughts…

My First Tears 9/29

Well, it happened. After 5 weeks of good days, today was not so great and my frustration boiled over to tears after the school day was over.

My freshman have been totally disrespectful. I don’t mind students being chatty, but they have been blatantly rude. After speaking with a veteran teacher, I started implementing some new classroom management tools. Only complicating the issue further, homecoming is this Saturday and it’s almost as important as prom here. Needless to say, even my best students are distracted. I’ve just got to figure out how to deal with it until next week.

Physics has been a challenge in an entirely different way. About half of my students are only just taking Algebra II, some are in Trig, and very few are in Calculus. I am actually excited that my kids are not the typical physics kids – I love that they are working hard to learn material that science education culture dictates is only for a certain group of elite students. However, I find myself stuck in that hard place trying to teach students the content dictated by the state when the state has left no wiggle room for students without certain math credits.

My school is only in its second year, so many of the issues we struggle with have to do with students, faculty, and administrators still settling in. The athletic teams are young, so most are not having winning seasons and the students refuse to be proud of a school that can not win. On the other hand, many students are in school because it is safer than home – gangs and drugs are a huge part of their community.

I am definitely not in an impossible situation. I know there is a solution out there; I just haven’t found my “sweet spot” when it comes to classroom management with the younger crowd.

Anywho – it’s spirit week and it’s been a blast:

CrAzY hAiR dAy!

I tried to be Ms Frizzle for nerd day, but the dress didn't quite work out.

Awesome 80s for Blast from the Past Day!

Excited for Super Hero Day tomorrow, homecoming assembly, and the homecoming football game! More to come…