If you’re a teacher…

…then you understand how what happened when I got home is a perfect way to describe my week, the week before Spring Break: My puppy has this new game of yelping to get inside but running away when I open the door. He only does this after I finally get comfortable on the couch and…

Again.

I started writing this weeks ago. Another of our former students, “Larry,” was killed. His funeral was way before Halloween and I am still having difficulty putting my feelings into words. This one I knew quite well. And so I was surprised when it took days for me to have an emotional response to his…

Drinking while Reading

Teachers give themselves homework. Sometimes it’s just to have fun, but often it should probably be classified as research. This is the latter category. I’ve worked with teenagers a long time. I’ve seen them grow into productive citizens despite traumatic or abusive childhoods. I’ve also known them to commit terrible crimes before, during, and after…

Teaching is hard.

One of my students was killed yesterday morning. Since I found out, I’ve been thrashing back and forth through several stages of grief. Mixed with that is this overwhelming sadness and strange desire to justify not being sad. Why? Because I did not know him for very long. Because I did not always appreciate his…

I don’t want to be armed

I’m going to go out on a limb here — if the United States actually put money into schools for classroom supplies, support staff (like para-educators, mentors, security officers), counseling, therapy, mentoring, clubs, parenting classes, childcare for teen parents, anger management programs, multiple alternative education options (including adult classes, classes for those suspended etc), anti-gang…

Drinking while Reading

It’s mid September, I keep reminding myself. Mid September, but I feel like yesterday was the first day of school. The last month has flown by… one could say that this year is already kicking my ass, but I feel great! I love my classes, I don’t feel like it’s too much. I’m just busy!…

The best analogy

If you’re a parent or a teacher (like me), then you know this is conference season. Our school’s were yesterday and today. Each year, my conferences are punctuated by some kind of poignant or hilarious moment. Today’s was interrupted by the fire alarm being pulled (yep, totally had to evacuate the school and stand out in…

Of Mice and Men

Tomorrow we’re reading chapter 6 of “Of Mice and Men.” If you know what that means, then you know how my class will feel come mid-morning. I chose Of Mice and Men because I convinced myself of two things: that I’d read the book before and that I’d taught the book before. A few weeks…

Red Head Problems

Student: Miss, are you Irish? Me: Um, maybe a little… Student: OK (and goes back to reading whatever he had pulled up on the internet). Me: Why do you ask? Student: Because of your hair. Me: Sweetie, this is not my natural color… Student: Really?! Me: Featured Image Credit: a selfie I had to take,…