You’re Stuck Here!

can i go

I offer my students a generous two emergency passes per year, one per semester. Any more than two passes is an invitation to the dark side of all manner of evil. Some teachers don’t let their students leave at all. I remind students of this when they complain about my policy.

Childhood Wonder

whatever

APOLOGY: There was an error in the earlier post of today’s comic. Please excuse this second corrected post.

As students get older, it gets increasingly difficult to attract — and maintain — their attention. This is why I keep my mini-lessons under five minutes. This is also why a ten-minute YouTube video takes forever to watch, and why cooking something for two minutes in the microwave seems like an hour.

It’s Good To Be On Vacation!

week before vacation

This is what we were dealing with last week…now, everyone is happy to be on vacation. Except maybe parents who aren’t used to being around their children all day. 🙂

Help Grading Papers

daughter graded papers

Do you ever enlist family members to help you grade papers? If you have any work to catch up on over Christmas break, you might consider it. We would like to wish all of our friends a very merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy new year full of smiles and laughter.

Were You Talking to Me?

lecture lcture lecture 

Have you ever spent time reaching out to a student to show you care, and told him all about your life in hopes of teaching him some lesson through your mistakes that might help him in his own life, only to have him take out his earbuds indicating that he had not heard a word you said? Me, either. Boy, that would be embarrassing…

21st Century Skills

cell phones

I hope the new emphasis on 21st century skills (cell phones, smart phones) doesn’t completely eliminate the need for 20th century skills like paying attention, listening, and doing work.

I Didn’t Get a Test!

didnt get a test

Don’t you hate when kids do this? I think some do it to avoid the work, but others just don’t seem to know any better.

The funniest is when you ask, like, ten times: “Did everyone get a test?”

“Did everyone get an answer sheet?”

“Does anyone need a test?”

“Does anyone need a pencil?”

“Any questions?”

“Does anyone need anything else to begin? OK, let’s get started…”

Then they complain that they don’t have enough time to do the test. And they blame YOU.

It May Help to Remember This…

little attention

These last three weeks before Christmas break can be a trying and stressful time. When students are acting out and getting on your nerves, just remember that they are still just children. I know they don’t seem like children sometimes because they appear so big and adult-like, but that is just their hard shell. Inside this tough, outer exterior is a soft filling. If you don’t believe me, bring in small prizes to give out: little keychains, small Happy Meal-type toys, candy, whatever…and see the excitement in their eyes when you show them. Or announce that you will be playing a game to review for a test, play some music, or take them outside the classroom for the day. They won’t be able to contain their gleeful joy. Because they are children. And children need attention. If they don’t get it, then you have a disaster on your hands for three weeks. Invest in a little attention and show your kids you care…and they might, too. 🙂 Good luck!

Special Guest Cartoonist Today

moms work

It may be a little hard to read but the dialogue reads like this:

Teacher: “Go back to your seat!”

“Some Kid”: “No, Ms. C.!!!”

Teacher: “NOW!!!”

My 6 year-old daughter drew this comic to illustrate the stories I tell her about my students. I think she will be a better artist than me as she seems to understand the complexities of relationships and the humor of the situations. 🙂

Blonde is only one syllable.

blonde syllables

OK, I admit that poetic meter is probably something that students aren’t as excited about as their English teachers. But they do try to understand and often will write surprisingly good poems when they apply the knowledge they learned in class. I’m not sure what will become of poetry writing with the new Common Core standards, but it was fun while it lasted. Most days. Maybe not most days, probably some days. Well, at least one or two days…