Showing posts from March, 2013

If you don't want to know my political views, avoid this post

Typically, I try to do a pretty solid job of staying neutral on political and religious topics on Facebook and in general conversation.  I like my friends.  I want to keep them.

Of course, this week, with the DOMA and same-sex marriage cases hitting the supreme court, no one is neutral.  Even those that are "trying" to be neutral, seem to be making a few snide comments about the thoughts of the "other" side. I will grant, some people are Switzerland.  Kudos to them.  Or maybe we've had enough Switzerlands, and it's time to stand up and say what you really think, no matter how unpopular it might be with your friends.

So let me start with this:  I support same-sex marriage.  I would be the worst person to fight against same-sex marriage because I'm horrible at marriage.  Of course, my current husband would probably disagree... but my ex-husband?  Yeah, he'll be the first to tell you that I'm not great at being married.

I had a frie…

Things my students said today... (moments of brilliance)

Today, my students met me with a level of amazement that I haven't seen for a while.  I used to want a Twitter feed called "stuff my students say".  Of course, that took a level of commitment and organization that I couldn't handle.  It also required a Twitter account.

The following are verbatim quotes from students - the first is a bit profane, but I think the profanity actually adds to the irony of the argument.

Student #1
Journal question:  What is one thing you would do to improve the American educational system & why?
Student (arguing outloud):  I'm not going to do this.  This is a stupid question, it's not entertaining and it isn't doing anything to help my education.  You complain that you don't do our work, maybe make the fucking work interesting.  I'm not doing this bullshit.

Later in the day, another group of students was doing a lesson in idioms and metaphors.. 
Explain the following idiom:  The girls were like two peas in a pod

Kid: Ms.…

Sometimes teaching is mind-blowingly weird...

Today, I had the dumbest argument with a student.  I put a two part journal question on the board and made sure to explain that the students had to answer both parts.  My no-exceptions journal requirement is 1/2 page of writing.  (As you read this, remember, I teach high school).

Student:  Does each question need to be half of a page?

Me:  No.  Just 1/2 page total.

Student:  So?  A full page?

Me:  No.  The total you need to write for the two is 1/2 page.

Student:  How about you just tell me how many sentences to write for each question.

Me:  I don't care.  I just need you to write a total of 1/2 of a page.

Student:  So, I need to write a full page? (I thought at this point he was kidding, but he was not)

Me:  No.  Just 1/2 page.  (At this point even other kids are trying to help me)  Is part of this unclear?  I'm not sure what you're missing.  I just need you to write 1/2 of a page.

Student:  Why are you calling me stupid?  Why can't you just tell me what you want??

Me:  I just …

Teaching is not what it used to be...

So, it is Sunday afternoon and I'm a not-so-well-earned break from writing my appellate brief.  To my credit, I have been working for about 90 minutes without distraction.  For me, that's amazing - many days I cannot get through 9 minutes without distraction.

But, I am distracted - back to what I really wanted to talk about.

I have found in the past year that teaching is no longer what it once was.  At least not for me.  We see funny cartoons, like this one:  (

 And this one:

Both of these cartoons make you giggle... you think "ha!  Teaching is tough, but it's not impossible.  I'm sure teachers enjoy what they do."

And you know what, you're right.  Most teachers love teaching.  There are some that don't.  Some teach because they can't think of something else that they would like to do more, or because they cannot secure a job in the field they want.  But, that said, most teachers love teachin…