Tag Archives: school

a rollercoaster week


Well, it’s been a rollercoaster week being back at work, and not the good kind of rollercoaster (like this one below) either.

I very much enjoy setting my classroom up for the year and transforming my white concrete box of a room into a fun, colorful, and interesting place to be.  I really like meeting my new students and their families.  I can even get behind making up lesson plans and vocabulary lists.

On the other hand, I abhor meetings, particularly ones in which we are told “you are great– you are not doing your job– we are proud of you– you are pathetic– you deserve lots of money– you will not get a cost-of-living increase for the 3rd consecutive year– family is the most important thing– don’t take a day off because that costs us money…” etc.  We get stuck in these meetings pretty frequently.

The bosses are all about numbers and money and charts and graphs (this is not new).  They think that a child’s learning can and should be measured by a test.   Indeed, they imply that anything that cannot be measured by a test should not be done in a classroom.   

I, on the other hand, am all about children and personalities and fun and loving literature and making memories.  I use tests, but only as a small part of a much larger whole.  I feel that reducing children (or anyone, for that matter) to merely a data point is deeply disrespectful of their unique humanity.  I care that all of my children learn that literature can be fun and that they can express themselves through words.  I don’t care about the “lowest 25% making 10% gains if they are economically disadvantaged” [I kid you not.  What does that even MEAN?!].  Needless to say, this puts me at odds with the powers-that-be. 

My other complaint about the data analysis that the bosses ask us to do continually is that I (and many others) are not “numbers people.”  Numbers intimidate me.  No offense meant to the lovely people who are mathletic, but I’m not.    Handing me a chart is all well and good, but I’m frankly never going to use it because it doesn’t compute in my brain.  I would far rather be given words to look at, as they make sense to my mind.   Write me a book for each class, detailing the children’s personalities, needs, wants, family life, abilities, learning styles, special needs, strengths, interests, etc– complete with table of contents, a detailed index, and room for notes.  THAT would be helpful to me.  But NO.  We have to look at numbers.  When did matematicians take over the world?  And how do we get them to stop? 

 Thus, the rollercoaster that was my week.  I’m happy the weekend is here. 

Oh– by the way– it is Saturday.  Check out my new library loot on the sidebar.

back to work


Hi, folks!

Well, our first teacher work day was today.  It was a good day, but I’m quite tired.  Thank you to my lovely English department colleagues, who chose not to kill the messenger (me).  I do appreciate it.   

With the advent of the school year, my little summer blog project should be over, but I’ve met so many very nice people and gotten such lovely encouragement from you all, that I intend to continue blogging this year.  However, given my level of work commitment, my entries may be few and far between.  Know that I’m still here, though, and if you leave me a comment, I’ll still see it.  🙂

The last book I read during summer vacation was “Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.”  That’ll be the next book up for review– maybe this weekend?  It was a good one. 

So, thank you and good night.

episode 2 book graffiti for Ulysses


This episode of Ulysses begins with Stephen Daedalus teaching in a classroom.  As a 7th grade teacher myself, several of these paragraphs sounded oh-so-familiar.  Here are a few of my sillier margin remarks.

“The boy’s blank face asked the blank window”– yes, I’ve done a bit of that myself

“I know, sir.  Ask me, sir, Comyn said”– rotten little brown-noser

“In a moment they will laugh more loudly, aware of my lack of rule”– see Up the Down Staircase!

“He recited jerks of verse with odd glances at the text”– welcome to reading aloud in every middle school

“floated out into the studious silence of the library”– uh oh… count the shadows! (Doctor Who)

count the shadows!

count the shadows in the silent library!

“sheltered from the sin of Paris”– wasn’t that WHY he chose Paris in the first place?

“He stood up and gave a shout of nervous laughter to which their cries echoed dismay” — ah, he’s the weird teacher

“Can you do them yourself? Stephen asked. / No, sir”— poor boy, math is hard for us all

“a fox, red reek of rapine in his fur” — huh? where did Fox in Socks come from?

“The sum was done. / It is very simple, Stephen said as he stood up”– way to make the kid feel worse!

Are you up for more?  Click here for part 2 of section 2.