Wednesday, May 18, 2011


So, I don't think I've told you all that I coach the girls soccer team at my school. I thought it was be great because I grew up playing soccer; my life revolved around soccer. I wanted to give the girls similar experiences to what I had. But, then I learned the girls know NOTHING about soccer or the rules of the game. Then, I realized I had to scaffold soccer to the basics.

I Do: This is where you should kick the ball (show them)
We do: Let's kick the ball to our partners (do together)
You do: Kick the ball (on their own)

Imagine that for everything, and after a day of teaching, it drives me mad. It drives me mad because I assumed that 11-13 year olds knew the fundamentals of soccer (I know I should not assume- but it happened). It drives me mad because these 11-13 year olds who don't know the basics then give me attitude when I try to teach them the basics.

But, bless their hearts some of them do try.

Me: Move up Lisa! (Lisa runs up)
Me: Move back Lisa! (Lisa runs back)
This happens throughout the whole game. Afterwards, Lisa comes up to me and asks,
"Why did you keep telling me to move up and back? I was confused the whole time."
Pause. Deep breath.
" The ball kept moving up and back; the ball moves up the field and back down the field; therefore, you have to keep moving up and back."

Rachel: "The girl pushed me!"
Me: "It's a contact sport; push her back"
Rachel: "I don't want to touch her; she might have something!"

Me: "Why are you guys walking?"
Vanessa: "I don't like to run."
Me: "Well, you picked the wrong sport don't you think?!?!"

Love them.
(Most of the time)

Monday, May 9, 2011


Now, I believe that a student with a lot of confidence can go a long way...that being said, a class full of confidence is unstoppable. CST, STAR test, State test, whatever your name is...we're going to destroy you tomorrow, and I even managed to teach the students the love of reading and writing. IMAGINE THAT. I figured that at least they'll have a catchy positive tune in their head for the three hour test :)



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moses strikes again.

I'm beginning to think Moses knows I write a blog on Fridays, so he tried super hard Friday afternoon to be "memorable." Or, he's just a funny kid. Last Friday, my students are working in pairs, and all of a sudden I hear, "Shut up Chris! No one is talking to you." I know it's Moses--his voice is distinct, and he knows (they all know) that I don't allow "Shut Up" to be said in my classroom.

From across the room, I immediately say, "Moses, did you just say something you're not supposed to say?"
Moses replies, "Nope--it wasn't me."
"Are you lying to me, Moses?" I asked.
"Yes." Moses says confidently, and then he corrects himself, "I mean, No- I'm not lying."

But, it's too late, the class is erupting in laughter, and Moses is turning bright red (again). He's quiet until the class is getting ready to leave for the weekend. A couple of students decide to show me the Mother's Day card they had made in homeroom. I tell them they're are nice, but not as nice as the ones my homeroom made. I notice Moses' feelings were a bit hurt, so I tell him I didn't mean what I said.

Moses looks at me and says, "Yeah, uh huh- NOTTTT" as he walks out of class with a sheepish smile.

He's the type of student we all should have: clever, animated, and worth teaching. Here's to more Moses Moments!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tell me how you really feel.

To get everyone participating in class, I sometimes ask the students to show me the numerical answers using their fingers. As most teachers know, it's a quick and efficient way to see which student knows what, which student is paying attention, and which student is in La-La-Land. It's the last 15 minutes of the day; we're going over some test prep strategies (getting ready for the oh-so-important state test that clearly tests students' knowledge) and I say, "On your fingers show me how many paragraphs this passage has." As I survey the room like a lifeguard on beach duty, I see two fingers are popping on each hand as there are two paragraphs in the passage. As I reach the end of my survey of the classroom, I notice Moses flipping me off. He notices; I notice it. He quickly pulls his hand down and starts turning bright red. He slams his head into the desk and under his breath he says, "I'm sooooo sorry- I didn't mean it- It's just habit..I mean...oo man...sorry."

I yell, "Tell me how you really feel next time, Moses!" as he walks out the door with his head drooping. "Please don't tell my mom," he cries back.

Although it was probably unintentional, it's pretty ridiculous what students do on a regular basis. Great way to end a school day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hello Mister Orange

Last Friday was a busy mess. My last period of the day is usually the funniest and the most fun. They're a great bunch of students as a whole. However, this was not the case last Friday. Most of the students were hyper and talkative; I guess, they were ready for the weekend. In that class, there is one student, let's call him, Bobby, who is ADHD. He is supposed to take medicine daily to help him calm down. He didn't take it on Friday.

At first, he came in loud and rocking back and forth. Then, he wouldn't stop talking and walking around the classroom. All these behavior are not typical of medicated Bobby; he's usually calm and composed, quiet and on task. After a couple of redirections, I call him to the front of the room, so that he can be my partner for the rest of the class period. He sits down right next to me and is playing with his orange stress ball, squeezing it rapidly. Next thing I see, he is rolling on the floor. UNBELIEVABLE. Everyone is laughing. He finally gets back into his seat. He looks at me and asks, "Do you want an orange?" as he shows me his stress ball. I say, "No thank you- get back to work please." He then puts the orange stress ball to his ear and says to the ball, "Hello Mister Orange! How are you?"


Friday, April 8, 2011

No words.

The PE teacher was out today, so I volunteered to watch the kids with the PE assistant. Today, they were running the mile, so all I had to do was watch them run lap after lap. As the kids are lining up behind the line as if they were about to start a marathon, I noticed a 7th grade girl watching from the sideline; she was out for her recess. The whistle blows, and my students take off with the boys leading the pack. As they whiz by me, this GIRL runs into the STAMPEDE to talk to one of my boy students. By doing so, she viciously trips three boys. "WHAT IN WORLD WERE YOU THINKING?" I yell at this girl as my students are now rolling on the ground. "What? I was standing here; they ran into me," she replied back with an attitude. "You're joking, right? You ran into a mass crowd of boys...not the smartest thing to do." As she rolls her eyes at me, I tell her to leave and to watch both ways when she crosses the road...JUST IN CASE.
I have NEVER ever seen something so IDIOTIC in my entire life. Who in the world runs into a stampede of any kind? Let alone, 6th grade boys trying to impress every and anyone. I guess she's not the smartest of the bunch.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Be cautious of what you ask for!

It was a Friday morning; I could practically see the weekend. Chris, one student who never fails to amuse me, is playing with something under his desk. Now, normally, I would let it go, but this week alone I'd taken a toy motorcycle, a rubber skateboard, and a handle of tech decks. So, as the rest of the class is working in pairs, I walk over to Chris and ask him softly to give whatever he is playing with to me. He looks up and shakes his head no. I ask again, and he continues to shake his head. "Ok Chris, you're making the choice to give whatever you're playing with to the office instead of me," I say. "I'll give it back at the end of the day," I reaffirm. At this, the student looked like he was about to cry as he extends his hand and releases whatever he is playing with in my hand. I look what he has dropped in my hand, and I almost have a spaz attack. It is a empty condom wrapper (unbelievable--a condom wrapper).

(THOUGHTS TO MYSELF: where in the world did you get this? why in the world do you have this? what did you do with it? where it is? who do i call for these sort of things? It's only 10:00 am, and I still have two more sections to go. Is it 3:00 yet!?!?)

As the rest of the class is getting ready to leave (mass chaos...some of the students are heading to PE, others are heading to math), Chris is trying to slip our of my sight. Students are yelling bye and dropping off their work as they're rushing out the door. "Have a safe weekend," I manage to say. Chris is now slumped in his chair, looking at the ground. Once everyone has left, I walk over to the student while rubbing hand sanitizer over and over again.

Me: "Where did you get this?"
Chris: "It's not mine. It's my cousins. He placed it there last night, I mean Thursday, I mean Friday."
Me: " why didn't you throw it away?"
Chris: "Uh-I forgot it was in there..."
Me: "Really? How is that possible? It was in your pocket. An empty condom wrapper was in your pocket and you forgot about it? I find that hard to believe."
Chris (shrugging his shoulders): "Am I in trouble?"
Me: "I'm concerned. I'm concerned that you had this on you, and I'm concerned that you went to the bathroom for 10 minutes. So, I'm going to take this to the office, and I'm going to call you're Dad. If they want to talk to you, they'll let you know."

As I'm holding open the door, Chris walks out towards the field. I watch him and head back inside my classroom. Moments later, I check back on him, and there is Chris running towards the fence. I swing open the door and yell, "Christopher ____________ you get over here right now! Where do you think you're going?"

We walk to the office, and of course, no one was there. I wrap the condom wrapper in a piece of paper and wrote a sticky note on it that read: Hi, Chris was playing with this in class. His story seems unreliable. Call my room. I left Chris and the "present" with the secretary.

Later that day, I run into my principal, who is practically laughing at me. She says, "At least you know never to ask for anything in your hand!" Thanks...