Motivational Monday: Middle School Style

Sometimes as a teacher you are lucky enough to be able to witness the purest and simplest acts of kindness from one student to another and in that moment the reasons that often take you down the road...why am I teacher...fade away and you want nothing more than to share the story with anyone who will listen.

I feel like this story should start with this preface: the last group of students we pushed out the double doors said goodbye to in June was a rough class. I loved them but they needed all the love in the world and then some. They celebrated when students got hurt in 'school yard fights', wore badges of honor for each teacher who didn't return and were the type of group that was so focused on themselves they didn't care who they pushed down or stepped on to get to the 'top.' Don't get me wrong they weren't all like that but it was very much the feel of the entire class as a whole. So for me random acts of kindness were so few and far between that they had me crying silent tears about what the future holds for them. 

But this year, this year my students are so insanely different it would be like comparing lions to bunnies. We have of course had our share of fights but the overall feel of the school is camaraderie and not the set of Dangerous Minds...too far?!?

Which leads me to tonight's story...

Every football game day the football players and cheerleaders are required to dress up, the boys wear a collared shirt and tie and look so dashingly professional that I wish that was the dress code everyday. Given our population, title one inner city school, you can imagine there are quite a few students whose parents either can't afford or won't purchase 'dress' clothes for their sons. If their not dressed up, they don't play that night. Period. Our communities in schools(CIS) office does a good job of stocking dress clothes for the boys with the highest needs.

Our first football game rolled around in September and at morning duty I was blown away by how seriously this group of boys took the game day rule: suspenders, brief cases, freshly starched shirts...

I made it back in for first period, my first time having a first period ever, and in walked multiple half put together or not even closely put together football players. 

One girl simply started tying ties and tucking down collars of all the boys to help them out. Another put down his briefcase and informed me that each football player needed to head to CIS for clothes. I of course followed directions, he had a briefcase, and one by one players came back some what put together.

One of our taller boys came back with pants two sizes too large and about a foot too short, another boy in class offered up his belt so the students pants would stay up.

But one of my favorite 8th grade students was just too large for anything that CIS had to offer, so dejectedly he said he didn't care to play anyways. No one in the room believed him, they spent the rest of the day asking around to teachers and other students to locate him a shirt and pants. And by the end of the day he was dressed per coaches standards due to a 7th grade teacher but mostly due to the power of the group of my first period students who wouldn't let him sit the first game out.

So began the tradition of getting every football player properly put together during my first period class this semester, and I can promise I haven't lifted a finger just sat back and given them the time and space to help each other succeed. And as we approach our last playoff game tomorrow evening I plan on cherishing first period tomorrow and enjoying those little moments of kindness. 

Sure bell to bell instruction is important and they should probably be getting ready at home but life isn't black and white and there is a bigger lesson to be had here, a lesson on how to treat your fellow man. And if I were to give them a grade on that they would be acing my class. Hands down. 

A Day In The Life of a Teacher

Well hello there.

It's been a bit and I could go on and on about being 'busy' but really that's boring. Because frankly my dear, life has been pretty darn boring lately. Chaotic but nothing all that blog worthy. Or perhaps its that life has been so busy that boring doesn't rank high enough to open up this blog and put down my mess of babbles for the world to read.

Over the summer I did a little blog post on a day in the life of a teacher during the summer so I thought I would turn it around for what life looks for a teacher during the school year. Scratch that, the first three months of a school year. 

Monday - Friday:

5:00-5:30 the alarm goes off...let's be real there are at least four alarms and the mister generally is ready to smother me.

5:00-7:00 I attempt to pull myself together which consists of: shower, blow dry, warm lemon water, blog reading, spark, make up/hair and the deep venture into my closet to put together the perfect outfit. And then a few dozen selfies that go to die on my phone. Make my morning smoothie, pack my lunch and become the pack mule and haul it all out to the car to deal with traffic. 

7:00-7:30 Is the three mile drive to work, some days it will take ten or so minutes and other days I get stuck behind a bus that loads nearly fifty elementary students across the street and I want to pull my hairs out one by one.

7:30-7:45 I unpack my bags, set up my powerpoint slides for my day and get everything ready for the day. I try to squeeze in a restroom break considering those are pretty much like golden tickets that aren't given out nearly enough this semester.

7:45-8:03 Morning duty. This morning it literally consisted of watching six grade girls twerk on the football field...or drop it like its hot but not sure that's a real dance move. Stopping a boy from squeezing his water bottle on people like he was jerking off and then stopping a boy from corn dogging other boys. So loads of fun!

8:03-1:50 I teach 180 students in Web Design, Career Tech and Robotics in six different classes with preps that never are back to back.

I do get a nice little 20 minute lunch around 12 but for the most part I just enjoy using the is so last year.

1:50-2:42 We have my designated PLC time basically a time for staff to be trained on various amazing and informative topics such as epipens, seizures and fire safety. Basically a time for me to sign my life away for any and every major event that could possible happen in my classroom. I am totally prepared for any and everything...your glorified boys scout essentially minus the really cool patches.

2:42-3:34 I get to plan lessons, grades, answer parent emails, meet with my mentee, plan PBIS stuff, plan SEL stuff and every other admin thing that could possible come up...conquering the world one email at a time.

3:34-3:45 Afternoon duty...aka...the one and only time I look at my phone all day.

3:45-4:30 Catch up on all that stuff I didn't accomplish in the lovely 48 minutes I am provided...or sit there in a motionless coma thinking I am conquering things but really I am asleep. Tuesdays I stay until 5:30 with Robotics club and every Thursdays we have staff meetings until 5:30.

4:30-6:00 Home. Complete whatever workout the Blogilates app tells me to...the best 99 cents I have ever paid for a gym membership.

6:00-8:00 Cook dinner. Shower. Take care of whatever household items that warrant my attention, you know to keep the house from caving in around us.

8:00-10:00 Watch a few shows with the mister and then I crash.

Sleep. And then repeat to make a difference the next day...or survive. Potato Potato.

Hence why I have been a little MIA lately. Not that I am complaining I have a job that most days I enjoy but there is something about this schedule that makes me feel like I am basically in the weeds for the majority of the day. 

Does this mean that I am back, maybe. Does this mean that I will start posting regularly again, probably not. So what does this mean...I have missed this little space and of course all of you so I want to try and carve out a little more time for blogging as the semester finally starts to even out. 

But honestly I wouldn't hold your breath...