• school,  students,  teacher,  teaching,  throwback thursday,  velociraptor

    Throwback Thursday

    For today’s blog post, I’m going to do something a little different. I’ve been working on editing various chapters of my teacher book – since I’m going to a writer’s conference next week – and came across a gem of a chapter (well, okay, gem might be stretching it) that I haven’t looked at in years. And, yes, I know it still needs some editing. It was probably the very first chapter I wrote when I began this process. So today, I am going to share this very first chapter with you. It’s a throwback to when I started this project and a throwback to my first year of teaching,…

  • end of school year,  end of year,  remember,  smiles,  students,  teacher

    Counting Down the Mondays With the Four R’s: Week 2

    I know, I know…it’s Tuesday, not Monday. What am I playing at? Why on Earth would I post Week 2 of a Monday blog series on a Tuesday? Well, it’s because I ran out of time. I started my new part-time job at the animal shelter yesterday and did two adoption events over the weekend so I just flat ran out of time. But I’m here today with the second R in our series: Remember.At this time of year, as the days of summer are looming, it is important to take time to remember the good things that happened this year. It’s easy as educators to get focused on the negative…

  • #starringthesixers,  classroom management,  discipline,  end of school year,  new teacher,  sixth grade,  sixth graders,  student discipline,  student engagement,  students,  summer,  talk the talk,  teacher

    Counting Down the Mondays With the Four R’s

    If you are like me, you are counting down the number of Mondays until the end of the school year. You may not know exactly how many days are left in total but boy, oh boy, do you know how many more times you have to set your alarm clock on a Sunday night.In my district, there are four more Mondays. Granted, just three of those days include students (the last is a Teacher Workday/Exchange Day) but all four include setting the alarm clock and hitting the snooze button at least once in the morning.Therefore, as we wrap up this school year, I thought I’d give some advice for teachers as they’re…

  • #starringthesixers,  academics,  goals,  sixth graders,  standardized test,  summer,  teacher,  teachers,  testing

    It’s Testing Season!

    I am pretty darn sure that no teacher ever said the above words in relation to standardized testing. Standardized test days are not typically considered to be fun. They’re tedious and long and stressful. These tests can take up to 3 or 4 hours, during which all students have to remain quiet. It’s quite the opposite of fun.At my school (and I’m pretty sure this is relatively standard across the board) being in a testing environment means teachers have to be constantly, actively monitoring. No cell phone, no computer, no sitting in one corner of the room reading a book when you’re out of sight of the window. Just three or…

  • #starringthesixers,  academics,  classroom,  mdidle ages,  projects,  sixth grade,  student engagement,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Monitor and Adjust!

    As teachers, we are always having to monitor and adjust. Sometimes, you have to change your lesson plan from one class to the next and sometimes you have to totally scrap an idea and go with something totally different. And, of course, there’s always that day when all technology fails and you have to resort to worksheets and textbooks. You always have to be ready to change on a moment’s notice! Sometimes, a brilliant idea turns out to be not so brilliant and you monitor and adjust for next year. This is what happened to me these past couple of weeks. I planned an awesome project for the Middle Ages. Students…

  • #starringthesixers,  back to school,  books,  classroom,  librarian,  literacy,  marshall,  marshall university,  media specialist,  reading,  teacher,  teaching

    Looking Ahead to Next Stages

    I think that, in life, it’s important to find your passion. It just doesn’t make sense to me to go through life doing something you don’t enjoy. Why be miserable when you can be happy? Now, I do understand that some people, through circumstances or choices or whatever, are not able to live their passion in their job but I have always thought that it is important to be happy at what you do. I enjoy my job (most days). I love who I work with and I love who I work for. On most days, I even love every single one of my students, except maybe when they’re screaming…

  • #starringthesixers,  day in the life,  rabbit,  trashcan

    A Day in the Non-Teacher Life of…Me!

    Okay, so this is me. Well, me from a few years ago. I still look basically the same, though. Today’s blog post is about a day in the life of non-teacher me. Crazy things happen to me at school with my students and Beta and the copier but sometimes life outside of work is just as ridiculous. I had the craziest day yesterday and I am going to share it with you! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to give me money…well, maybe not that last part. But I promise you’ll enjoy it so let’s go! Yesterday, I was going to leave early for school. I was covering another teacher’s…

  • #starringthesixers,  academics,  classroom,  classroom management,  sixth grade,  student discipline,  student engagement,  students,  teacher

    Your Thoughts on Class Size…

    Class size seems to be a hot button topic these days, or at least it is in South Carolina. It seems everywhere I turn on Facebook, someone is posting about class sizes being large and how they are only getting more students and how are they supposed to teach a class of 33? I feel their pain. My classes range in size from 23 to 33 and it’s amazing what you can get done with just 23 kids that you can’t with 33. I’ve heard some politicians say that large class sizes are a good thing for educators.I laughed out loud at that one.Let me tell you what goes on in…

  • #starringthesixers,  classroom,  sick day,  sixth grade,  students,  substitute,  substitute teacher,  teacher,  teaching

    Sick Days are Never Just Sick Days

    There are very few times when I’m envious of a cubicle, 9-to-5 job. One of those times is the ability to use the bathroom whenever you want. There’s nothing like being halfway through a class period, facing a bunch of sixth graders, and having to go to the bathroom like nobody’s business. No amount of thinking “you don’t really have to go, it’s just 30 more minutes, you can do it” can stem that tide. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to pop up from your desk when Nature calls and go to the bathroom? Ah…office job perks.The one other major time that I wish for that office…

  • #starringthesixers,  bad kids,  classroom,  classroom management,  classroom procedures,  procedures,  sixth grade,  student discipline,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Positive Training

    I have been struggling for some time with my fourth-period class in particular. Their behavior is usually awful, they’re chatty, and they don’t seem to care one iota about consequences. Lately, it seems like every time I turn my back to advance the PowerPoint slide or grab the worksheets or whatever, at least half the class starts to chat.So last Tuesday, instead of doing the regular “if I write your name down that’s a warning and if you get a check that’s a consequence” I decided to reward the good kids. At the start of the period, I wrote everyone’s name on the board. Throughout the period, I drew blue…