I’m from New York. Pigeons are common on Long Island. When I’m in the city, they’re like all the other NYC residents. I’m sure somewhere a tourist has been cussed out by a NYC pigeon as it tried to get to the subway.
So when the kids were fascinated by the pigeon that showed up on our lawn it took me a few minutes to realize that it was the first time I’ve seen one since I’ve been here. I don’t know how many times they’d seen a pigeon.
This pigeon, in particular, was docile and people-friendly. And tagged.
At the end of the day we left the pigeon inside with a cracked window, plenty of water in a large shallow dish, food, and newspaper (because maybe our hopes are too high on that one). It seemed to be injured, and we didn’t want any animals — or cruel people — to get to it.
We did a Google search and discovered that the pigeon apparently belongs to someone with the Central Massachusetts Club for homing/racing pigeons. When I got home I spent thirty minutes on the International Federation for Homing Pigeons website trying to decipher it exactly, found the contact information after confirming that it belonged to someone in that club while a documentary on pigeons sounded in the background, and sent off an email.
Things I never thought I would be educating myself on. Now the program has a temporary pet pigeon.
Today's accomplishment was keeping a particular group of girls from physically assaulting one another through the whole of the day.
It took both staff members, watchful eyes, some very conscious seating arrangements with the van, and a land-to-water relay race between the two of us to head off what quickly escalated into a screaming match but never made it to attempted drowning.
These are not young girls, mind. These are teenagers who probably think they could beat me to the ground if they felt like it (and, since I would be likely unallowed to defend myself, get some pretty good damage in).
So this was one heck of an accomplishment today, and I feel like we did pretty darned well.
Ohh. If only I had access to a computer lab or computers for kids to use in my room. They would love this!
Students choose layouts, graphics, and write their own stories — then they can print it out. I would add some of these to my classroom library!
The kids back at my middle school program last year LOVED this. It worked beautifully.
If you can’t do this digitally, it takes a bit of work, but you can show them how to make collage and copy-comics. Cut out word balloons (or find those word balloon stickers for photos) and print out a few pages of sprites or stock photos with people or creatures in different poses or expressions. Students can draw their own characters or backgrounds, too — or you could even have them use stick figures.
You can also photocopy comics with the word balloons whited out — I know quite a few ELL teachers who do this abroad. Then, students write in their own dialogue for what they think is going on.
It isn’t ideal, and in some cases either limits creativity or makes choice too much work for what some students want to undertake. But it works with the right circumstances if computers aren’t available.
I have a random question for all y’all Tumblr teachers.
For my final class of grad school (!), I have to write up my own case study.
I’d like to think that I’m creative…but I literally have no ideas for this one.
That’s not true. I have some…
shapefutures, I’m not sure why Tumblr decided to cut off your commentary, but I’m reblogging with my ideas.
Right now I’m struggling because we’ve read so many case studies that it’s hard to think of something that we haven’t read about. APPR and teacher accountability is huge in NY right now and so I’d be interested to write about that, especially because I have no idea how I’ll be evaluated in TN at a private school.
So the rough outline of my case is administration observation techniques
Invisible administrators who come into the classroom once a year/once a semester (may encourage teachers to ‘put on a show,’ etc.)
Visible administrators who pop in for 5-10 minutes once a week (never get to see a whole lesson)
A combination of the two - administrators who peek into classrooms for informal observations and also have a formal observation once a year/once a semester
Any other kind of variation I can think of?
Anyone have experiences with any of these kinds of observation techniques? Anything different? Positives and negatives?
…okay, I think this is an absolutely awesome idea, and I think it is something that I’d want to read in a heartbeat.
Signal boost, folks.
Also, when you go to reblog something, at the top there will be a little “as…” next to where it says reblog. If you click that and choose “as text,” it will show the original post plus all the commentary. That one took me too many accidental omissions to learn — it’s amazing how the framing of a conversation changes in a heated debate when half of the actual commentary is missing!
I have a random question for all y’all Tumblr teachers.
For my final class of grad school (!), I have to write up my own case study.
I’d like to think that I’m creative…but I literally have no ideas for this one.
That’s not true. I have some ideas but I think they’re stupid.
Does anyone have any really interesting situations or conflicts with multiple viewpoints that they wouldn’t mind me writing a short case study paper about? Or, does anyone have any interesting situations or conflicts that could serve as inspiration for such a paper?
Anything and everything is much appreciated.
Never consider your ideas stupid. I would say, tell us your ideas — they may not necessarily be feasible papers, or they may not be controversial, or a host of things that you may think takes away from their legitimacy, but they are not stupid ideas.
They are ideas that you find interesting enough to consider initially even though you think they’re stupid.
They may be able to help us help you find something you find interesting enough to write up into a case study. If that makes sense. Or, it might be that your ideas are actually awesome and someone out there has a story that relates, and you can do a case study in that after all.
When it comes to a case study, I do think that every story can be valuable by the very nature of a case study — a study of a particular person, group of people, program, or event. No two are necessarily the same. Thus, I think they can all be valuable.
Okay, so you go to college for the sake of learning, not for a job. Congrats! But when you’re broke out of your mind and can’t find employment, then I have absolutely no sympathy.
There are more affordable ways to learn for the sake of learning without the huge financial burden of college. I’ve seen a lot of feedback about changing majors, which I did myself, and I lost a semester due to poor advisement. Changing majors is fine as long as the college and you have a career/life plan in place to make it work. Others have chimed in about how they wished their school did more career/college prep to prevent undeclared/major changing. I agree whole heartedly. I feel the new responsibility of education is to help students make financially wise decisions for their future: help them with loans, scholarships, and paying and completing college in a fiscally responsible way because a financially secure graduate will do more for the future than one who defaults on his/her loans.
The issue is that it seems, for the most part, most colleges cannot be trusted to do this at all. They are a business, and they are concerned first and foremost with profit. Speaking both from my personal experience as well as from the experience of so many others that it has spurred several news articles on the subject — I can find them if anyone needs them, but just search “student debt” and “news” and you may find plenty on your own — the college does not care if you cannot make responsible decisions. They care that they get you in the door and get your money or the money of lenders. If they can find a way to make you stay longer they’ll do it.
I am skeptical that one could trust any college to lead students in making decisions that will leave them financially secure. Colleges have a whole host of motives that only involve the well-being of the student insofar as it effects the institution’s reputation. The question then is, who is looking out for the students going to college? Part of this is the student’s responsibility, though they can only do so much with what they don’t know. Part of it SHOULD fall on the college but, from what I have seen, very little of it does.
I have known Sal Pulito since I was in the third grade. His sister, Aurora, has been best friends with my sister since they were in Kindergarten. Sal was born with Pulmonary Atresia, which means that there is a lack of blood flow to his lungs. It has become a life and death situation for him. Sal is one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever met. He is probably the only one that understand the difficulty of dealing with the antics of “Salt and Pepper” as our sisters called themselves.
His insurance covers a very small percentage of the medical costs, and the deductable that he has to reach first is huge. Obviously, this explains my passion for the recent Health Care legislation, as I know it has been for many people on tumblr. But this story is so personal to me, I wish I could paint you a better picture of the Pulito family, but I will do my best below.
Sal’s parents are first generation immigrants from Italy. They speak Italian and English. Sal’s dad loves Elvis, and admittedly, looked a little bit like him when we were all younger. Sal is a phenomenal key board player, and has been in a band that performs at local restaurants and parties. In recent years, due to his medical condition Sal has had to move back home with his parents. Sal is a year older than me, and I can only imagine the freedom in addition to the good health Sal is hoping to have with this surgery. Sal’s older sister Jackie has a spirited daughter who is 12, and Sal is such a good uncle to her. Nina is the oldest, and for all you Chi-town people I know, she lives in Chicago with her husband and is book sniffer like many of us. Aurora has a little boy who Sal entertains with his music, and Vinny is adorable when he dances along. I have to say Sal’s mother is probably my favorite in the family. Her Italian Flag cookies and homemade spaghetti sauce have been a favorite in our household. Mrs. Pulito is one of the warmest people you could ever meet, and seems to take you into the family as soon as she meets you. She wants the best for everyone, and is always there with a hug and a kiss.
I can only imagine the financial hardship Sal’s condition has added up to over the years. But, what is stuck in the back of my throat is imagining this family without Sal. It is my every hope and prayer that all goes well for them. It would mean a lot to me if you could make a donation, even $1 donations help. I know money is tight for many, so reblogs are very much appreciated as well.
Please click the link above to visit his donation page. The Donate Now button is at the top of the screen.
Everytime I see this picture posted, I become angry. Especially when it is tagged #education. Can you imagine something similar being posted by teachers about reading? Why do teachers and adults think it is okay to perpetuate the idea that it’s okay to be bad at math? It’s not. And we need to stop the excuses and become better teachers. If you teach math, and you’re not a good math teacher, get better. Stop making excuses.
I definitely feel the need to reblog this. Something that has really been bothering me lately is when people (especially professors) say, “I’m just not a math person.” I hope that when I start teaching math, I am able to convince students that they aren’t “not math people”. Everyone can get something out of math, especially if it’s taught in a way that makes it accessible to students who don’t necessarily thrive in an environment of computations and procedures.
[Too relevant to queue]
Numeracy, like literacy, is a crucial aspect of every single subject area you could possibly think of. It’s not ok for someone to teach with the philosophy, “I’m not a kid person”, yet just as our jobs require we deal with children constantly (and draw positive outcomes from each and every interaction), every lesson we teach children will be imbued with some aspect of numeracy (assumed, or explicit) that will be necessary to succeed.
Oh, and in a sort-of-side-point-but-not-really: If, as a teacher, you can read and interpret your paycheque; you have mathematical ability. If you can do your groceries, and estimate before reaching the register how much you are likely to owe, and whether you will be able to afford that into your budget, you have mathematical ability. Not only that, but you almost certainly have a greater level of ability (not to mention experience) in these matters than many of your students. If you can impart some of this mathematical expertise, skills and values on to your students, you will be doing them a valuable (and necessary) service for their later lives.
Here’s the thing, additionally:
We know that if we tell our students consistently that they are good at something, they will have more confidence, and thus approach the subject differently than if we tell them they are poor at it. Positive feedback gives positive results; negative feedback gives negative results.
It’s similar with ourselves. And if someone thinks their students will never KNOW that they feel this way about math just because they never say it aloud, they are kidding themselves. Their attitude about the subject will permeate the way they approach the subject — their tone, the amount of time and effort with which they approach it, the emphasis they put on the subject’s importance in general for their students.
I told my mother I was considering staying on another month, if I find no job to go to, with my current program — the summer ends a few days after my lease does, but I feel like it would be better for them to have someone familiar help lead them into the new school year, especially since much of my focus with them is on homework and tutoring during school months, than for me to leave and “let a chapter close” with the end of the summer programming. I came during the school year and instilled some good attitudes and habits, that’s how I want to go.
My mother asked, "What are you doing with your degree?"
She expressed that she is worried that I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.
She is concerned that I am “wasting the degree [I] worked so hard for.”
I told her that I don’t know what more she wants from me if no one hires me, that it was a short-term, potential, if-all-other-things-don’t-work-out decision — she is convinced that I am going to “work a part time job for the rest of [my] life.”
And I hate to admit it, but that attitude has been looming as I search and apply for jobs, as I try to make life decisions, and when I go into work every morning and come home every night.
It is not a good feeling, and I don’t know how to get rid of it.
A good friend of mine bought me "The Storymatic," a card game similar to the great popsicle stick set-up I posted a little while ago, to use with my kids.
One word at a time over lunch eventually degraded into everyone shouting sentences. The two character cards were “a person who is six inches tall,” and “someone who can talk to cows.” The plot card was “bunnies, bunnies everywhere.”
This is what I ended up recorded of this ridiculous exchange.
Thumbelina Cheese jumped into the pool and bumped her head. She hallucinates bunnies everywhere. Then Ringo Starr tips a cow and Thumbelina screams because the cow falls on top of her. Then Thumbelina Cheese had to go to the hospital. Thumbelina Cheese needs a shorter name. TC (Thumbelina Cheese) yelled at the cow and bunnies jumped everywhere. “Get off me Bob Skittles, you big fat cow!” Ringo Starr said, “Take THAT sister! I got blisters on my fingers!” His butt lit on fire because he was a liar and then Bob Skittles and TC watched fireworks. The end.
I don’t even know, guys. We did two more stories when we got back to the program space andthey actually somehow got weirderand yet far more coherent.
Well they’d gotten the hang of it anyway.
Every day at lunch we’re going to do another of these, and they seem to spill into after lunch too. So after lunch, I (or my supervisor) will be recording the storytelling so that we can write it down and put it in an…anthology, of sorts, of absolutely ridiculous stories. Here’s a hint as to the level of ridiculousness: one involved a twenty-humped unicorn-camel and a “poison sumac tree that sounds like George Harrison and has squid tentacles.” The other was a drawn-out horror story that included a “blood monster” literally congealed from blood (“No violence, guys!” “No! He stepped on something and he was bleeding!” — the character cards noted that a character never wore shoes and I guess this was their cautionary tale) that may or may not give me nightmares.
So thank you, Devin. You have now given us two gifts (the other was the Chat Pack for Kids) that they have been using excitedly every day this week.
The problem with there being so much time in between my last practicum and student teaching is that I get jitters about thinking of stepping into a classroom and taking over.
I know once I get in there and get going and see how things work I’ll be fine. But it’s the next two and a half months-ish until then that I have to be jittery whenever I think about it.
At least this summer I’m finally able to have a job (no place has been willing to hire me for just as summer position before, which was all I was previously around for), plus I’m hoping to get back involved with my local scout troop again.
Question for anyone: did you also work a job while you student taught? Was it difficult to manage both? I’m hoping to work at Pizza Hut while I student teach, for gas money and to hopefully stay off my parent’s budget (who are letting me live at home, generous and, in my mother’s case, clingy people that they are), but I’m worried that I’ll have problems keeping both in balance.
During my first student teaching experience I actually had a job through my school’s work-study program as a computer lab attendant. It worked out fairly well, because most of it was downtime sitting in front of a computer where I could do research and write lesson plans (which was more productive than in the Summer when I admittedly got sucked into that whole Farmville thing).
Do you have the opportunity to find a job behind a desk where if nothing else you could jot notes on a notepad when the day got slow? Or, are there any job opportunities around that would add to your resume and experience as someone who wants to work with kids and music?
If the answer to that is no, I would just be careful balancing your energy. Test it out. Find something you could do for a week — even if it’s a task you give yourself, like gardening or cleaning your house or running errands, etc. etc. — for the amount of hours you’re considering working while you student-teach, and see how you feel. If you feel tired, it might be a better idea to reconsider, or to even find something per-diem or freelance like tutoring that will take less time than a regular part-time job.
I will say, though, that I know some people who made it work, amazing as they were, so it’s by no means impossible. But they would tell you that it made them absolutely exhausted, rushed, and stressed, near constantly.
Eighth grader Julia Bluhm was tired of hearing her friends in ballet class complain about being fat, and knew that they were basing their self-conscious opinions on altered magazine images of themselves. So she started a petition asking Seventeen magazine to stop photoshopping the women in their pages. Julia asked for one unaltered image of a “regular girl” in every issue.
“For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I’m stepping up,” Julia wrote. “I know how hurtful these photoshopped images can be. I’m a teenage girl, and I don’t like what I see. None of us do.”
Today, with the petition at more than 81,000 signatures, Seventeen responded — and went even further than what Julia had requested. The magazine committed to Julia and organizers at SPARK a Movement to represent a range of women of all shapes and sizes in its magazine — every month, every model — without any photoshopping of their bodies (they will still be using photoshop to take wrinkles out of clothes and hide flyaway hairs).
This makes me want to go out and buy a copy, just to see what it looks like. And bring it to the program, so the girls there can see it, too.
I teach primary grades, so the books I’d recommend probably wouldn’t be very fitting for you. I’m going to throw this one out to my readers. What do you got?
Right now I’m very much appreciating Fires in the Middle School Bathroom, which I mention because its predecessor is Fires in the Bathroom: Advice to Teachers from High School Students. I’d recommend picking it up and giving it a try, though of course with any books on education, your mileage may vary.
The answer’s format is: month/day/year. For example, an answer of 123199 means that you were born on December 31, 1999. If the answer is not right, please select one of the following: a) You followed the directions incorrectly b) You lied about your birthday or don’t know your birthday c) All of the above
Most of this is simple “mathematical hand-waving”. Ultimately, once the additions and subtractions have been cancelled out and the multiplications and divisions have been simplified, the whole thing becomes:
Oh, sorry. I’m a game-wrecker - did I forget to mention?
I was about to go through and deconstruct it for my own curiosity but Luka did it for me already.
Honestly, the coolest things about these tricks are not that they make math look like magic. It’s figuring out how they work. Or, alternatively, it’s asking your students to figure out how they work and watching all the different ways the wheels turn.
I am dragging the oft-mentioned Colleen — children’s lit aficionado, bookstore and library professional, ballet teacher’s assistant and all-around grown-up kid — into the #education tag for Teacher Dare Day.
so it’s best to have a way to keep them in the classroom
and I saw some pretty neat methods when I was a substitute.
When I was working in a second-grade class in Little Rock, they seemed to have the best method I’ve seen yet. There was a bucket in the middle of every table for students’ folders, for common worksheets, and for pencils/scissors/glue sticks.
Either the school or the teacher bought the pencils in a bulk box — I’m not sure who supplied them specifically — in the solid yellow. Each morning before school started, and during recess, the batch of pencils at the desk would be sharpened, replenished, or replaced. If a student wanted to bring or use a special pencil (usually ones earned from the principal by doing good deeds), they needed to keep it in their seat sack, not in the bucket.
Pencils rarely went missing, and because they were all common property and looked the same none of the students fought over whose was whose. They shared them all. It was beautiful.
Challenge Success holds a conference every year and has a team of coaches and students. I attended one of the conferences and there was a news segment on a local channel about the organization. I realized that my school had many of the "symptoms" and types of situations that Chalenge Success was talking about. I immediately went to the website and talked to peers; however, it did and still is taking a long time for my school and other schools to accept that they have issues and strive for change
Acceptance of the problem is the first and often hardest step, but you can do it! I’m really impressed with your proactive approach and energy. How has it gone for you so far — what would you say has been your biggest single obstacle, and your biggest success?
There are some schools in Virginia — well, many schools in Virginia — looking for teachers. A few of them are in the general vicinity of where a very good friend of mine is moving for HER career. I’ve seriously considered going down there to teach before, and it looks like I would be qualified for the positions, or at least enough to apply.
But here’s the rub:
Virginia doesn’t exactly have a great track record for climate on the whole when it comes to being LGBTQ. The districts have no mention of sexual orientation in their discrimination policies. And I have a very hard time (read: I can’t) keeping silent if I see abuse or bullying going on, even if it’s as simple as the use of the word “gay” in a negative context.
I need to think about this hard before I throw my hat into the ring.
Hi! I just recently found your blog and something in your last post stuck out to me. You mentioned that not every method works for every student. As a student, I wholeheartedly agree. I have been working with my school to change this conception. An organization that has helped me do this is called "Challenge Success." I feel that Challenge Success and your blog hold similar values close to heart. If you have time, you and your followers should go check it out and like it on facebook!
Thank you! I love hearing from students — it’s so important to get their feedback, so that we’re not working in a bubble. I will most definitely check this out, and I encourage others to do the same!
Yes, order and routine are important in heading off problems before they start.
Yes, setting clear expectations and having clear consequences are absolutely necessary.
But one of the things I don’t see cropping up a lot, whether it’s in books or in discussion, is something that’s probably hard to articulate in a follow-these-steps method and even harder to do:
Know your students.
Not every method is going to work for every student. Some students may seem to buck everything you try. It doesn’t mean that you’re not doing the right thing by the rest of your class — it just means that it doesn’t work for that student (and in that case the test is how you respond to it to keep the rest of the class from falling to the wayside). But if you have some kind of personal relationship with your students, you’ll be able to figure out what works for who and why. You’ll be able to figure out who you can reach on a personal level with consequences and who just needs a time-out, so-to-speak.
You’ll be able to learn how to stop some problems before they start: that Marie has a bit of a gossip issue and may or may not misread and conflate things others say that leads to drama, how to redirect Tony and recognize when he might not have taken his medication, how Glory’s need for personal space turns into a fight if someone invades her bubble, that D’Ray gets frustrated when he doesn’t understand something and may need some techniques for managing it (putting his head down for a second, moving on to the next problem, taking deep breaths, thinking of puppies) to avoid throwing things.
No classroom management technique will solve every problem, and none will work if you don’t know your students. If your students know you care, know that you know their names, know that they’re people, they’ll be more likely to work with you than against you.
And even then, even if they LOVE you, they will test the heck out of you sometimes. Because they need to KNOW you’ll stick around. Because they may not trust you yet. Because they had a bad day. Because growing up is hard. Because the gym teacher made them run laps. Maybe just because they can. Don’t take it personally, and don’t assume that you’re failing. Do your best, breathe, maybe cry a little in the car or the teacher’s lounge, and try again.
It took me three months to get to a point with the kids I’m working with now (in an out-of-school-time program, multiple grade levels and ages, little structure) where I don’t feel like I’m fighting with them to get things done. But it’s worth it.
yeah, you can make your own maths clock, just finding out various ways to write a numeral will suffice, the more geeky the numeral written,more lovely it would be, would love to see it if you come up wirh some ideas
Well then, I’m putting out the call officially to anyone who wants to make some suggestions as to the values on a math clock!
Personally, I see it as another teaching tool. I don’t mind taking apart and reassembling the thing every time we learn something new — it’s surprisingly easy. So I would likely use it almost as if it was another poster, a daily exercise, a challenge activity, etc.
Working on multiplication? 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 2x2, 1x5, 2x3, and on and on through 12 — and that highlights primes along the way. The same can said of division, addition, subtraction…well, anything you want, really!
Want to be super tricky and make a challenge/riddle for the week? Write all of the numbers in terms of a value of x. See if the students can figure out by the end of the week what that value is. 2x-7, -x+6, and around and around (do you know what it is?).
If you want to really highlight the clock as a teaching tool to be used later, leave the face completely blank and add things as they learn them. Maybe each number will represent (and review) another concept.
The great thing about using a clock is that students generally know which numbers go where. And, even if they’re glad to be in your class, they’re going to look at the clock at least once.
But long story short, yes, I’ll get some materials and show you all how to make a math clock, no problem. And if anyone has suggestions for what they want to see on it by all means let me know. Maybe I’ll make a few and sell them off.
àLet’s come up with your punishment together (Teacher and Student)
This idea makes me so uncomfortable. I feel that perhaps a master teacher would be able to do this, but I am not ready to give that baton of control to my students. I don’t think it would be effective because I am sooooo uncomfortable with this idea. I think that if a teacher is comfortable and confident with a technique/idea/whatever then 90% of the time it’ll work otherwise it just won’t.
What are your thoughts?
I think your phrasing of it is a lot different than the author’s intent.
Obviously, it would depend on the age, situation, and the kind.
As I said before, I think putting the responsibility on the kid to help make things right is very powerful. I think consequences where the kid has to think about what they did and come up with a solution (that the teacher agrees is fitting) teaches them a lot more than dealing out a punishment does. Outside of school walls, they will need to know problem-solving skills and what taking responsibility for your actions means.
I know there are at least two other teachers not participating in book club because they’ve already read the book. They use this techniques. I’d love to hear their thoughts on the issue.
I haven’t read the book (couldn’t make it work this time around — my summer schedule is full-day) but I do use this technique with some kids, especially at my program where discipline is sometimes lax or almost random when left to the supervisor.
It doesn’t mean that the student is crafting their own punishment, per se. It’s, for me, just another way to get them to think about what they did, what the consequences were that were out of their hands, what the further consequences should be, etc. They think about what’s “right,” and what might rectify a situation. They also think about the scale of what they’ve done and what might be appropriate as punishment.
When I use this technique with a student I ask them, “What did you do wrong? Why do you think that was wrong?” And let’s be honest — many students tune that out and answer with a tone that is the equivalent of an eye roll. They tell you what you want to hear. But then, try saying, “Alright — what do you think should happen now?” or “What do you think you could do to make it right?”
It catches most of my students off-guard the first time. And sometimes the second time. And it tends to reduce their negative behaviors later, because it makes them really think about why what they did was wrong and what the consequences are going to be. I try to avoid ever saying “What do you think your punishment should be,” because to my students a punishment is something menial and annoying that they dislike but which has little or no connection to what they did that got them there.
(I hoped that was useful — because I’m not reading the book right now it might be completely irrelevant, but those are my two cents on the technique.)
Things I taught the kids this week without formal academic instruction:
What “flush” means (while building a garden box and trying to make the end of a plank flush to another)
How threads on a screw work (when I was asked why we weren’t just using nails)
That metal can be soft and flexible (while building a pizza box solar oven)
That complementary colors make one another darker (while working on a poster)
What “mixed media” means (when the kids wanted to make posters of their own)
How root vegetables develop (when looking at seed packets and explaining “direct sow”)
That your body is yours, and no one can tell you what to with it if you don’t want to (during a very complicated scenario and many private conversations over the course of a day that can’t be elaborated on)
What causes some skin cancer (when trying to convince the kids to put on sunblock after they swore they didn’t need it because they don’t burn)
That sound is made by vibrations, and can travel through physical objects (to a middle schooler, while talking about soup-can-and-string telephones)
How a kite flies (while making newspaper kites)
So I guess I need to stop beating myself up about not being able to teach them anything if we don’t have tutoring in the summer.
I was coming in an hour late today because we needed me to stop off at a hardware store to get the supplies for the garden box (after which I am fairly certain hell is being a female customer in the lumber section of a hardware store, for eternity).
When I got to the program space I was greeted by a rush of kids who acted like they thought I was never coming back.
Apparently the supervisor had said to them that they would miss me if I was gone. I have no idea what the context for that was — I’ll have to ask tomorrow. But the kids translated this as (and told me that they were told), “_____ is leaving.”
It’s two months before my lease is up and the summer programs are over and I actually leave them. The supervisor had said that the timing worked so well that it would be an easy, organic transition — so now, as I find myself once again looking for ways to stay here, with them, I feel guilty doing so. It isn’t the same as a school position — there’s no scripted moving-on time. It’s hard to know when the time is actually right, or whether you’re doing the kids a disservice by leaving or hanging around.
But now a handful of them know for sure that if I don’t find a teaching position I’ll be leaving, and that if I do I’ll likely still be leaving, because the schools closest to them (not their district, but neighboring ones) have let me know that I’m not what they’re looking for. The way information spreads, the whole town will know by Monday.
Well, no, the way it spreads in this particular town, by Monday I will be leaving them because I killed someone and/or am going to the moon. But at least it will give me an interesting note to leave on.
At a local comic shop — this may not surprise anyone familiar to some extent with comic shops — is a shelf lined with canisters of dice.
One of these canisters is full of emotion d10s — ten-sided dice with either words or faces noting a variety of emotional reactions. Health lessons involving emotions and roleplaying, art practice, writing challenges and character development exercises…the possibilities make me giddy, but because I didn’t have a classroom at the time, I never picked one up.
My supervisor wants to try doing some improv and acting games, and all I keep thinking about is this d10. So I may have to invest in one, try it out with the kids, and see how it goes.