I want to start off with a heartfelt appreciation for all the supportive comments in my last post. It had been a month of struggles and I was at a particularly low point. I guess I really needed words of encouragement from fellow teachers, and the advice really helped me feel like I’m not alone with these issues. At my last school in Brooklyn, the small staff regularly ate lunch together and I always felt supported and encouraged by my peers every day. We’d spend those 30 minutes sharing stories, ideas and giving advice. In hindsight, those lunches really helped support me both as an educator and an emotional human being. That lunch culture is not really established at my current school, so I find that I can go an entire day without any more than a “hello” type interaction with adults at school. I need to set up some lunch dates!
Things have been going much better these past few days. Classes have been running smoothly, I’ve had positive interactions with almost all of my students, and I had a couple restorative conferences with individual students that helped clear the air. Also, students are turning in heaps of late work and raising their grades, which helps boost morale in the classroom. Things are on the up and up – though I’m still not sure if this school is the right fit for me. TIme will tell.
In other news, I did a bit of retail therapy this past weekend. I got myself some new kickers. I’ve been wanting a pair of 8 eye Docs, but I’ve always been held back by my ridiculous boot collection and the price. So when I saw that I had a $20 gift card and they were on sale for less than $100 at Nordstrom, I caved. Plus, B was out of town and he’s usually my voice of reason on how I don’t need anything. While at the mall, I popped into J.Crew where they were having one of their 30% off sale prices events. I picked up this adult version of a sweatshirt – it’s merino wool and ridiculously soft and comfortable (J.Crew Collection). With the sale and my educator discount, this sweater was
practically free super cheap!
The ever present pencil in my hair – it’s the only way I can keep track of fit.
scarf: super old no brand – sweater: j.crew – jeans: uniqlo – boots: dr. martens
I’m struggling, people. Struggling with classroom management AND with teaching physics content. I thought teaching for 5 years in 2 different inner city schools would have taught me something about how to manage my classroom, but nope. I’m dealing with a problem that is completely new to me – seniors who claim I can’t teach and therefore loudly blame me for their low grades during class. There is some truth to this – I’ve never taught physics before and I’m figuring it out as I go. I get most of my materials and curriculum from well established sites such as The Physics Classroom but I’ve had a hard time finding labs that work with the supplies I have at my school. This means I may invent labs and assignments that don’t work out (crazy acceleration calculations like -33.89 m/s/s for a free falling object!). The flip side? These seniors are not coming in for HW help, they’re not doing the assignments or test corrections or any of the many supports I offer inside and outside of class. They’re goofing off in class and fighting me on simple rules like cell phones, uniform and staying quiet during the entry routine.
I’m exhausted, mentally and physically. Do I still really like teaching? Honestly, I don’t really know anymore.
People say that if you are down, you should fake a smile because even faking a smile helps reduce stress. So here is my fake smile of the day.
This on the other hand, is what my face really looks like lately. I know that I typically have a “resting bitchy face” (it’s true – bartenders will actually pass over me because I look unfriendly and mean). But lately my RBF has been a bit more turned down.
Nothing new on the outfit front – all old reliables.
glasses: warby parker – shirt and high-riser jeans: madewell – belt: gap – shoes: worishofer – necklaces: etsy and f21
It’s been slow on the blog front, because you know…”students first” right? Students trump sleep, lunch, bathroom breaks, alone time, relationship time, sanity and your emotional stability. I got this sweater on super sale right before I left New York in the dead of summer. Denver is getting properly cold finally. I wore the boots I’ve dubbed my alien boots because they remind me of something Sigourney Weaver would have worn in the movie Aliens. They make me feel bad ass. Up until I get an angry mis-informed voicemail forwarded to me by my principal from the mom of one of my mean girls who have been tormenting me. FUN. Sorry for the negativity guys, I’m just not feeling it today. Since I really have nothing good to say about teaching in Denver so far, I’m just going to zip my trap before it gets out of hand.
glasses: warby parker – sweater: nordstrom rack – jeans: uniqlo – boots: deena & ozzy/urban outfitters
The days have been long and hard lately. I’ve taught 12th graders before, but the batch I have this year for Physics are just too cool for school. I started the year off thinking I could give them a lot of freedom and personal responsibility, only to realize that they just can’t handle the truth – they need some hand holding. Cell phones out left and right just to “check the time” and independent practice time spent chatting it up about homecoming (yup, it’s a thing here and I’m really weirded out by this new-to-me Americana type tradition). I’m working on it – slowly but surely. I gave a stern behavioral expectations lecture today about how “you’re young adults now, that means I shouldn’t have to mother you”. sigh. I’m not the motherly type.
I bought a backpack to lug my papers and laptop back and forth to school. My back feels better (though I have a car now – my back never gets a chance to complain anymore!), I like the organization, and I like the color. Also, I was really tired of the plastic tarp smell that never really goes away with the Freitag bags and a purse just wasn’t cutting it – too small.
I just realized how many times I typed “I” in such a short post. Feeling very self centered and narcissistic now. On to the photos!
glasses: warby parker – cardigan: uniqlo – dress and belt: f21 – shoes: saltwater sandals – backpack: jansport – charm: ugly dolls
I did it this year – I brought poop into my classroom today. I did my “alive/dead/not-living” lesson today, as I do in the beginning of every school year. The lesson includes an activity where students circulate through about 14 items, where they have to determine if the item is alive, dead, or not-living. It helps to prime the kids on what it really means to be alive (biologically speaking). It’s a brilliant lesson borrowed from my mentor/coach from my first few years of teaching, Eric. It’s a hit every time, and really gets the kids thinking about common characteristics/processes that all living things share. Today, the lesson was a smash – because now I’m the teacher who brings dog shit to class (in a sealed baggie).
glasses: warby parker beckett – shirt: anthropologie pintucked buttondown – jeans: f21 – shoes: birkenstock arizona – tracker: fitbit flex – watch: fossil
First day of school with students was this past Monday and Tuesday. Both days – 9th graders only on Monday and all the rest on Tuesday. So I had in effect 2 first days of school. This is what I wore on day one and day two of the first day(s) of school. For me teaching is like childbirth (or so I hear). It’s agony sometimes, but then your mind seems to block all that stuff away after a break from the agony. The summer must have given my brain time to block a lot of the agony away, because I. Am. Exhausted. It’s been 11-13 hour days all this week and lots of mental strain trying to get organized and learn 110 names and faces. Much of it has to do with the fact that I’m starting a new school and teaching one (physics) and a half new courses. The half is because 2 of my 4 sections are Honors Biology, and I’ve only ever taught at non-tracking schools in the past. I’m generally not a fan of tracking students, but I’ll admit it’s going to challenge me more as I now have to up the bio game.
day one – dress: thrift store find – belt: h&m – shoes: madewell – glasses: warby parker – day two – tshirt and belt: jcrew – skirt: anthropologie – sweater: uniqlo – shoes: sweedish hasbeens