Reflections on the School Year

The last day of school for teachers is finally here! It’s been a year of extremes – and I’m writing this up in my new classroom (at the same school)! After 3 years of photographing outfits in room B201, I am moving to a new science room that is properly set up with a fume hood. I’m teaching Chemistry next year, for the first time ever.  That’s right, every year is a new challenge, and every year is a different beast to slay! So goodbye, room B201, you’ve been good to me. Hello, room B241!

THLT last day

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sunnies: freebie swag from b – cardigan: american apparel – top: f21 – jeans: mother denim – belt: jcrew – shoes: saltwater sandals

This year was like a split personality. On one end, I had the best year I’ve ever had with students. This was the first year I’ve ever had students actually thank me on a daily basis. More than one kid did this, every day.  It seems silly, and it seems small, but holy crap! After 6 years of investing mentally, emotionally, and introspectively into my classroom with (what felt like more often than not) zero thanks for my hard work, this year’s batch of amazing young humans breathed new life into me. The letters I got at the end of the year really made my efforts totally worth it. I had kids write me that they “will never look at the world the same way again”, and “thank you for making me enjoy science”, and “you’re a really good teacher who isn’t afraid to expose their students to the real world, it is important that you do that because it sticks”. Words can’t even express how good this feels.  I just can’t even. *tears*

On the other, I had a very challenging year with the educational system. At our closing meeting this morning, our principal talked about the importance of never giving up on our students, and advocating for them, no matter what it takes.  The word advocate really stuck in my mind, because I thought about all my kids and how I will always advocate for them, and of their letters thanking me for it. But then I thought, who is advocating for me? Am I my only advocate (professionally)? Do we teachers all have to fight our own individual battles, or is that just part of the culture here at my school? Here in Denver, we have an evaluation system tied to your pay, and tied to whether or not you get to keep your job. It is not meant (or maybe used?) to actually help you grow as an educator, because there’s too much at stake professionally. In addition, there is absolutely no incentive to go above and beyond, because to be better than just an “effective” teacher is to be a unicorn. I don’t want to go down a negative rabbit hole, because that’s not where my heart is. Instead, I’ll leave you with this picture of a pin, and a picture of how rewarding teaching can feel.

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The Perks of Being a Teacher – A Giveaway (closed)

Sometimes, there are some real perks for being a teacher — Teacher Discounts.  We get discounts at Barnes and Noble, J. Crew, Apple, Madewell, Banana Republic and at LOFT.  Most of the time the discount varies from 5% to 15%, which is just enough to make me feel special.

This week, LOFT is offering a bonus discount, an extra 25% off for teachers.  Even more exciting, LOFT contacted me to say that they have a $100 gift card to give away to one of my readers!  I’ve never had a company email me before with stuff like this, so it’s pretty exciting to know that this little blog o’ mine is getting some traction.   This giveaway is open to US readers only.  To enter, just leave a comment below.  Keep in mind that the email address you use to post the comment will be the address I use to contact you if the randomizer picks you.  Once I get your info (and thank you for reading my blog) I’ll forward your deets to LOFT. I’ll leave it open ’til Friday night.

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Update:  Congrats Ms. Roberson!

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