Monday, May 30, 2011


Hello!  I bet you thought I went and died and was never going to return.

Well... that's sort of what happened, but instead of dying I've been teaching.

Which is sort of like dying, but more like having to stand in front of a room of confused, resistant, curious, and poo flinging teenagers.

It is very exhausting, and in seven teaching days, it will all be over.  And thank god I will be able to go back to this crazy circus next year and start all over again.  I really love it, despite my sarcastic tone.

Anyway, I'm really here to talk about JG.  Who, by the way, is hilarious and you've all been missing out.  I will try to catch you up, over time, if I have time.

This last week I decided to give JG the option of peeing in the potty (a small training potty).  I figure she's two (TWO!), she's starting to get irritated at her diapers, and I would love to stop buying them.

All I have said to her is that she can pee or poop on the potty if she wants to, she just has to let me know.

She is so entertained to see her pee it the potty and says, "I pee-peed in the potty!"

Today she pulled at her diaper, we put her on the potty...

she farted...

"I pooped!"

And indeed, a solid poop had nestled itself inside her little potty.  So.  Gross.  But awesome.

She grinned, we congratulated her, and we all watched to poop spin its way down the toilet.

Truly amazing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Having two weeks off of school is a blessing (which is saying a lot, because I really hate using the word blessing).  I am taking the time to stop obsessing about my 8th graders and how much they hate me, relax about lesson plans (I really shouldn't), and spend time with my ever-learning 19-month-old.

Ah, my daughter.

I am a mother.  Have you caught on yet that it still creeps me out a little, me being a mother?

It does.

Today I have been thinking about how there are many types of mothers, even though society tends to focus on just two: the stay-at-home mom and the working mom.

I am so thankful (ugh, thankful) to be a working mom.  I have no idea what to do with JG when we're home and I'm pretty sure watching more than 3-4 hours of PBS kids is not healthy for her developing brain.  She even asks for Elmo, and I cringe every time.

Having the ability to go to work and to challenge myself personally is so necessary for me.  At home I commonly fall into the shame-spiral - as my friend MCB calls it - where I get stuck watching TV and procrastinating things I would like to do, but can't figure out how to get the friggen TV to turn off by itself and myself motivated.

I basically turn into a fat lump on the couch.  I have found myself watching JG playing and me feeling sorry for myself for not entertaining her like a good stay-at-home mom would.

I know it sounds strange, but I have a hard time leaving the house when I'm home for more than a few days.  I am prone to anxiety.  So, today, I wanted to leave, but had a really hard time justifying the reasons, or figuring out where to go.  The sad thing is that I know my reasoning is flawed, and I know that it's silly to have an anxiety attack about doing what I want to do, but I can't help it.

So, thank you Daycare for existing and doing a much better job at teaching JG songs and dances, colors and more.  I like being the person who cuddles with her, kisses her little face, and giving her whatever other affection she may need.  I miss her during the week, but she loves going to daycare and her teachers are awesome, and I love benefitting from their hard work.

You could say I am the type of working mother who would like to be a good SAHM, but just isn't.  I'm not sure I'm capable of handling it emotionally.  Which is why I will be enrolling JG in some dance classes this summer, so we can have something to look forward to and I can feel less like a failure.

Don't I just make you so excited to have your own?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holy Mother

Having two weeks off from teaching is...
help me think of metaphors and simile's here...

a well deserved bath after having spent months neck-deep in skin irritating dirt and grime.

like finally getting to scratch that "hard to reach" spot

being able to breath deeply after escaping one of Maggie's nausea inducing farts


Sunday, November 28, 2010


The first three months of my teaching career have been very informative.  For instance, do not start out the year as a "relaxed" teacher, apparently it gives the impression to the students that you will let them get away with practically anything.

Just when I thought I had a handle on the whole classroom behavior management thing.

Two weeks ago Monday started out just fine.  I felt like my students were learning, which is a big deal for me.  Then, as my second class was wrapping up 8th grade Girl Student yelled, "F--- what?"  No, she wasn't swearing at me, but when your... stupid enough to swear loud enough for the entire class to hear?  I gave her detention, but in reflecting on this I should have sent her to the office.

In my last class of Monday one of the sweetest (?) boy students I have yelled across the room to another boy, "Your mother raped you as a child!"

Detention.  Yes, what he said was awful, but that class was terrible, and there were some comments made by his classmates that I should have sent them to the office for... and because I was a terrible teacher I didn't.  The 8th grader who did the yelling had been bullied all day, and he didn't quite know how to burn off that steam.  Ugh.

The next day 9th grad Boy Student said the F* word in class.  Not as loud, but I heard it, so I gave him detention too.  I have creepy hearing.  I have been informed by my principal that there are some things I need to "pretend" I don't hear.

I'm working on it.

But, that week not being over yet (we're only on Tuesday), there was plenty of time for my students to further demonstrate to me how they interpreted my management of their behavior.

Thursday, 9th grade class, we're transitioning from free write to the lesson.  It is quiet.  Students are being respectful and cleaning off their desks.  And then.


He had perfect timing.  Everything was silent.  I was livid.  LIVID.  "Outside!"  I said sternly.

"I said it," he said.

"You really think I'm going to let that go?" I said, using my meanest voice.

He stood up in a bit of a daze and went outside, I wrote a letter the the principle that read "said 'penis' out loud in class."

The worst part was I had to yell at the rest of the class to get them back on track.  My creepy hearing kept hearing them say "penis...penis...penis" talking about what had just happened.  I had to sternly inform them that such language was not funny and would not be tolerated.

The best part is that I have a helper teacher that period.  I was so embarrassed.  (I must add, the principal made 9th grade boy call his mother and repeat what he said, which made 9th grader extremely embarrassed.  I am milking that for what it's worth in my professional relationship with 9th grade boy.  Ha!  Say penis in my class!)

So.  That was, quite frankly, a shitty week.  Since then I have become a much more strict and unrelenting teacher, which is no fun for me, but  I have to focus on making my classroom feel safe for everybody.  Things are improving, but I am continually having to reinforce procedures, which is what I should have been doing all along.


I should add that I really love teaching.  This is the right place for me to be.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


The first quarter of my teaching career wrapped up at the end of October and all I can really say about that is THANK GOD!!!!


With the start of a new quarter I feel like I'm catching my stride and starting to know who I am as a teacher.  I was worried for a while that my approach wasn't going to work, but I am starting to see some changes in my students.  I believe I've convinced a few resistant students to start paying attention and give themselves a chance -- I am the most excited about that.  I can't stand the kid who gives up before s/he's even started.

JG is doing really well too, she is loving daycare.  There have been a few times when Alex goes to pick her up she throws a fit, as in, "How dare you try to tear me from this fantastic place!" fit.

The benefit of daycare for us is how much she's learning.  Holy mother, so much learning, far more than what I'm capable of teaching her at home.  The other day she pointed at a face on the cover of a book and said, "Happy."

She was right, the face was smiling, the character was happy.

Oh, and JG is really popular with the other kids, including the older kids.  The other morning we walked in and are instantly surrounded by three and four year olds saying "JG!  JG!  Are you JG's mom?" and then they make a face at her -- this scrunchy face she makes

(Pinch your lips together and scrunch your nose as if something is stinky, that's the face she makes)

which apparently caught on with the kids and the teenagers who help out too.

I have no idea where my child inherited the gene for popularity, but she oozes it.  Everybody loves her.  Strangers at the market (sometimes uncomfortably so), my students (I had to take her to school for a bit one day), her teachers and classmates.

When I leave her at daycare I usually tell her to be good, and her teachers say, "Oh, JG is always good." They say that with a big smile.

It's also crazy how articulate she is for a 17-month-old.  New words to add to her list:

book (she likes to say "Read book")

Can you believe that?

And she dances and sings nursery rhymes she's learned at daycare, which seems to be her favorite thing in the world:

Okay, I'll stop pontificating now, and shall work harder next time to resume the use of my sarcastic voice.

Which, by the way, typically hurts the feelings of 8th and 9th graders.

Who would've thunk?

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Horror

JG is 17 months old now and she is gradually growing out of her milk and soy intolerances.  Thank Jesus, because let me tell you, having to avoid those two things drains all the fun out of feeding her.  She still can't eat raw milk (so, having a glass of milk is out), but having milk baked into something is okay... even though it totally gives her the farts.

Which brings us to me.

Before this whole milk fiasco began I loved milk.  Ice cream.  Cereal with cold milk poured over it.  Cream cheese icing.  Soups with cream mixed in.  Oh man... really, anything made delicious by milk, I loved.

And now.


I'm afraid there may be some sort of genetic reason JG has an intolerance, because I'm almost 95% positive that I am lactose intolerant.

How do I know, you ask?

Let's just say that whenever I eat something made with milk it makes itself known.  At school this last week I made myself some coffee with hot cocoa mixed in (wonderfully scrumptious) and about thirty minutes later I was surrounded by a cloud of stench so thick I worried about students coming up to me and passing out.

It is horrendously embarrassing what milk does to my guts.

The good thing is that my students probably suspect their peers before they think of me.  As far as they know I am devoid of body functions and I'd like to keep it that way.

Unfortunately, milk isn't always silent as it travels the twists and turns of my bowels.  Sigh.

So, it turns out that I've been limiting the amount of goodies I eat... or, I should say, the times.  I totally just ate two doughnuts.  In quick succession.  And a cookie.

I have problems.

Sunday, September 26, 2010





Is it bad that I may have gotten a little lazy in my grading and gave full points if they handed in the assignment?

Especially since I spent the majority of my weekend noticing how 50-60% of my students don't hand in anything at all.

They fail because they don't try.

And I don't understand, because I was never like that, I always handed in my work.  Sometimes it wasn't complete, but mainly because I never felt like finishing.

They never start.

So, no, I'm not a frustrated teacher.  Not at all.