And then there was summer

Well, thus ends another year of teaching. I really believe that this one went by faster than the first!

Here is a video of the teachers doing a surprise exercise in humiliation for the benefit of the student body at the talent show:

Next year I’m off to fourth grade… new classroom pics will be posted eventually!



Call me, maybe?

So, one of my students (apparently) has a crush on me… According to his mother. Awkward! Although I find it working in my favor since he tries so hard on his school work in order to impress me. I thought, however, that things might have gone too far when I saw this note on the bottom of his math homework…


Pretty sure he meant to write “call ON me,” but it made me laugh out loud… In the middle of study hall…

Oh, adolescent boys…

And we’re back…

This year has been a whirlwind so far!

I’m back at school – same classroom, different class. I have 12 students this year: 9 boys, 3 girls. Yes, it’s as energetic as it sounds. Things started out a bit on the rough side, but are getting better as time goes on.

We’ve already made it through Spirit Week and our first field-trip!

One day was candy day – they were a bag of Ms. Miller’s M&Ms (my room mom’s idea, but turned out very cute). Yes, though not in the picture, I was also an M&M (a bright orange one at that)…

Our first field trip was to see The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Afterwards, we visited the park….

Below is a picture of when the 5th grade teacher and I hosted History Jeopardy! Now, that was a fun afternoon…

And finally… my Halloween surprise for my class – OWL cupcakes!

Summer, glorious summer

Post spring break, the rest of the year FLEW by.  I couldn’t tell you most of what happened. We did go on a final field trip to the American Airlines museum, but it was not the most exciting trip of the year and hardly worth documenting actually. The last few weeks of school were encapsulated by my hasty attempts to finish all our books before the close.  Though it was a tight squeeze, that mission was more or less accomplished… here’s hoping they all learned a thing or two! The very last day was cleaning day – clearing out desks, taking down posters, scrubbing the board and walls, et al. Our room was pretty tidy as it turned out, so my students spent most of the day wandering around the school looking for trouble as I tried to furiously grade the last of the history tests (not very successfully, I might add). And next year’s sixth grade glass ventured an annoying peek into the room to see where they would be sitting, etc. We’ll have to see about them; they seem like little wild cards at the moment.

Now the work of getting ready for next year begins… I’ll have 12 students in the same tiny classroom.  Class materials are about the same, but that doesn’t really change the need to lesson plan! The rest of the summer is occupied by ferocious studying for my Latin exam, as well as the all too imperative completion of my thesis.  Thus far I’ve been to a wedding in Indiana, a two day jaunt in Chicago, spent a few wonderful days in Minnesota, and a week in Northern California. Very soon I’ll be headed out East to beautiful Northern Virginia and then back West to Northern California once again.  Time at home is spent listening to records of Mendelssohn and Mantovani and drinking Prosecco on the porch….

I’m not entirely sure what next year will hold, but I’m looking forward to finding out.  Right now, celebrating summer!!

Spring Break

FINALLY… the time between Christmas break and spring break seems like the longest 2.something months ever! Many lunchtimes have to be spent indoors due to weather, and this results in pent up energy, restlessness, and other not so nice effects. The mini-break (because of the lice) did not actually help speed up the time toward break. It just made the week right before break all the more unbearable. But after a long week, we’ve made it. What do teachers do during their breaks? Well, rather uninterestingly, I’m staying home to do a 7 day juice fast. I feel that being out of school will relieve some temptation from the day-to-day. Oh yes, temptation abounds… just yesterday one of the high school boys brought Einstein bagels and shmear in for all the teachers! Among the bagels —> one of the cinnamon-sugar variety. Irresistible. Additionally, stay-at-home-moms who send their little ones to the Academy often send them with home-baked goods for the teachers. Furthermore, birthdays seem to happen at least once a week – unloading birthday treats on certain classes in the school. So, there you have it: temptation. Spring break, therefore, is the perfect time to do a juice cleanse and stay busy with work around the house… and sleep in! Hopefully after this week, we’ll all be ready to tackle the last few months before the end of the year. Hopefully.


Well, it has finally happened. Lice has found its way to the Academy. It started about two weeks ago when two girls (sisters) were sent home with mature live lice all over their heads. Now, it’s spread school-wide! In the span of two weeks, nits have made an appearance on the heads of over 20 students (about 1/7 of the school) and two teachers… my friend Liz and yours truly. How this happened, we are still not entirely sure. Since the outbreak began in the lower grades, Liz (who teaches 1st grade) probably came into contact with one of her students who had it and didn’t know. When I found out she had it, I asked to be checked; in addition to friends, Liz and I are neighbors, and she comes over a lot to hang out, mostly on the couch… the fabric, lice-inviting couch. So, a few of the teachers who knew what to look for went through my hair and found a few nits. Yuck. Everybody was very nice, but amid the looks of sympathy, there was a clear sense of aversion to my being in the immediate vicinity. As Liz later said, “Now we know how the lepers felt… oh, and those with the plague.” Thankfully, our situation was nothing so extreme. We did the shampoo treatment, and brushed with the “nit” brush very carefully — learning in the process where the term “nitpicking” probably originated. Then we proceeded to do about 8 loads of laundry – in the public Laundromat, mind – and boil everything else. Luckily we were told not to come in to school today (Tuesday), but there was still a ton of cleaning to do, even today. Unfortunately for my new roommate, Claire, we found some nits in her hair as well, so she’s joined our merry gang of outcasts. The best news is that the school closed down for the remainder of the week so that everybody could be checked and the classrooms could be cleaned, etc. So, here we have a spring break pre-spring break! Even though we didn’t get any snow days this year, we still got a few extra days… granted, the circumstances are a little grosser, but we take time where we can get it. Now the trick will be using the time wisely. Very tricky, indeed.

Another Fieldtrip

A few weeks ago, the 6th grade class ventured out to the acclaimed Fort Worth Stock Show.  It’s about a 45 minute drive out to Fort Worth from the greater Dallas area, so we were prepared to give up most of the day. This prospect met with little resistance in the classroom, not surprisingly.  Post arrival, we made our way to the beginning of the tour (the first photo was taken as we waited for the tour to start). We were led through the show by two high school girls who were taking classes in showing, etc. It was lucky they were helping us navigate our way through the show because it was PACKED. We certainly weren’t the only school group making an appearance that day. First, we attended an informative lecture on some of the animals that could be seen around. We learned that the color of a chicken’s earlobes determine the color of their eggs, and white eggs and brown eggs are exactly the same. We also learned the differences between cows and heifers, etc. The pig they brought out (the most dangerous animal at the show, they said) was 750 lbs. We continued on to watch a real modern cow milking, and learn some fun facts about farming in the US today. The most entertaining part of the day for the students, however, was watching their steps as they maneuvered around the piles of animal excrement all around. Also, not surprising. For lunch we headed to Central Market (comparable to Whole Foods); it was amazingly delicious. Then, as a bonus, we went to a horse ranch to see firsthand what we had been studying about horses in science. Although they couldn’t ride the horses, they were able to pet them and feed them carrots. Unfortunately for the horses, there was a funny-looking donkey named “Buttons” that everybody took a strong liking to; he ended up getting the majority of the carrots…

Maybe next time we can do a historical fieldtrip…

Superbowl observations

Mondays…. ugh. Before jumping into a long morning of grammar exercises, I decided to let the class share their weekend stories. At first, there were the usual experiences… “My dad saw a midget at the airport,” “my puppy chased its tail,” “I ate ice cream” …. really? We didn’t actually need to know that. A short comment about the superbowl, however, led to several very animated responses”

“I thought the half-time show was so weird… I didn’t even know that Madonna was still alive”

“Did you see that curly-haired angel jumping on the tight wire? That was ‘wacked up'”

“When they walked in it made me think of Egypt.” That was the point. “Oh. Really?”

“The only part I liked about the whole thing was LMFAO. The game was boring.”

Luckily I had at least seen the half-time show, so I knew what they were on about. And they voiced most of what I had thought while watching it too. Basically, Madonna is old news… she should acknowledge what is obvious to everybody else…. Happy Monday!