There's nothing else to call the last few days of school besides what it is: an honest-to-goodness, over-the-top shit show. And mostly, we are happy to wallow in it.
There's a rule of thumb that new teachers are supposed to follow. Simply put: Stay away from the teachers' lunchroom.
Lining up. Counting off. Running around. Back to center. Singing loudly on e bus. Getting lost and getting found.
As we all know, teaching isn't just about academics. In fact, academics are the least of it sometimes. Our job is to raise good human beings - or, at the very least, to try. And as I think back over my years in teaching, I'm feeling pretty good about that.
Today, during the pandemic, with states beginning to reopen, including the beaches and parks of the Jersey Shore, there are many choices that need to be made. If we did it right, as teachers, we gave our former students the power - as adults - to make the right ones: to wear masks, to social distance, to stay away from large gatherings, to be very careful. At least, that's my choice.
Lost - and found. It's a simple simile, really: our students as small, perfectly cut diamonds, just waiting to be discovered. Each of them bright with promise we might never see, might never find; each day a waiting game, a hope that we might glimpse that flash of light, for just a moment, and - even more - help those lost souls to believe that there is something deep inside worth finding.
Last year, at just about this time, educators all across New Jersey were reluctantly preparing for our annual state testing. We had grade-level meetings, at the end of which we signed our lives away on forms that said we would protect and defend these tests with our lives. This wasn't just theoretical; in the event … Continue reading #37 – Testing, Testing . . .
Just about a year ago, on the half day preceding spring break, my students came together outside, chalk in hand, to celebrate it all: spring, break, and - yes - poetry. , , , I'm reminded of this in April of 2020, during the present coronavirus pandemic,.as I pass sidewalk scenes in my neighborhood on walks and through photographs I've viewed on social media.
I'm wearing pink today - I can't help it. More than 20 years of Valentine's Day in schools is pretty ingrained in me. I've done all sorts of activities in the classroom over the years - the best being the start of a sonnet-writing unit many years ago - until the curriculum was so overloaded … Continue reading #29 – V Day
It is the rare individual who happily goes back to the life of early wakeups and daily activities after a long weekend, not to mention a long break. But it feels much worse in education. On January 2nd, when teachers, feeling this way, are faced with students, feeling this way, the results are not pretty. … Continue reading #25: Back