Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why now?

Like all good teachers, I always (most of the time) write the homework for each of my classes up on the board every morning; in fact, I have a whole white board dedicated solely to the daily schedule and the daily homework...and if you teach at a small, private school like me, you know why I need an entire board...I have 5 preps (yes, 5).  English 9, English 9H, English 10H, AP Lit, and Creative Writing.  About once per trimester I have a breakdown that sounds something like this, *high pitched and whiny* "I can't do this anymore! I am in the middle of reading 4 different novels, and sometimes I can't remember whether or not Raskolnikov found a pig's head on an island, was one half of Dr. Jekyll, or is a psychopathic murderer...wait, every character is a psychopathic murderer right now! Ugh!"  To which my curriculum director pats me on the back, whispers, "There, there," and plies me with dark chocolate. Sigh.

But I digress...the homework board - 5 different classes, with 5 days of homework, each in a different expo color (love the rainbow brites package) each neatly labeled, So imagine my surprise when one day, about 2 years ago, I walked into my classroom to find my AP Lit heading erased and scrawled (unneatly, may I add) with the title "Hangin' with Hekken."  Rather than being upset, I was forever endeared to the goofy and amazingly lit-savvy Andrew P., who let me know that AP Lit was more than just a class, it was a time to "hang out and discuss major works of literature with *ahem* the best teacher around." Now, I'm not naive to the fact that he was in the midst of a major moment of B.S.  In fact, it's more than probable that he had forgotten to turn in a literary analysis paper that was due, and he was hoping for a little grace; however, grace is rarely shown in an AP level class, but his point was made, and my seniors have taken "Hangin' with Hekken" instead of AP Lit ever since.

I'm not a perfect teacher.  In fact, I read blog posts and scour Pinterest and teacher message boards all the time which clearly remind me how imperfect I am (I mean, have you seen some of these amazing binders? Who has time for that!!)  But I love to teach, I love my students, I love my school, and I am blessed to have a family that lets me commit most of my waking hours to my job. (Actually, they get Taco Bell at least once a week because, really, who has time to cook? They feel that it's the perk of having a working mom). So anyway, I thought I'd take the chance and see if there are others out there who I can inspire, encourage, partner with, and learn from as we navigate this ever-changing, common-core, hands-on, technology-laden, read-and-write-across-the-curriculum world of Education.

The aforementioned Andrew P. on the right (and let's not forget his buddy Devin K.)

An AP Lit debate table

My Taco Bell-loving kiddos

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