Came into my room to find that some neighborhood assholes decided to smash in one of my windows.  Since we couldn’t find a ball or a rock we believe they had to have used a bat or a pipe.  They also apparently smashed in a kitchen window and spray painted on the windows that lead to the playground from my hallway.

Every time I get comfortable life reminds me that I work in an urban school.  Sigh.

Happy Monday.

9.15.14. teaching,teacher,education,


Funny kid moment of the day.

Ms. J, a para for Pre-k is walking her students in a line down the hall.  The little one at the front of the line tries go the wrong way.  Ms J grabs her and says

"No no sweet potato, come this way" (we use nicknames like that a lot)

Another of her preschoolers, a little lady with two little poofs on her head who I believe only comes to my knee, turns to her and says,

"Ms J! She is NOT a sweet potato!" in the smallest, squeakiest voice you can imagine.

Ms J, myself, and a third grade teacher walking her kids to lunch all busted out laughing.  Ohhh gosh.  Little tikes.

9.05.14. teaching,preschool,teacher,education,


Apparently our librarian is writing a formal complaint about me because I was put in the media center for the end-of-year activities on Friday when she wasn’t here and she claims that there were things moved and stuff broken.  I told her that I kept the kids off her carpet like she asked (even though the carpet is FOR kids to sit on) and there weren’t kids over there when I was there. 

Stuff being moved?  You know, if it was on the floor, the custodians probably moved it to clean.  They can’t clean the floor with your shit on it.  They’ve shifted some of my things around before.  It’s not a big deal.

OH and she was flipping her shit because a barcode scanner was on the floor.  It literally sits in this flimsy little stand where any slight bump could knock it off, which might have also happened when the floor was being cleaned.  She then admitted she didn’t know if it worked or not!  wtf?

Go ahead and complain. Give me attitude instead of actually asking me questions and having a civilized discussion.  Write a formal complaint.  Make it my fault when I was ASSIGNED to your room.  Did you know it is not possible to keep your eye on 70+ kids every waking second they are in a room?  Did you know that getting kids ready for a talent show requires you to be moving around and not be staring at them every waking second?  But you wouldn’t know because a. you are barely there and b. you never help with anything unless you are forced to.

It’s like being back in high school.

6.02.14. teaching,coworkers,teacher,education,


Dear fifth graders,

You are not teenagers.  You are not in high school.

Nor are you a pack of zoo animals.

Figure it out.

The combination of I’m-too-grown sass mouth and crazy wildebeest stampede is not cute and nobody wants to deal with you.  

5.19.14. education,teaching,


I need to follow more music teachers, especially those of you doing elementary and/or urban teaching.

Come talk to me!

5.10.14. music,music education,music teacher,education,teaching,


Third graders earlier this year got in trouble for circulating a notebook with “I want to have sex with _______” in it and filling it in.

And just today a bunch got sent to the office for talking about “humping” each other and calling a boy “gay”.

It’s this gross combo of sexuality being shoved into younger and younger children’s brains mixed with rampant homophobia.

These kids are hyper aware of sexuality.  The girls as young as 5 will shake their butts and dance in ways that are WAY above their years. They will scream bloody murder at a girl sitting “wrong” or an accidental showing of underwear.  They’ve drawn boobs and written nasty words in notebooks and continue to do so after getting caught.  I had a second grader call someone us a whore and a slut! It’s insane.

Even worse is the homophobia. Homophobia in the little boys especially at my school is just horrific.  I wrote a seven year old up last year for hitting a kid and screaming “GAY BOY” at him because he accidentally bumped into him.

The little girls will hug and hold hands and lean on each other but if I a bow even just bumps shoulders with another they freak out.

Thankfully, my school is no nonsense and treats calling someone “gay” in a negative way as a slur and will punish them in a heartbeat.  But it’s still upsetting that these kids are aware of too much and you KNOW it comes from home.  IT makes me want to slap some parents.

I really wish I could just get this nastiness out of their brains but it’s not possible.  Ugh.


5.07.14. teaching,teacher,education,


I’m so fucking tired of everyone on the planet thinking they get to criticize teachers.

Back the fuck up.

You don’t have a teaching degree.  You have not studied what I have.  You do not do my job.  You have no idea what it’s like to do my job, therefore, your opinion is invalid.

Every article about education on the internet is full of people blaming us for every problem in schools. 

Here’s some facts for people who think they can criticize:

1. Unions protect teachers from getting fired for looking at a kid wrong or making a parent mad or a principal deciding they don’t like you.  They don’t protect bad teachers as much as you think.  They make sure that we have fair wages.  They fight against bullshit political nonsense, although they don’t always do a good job. Schools with unions perform better and schools where the union was destroyed are not doing so good.

2. Standardized testing has completely fucked up education and teachers can no longer teach properly.  We instead have to test and test and test and prepare for test and waste time for tests and tests and more tests.  We’re expected to push 1st and 2nd grade standards on kindergarteners.  We’ve made kindergarten full day and ditched play time and nap time.  Many schools have ditched recess, music, PE, and art.

3. Low-income schools are expected to perform at the same as suburban schools with involved parents and monetary security.  Schools now are full of kids raised by one parent, grandparents, random family member, or the TV.  They use school for socialization.  They come to school hungry and dirty. They deal with family members and friends having sex young, using drugs, and getting shot.  They might be in an abusive home or a foster home.  A lot of them literally do not give a fuck about school.  The behavioral issues are out of control.  They backtalk and attack teachers.  They fight each other and bring weapons to school.  They try to fuck each other in any private space in the building (middle and high schools in my area have had to put cameras in front of bathroom and students need an escort to use the bathroom because of this). If you don’t believe me, ask some teachers.  We all have horror stories.

4.  Students who cannot speak English are thrown into the schools and expected to adjust.  Teachers are also somehow expected to figure out how to educate a child that cannot understand them.  Many of the students come from illiterate families so they cannot read or write or properly speak their home language, so often times even a translator struggles with them.  Even if the kid can speak English, many of their parents cannot or will not (yes, we’ve had parents tell us they REFUSE to learn English).These students are expected to take standardized tests and the teachers are punished when these students can’t get good enough scores.

5. And on top of all of this, we are judged by how they perform.  If you have a room full of kids who don’t give a fuck about school, it becomes the teacher’s fault somehow.  Many states are adding new paperwork-based bullshit where we have to track students on a certain objective over the year and if our students don’t reach a certain point, the TEACHER fails.  The best teacher in the world cannot work with a room full of kids who do not care.

6. I do NOT get a summer off.  We joke about our favorite part of our job being “june july and august” but it’s not like that at all.  Most states end school part way into June and start school a few weeks into August.  Teachers spend the summer going to workshops (which in some places REQUIRE us to do this) and preparing for the next year. PS.  We only get paid for the months we work. We don’t get paid for 12 months of work, we get paid for 10.

So if you feel like you can run your mouth about education, please remember that you are not an educator and therefore you do not understand what we do.  Come do my job for a while and see what we do before you talk.

5.04.14. teaching,education,


When I think about the horrible teacher I was forced to team-teach with for six weeks



Bahahaha ohh man I know that feel.

My co-op had children my age, so she treated me like a child.  She talked in this little voice that made everything she say sound passive-aggressive.  She criticized the way I sat at the desk and how messy my handwriting was.  The students left at 3:30 and she told me that teacher’s don’t leave after school and wouldn’t let me leave until 5:00 at the earliest even though the building was empty by 4.  She only let me leave early when I had collegiate choir, and even then she huffed about it saying that it “wasn’t as important”, even thought I got a grade for it.

Once, She sat me down for an HOUR AND A HALF after school to criticize my wardrobe!  She told me that I’m only allowed to wear flats with hose, I cannot wear the same color pants more than once a week, and I cannot wear a scarf more than a few days because I needed to wear necklaces!  When I told her that I’m college student on a budget, she told me to go to goodwill and buy more pants!  This was also funny because she had a style bad enough to be on What Not to Wear.

She would scan my lesson plans and make me redo them if she didn’t like the font size or thought my sentences didn’t sound right to her to her or she didn’t want a period there (at the end of sentence…?).  She made me write out every single step (including what kid I asked questions to!) and got mad when I didn’t follow it perfectly.  She would comment when my voice would crack or if I didn’t stay perfectly in tune when singing with the kids.  She was allowed to miss notes on the piano but I had to be perfect. I had a mild allergy attack one morning and could barely open my eyes, so I called out.  I got chastised like crazy the next day with her saying that “teachers can’t just call out”. WHICH IS NOT TRUE AT ALL.

When she met my college supervisor, she pulled her aside privately in the back room and began to CRY saying that I’m defensive and won’t take criticism and she was “just trying to help” me.  My supervisor bought her sob story, refused to believe the truth from my mouth, and almost failed me (you need a B to pass and she said she didn’t want to give it to me).

I hated that woman more than words could explain.  But I now I am a professional doing a job that this woman could NEVER have survived in, so that is enough satisfaction for me. Success is the best revenge.

(via adventuresofastudentteacher)

3.30.14. teaching,teacher,education,


New djembe hybrids = African instrument mini-unit
One of them didn’t come in because it got discontinued, so the company is replacing it with a doumbek that’s cheaper AND has a 1 inch bigger head. Awesomesauce.

Until then, African instrument time. I did this last year when my first set came in, and if I can get new drums every year I’ll continue to do so. We have a large African population and the kids freak out when they recognize the sounds.


The less I talk, the more they play, and the happier I am.

3.13.14. education,teaching,


I know teachers aren’t supposed to care about being liked.

But when an entire classroom full of children tells their teacher that they don’t like your class, you wonder what you are doing wrong.

You can give 110% and sometimes it still isn’t enough.

And it hurts.

3.01.14. teaching,education,teacher,