Thursday, January 4, 2018

What kind of teacher am I?

I am a teacher who cares first and foremost about my students happiness. I have a care plan; not a discipline plan, and it shows in my classroom. I want my students to know me as someone who cares about them as more than a number, more than a test score, more than The Class of ___. My students are my children and my philosophy is simple: I want to be the kind of teacher that I want my own children to have. I do believe in Karma, and I believe that if I show my students I care about them then someone will show my children that they are cared for in the 8 hours a day they spend at school. At the end of the year, I want my students to be known for their kindness, their compassion and their ability to collaborate.

I teach with the 4 C's in mind always. My students are collaborative, critical thinkers, creative, and able to communicate in analog and digital ways. These are skills I hope they continue to develop even when no one is pushing them to because these are skills that they will need to be successful on their own. I am in constant communication with others in my grade level, content, and all aspects of education to make sure that I am doing the best I can for my students. I use Twitter as my number one source of PD and my first go to when I have a question. I use FB sites filled with teachers across the world willing to share their ideas at no cost. And not only do I "steal" ideas from others, I share them just as much.

I want to be a teacher who delivers content and teaches students.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kindness Matters

I have been feeling a little crabby lately.  I have noticed that I'm not myself and I have found myself apologizing to people a lot lately: for my poor attitude, for complaining, for not keeping my words filtered. I am typically a very optimistic, outgoing, friendly person. But lately, I feel sort of negative. And I do not like it!

Yesterday I did a lot of reflecting on my current attitude and I realized that I need an attitude adjustment. I made a silent promise (now written for the world, or the 2 people who read my blog, to see) that I would have a better attitude and that I would think 3 things before I speak: What's my motive for saying this? Will my words build someone up or tear someone down? Is it confidential? (Mark Merrill blog).  

So this morning I put my thoughts into action and I went to do my first duty of the day, cafeteria watch! I am not only one of the first people my staff sees, but one of the first people students see as they come in for breakfast. This fact alone makes it even more important for me to get back to my old, happy ways.  I have the ability to set the climate for the day.  So I was happy this morning! I was my usual chipper self and decided that the things I've been upset about are out of my control and should not determine that I have a bad day. So I chose a positive attitude this morning.  And you know what??  I feel good!! 


As I was driving to work this morning I couldn't help but think about how wonderful 20 degree temps feel! We had record breaking temps in Ohio during the month of February with multiple snow/cold days and few days above the 0 degree mark. I am wearing less layers the last couple days and I realized how good it feels not to be so bogged down!

Lately I've spent a lot of time thinking about being happier, more optimistic.  Getting back to the old me.  As I was thinking about my thinning layers literally this morning, I realized also that I went home yesterday in a better mood and I believe it was because I chose a better attitude.  This morning I got some news from my mom that could have brought me down.  It wasn't life threatening news, just silly dysfunctional family news.  I was initially mad... but then I thought about how good it felt to wear less layers.  And I am choosing to not let this news get the best of me.  It will not bring down my day or my attitude.  If I can't control it, I won't let it control me.

I am an inherently optimistic person so I don't know what's gotten into me lately.  But I do know, that I like the way I feel with less layers on.  So I'm going to wear my negative attitude like I wear my clothing: thinned.  :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Last night I went to a Cleveland Cavaliers game! And it was everything that I expected it would be!!!

Being born and raised in the Cleveland area, I am a true CLE fan. I was fortunate to see Lebron James when he was "just" a high school player and again when he first played for the Cavs.  Last night was my first game since his return. I loved seeing Cleveland breathing again! It's growing, prospering, putting the reputation of "fattest/laziest/most unemployed city" behind us.  Cleveland, with a little hope, love, and nurturing is doing better than ever! The CLE is getting a second chance.

As a teacher and parent, I can say with confidence that Lebron is an athlete, a sports hero if you will, that I don't mind students or my own children looking up to.  So often kids idolize athletes, but why? Lebron has given them a why.  He not only plays an amazing game, but he has amazing roots right here in the Cle/Akron area. Lebron helps the underprivileged.  He has an "IPromise" campaign that does amazing work. Lebron puts education at the top of his list of important things to stand up and speak about. Lebron loves his family. He is very committed to his wife and children. And then... he plays basketball.

Going to a Cav's game has been something I've wanted to do since Lebron came home. I'm so thrilled to have had the opportunity. I love my hometown!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Celebrated Dr. Seuss

Last night I was honored to be a guest speaker at a local elementary school's first ever Literacy Night. Once I got over my nerves of reading in front of the adults, I embraced the fact that I could share my love of reading with the children. It was planned on National Read Across America Day which is Dr. Seuss's birthday so the theme of course was the one and only!

I read Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog? It's not one of Dr. Seuss's more popular books, but I drew on the little's prior knowledge by asking how many have ever played the popular card game, Would You Rather? Many kids were familiar with it so the story lent itself to lots of silly and thoughtful discussion. For the parents in the room, I believe watching their children discuss literacy was eye opening.  Kids had great responses and all sorts of unique thoughts! Parents walked away proud, mystified and some maybe embarrassed at what their kids had to say. But the conversation was begun to be continued later.

My own children attended this literacy night even though the elementary school was not theirs. They loved it! They enjoyed hearing a police officer read The Cat In the Hat, a couple high school students read Green Eggs and Ham, and our curriculum facilitator read, The Lorax.  Of course my children said my story was their favorite, but they are a bit biased when it comes to their favorite "teacher".  :)

My take away from the night was a renewed sense of pride in the fact that my children, at ten year olds, still love to be read to.  And hopefully the other parents in the room enjoyed seeing their children enjoy being read to and keep up the tradition at home.  And I hope the conversations continued....

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's March!

How can you tell it's March? 

Not because the snow is a mile high and brown around the edges.

Not because the sun is trying to peek through the clouds, reminding us that Spring is just around the corner.

You can tell it's March because tensions run high at work! Teachers are feeling overwhelmed, students are feeling over tested and under energized, cafeteria workers are feeling the need to move noisy kids outside for fresh air.

It's March because while teachers want to be feeling refreshed from snow days, playing in the remaining white, glistening snow, and warming their faces on the sun, they are instead preparing for the time of year when standardized tests will test everything BUT the students.  It will test a teachers patience.  It will tests a districts quality of education.  It will test a parent's faith in the teachers.  But it will not test the kid. This year more than any we are faced with testing! New tests. Lots of tests. Less time with students engaged in quality learning.

With so much discussion focused on PARCC, conversations among parents of who is opting out, teachers worried about how this will affect their evaluations, we need not forget why we really teach. We're here FOR THE KIDS.

At the end of the day, they need us to motivate them to always do their best, not just for a test. They need us to encourage, listen, understand them. They need us to remind them that after all, this is JUST a test.