Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yearbooks and Circuses

Not to be outdone (or under done), it has come to my attention that I've dropped the blog ball. Again. I guess I could attribute that to my impending nuptials, but that would be cheating. I'm not a cheater, nor do I want to leave you hanging.

Organizing events can only be outclassed in frustration and bitter resentment to having to mow your lawn. You know that if you don't do it, the neighbors will get restless and start bickering at you to get your act together.

I've now planned, or been a part of planning 930 events. Ok, so maybe not that many, but it seems that way. One thing I've noticed and learned about this phenomena is that no one wants to take responsibility and actually help in a useful way. Most people are content to sit back and wait for you to fail in their eyes so they can drag your face through it for the remainder of the year. The alternative is that you exceed their wildest expectations and perform under pressure to the resounding wholesale applause that sounds as good as the Adagio from a Beethoven quartet.

Our last event, having something to do with the Junior class, went off swimmingly. We ate lots of food, played games, smashed a car, and pied yours truly in the face. All to the tune of some monies to help support the class. That is what being on a boarding academy campus is all about. You can't sit by and let them see you as they see most adults, blind, uncaring and aloof. You must engage them. You must love them. But you can't tell them. You have to show them. Which leads me to my next point...

We handed out yearbooks last night, an event that has always been a bittersweet event for me. In high school, I always wanted the pretty girls to write nice things about me, especially if they put the word "Love" and then penned their ever-so-sweet name directly following. Sadly, this was more a rarity than the norm of "Have a great summer!" with some generic greeting tacked on at the end. I wanted to know that I had made a difference in their lives. I guess my constant singing of obscure Michael Jackson remakes wasn't what they wanted to hear. I still desire that, only now, I want to know that I have positively influenced my students' lives. I leave the book sitting on a broken chair outside my office, hoping that my students will find it and write about how amazing I am and how much I've changed their lives. While my dream was fulfilled, sitting here writing this, I wonder if I shouldn't be desiring to make their yearbooks a place where I can build them up. So many have been run down as a result of changes this year at school, I guess it would mean a lot coming from the "authority" to say nice things about them. I guess my mission before the end of the year is to make all of my yearbook posts unique and loving, so that my students, no matter who they are and how badly I may despise their souls on some days, will feel God's love through my writing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


First, sorry its been so long. I don't have anything to say other than life gets busy. Thank you all for being patient.

I've noticed a trend among my teacher colleagues that startles me. It starts in the morning during the first period and slowly but surely grows like that sweet foam experiment that biology teachers always do on the first day of class. I'm talking about a teacher's anger and aggression.

I know what some of you teachers are thinking. *Gasp!* I never get angry at my kids. I always have ways of venting frustrations and not taking it out on them. If this is true, than you are the most amazing person this side of Alpha Centauri (obscure space reference). I personally find that my aggression towards those whom I teach increases exponentially. Something minor may happen, but that immediately puts me on the defensive towards ALL students. And so, by the time my last class rolls around, I kind of want to dispose quietly of their fetid corpses. Ok, maybe that's extreme.

I see this in my colleagues too. Towards the end of the day, we are all frazzled and destroyed. We want to annihilate anything that gets in our way. Is this normal, or is it possibly just the situation in which I find myself?

Comments are appreciated

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Studying? What's that?

I wonder sometimes if my recent baptism into the cult of education has jaded me. I love to learn, to read and to figure things out. A lot was expected of me in college and I delivered. Not to toot my own horn, but I didn't just breeze through college. I did flipping great!

That having been said, I'm sure I have forgotten how hard it was like to be a teenager. Its terrible what they have to go through! Suzy Smith just broke up with Johny Jones! Oh no! What?! You don't have a date to the Social!? But he/she is so popular... you get the drift.

It seems like kids do have a lot more going on than when I was in high school, but my question is this: Why does it seem like such a foreign concept to put any effort into anything anymore?

Now, before you all comment and say, "Well, you can't expect them to perform at the collegiate level" or, "their only kids", or maybe "Give them a chance to succeed", I do all these things. I give them chances to remember; they do section reviews all the time. I tell them what I've told them, to borrow a line from the old teacher mantra. All I want them to do is to study for a test. The example I give you is the proportion of students who did not achieve a 50% or higher on the test I am currently grading. Its over half. How do I get them to study? I don't want to hold their hands and put effort in that is not being matched. To break from the purpose of this blog, I'd really appreciate any ideas you all might have. This has been happening for a while and it needs to change.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


This should, of course, be obvious to most, but I'm just learning this little gem:


Procrastination is the devil on both shoulders.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to check my facebook...

Monday, January 25, 2010

For those of you who know me, that is to say, those who were directed here from my facebook page, I need to have a policy in place which protects anonymity.  Please do not leave comments with my name attached.  Please direct all comments to "Double-O Teacher".  Seriously.  No names.  I will likewise attempt to leave and or change names to protect privacy.  Thanks.

5 months the wiser

I was asked last weekend if, being an educator, I had learned anything from my experience teaching.  Oh boy.  This is going to take a while.  

One of the beauties of starting a blog is the ability to talk to lots of people, often a very cathartic release, without the fear and danger of recognition and repercussions.  

Do I think that anyone will honestly read this for the nuggets of sage gold that I've gleaned in the last several months?  Maybe.  Maybe somewhere out there is a recent college grad who is desperately searching for someone who has been there, this might be for you.  I certainly wish I'd found something that would have shed a small ray of light on an otherwise completely foreign concept.

Or perhaps I'm just doing this for my own reasons.  I want to vent, scream, and quit some days.  The mantle "teacher" is not something that should be taken up lightly.  Don't I know it.  Starting now, I'm keeping a journal of the daily lessons learned while at the workplace.  I hope someone learns something.  Maybe it will be me.