real talk 

I’m an awful procrastinator and a fantastic fabricator of justification and both are chipping away at my career goals. 

I looked at my certificate for the first time in months and just realized that it expires in 15 days. It was a temporary certificate, only good for 1 year and that year is up. I remembered (and I don’t have the best memory) applying for it in the winter, so I thought that’s when it would expire. Turns out I applied in September and received it in October but it is still only good until June 30 of this year, not an actual 365 days from when I received it! So much sadness and disappointment in myself for sucking. And I’ve been on such a kick about how well I’ve been doing. Worst of all, three great jobs have opened up in art and English right in town and I will just watch them get filled by someone who is not me. And they deserve it because I’m a dummy. Jobs come and go, I just never, ever know when and where they will become available. Three openings is a lot in this area. And because those jobs are in town, it’s possible that only ones with 45 minute or more commutes will be available for who knows how long. I don’t know, I can’t see the future, but I sure can whine about the present :/ 

Thank God I can sub and I have other skills and options, I am just very upset with myself at missing these perfectly good opportunities for purely stupid reasons. It’s only my fault I haven’t already gotten a good job. I feel like God knows what’s in my future but He wants me to figure out responsibility before I can get there ***frustration***

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school’s out for summer 

  

What a long, strange trip it’s been. 

When I was young, I always assumed that teachers chose a job, got hired, and stayed in that position until they retired or died. I was grossly misled. I now know of the constant shuffle that is the education system where randomness tends to play a big part. While I sat at home disappointed in myself for skipping calls from the sub system mainly out of fear, I never thought that I’d be offered a semi-long term position on a Monday and start on a Wednesday. I dove fear first into  9 weeks of lesson plans, inclusion, English projects, state assessment  testing, grade books, parent meetings, team meetings, teacher collaboration, school dances, kickball tournaments, and even a full on lip sync battle for the ages. 

I packed up a room and signed out on the teachers’ last day of school for the first time. It really is a full day of work. For some it takes much longer. I had to get grades printed, saved, zipped, and emailed, throw away tons of student work (#sorrynotsorry) and other random papers, pack up tons of books, completely tear down all decorations, and unplug and organize all of the electronics. I ran around getting a bunch of signatures from the secretary, the tech guy, librarian, vice principal and principal, turning in color coded forms logging student fines, text book inventories, collected monies, maintenance requests, technology inventories, and wish lists. Finally I locked my door and turned in my keys. 

I use the word “my” loosely. None of those things were ever mine. I was responsible by default for a temporary amount of time. Nevertheless, I count myself lucky to have had such a great introductory experience in the strange and ever-changing world of school from the other side of the desk. The teachers were helpful, the students were challenging, the principal was supportive, and I gained invaluable experience and possibly more important, confidence. 

This chapter has come to an end, but there are many adventures ahead. This summer, professionally speaking,  I’ll be taking 2 Praxis tests, applying for jobs, and will start practicing with the cheerleading squad. I’m happy to stay busy and excited to see where my winding path takes me. 

image from http://risarodil.tumblr.com/tagged/pixar pretty art!

praxis 

I just registered to take the art content knowledge praxis test in only 10 days and I feel like I’m going to puke  =/ 

six word stories

I have been inspired by The Blog of Tony Burgess. Go check it out and follow if you like 🙂 His blog has a section entitled “6 word stories.” It reminded me of a fun project I once participated in. A few years ago, I got really into writing letters and having pen pals across the world. I discovered a site called PostCrossing. It’s amazing and simple. You send postcards to others who have signed up, all over the world if you want. Then you get the same amount of postcards in return from Russia to the Philippines to Daytona, Florida. It would be a wonderful project to do with a class.

From there, I discovered another site called SwapBot that was much more complicated, but very fun (however bitches got catty and petty and I ain’t got time for that, unfortunately). On SwapBot, you can choose from hundreds of swaps that were happening like send an envelope and letter decorated in Alice and Wonderland art or send 3 postcards from your home state or send a box of chocolates and some valentines or send a coloring book page that you colored yourself etc. and so on and so forth. Ideally, you would get something nice back from someone who joined that group.

On SwapBot, I liked to do the writing and artsy challenges and receive artsy writing in return. I was often inspired, sometimes amazed, and always happy to receive art in the mail.

One time I joined a swap titled “Six Word Memoirs.” The objective was to write your own personal 6 word memoir on a postcard and receive one back from a stranger, no further explanations allowed.


I think this is a perfect assignment for the first week of school for students. Follow up every once in a while and write a new one. Keep them where the kids can’t see them and make them into books at the end of the year. Write one on the board to introduce yourself. Write them for characters in novels. Write them for characters the students design. Write them to review a novel or article. Write and don’t stop! However you do it, it’s a great lesson on editing and being concise.

Other fun assignments in literary precision: 2 sentence horror stories (great for Halloween time), haiku, and Hemingway’s shortest short story challenge

study hall catch 22 

I CAN’T STAND STUDY HALL. 

Oh I’m sorry. Was I yelling? 

The little buggers have plenty of work to do, papers to write, and hundreds of books to choose from to read. But of course they don’t do it! Would you? I like to think that I could get some solid work done while simultaneously enjoying a healthy amount of goofing off. But these kids just can’t handle it. 

They have 4 core classes (math, English, science, social studies), 2 related arts classes (library, gym, band, or chorus), developmental guidance or careers (like a life skills course), and enrichment (usually a study hall, sometimes curriculum is involved. I guess it’s a place for extra practice. I guess it depends on the teacher). I realize this is a lot for a middle school student. That is why the study hall (“enrichment”) is offered. If it was an 8th official class, parents would think we were over working the kids, yet as long as the study hall is offered, the students goof off and still complain of having too much homework and not enough time to do it. 

    
I think I would have loved to have a study hall in high school, partly for time to do my homework (let’s face it, the excuses are sometimes legit. Being in a sport or club after school gets you home in time for dinner, a shower, and bed) and partly for socializing and finding innocent ways to flirt with my crush so subtly that he leaves the class with no idea that I exist. I can handle it why can’t they!