September 2006 Archives

I have 10 kiddos running around my classroom, glue and papers on the floor, and I have a sneaking suspicion that there's blue paint slowly drying on my carpet. I still have a head cold and I stopped being paid an hour and a half ago. Yet, eight little paper scarecrows on my desk tell me this is all worth it....

It hit me how much I love my job today. I got a bit blue during my lunch break while thinking about how much I miss my boyfriend, who is living abroad this year. I started sinking in my chair and I could feel the tingle of tears around my eyes. But then who crashes through my classroom door, but “Elmer”, my student with cognitive impairment and physical disabilities. He is a sheep herder and a Navajo cowboy and sometimes he can be so, so naughty. And I'd never been happier to see him. You see, without realizing it, he ...

I’ll be honest: I wanted an environmental club. I wanted to sponsor an after-school club on water conservation and air pollution. I pictured myself gathering school children on sunny afternoons to learn about climate change. We could hook up with Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program and invite Navajo environmentalists to lead talks; we could have started recycling. It would have been grand. Enthusiastically, I described my elaborate dreams to some fifth and eighth graders on the first day of school. They were kind enough to let me finish illustrating how we would pick up litter around the ...

It’s not in the state standards, but it’s one of those life skills all teachers must teach. And so, in the first week of school this year, my students and I found ourselves abandoning reading class for 15 minutes to walk around the classroom with our shoulders thrown back and heads proud in the air to practice looking “cool.” “Cool” is to be proud and comfortable with who you are, I explained after two girls snuck into the resource room 15 minutes late because they were too embarrassed to be seen entering the special education classroom. “Cool” is ...


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