April 2007 Archives

After the Virginia Tech shootings, the whole world mourned, including our world on the Navajo Nation. But when you’re perched on top of a mesa in the middle of a desert, hours from high-rises more than 3- or 4-stories high, it’s easy to feel very far away, no matter how tragic the event. So while I heard my students express their horror and sadness over the massacre, I knew that some of them didn’t quite comprehend its tragedy. I knew that because I overheard quiet chuckling from several students after one made a crude and completely inappropriate ...

Fifty-percent of new teachers leave the classroom after just five years. Sometimes it’s burn-out. Sometimes it’s realizing you don’t really like teaching. Sometimes it’s moving on to your next calling. I’ve already completed my struggling-blindly-treading-water-help-me first year, and in mere weeks, I’m about to conclude my still-struggling-but-thank-goodness-I’m-so-much-better-at-this second year. I have had my share of highlights, lowlights and lessons taught to me (and hopefully a couple learned by the students). Like every other passionate teacher, I work to close the achievement gap. But as a new teacher with almost 2 years of experience, ...

Monday afternoon. Sitting in graduate school class. Reading Chapter 8 of Vicki Spandel's "Creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing Assessment and Instruction." Feeling slightly queasy from the assignment. Do you write? Why, of course I do. In fact, I’m quite good at it, I think. When you first thought about being a writing teacher, did you picture yourself writing? I didn’t. You mean writing on my own or with my students? I pictured myself handing out assignments, being the one with the power (and the red pen) for a change. Yes, I am very good at that. At last, ...

Dear Readers, I am a slacker. I haven't been teaching. I haven't been lesson planning. I haven't even been in New Mexico. And as evidenced by the date of this entry, I haven't been blogging. It's spring break and I'm back East visiting family. I will update the blog this weekend. EDIT: I am finally writing my lesson plans for the next week right now and they're just pouring out of me. Spring break (and not doing anything) has reenergized and inspired me. It is comforting to be able to justify sloth....


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