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May 26 2010

School’s Out For SUMMER

The final day of school for teachers is supposed to be spent cleaning classrooms and getting things together. There’s a long list of things to be turned in (the worst part is the year’s worth of attendance, lesson plans, and grades in case the government audits us) and then everyone can leave once checks arrive.…

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May 25 2010


Turns out there really IS such a thing as a Permanent Record. I always thought that was an empty threat. We have a file of every kid’s family info, teachers, grades in each subject, and even his or her school portrait from every year. And we keep it forever and ever. I know this because…

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May 24 2010

The End

Well, my kids promoted today. The ceremony was short and sweet, everyone was dressed to the nines, and families were out in full force. I couldn’t ask for a better ending. The best part of all was afterward, when families, friends and teachers all milled around outside, hugging and crying and taking ridiculous amounts of…

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May 23 2010

Trying not to die

I am so sick today. Luckily I’m not contagious, because I have to go to work tomorrow no matter how terrible I feel. My babies have their promotion ceremony at 9am and it would be the end of the world if I missed it. They’ve been asking me for months whether I’m going to cry…

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May 22 2010

This is what I deal with

Today a student ran into my room between classes and grabbed my stapler. This kid is intensely hyper, runs everywhere, and is not above grabbing my stapler to shoot staples around the classroom. Today, instead of taking it away, he impulsively grabbed the stapler and stapled himself in the arm. Stunned, he looked at the…

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“Thank you! #1 teacher! Dear Ms. Mathinaz, First of all thank you for all you’ve taught me and my classmates (: Thanks for becoming a teacher here instead of becoming a doctor. I really learned a lot of new math this year thanks to your time you give us everyday (: I also want to…

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May 19 2010

Last Week

This week is a long series of end-of-year parties, clean-up days, softball tournaments, and promotion rehearsals. This interferes with lots of class time, so I barely see some of my kids this week. Of course, there is one period that has no scheduled school events. That means I see one group of kids all week.…

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May 19 2010

Meth Lab of Democracy

Within a few weeks, Arizona became infamous for a string of bills. The birther bill requires hard proof of US-birth to be on the AZ ballot. The concealed carry law now lets anyone carry a concealed weapon, no permit or training required. The immigration law lets local police check immigration status. The ethnic studies bill…

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One of the absolute best parts of my job is talking trash about sports with my kids. Football season was insanity, and I took a lot of crap when my team lost. I still have sixth and seventh graders who I don’t even know yell things at me about the Patriots when they see me…

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May 17 2010

Benefit of ASU classes

Today I won my grad school math cohort’s “ASU Math Teacher of the Year” Award. My professor came to my classroom in the morning and gave me a very impressive-looking plaque. My kids passed it around and high-fived me all day.

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May 16 2010

Things that break my heart:

I put up with you being this kid (second story) ALL YEAR LONG, but I still gave you another chance in my classroom EVERY SINGLE DAY. My assistant principal put you in the infamous Group of Six (last 2 paragraphs) and you worked so hard to improve that this last Wednesday we released you from…

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May 13 2010


A big part of adjusting to this job has been learning how to handle the ridiculousness of middle school hormones. Case in point: one boy in my infamous Period 3, who was actually wonderful for most of the year. We got along really well, he worked hard and ignored distractions, and I told him all…

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May 12 2010

Kids say the darndest things

“I learned a lot about self-confidence this year. Ms. Mathinaz taught me algebra, too.” “I used to think math was hard until Ms. Mathinaz. She taught me to conquer math. If anybody in this school has patience, it’s Ms. Mathinaz.” “Ms. Mathinaz finally taught me how to understand fractions and division. That is so cool.”…

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May 11 2010


I am teaching physics this week. It’s all math-related and doing experiments is WAY more fun than doing worksheets. I’m convinced that we’re doing enough math to make it legitimate in my classroom, but I didn’t ask permission just in case it isn’t. Administration gave the entire staff a hard time about the crazy behaviors…

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May 10 2010

Feel like crying? watch the trailer.

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May 10 2010

Little Things

Two events to make me feel better when I start hating my life later this week: Last week, one of my crazy, obnoxious ringleader boys in Period 3 suddenly remembered it was Teacher Appreciation Week in the middle of class. He said, “Hey, I should say something nice to you, huh?” I restrained my shock…

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With twelve days left in the year, the kids are actually going insane. The day started with a student escaping from his elective class, taking off running across the field, and leaping the 8-foot fence to go home. This is while another teacher was in hot pursuit… both of them in a full sprint, with…

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Dear Ms. Mathinaz, Well, where do I start. Umm… oh, I know. There is one word, just one word that I think that will fit you best. That one word is INCRIDIBLE. You are the best math teacher I have ever had in my life (so far). You have push me harder than anybody else.…

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May 04 2010

Oh, To Be Appreciated

This week happens to be Teacher Appreciation Week. Our school office is decorated, treats keep appearing in my mailbox, and the sweet kids stop by with cards. A bunch of restaurants know the deal and are offering free food. I wish it were always possible to announce that I’m a teacher and get presents and…

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May 03 2010

Criminal Records

There was an incident today that resulted in me sitting in the office after school, watching a police officer read one of my favorite students his rights while the poor boy held back tears. It all sounded very serious today, with court dates and charges and a very intimidating cop, but hopefully they were just…

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May 02 2010


Seriously, I hate Sundays. I put off everything during the busy week, figuring it’ll get done when I have time over the weekend. Then I spend my weekends having fun and being a normal person, and avoid work on Friday and Saturday. (I know that sounds irresponsible, but it is saving my life. In the…

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May 2010
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