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Dec 25 2011

Wrapped Gifts

I had a student on a behavior contract, but we were having trouble thinking of a reward for perfect completion of the contract. Did she want me to bring her lunch? Special class seating? A Saturday activity somewhere? Homework passes? She kept insisting she wasn’t sure, but she was excited about the contract anyway.  …

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Dec 23 2011

Why My Job Is Better Than Your Job

I had lunch with an old friend yesterday, and he was complaining pretty heavily about his job, which he hates.   His work is boring and doesn’t challenge him. No one appreciates his contributions. What he does isn’t meaningful or fulfilling. He gets paid hourly and has to fight for benefits. He sits at a…

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Dec 22 2011

Charter School Recipe

I am home for break, and got the huge fortune of getting to go see one of my former colleagues at her new job. This is the woman who taught me everything I know about building conceptual understanding and teaching problem solving (You know, the important stuff… which no one else has ever been interested…

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Dec 16 2011

Micromanaging Mom

Here’s another unsolicited hint to parents: If you don’t want your child to grow up to be a neurotic, stressed-out mess, do not be a neurotic, stressed-out mess about everything they do. Do not become a neurotic mess about the fact that your child is neurotic. Do not stress about whether your child is too…

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Dec 14 2011

One Day, All Children…

A girl in the class I co-teach is amazingly low in math. She has earned a whopping 8% on each of our district standardized tests so far, she blurts out random, unrelated answers to math questions, and she struggles to add and subtract on her fingers. She does have an IEP, but she is definitely…

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Dec 06 2011

Nerding Out

Normally, I don’t miss teaching the advanced kids. I taught the accelerated class for two years, but at my new school that’s finally someone else’s job. This is a huge relief for me, since the “smart kids” aren’t usually my thing. They’re often obnoxious and entitled and lazy from too many years of feeling better…

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Dec 03 2011

Mind-Reading Rumors

After school, I was talking to a boy about how differently he acts in my class (silent and shy) compared to the end of the day (hilariously funny and mischievous). He shook his head and said, “Miss, if you could only split my head open and look into my brain while I’m in class!” (To…

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Dec 02 2011

Sweet Silence

A boy who is in my first period math class and my last period intervention class has started getting really annoying. He’s been a behavior problem all year and been suspended a couple of times, but he wasn’t seriously on my radar in my classroom until recently. He’s started calling out way too often… and…

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December 2011
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