The Show Must Go On

Logan is getting his first ever nebularizer treatment. Being a parent is never easy, but watching your baby be sick is kind of the worst.

Logan is getting his first ever nebularizer treatment. Being a parent is never easy, but watching your baby be sick is kind of the worst.

There’s snot everywhere.

Sorry for the graphic visual, but that is what I’m knee deep in today.

Unfortunately, Logan is sick and he couldn’t go back to school until he was on antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

Being a mother most always supersede being a teacher, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel dismayed about by being absent.

The emails started going out yesterday as soon as we returned from the doctor with the news. First to administration, then to my students with the assignments and then the texts following up about the emails.

My being absent should never impede learning from happening. As a matter of fact, I expect it to be a regular learning day.

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Giving Thanks for my #PLN: 2014 edition

Running into friends from Kent State in Minnesota at the JEA/NSPA conference - what feels like a long time ago!

Running into friends from Kent State in Minnesota at the JEA/NSPA conference – what feels like a long time ago!

In my 13 years of teaching there have been many who have touched my life: colleagues, friends and students. This profession brings people together and develops relationships while we each grow as learners and people.

On this month of Thanksgiving, I’d like to express my gratitude for the folks who have left an impact this past year:

My WJPS family, there are too many to list, but specifically, my science girls: Jessica Cimini and Georgia Douvres… and my supervisor Nick Jurman who follows me on every wild limb I go out on and always trusts that my passion is in the best interest of the kids.

This year, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Christina Lueth and Ernie Lai on our pub finance class and it has been amazing. They are both really inspiring math teachers. (more…)

Let me in, please; it’s cold outside

Taken on Halloween, in my car before work. It's dark except for the small overhead light I have by the dash.

Taken on Halloween, in my car before work. It’s dark except for the small overhead light I have by the dash.

It’s clear global warming is kicking our butts now. 9 feet of snow in Buffalo, but luckily none in Queens.

But it’s cold. 30 degrees with a wind chill that makes it feel like the teens.

And guess where I spent the pre-sunrise hours?

In my car.

Like all days before school, I wake up at 5 and leave by 5:30. The traffic can be unpredictable and the parking conditions by my school are not great. There is no lot or set area but the streets in the surrounding neighborhood to explore.

After picking up my coffee and breakfast, it’s 6am and the block is usually easy to park on.

Unfortunately, I’m not allowed in the building until 7am. (more…)

CARP is not just a fish

IMG_7297.JPGAfter I left PD yesterday, I was called for on the PA.

Like something out of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead , I was sent for.

Fortunately, I was on the phone with my supervisor and could relay the fact that I was already gone.

“You’re going to the CARP meeting tomorrow. I’ll email the information later, ” my principal told me.

Sounds good to me. But I don’t know what a carp is… except a giant gold fish.

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And the Nominees are… #Eddies14

edublog_awards_300x300_v2Few times a year we take the opportunity to say thank you for the awesome work educators do outside of the classroom to share their experiences and make us all better for.

Here are my nominations for this year’s #Eddies14:

Best Individual Blog – Finding Common Ground by @PeterMDewitt

Best group Blog – Edutopia @Edutopia

Best Administrator Blog – Life of an Educator by @JustinTarte

Best New Blog – Teach Behind the Lines by @BTCostello5 (more…)

Please, Don’t Read off the Powerpoint

students present their race to the pitch projects

students present their race to the pitch projects

As teachers, we know the value of speaking and listening, as it is the bread and butter of our profession.

Developing a presence while speaking to an audience may come naturally to a lucky few, but for the rest of us it takes practice.

Too often in school we spend time focusing only on the reading and writing and not enough time on the speaking and listening.

Whether we ask students to formally present and/ or attend to presentations of peers or we engage them in one on one communication, these skills are a must in every classroom regardless of content area or age.

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What messages do we send?

Students power through pilot testing in lieu of regularly scheduled project time.

Students power through pilot testing in lieu of regularly scheduled project time.

We were all excited. I was struck with one of those amazing ideas for a project that I got all kinds of cray over and offered it up to the kids right away.

Groups were determined by me this time based on the outcome of their last couple of assignments. Certain textual strengths coupled with creative strengths in other areas.

We were about to kick it all off when I got the news.

“11th and 12th grade ELA classes will be doing pilot testing…” For whom and for what didn’t seem to matter to me, the only thing I heard was that I was losing more class/learning time and I saw red.

“Why do the 12th graders need to pilot a test they will never be taking again?” (more…)