Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Teen Pregnancy Month

Yep...it's teen preggers month. I know. Seemed weird to me too, but I'm new to this teacher stuff, so I'm not asking questions.

I just cut into our 2nd home grown tomato of the season and I have to tell you...homemade tomatoes make you feel like dancing. Instead, I'm going to take a stroll around the block with Jim Brill (state legislator) before it's back to the wedding planning and nagging of Philadelphia Human Resources Departments that shall remain nameless.

Today was the first day of induction for the Philadelphia Department of Ed. It was a little strange because we were being taught by Powerpoint instead of being taught by Mary. There were no colorful posters to create nor Objectives to read aloud...and nary a post break peppermint to get the electricity going in our brains. I suppose it's a good thing to experience different kinds of teaching before actually jumping in head first because you realize what to do and what not to do. Today I learned not to create powerpoint lessons. Also, I learned not to take things like cell phones from students, but to take shoes from them...or...give them a pencil for a shoe or a quarter...or something. Seriously...I'm not really sure. Maybe I just miss Mary.

In other news, Mr. Tony Danza was at induction, also learning to be a teacher in the Philadelphia school district. He's filming a reality show for A&E wherein he teaches English to high risk youth and he looked at a bunch of schools before settling on one in the Northeast...he even looked at G-Dub (Go Eagles). While he still has a lot of cred points to earn in my heart (and Katelyn agreed), he def earned a check plus today for being there and learning the biz. Nice work, Mr. D.

To Being The Boss,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Soft Fruit

So far this week has been bitter sweet. While the summer school kids are in class until Friday, yesterday was our last day. We didn't tell them we were leaving until the end of the day after we threw them a pizza party. I have to admit, their reactions surprised me.

It was never my goal to be friends with my students and I went in with the idea that I wouldn't strive to be the most well-liked. Because of this, I imagined that the kids would be happy to see me go...I was harsh at times and I think I really challenged them. But they weren't happy to see me go. They said that they'd miss us and they seemed a little sad when we told them that we wouldn't be in class today. And I was sad too....I probably won't see any of them ever again and they all left such a mark. I'll never forget the first 5 kids I taught...not ever. But the sad is matched with happy. I realized that I made the right decision to join PTF. I've never felt such a mixture of emotions before nor have I ever felt this rewarded.

Funny how things work out.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Math Blaster Mystery

Today was my first day teaching Math. I taught Order of Operations, (PEMDAS or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally). Students were bad today and it was a huge challenge, but then they surprised me...they all got 100% on their quizzes. 100% at 100%. I think that's sticker worthy. I was a happy math teacher today. Despite the attitudes.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hello on the Fly

Hello There!

I'm flying by to say hello and let you know that I'm doing great and could not enjoy my PTF experience any more than I am. I've also never been busier and I'm having quite the time with...time management. I'm thinking that Nicole was right in her efforts to introduce me to the word of pocket planners. l...I'm managing and may even go to the beach on Saturday...we'll see.

Here are some highlights from the week:
1. One of my students has created a habit of waving to me from different parts of the classroom.
2. Another student used something I taught her...CONTEXT CLUES. My heart sortof fluttered.
3. James caught 3, 3!!!!, treats when I threw them to him. This is a trick that we have been really practicing and our practice is starting to make perfect (especially when it comes to popcorn...his favorite medium).
4. Tomatoes...tons of the them...are growing in my backyard. It's amazing when things grow before your eyes. Especially when you can eat said things.
5. Mom found a dress to wear to the wedding, well, two dresses but we narrowed it down to one. She bought both. They're both incredible and she looks great in them. She's wearing the blue one to Jenn's wedding.

Happy Thunderstorm Thursday.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Hello From Sunny Philadelphia

Just saying hi and letting you know that, yes, I'm totally overwhelmed, but also really happy about what I'm doing. I get observed again tomorrow, again on my 7th grade reading lesson, so, needless to say, I've gotta go and get some stuff done. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, here's a pic of the other SPED Science Fellows, also known as "The Greatest People You Will Ever Meet". Just imagine all of the smartest, warmest, funniest people you know in one classroom. You should probably invite them to be on your Quizzo team.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

you can do it, put your brain into it

It was definitely one of those days. The kind with a soundtrack in the background where you picture yourself walking around smiling and your hair and outfit look perfect.

Today, my cooperating teacher, a teacher that I respect and admire very much, told me that I was born to teach. I know, right. I sortof felt like moonwalking and crying and retreating all at the same time.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Today I learned that I have a lot more learning to do. I gave my first mini lesson to a class of 4 and wasn't thrilled with it. At all. Embarrassed even. No bueno. Luckily, I'll have a few more chances to practice.

In other news, I have an incurable case of "not enough time in the day" and I fear it may be my downfall.

I recommend not changing everything about your life in the course of 3 months.



Monday, July 6, 2009

terminal eye headache

Day 1 went pretty well aside from a snag with the system that may find me teaching at Bartram High instead of GW. Which would be a bummer, but we'll see.

Today I learned that kids don't show up to summer school. Awesome.

Hopefully more will show up tomorrow, but if not, three will do. Baby steps.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


I'm assigned to help teach summer school tomorrow as a part of the philly teaching fellows program. I'm teaching in Kensington. woah. And wondering if they ride bikes at lunch in Kensington like they do at Urban Outfitters Inc.

Hm...prolly not.

What a great weekend on the beach in a maxi dress.

Hope yours was too.

Pete says hi. Love,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oh, hey

The first week of "being an emergency teacher 101" flew by thanks to my Fellows Advisor Mary DeSalvo and a room full of the smartest people you will ever meet. Don't you just love being in a room filled with smarties? It reminded me of Mr. Gair's IMPACT classes in elementary school minus Mr. Gair, who always kindof fascinated and terrified me simultaneously.

It's hard to illustrate how much I admire my FA and I know I'm not alone. At the begining of the week, I wanted to be as amazing of a teacher as Mary is and by the end, I just really wanted to be her. Like...actually BE her. Parisa felt the same way and did a little dance to symbolize her jumping into Mary's body. It commenced with a shoulder roll that made me laugh at inopportune times throughout the day. Like when I was in class, when I was driving home and when I was making Oreo truffles in the kitchen all alone.

My favorite part of the week was actually when we sat and wrote our first lesson plans. I loved every breathtakingly creative second of it, but pretended I didn't because the people around me were really scared by it...or maybe they were pretending too. Lesson Plan, I have learned, is the veritable cuss word in the biz. The biz of molding minds, that is. And I'm in Rome...you know the rest.

The week ended, or shall I say is ending, with me eating creamed spinach out of a box (woah, South Beach) with Oreo under my fingernails...if you have tried my sister's recipe for Oreo truffles, you know how much it's worth it...and working on shoes so that I can do wedding stuff and head down the shore. To work on my freckles.

Oh...about the wedding. Of course I decided to design my own invitations (I know), and I'm getting custom hair fascinators for all of my maids made by a girl named Jessica who lives in Olympia. Just wait until you see these things. I'll abandon South Beach next week for the great tasting of 2009 and to celebrate myself after a week of summer school.

Wear Sunscreen and Be As Independent As Possible,

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Golden Rule Days

Today was my very first day of Institute for the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows and I have to tell you, I loved every second of it from the ice breakers to the color coded note cards. Yeah...I said I liked the ice breakers. What gives. I didn't sleep at all last night and I couldn't eat this morning because of the nerves, but I did ok. The school where we're training is what you see when you think of schools in old books. It's got interesting windows and shiny wooden floors with knicks and dings that are certain to have a story or two. It even smells like school...glue, books and working minds. And there are seats with baskets under them. Very authentic.

I talked to a kid in my program about teachers and what I thought of them before realizing that I was generalizing. I should stop doing that. Still...I decided a long time ago that teachers were the most organized people in the world and they are always on time. Pretty much the opposite of me. That's something I'm going to have to work on. School starts at 7:30am. Ouch.

I think this is going to be good and I know this because of one very distinct clue. I have already picked out all of my outfits for the rest of the week. History tells me that this means I've made the leap...head first...without a swim cap. Yeah. No swim cap.

I teach summer school next week with a "real teacher" in the classroom. Stay tuned.

P.S. Did you hear that Tiger Woods is coming to Philadelphia? He finally realized that I'm the girl of his dreams (at last).

Friday, June 26, 2009

99% perspiration

The word reinvention makes me think of Madonna, which subsequently makes me mad. I hate Madonna. But I guess, on some level, we have things in common.

I'm a teacher. As of yesterday. That's funny. Yesterday I took a position at George Washington High School in Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows. I'm teaching special ed/science...Biology and Life Sciences. Can you believe that? And you're right to think that I'm out of my mind terrified and out of my mind with ideas. Reinvention---as far away from fashion as I could possibly be and all because of a little essay I wrote for the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows on the very day that it was due.

Reinvention is a funny thing. I consider myself it's unlikely wunderkind. I've done it so many times that I'm now allowed to skydive without an instructor...without a parachute even. My resume says that I've been a project manager, a writer, a designer, an entrepreneur, a publicist, a web merchandiser....and now it'll say I'm a teacher. And while I know you're thinking it but not saying it, yes, I do agree that my occupational wanderlust is bordering on ridiculousness. I refuse to apologize. While I was all of those things on paper, I wasn't really ever any of them. I was always just jes. And I'm happy for that.