One Day She…

Dear Readers,                                                                                                                                  After writing a post on Facebook yesterday and then seeing this memory today, I realized that I was wrestling with finding my voice. The beauty (and synchronicity) of all this is that I actually wrote this post three years on my Facebook page in response to rediscovering my voice. While looking back, I realized that I deal with the same things around the same time. Right now, I’m trying to figure out how knowing this information can be used to my advantage.

Below, is what I wrote in response to this pic:


I am enjoying being me and loving EVERY single minute of it. I’ve rediscovered that I have a voice. I’m not talking about my singing voice. I’m talking about ME! MY VOICE! My voice that I’ve recently discovered after years of having lost it. The voice that says I CAN & believes it; knows it with my whole being. The voice that knows you can’t and shouldn’t try to please everyone. The voice that knows I AM THE BEST ME I CAN BE; the voice that has decided to be ME, no matter who likes it! Continue reading “One Day She…”


Teach Plus @ LMU PD, Part 3!

Dear Readers,

For the first session, we learned a couple of strategies, called Opportunities to Respond (OTR). They include:

  • Response Cards
  • Hand Gestures
  • Take A Stand
  • Choral Response
  • White Boards
  • Think-Pair-Share

I’ve used all of these. We also learned a strategy I hadn’t heard of, the Round Table strategy. The teacher, Drew Otto, introduced it to us by giving a handout & explaining what we were going to do. So, we watched two videos with instructions to critique the video. First, we had to look for evidence of engagement. Then, we had to look for evidence of students not being engage. Once we were finished critiquing both videos, we passed our handouts around & others responded to what we’d previously written. Then, after that we passed that person’s paper around & someone responded to that person, until we did this for 3 rounds. For the last round, we basically summed up everything. Look at the templates below to get a better understanding just in case you didn’t understand my explanation.

Here are the templates I created using Drew’s template:                  equityequalityroundtable-1   equityvs-equalityroundtable-2


Please email me if you have any questions!

Almost Totally Paperless!

Dear Readers,

I have a problem. Not a big problem but a problem nonetheless. It’s a small problem, actually a good one. You see, I’m almost totally paperless in my classroom. So, when the 9th grade chapter chair requested work to put on the board, I didn’t have any.

When I first decided to become paperless I didn’t think about this ‘problem’. I was just thinking about how inconvenient making copies was. I didn’t think about not having anything on hand to put on the board.

I printed out one of their power point presentation in color and put them on the board. Problem solved!

DVR is Over!!!

Dear Readers,

I’ve been ridiculously busy getting ready for the District Validation Review, which is a review of the SpEd dept. to ensure that we are in compliance. Well, we were. We passed with flying colors. However, I don’t want to see another green folder (SpEd folder) for awhile. I, along with my assistant & my co-teacher, had to clean up the green folders that’d been neglected for years. A green folder only requires up to three years of IEPs. Well, one of the folders had IEPs back to 2003. So, believe me when I say that we had our work cut out for us.

I am so happy it’s over. The day of I was spazzing out. I found a hole in my dress that I don’t remember seeing there when I put it on. Thank goodness I had a sewing kit in my car. I got it, went to the restroom and sewed it up. The only problem was that I couldn’t print, and hadn’t been able to in since Monday. I was completely frazzled. I even cried! That was huge for me because I’m not a public crier. I mad it through it though. The person in charge of the DVR was very personable and helpful. It wasn’t stressful. The stress I had was self-imposed. It was because I just didn’t know what to expect.

I wanted to go home right after it was over. Not so! We had parent conferences that I had to stay for. After that, I came right home and went straight to sleep. I was simply exhausted. The only thing I did in my classroom the next day was a DO NOW & grade checks. It was a pretty easy day. After the school day crawled by, I came home and crashed. I went to see Kingsman: Secret Service and was extremely happy with it. It was so good. I’ll write about that in another post. Bye for now!

My Threshold! Part 2

Dear Readers,

One thing I’ve learned to do it to listen to my body and know when it and I have had enough. Well, I tried to anyway. This sickness came out of nowhere. I’ve been down since Sunday night. I went to work on Monday because I had an IEP and just didn’t want to submit lesson plans. It was easier to go to work. So, I thought.

I got to work and could barely walk. I felt like I was walking in slow motion, in water, in a snowstorm. Yeah, it was really that bad. I had chills and a fever at once. Not to mention the scratchy throat and the achy muscles.

I left immediately after the IEP at 2:30, picked up Phillise, and got in bed until 3:00 p.m. the next day. I only got up then because I had to pick Phillise up and I had a presentation to do at my school @ 4:30. If not, I would have asked my mother-in-law or my sister to get her and stayed in bed. I’m still in bed as I write this on Wednesday night @ 6:40 p.m. I’m going to work tomorrow though. I’m a little weak and dehydrated but I’ll be okay.

It’s good to know your threshold. I make a habit of knowing when I’ve reached mine. As I recuperate, I will say bye for now!

The Little Engine That Could!

Dear Readers,

little-engine 2I am pleasantly surprised with my students! I’m seeing leaders emerge with strengths they, or I, in some cases, didn’t even know they had. What am I talking about? I’m talking about my students coming alive and developing their life skills.

One of the activities I introduced to them when we came back from break was jigsawing. In one of my last post I stated how I put the onus on my students for asking for extra time and getting their missed work from when they were absent. I know they are only in the 9th & 10th grade but within the next 3-4 years they will be young adults in charge of their own lives. So, they need to have certain skills. Two skills they really need and that are very important to have are self-advocacy & self-reliance. They are beginning to do well with self-advocacy skills, so now I’m training them in self-reliance. Many times during the last semester, the work would be right in front of them but they would not take to time to try to uncover it. I thought and thought about how to help the overcome their learned helplessness but it was tough. Let me tell you that learned helplessness runs deep. They were so used to believing they couldn’t do it that they stopped trying.

Well, by lecturing them, supporting them, and helping them realize that they can do it, they have begun to advocate for themselves and to rely on themselves. It’s one of the best feeling in the world to see that light bulb go on and have someone realize they can do it. I always think of The Little Engine That Could when this happens. I should read it to them. They’re so young they probably haven’t heard of it. I’ll see. Back to the lecture at hand. I’m happy to see them blossoming. I’ll keep you updated.

What is Your Disability?

What is your disability? That is a question I asked of my students. In my first period class, I have 10 students. Of those 10, only one student knew that he was diagnosed with ADHD. The other ones had no idea what their disability was. So I gave them the assignment that I sussed out over the break. Since I introduced them to jigsawing, I printed articles for the three disabilities in my class- Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Autism.

Here’s the breakdown. Of my 26 students, 1 has Language & Speech Services (LAS), 2 don’t have the lab with me, 4 have autism, and 2 have ADHD, with 16 having SLD. I split them into groups, gave them the articles and the link for the Google sheet to answer the questions they would later transfer to their ppt. or Google slides presentation. I then explained their roles and let them tear apart the article and answer the questions. They were free to research any questions that were not answered by the article. I’ll discuss the outcome in another post. Just color me impressed!

Bye for now!