Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Beginning...

So today begins the initial post for an idea that has been a long time coming. My challenge is to illustrate and capture what it actually means to "teach your ass off."

We know that teaching is not an easy job; we know that there is nothing as intricate and complex. We know that being a teacher is exhausting, enthralling, and intoxicating in every minute that passes during the school day. When you find yourself in that "zone," "flow state," or what I like to call, "no instructional practice will ever top this lesson I've designed and I will most certainly be teacher of the year state," you will find that you are in fact, teaching your ass off.

So what makes today special? Nothing in particular.  There are only three school days left until Spring Break and I'm exhausted.  My back aches, my feet are swollen, I have a faint head ache, and I spent the majority of the day in the classroom due to the open house that was scheduled for this evening. But then I was thinking....

I thought about what was accomplished today.  I thought about how I did not feel like I was in my "Teacher of the Year State." Rather, today felt hectic and rushed; during each class period, I was being pulled from one group of students to another answering questions, troubleshooting faulty technology, helping make props for videos, and tutoring students for the dreaded STAAR assessment. It would seem as if today was a nightmare.

Instead, I think about how much fun I had going to Hobby Lobby to buy special props for students so they could dress up as black holes and protostars in order to role-play the life cycle of a star.  I am thinking about how much fun I had with my co-teacher during our STAAR tutorials when we gathered up groups of students and formed "human atoms." (I was lucky enough to be the "negative/ witchy" valence electron in the lithium model.)  I completely enjoyed watching kids allow themselves to step out of their egos and be part of the moment.  And I am even more impressed with how clever my dearest friend and co-teacher was when she had the kids speak lines of the persona of each subatomic particle. Brilliant!

In the middle of the day I watched two students include another student in their group project in an act of compassion and kindness.  They stopped everything that they were doing to include this kid and allowed him to experience the content first hand.

When the parents came to open house, every kid that walked through the door couldn't wait to show their parents what they had done in Science class today.  I had projects on the lab tables and a slide show running on the projector; it showcased the work we have done during the past few weeks. My favorite part of the entire day was meeting the parents of a student I have had for two years.  I was able to tell them that not only was this young man an exceptional student, but that he was a remarkable human being. And those were my exact words.

I will probably never forget how humble they were or the look on my student's face when I told him that he could do anything that he wanted.  I hope that he know it's true.

So even though my whole body aches, and I can hardly wait for Spring Break, and I feel like today was a whirlwind, I know that I taught my ass off.


  1. Beautiful. I love that you are recording these moments for all of our inspiration.

  2. I just nominated you for the Liebster Award because I think teachers will love your blog and your inspiration to us all! Please go to thecornerfarmhouse.com for the rules if you'd like to accept!