Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I have only graded about 1 1/2 of the 5 classes of finals I have, but the very first one I set out to grade gave me this little gem:

"Huck Finn is not a racist book because Mark Twain was African-American."


A fellow English teacher said one of her students proclaimed on the final that Mark Twain wrote Catcher in the Rye.


I suggested we fix the Wikipedia Entry for Mark Twain because it's obviously missing some info.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reflecting on Semester #1

I started this blog because I figured my first semester at a "real" school would prompt me to need release.

Now, as the semester winds to a close (including a lovely snow day today that keeps me out of reviewing for the final with one of my classes) I look back at the sparse amount of posting I've done on here.

The snow day allowed me to think about this, consider this phenomenon. I am a girl who seeks reflection and writing has always been my method of choice. I've always very much lived "inside my head." Thinking, reflecting, considering.

What I learned this year is teaching is not conducive to this lifestyle I was once used to.

First, reflection means I would have to come to terms with all the failure of this semester. Not just come to terms with it, but come to terms with it while I'm also pushing forward trying to keep going. Come to terms with it while trying to keep on top of paperwork and while dealing with meetings and extra curriculars--while dealing with teenage attitudes and faculty drama.

Even though it is my second year of teaching, it becomes increasingly, glaringly obvious that my job last year was cake. This year is a struggle--and while I have a great support group who are going through the same thing and help ease the frustration--to put reflection on top of it WHILE I'm doing it, just isn't feasible for me.

I'll regroup over Christmas break, reflect on Semester 1 and what worked and what didn't and hope that I can apply some lessons I've learned to second semester so that I CAN reflect WHILE I teach.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Positives

I can't express how much I enjoyed this Thanksgiving break. It was a much needed rest from everything. I feel like my head is back screwed on straight. The only problematic thing is this nasty stack of papers to grade. However, there is something positive to be said for having 70+ essays to grade

a) my house hasn't been this clean in... since we moved in?
b) almost all Christmas shopping is done
c) I have two holiday parties planned
d) all Christmas decorations are up and looking good

But, now, I have to get them graded today so students have the opportunity to rewrite before semester.

And, speaking of semester, there are only three shortened weeks left of the semester!