Donors Choose - Teachers ask. You choose. Students learn.

23 December 2008

A few things...

- Honestly though, winter break is so crucial for me right now. I don't think I could have finished out this week otherwise. I have one student who is ABSOLUTELY out of control. Everyday she makes me want to cry. It's horrible. She used to be one of my favorites, and now I can't wait until she is gone at the end of the day. Last night I had a dream about her. I don't want to get into specifics because I just want to stop thinking about it but just know that it isn't good.
- After all of the holiday baking (THESE are amazing... even I didn't screw them up), Christmas at school turned out to be a success. I had to bake for 15 different people and get a gift for my Secret Santa. I usually hate Secret Santa's because I feel like I put a lot of time and money into something and get crap in return. But this year, I got a $25 gift card to Macy's (the limit was $20, lucky me) which is completely perfect. So now I can pick out something of my own. :)
- I've come to realize that there is a huge difference growing up in a poor urban area and growing up in the suburbs. I mean, yes, obviously there is a difference, but there's just a difference in how you relate to people and "automatic answers" to things. Case in point, when one of the emotionally disturbed kids I'm responsible of the end of the day learned I lived in Manhattan, he asked me if I lived in the projects. Now, had anyone else asked me this back in Michigan, my response would be "WHAT? Do I LOOK like I live in the projects?!?!??!?" But he was asking me seriously. Like think about it, what a stuck up answer that would be. (Obviously I didn't respond to that in this situation.) I'm very grateful to be getting this new perspective on how life really is.
- On Monday after school, we caught 3 boys from my school with the police. They were jumping the turnstiles at the train station, even though they had MetroCards. The officers were saying that since the boys didn't have ID, they were going to have to take them down to the precinct. Lucky for those boys, some other teachers and I were walking by and could vouch for them that they were in school, and the officers let them go telling them that they were very lucky we were there to "save" them. Ugh. Part of me thinks we should have let them go down to the precinct and learn their lesson. They're 16 years old and in 8th grade. I can pretty much guarantee that 2 of those 3 boys will be in jail within 2 years. Sad but reality.
- Today I had an entire conversation in Spanish. Dios mio.
- Kids who make you Christmas cards (especially 14 year old emotionally disturbed ones) are really cute. Especially when they spell Michigan "Mishigan".
- Babes in Toyland is on TV. This used to be one of my favorite movies... I can't believe I've forgotten the whole story line.
- My flight leaves at 6am tomorrow.... please no freezing rain please no freezing rain. Fingers crossed.
- Did I mention how excited I am to go home????

16 December 2008

Seriously, New York????

WTF... yesterday it was in the 60's here in New York, and today there's SNOW! My first official snow-sticking-to-the-ground snow. There have been flurries, but this is like... really winter now. I'm kinda happy, it's kinda pretty, but not that much. I'll take the 60 degree weather again please.

Over the weekend, I lost my glasses (long story, please don't ask), which means I got a trial pair of contacts over the weekend and have been wearing them the past 2 days at school. I swear, you'd think I got plastic surgery or something the way people are so shocked and surprised that I'm not wearing glasses. Like the kids can't stop asking where they are. And adults too! Then this 14-year-old emotionally disturbed kid noticed I got my eyebrows threaded over the weekend? Like what is going on here? And I have light hair, I don't know how these kids notice things.

Speaking of students, they have been OFF THE WALL the past 2 days. I don't know what it is... holidays, crazy weather, full moon... a combination of everything??? It's just sucked so much. I haven't been able to get control of them at all. I'm literally running circles around the classroom trying to catch them. I wasn't notified when "playing tag" got added to my job description.

Plus I have IEP meetings and final grad school assignments and christmas shopping and holiday baking and all of these other things to do. I'm going nuts. I'm almost thinking that it hasn't been the kids who have been so off the wall... I'm just getting crazier. Totally possible at this point.


11 December 2008

There's nothing worse than....

.... coming home after a long day to find your zipper down.

And then realizing that you haven't gone to the bathroom all day sooo... thanks everyone.

Good thing I was wearing a long sweater.

08 December 2008


Once again, another Donor's Choose proposal of mine has been funded (by random strangers nonetheless.... I'm AMAZED at the kindness of strangers).

Sooooo I've made a new one, of course. More opportunities to donate to my kiddies... woohoo! This time, I'm asking for a new library for my classroom. NYC public schools are obviously grossly underfunded and when I came to my school (as much as I love it), there were no books or anything for me. I was given a few left overs that other teachers didn't want, or that the library had extras of, but most of them were falling apart or are inappropriate in terms of grade level for my students. So time to take matters into my own hands! I'm requesting a bunch of books and some library furniture, because our current bookshelf is somewhat decrepit and way too tall for my little babies.

TA DA! It costs a ton of money so I'm not expecting it to be fully funded for a loooong time, but seriously, even the smallest amounts help.

((steps off soapbox))


First things first, the amazing and inspiring Frumteacher tagged me in this blog thing to write 7 facts about myself and then pass it on. Unfortunately, I don't really have a lot of blog friends so I'm just going to do my facts.

1. I always play solitaire on my iPod on the subway. Right now, my average money earned is $101. Usually it's at around $60... I've been on a good streak recently.
2. I've broken both of my elbows. The first was doing gymnastics when I was 11, the second was rollerblading at age 16 or so (not as bad as the first one, though).
3. I've never been camping.
4. I've never owned a video game console or set or whatever they're called.
5. I really want to ride a horse in the ocean even though it's so cliché and ooey-gooey.
6. When I was little, I wanted to be Mariah Carey when I grew up. Now, I don't want to be here, but I still wish I could sing like her.
7. I never proofread my papers but still manage to (usually) do really well on them.

Since I'm a super bad blogger and haven't written anything lately, here's a little catch-up.

-- My thanksgiving turned out pretty good, even though I didn't get to go to New Jersey as planned. Instead, I spent it in the Bronx with a few friends.
-- The rest of the weekend was great as well... hung out with a lot of different friends in different places.
-- Last week was pretty low-key.
-- One of my students is being super frustrating... he's the one kid that I feel like I am failing. I just wish I could help him but I'm having the hardest time getting through.
-- On Tuesday, I got to meet up with one of my closest friends who just moved back from Germany! So much fun... it's crazy how much I miss my study abroad friends sometimes.
-- On Thursday night, my family came!!!!!!! Mom, 2 aunts, and 1 cousin. It was a great girls weekend. We did a lot of things, ate a lot of food, and had some good laughs. We saw Altar Boyz (off-Broadway play) and it was hilarious... I highly recommend it.
-- I got my hair cut today! Got like 5 inches cut off. It's a lot but it feels so much healthier and I'm so happy I finally found a place in New York that I actually like and will go back to.

And on a more education-related note....
-- Today I actually physically broke up my first fight at school. Well, more like helped to try to contain it before it happened. One of my favorite 11-year-old emotionally disturbed kids at my bussing table was getting harassed earlier during bussing and called me over and I did my best to diffuse the situation (instigator went back to his table). Then as the kid walked by to his bus he tried throwing a punch at my kid. So I just held my little one back (from behind... no way I'd step in the line of fire of punches). But the rage and anger I saw from this otherwise sweet and insecure kid was incredible and totally eye opening. It wasn't just cursing or trying to punch him... but he was literally shaking and crying and couldn't calm down. I was shaking too. I've never been in a physical fight of any sorts so that might be the closest I've ever gotten to that. But he gave me a hug before he got on the bus and told me thank you for helping him. Wish I could do more, little buddy. I did my best but I'm still afraid that something will happen between them tomorrow (I won't be there either).

And now I have a tummy ache. But I have a conference to go to for the next 2 days in Manhattan so yay easier commute!!! Hope everyone's week is of to a lovely start.