On their own growth

<Today was Signing Day across the US, and one of my babies from my first year at high school (4 years ago) participated.>

“Look at you, my little baby-child, all grown and mature…”
“Ah, come on, Miss! I haven’t changed that much, have I?”
“Oh, you’ve still got that same dimpled smile, but you have definitely matured since I taught you and actually needed to call you that full, middle-name-included-name so you understood how much trouble you were in.”
“You were wrong for that.”
“You deserved it – and don’t tell me it didn’t work when I needed it to…”
“Name one time that you ‘needed to’ because I was too immature.”
“Uh, how about the time that you performed a flying tackle on your friend who walked in 15 minutes late, slammed him to the ground and completely disrupted my classroom?”
<Thinks.> “Yeah, but that was a good tackle, though, Miss, you gotta admit.”



On deciding their futures in the worst way.

“Hey Miss.”
<Student walks up to me in the hall and hands me a note.>
It reads: My dad like the new tree you planted in your front yard and he wants you to email him the name of it. He’s so weird. Don’t tell me, he’s so embarrassing, just email him so he doesn’t like, call you in class.
“That’s not weird, it’s a really cool tree.”
“Miss, just email him. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“See, I TOLD him you were gonna get weird about it!”
“Why aren’t you answering me? My tree isn’t good enough for you?”
“Yes, yes, it’s good enough, what’s it called?”
“A golden rain tree.”
“Why you won’t tell me the truth now?”
“I did – look it up.”
“If I look this up, and it’s not a tree, you have to give me a free 100.”
“Okay, but if you look it up and it IS a tree, and it’s MY tree, then you have to become an arborist so you never make this mistake again.”
<Looks it up.>
“MAN, MISS! I don’t even know what an arborist is! Do they like, work on arms or boards?”
“Oh.” <pause> “I’ve got to stop making bets with you…”

On el presidente

<Teaching my English Speakers of Other Languages sophomore class today, we were trying to write a persuasive paper on why making decisions using bias and prejudice are unfair…>

“Right, so now that we know what bias and prejudice are, what do we call some of the people who DO make decisions on bias or prejudice?”
“Okay, sure. Now what other titles do people call him BECAUSE he does this?”
“What else?”

They did eventually get there, but I need to be a little more cautious, perhaps, with my English language learners…

On goals.

As rocky as the start of the year has been, I am pretty pleased with my classroom…

…and my students’ contribution with their goals.

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Some of the goals were super-legit and real…

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…some of them were pretty impressive…

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…and others are goals that I desperately want to see them achieve.

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Let’s do this, kids.

On my settings.

“So, because this is College Week, we’ll be talking about your futures each 2B class a little bit – and of course, I’ll be wearing black and gold to rep my own alma mater every day.”
“Man, you really don’t even HAVE a chill button, do you?”
“That’s not one of her setting options.”

On my future job choices.

<Student asks to go to the restroom, gets two steps out the door and stops to have a full-blown convo with his boy.>
(super-quickly and projected, like a Southern grandma) “Did I teeell you that you could go outside and go to the bathroom and talk to people or did I juuuust tell you that you could go to the bathroom? Get back in here, right now, baby child.”
<other children giggle and comment>
“Miss, have you ever thought about being a rapper? ‘Cause you just hit that mug.”

“You could be the next Iggy.”

On college prospects.

<Some students and I chatted about their futures yesterday…>
“I’m going to go wherever gives me a scholarship to play [football].”
“Just so long as it’s not Kansas.”
“Oh, GOD, no. Who would go to Kansas? Are they even a real school?”