On what we have in common.

“Guys, c’mon, STAAR isn’t a race where you need to beat each other, we can all be successful.
<rolls eyes> “Yeah, c’mon guys, we can beat the STAAR *together!*”
“Thanks for that facetiousness.”
“You’re welcome.”
“You right though, Miss, we all come from Harambe.”


On why my life is so awful.

<to another student who dropped a highlighter>”Could you actually learn to catch, for the first time ever?”
“Could you actually do some work for the first time ever?”
“Oh, no, hold up, Miss. I have an A+ in your class, so bring it.”
“Ughhhhh why is my life so awful?”
<Dancing.> “‘Cause I’m in it!” <Continues dancing.>

On instructions

“Okay, when the video starts playing, you’re doing what?”
“Writing down topics we see and hear.”
“Right. But not yet. This is just an ad.”
“What’s this, Miss?”
“An ad.”
“A what?”
“An AD.”
<student writes on foldable> “Repetition…”

On how books apply to real life.

<We’re reading Last Summer of the Death Warriors.>
“So, do we think that DQ’s mom is a good mom?”
<Class gives assorted answers.>
“Not even.”
“Okay, so we mostly think she’s a bad mom. Does this make her a believable character?”
<General murmurs of agreement.>
“You know those people, Miss, those people, who be like, ‘Oh, I don’t really like you until I want to put you up on my Snapchat.’ She one of those. She left him when she didn’t need him, but now she all up on Facebook like, oooo, y’all, my baby’s sick! Feel bad for me!'”

On being Christ-like

<Student asks the saaaame question for the fourth time in a row.>

“Like three times.”
“You dead Miss?”
“She’s dead.”
“She’s Jesus.”
“I’m what?”
“You’re Jesus, Miss. You die for our sins.”
“She’s more Jesus than Jesus!”

On teamwork.

<One group was reluctant to present their answers that week, so one of my more enthusiastic students “encouraged” them.>
“You get up there. You a team, girl. There’s no I in team! But there is an M and an E sooooo…”

On reasons for hashtags.

<The students are writing #summaries of an article in their groups.>
“We can’t just put the doctor’s name.”
“Why not?”
“There’s more to the article, duh.”
“Why do you WANT to so bad?”
“Because I just feel like she deserves to be trending worldwide, okay?”

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 budgeting.

<I encourage a student, relentlessly, to focus on his work.>
“Seriously Miss, could you just let me chill?”
“I could, but where would that get you in life? Chilling will not get you into college. Working hard gets you into college. Trying gets you into college. So how about we just try this question out-“
“Oh, I’m not that mu-“
“That’s probably true.”
“Just…stop. Stop. You’re too expensive. Just stop.”

On my continued life failure.

<A former student, who delighted in teasing me my first three years teaching, came to visit me this week.>

“Hey, kid, you know what Miss VanSickle used to tell us like her first year teaching?”
“Please don’t.”
“She told us that teaching was only temporary and she was going to make a living -”
“- being a published novelist, but look¬†– she’s still here, six years later.”
“I hate you so much right now.”
“So how’s that book going?”

This kid legit made a three-year career out of teasing me about writing. For example, On my writing talent.