Monday, September 30, 2013

excuses, excuses

I don't even need to make things up.  My students are already awesome. 

Student:  I'm sorry I wasn't in class this morning, but I have my homework done, and I wanted to show it to you.

Me:  Why were you absent this morning?

Student:  I have two little brothers, and I found their candy stash last night so I ate it.  Turns out it was from two years ago, and they forgot about it.  So I got food poisoning. 

Me: . . .

Friday, September 27, 2013

welcome to the wild, wild west

I see the same ten students every morning for three years through our advisory program.  The job is to be a mentor, a teacher, a surrogate parent while they are on campus.  We talk about everything... school, sports, college, dating, the internet, goals, home life.  On Thursdays I see them for 30 minutes.  We eat breakfast and have a good talk.  This week this short video from Common Sense Media on digital literacy started our conversation.  Click "Brittney's Story to watch."

Brittney's Story

I asked my students if their parents were their friends on Facebook.  About half said yes, but even more said their parents don't really know how to use Facebook.  I asked them if they think they should say something when a friend posts something stupid.  That led to the quote of the day.

"If I had to spend my day pointing out every time a friend did or said something stupid, I'd be exhausted."

The internet is the wild, wild west. What do your kids post on the internet? 

Photo Credit

Thursday, September 26, 2013

keith richards

Teachers write a lot of college recommendations.  Every student is in some way awesome, and it is our job to help colleges understand these uniquenesses.  If we do it well, each one is a story perhaps, a catchy song, or even a prose poem that describes a student's strengths and fabulousness in creative and compelling ways. 

I wrote a college recommendation this week that mentioned that a student was like Keith Richards, guitarist for The Rolling Stones.  As in the "at least he's not Mick Jagger" Keith Richards.

It was a compliment really... 

That one's gonna need a rewrite. 

Photo Credit

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


There's no arguing with excellent logic.

Me: I just want to remind all of you that we have a test on Friday.
Student:  Can we move the test to Monday?
Me:  Why?  You won't study over the weekend.
Student:  Yes we will.
Me:  But half of you didn't do your homework this weekend.
Student:  That's because it was a 3-day weekend.
Me:  So if you have more time, you actually do less?
Student:  Yes!
Me:  Now I understand.  The test is tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

teacher work day

Did you ever wonder what teachers do while your children are at home sleeping in and making a mess. Monday was a teacher work day for us. How was your day?

What time is it?
What I wish I was doing
What I’m actually doing…
What my son might have been doing…
Hit the snooze button…
Arrive, fire up the computer, and start dealing with the weekend emails. Shoot, there's one from our tech director with a 6 minute instructional video attached that I need to watch. I'm already behind.
Hit snooze again…
A colleague stops by the report on a student's progress.
Roll over…
Wake up grateful that I got to "sleep in"
Another colleague stops by to ask about the video I just watched. (whew, just in time!)
Coffee, croissants, the newspaper…
Full faculty meeting with announcements from principals, admissions and technology directors.
Work with math department on a draft of our new technology plan.
More sleeping…
Vitamin D Therapy
Meeting ran over, but there's just enough time to post something on the blog and write a test for College Algebra.
Wake up and stumble into the kitchen to find food…
Long lunch with a friend…
Lunch and trivia. It's the first time we've ever played. It was fun! Our team, The Delusionists, earned 3rd place. (What two states form the the southern border of Oregon? What is the most popular Ben and Jerry's flavor?)
Watch a movie on Netflix...
Read a book
Run home and pick up my son for football practice
Eat again, gather stuff and go to practice…
Short nap
Finish answering the weekend's emails
Watch film at practice
Sift the feed on Facebook and Twitter
Sift the feed on Facebook and Twitter
Get dressed for practice…
Catch up on the Daily Show and Colbert
Write an AP Calculus test
Practice in the gym… it’s raining…
Happy hour…
Off to the Gym
Shower and head home for dinner

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

day 1

So I've thinking about doing this blog for a while, just using it as a diary for my everyday experiences as a math teacher in a private, college prep school... 

A few sentences or thoughts every day, nothing too taxing, sometimes about math, sometimes about kids, sometimes about teaching, sometimes about life... 

Would anyone read this?  Would anyone comment?  Do I have the discipline? 

I guess I'll just have to see how it goes...