Day 71: Gobble Gobble

I made it!  I've survived until Thanksgiving....I wasn't gobble-gobbled up by my students...or my administrators... or my profession.... or my curriculum...or my commute...or my governor.  I couldn't be happier as a fourth grade teacher - I've never loved any job this much. EVER.

I have a lot to be thankful for - and I know it.  

TF180 wishes you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  May your day today be filled with love, family, friends, happiness and a whole lot of tryptophan.  More importantly, may you survive your most fantastic food coma of the year.


Day 66: And, I'm Back! From Outer Space!


Embarrassingly long hiatus over.  (But it kind of had to happen.)  I just started running out of all-too-precious time in my day.  Adjusting to being a full time, first-year teacher is mind-boggling.  You work your ASS off - which is both exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.  

An indescribable amount of on-the-job learning/adjusting/failing/succeeding/adapting/re-learning/training/maturing all happens at a blitzkrieg pace.  Some days you're just left spinning a la your very best childhood sit-and-spin moments.  Some days you're falling asleep on the 9pm car ride home....yes, while driving.  Some days, you leave the building on the best emotional high of your professional life....While on others, you leave feeling like a clueless failure.  There is ONE consistent daily occurrence:  Every night after dinner (or sometimes during), your body goes to sleep whether you brain wants to or not.  

This job is constantly challenging - and everyday you come up with more ideas on how to make this day better than the last - but that also is inherently predicated on the realization that yesterday, you weren't doing things very well.  It really is the ultimate "go-with-the-flow" experience.  It just makes me think of Tim Gunn - all the time.  I can see him in his sharp pinstripe suit standing over a room full of fledgling designers doling out his "make it work" pearls of wisdom to someone in crisis.  There was a very memorable scene several years back in season two where designer Santino Rice famously (and rather brilliantly) impersonated a robotic Tim Gunn gone short-circuit-batty. "Make it work! Make it work! Make it! Make it woooooork!" (see: video below).  The majority of your first-year teaching days HONESTLY feel like Santino's impression brought to life.  If I didn't have fellow AMAZING newbie Cady with me, a wonderful class, and my incredible coworkers with fabulous Clarissa at the helm, I honestly don't know if I would make it.

In terms of the details of all of the stuff that has happened since we last spoke, it's just too much to cover....But I will give you headlines.  So here it goes: (In chronological order from earliest to most recent)

"First year teacher rocks first principal observation"

"Dennis The Menace has left the building"

"New teacher wows staff with mother-in-law's breakfast casserole recipe"

"Guinea Pigs bring joy to nine-year-olds"

"Law Never Laid Down: Children Walking All Over New Teacher"

"Guinea Pigs bring joy to soon-to-be 29 year old; Animal loving mother obsessed!"

"New Laws Not Harsh Enough: Children Still Trouncing New Teacher"

"New study shows classroom pets add to stressful workload for first year teachers"

"Parents won over! New teacher starts exciting online classroom GLOG"

"New teacher clinging to life after first ever report cards"

"Friday Halloween school day celebration renders entire day educationally useless"

"Parent-Teacher conferences build bridges, form friendships"

"Parent-Teacher conferences offer genetic insight into student behavior"

"Despite successful Parent-Teacher conferences,  new teacher left gasping for air"

"Constant professional development pulls new teachers from classrooms: Withdrawal, fear, sadness, panic leaving kids to subs"

"Second Observation Done: New teacher passes Director of H.R. observation with flying colors."

"New teacher wets himself during observation with Director of H.R."

"First Year teachers learn ropes quickly: Stress easing"

"New traffic light system FINALLY lays down classroom LAW: Students react!"

"18 homemade magnetic desk stop-lights provide visual feedback for misbehaving students"

"New teacher scores faculty points with home-baked peanut butter cheesecake desserts"

"The First One Eighty Blog RETURNS!

"New teacher attempting better balance of time with Blog moving forward"

"New teacher needs to eat lunch"

"Old El Paso eyes largest profit in decades as exhausted former home cook trades zeal for ease"