August 30, 2015

School TIme!

It's that time again!   School busses are all around, school supplies are disappearing from the shelves, and kids are going to bed earlier and earlier.

There is a fresh new feeling in the air.

May everyone have a great beginning to their school year!

August 5, 2015

Middle School Bash

Middle school kids are social.  Very social.

We had a Middle School Bash last weekend to get the students together before school actually starts.
This serves three purposes:

  1. To help the new kids who are moving up into middle school develop a sense of belonging 
  2. To create community between grade levels and amongst  the teachers 
  3. To have fun  

I think we accomplished all purposes.  We had about 30% participation -- which I feel is good because of  vacations and such these last few days.  

The evening was full of water balloons, pizza, and kickball.  It rained for awhile, but we used that time to go in and have the pizza.   

My thoughts for the evening:  I was surprised at how much last year's 6th graders have grown over the summer.   I also hope that the new 6th graders will find that we teachers are approachable.  

I think having a bash should become an annual event. 

Do you do anything over the summer to engage with your students? 

August 4, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

At the end of last school year I had decided to leave the school where I was teaching.  You can read about it here.   But during the summer, the school board contacted me to see if I would come back for another year.  The principal had resigned leaving things a bit topsy turvy and there were a few teaching positions to be filled.  They were looking for some consistency.  Since I did not have any other employment plans in place, I gave the offer a lot of thought and decided to return. 

It is a small private school.  It will be nice to keep the small classes, know the hidden culture of the school, and  know most of my students before the year begins.  There will be the same disadvantages as last year, but this year I will know about these going in.  

The awkward part is that people, both teachers/staff and parents, knew that I was leaving.  So I feel like there is room for gossip and rumor.  I do not want to participate in that.  Already I have run into people who ask me leading questions hoping that I will fill in the blanks.   

I am kind and courteous, but I am not offering any information that is not necessary.  

It has led to a few prolonged silences.  The good thing is that I am very busy trying to prepare, so the silence can be made brief as I make excuses to get back to work.  

I don't know what the year will hold, but I am excited about teaching the kids.  


June 12, 2015


I have decided not to return to my school next year.

In my last post I briefly discussed some of the reasons for my decision.  I do not have anything lined up yet and I am not even sure if I will continue to teach.  I've got some serious thinking ahead.  
If nothing else, I can go back to subbing next year until I find something else.

I went back to my classroom this week and returned some items I had at home and I also picked up the last few items of mine that were still there.  It was sad going back into the room where I have so many good memories along with a few not-so-good memories.

The room looked so lonely and sad with all traces of me gone.

I will miss it.

May 28, 2015

End of Year Thoughts

Yet another school year is over.  We spent our last day together about a week ago.  This was my first year teaching in a private school.  There are definitely some advantages to this environment, but there are also some disadvantages.  

One big disadvantages is that numbers matter.  You want to have large enough classes so that the school is efficiently using resources, but you also want to have small enough classes for students to be able to get more individual attention.  It is a fine balance.  

Related to that is the number of teachers.  As class sizes ebb and flow, so do the teachers.  You may be out of a job because there are not enough students to require a separate teacher.  

Another disadvantage is the pay and benefits.  Compared to the public school system, private schools make a lot less money and benefits are usually not as good.  This year I made about 55% of what I made while teaching full time in the public schools.   I am lucky to have pretty good benefits, but I had more while working in the public system.  The trade-off is the smaller classes and environment.    

I've got some decisions to make.  Do I stay another year?  Can I afford to stay another year?  

I've got some thinking to do. 

May 10, 2015


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 I have linked this blog up with bloglovin.  I used to use Google Reader to read the blogs I followed, but haven't found an aggregater that I like since that went away.  I have seen many blogs with the bloglovin button, so I decided to give it a try.

So if you are on bloglovin, look me up and follow me!

Do you use any kind of reader to follow blogs?  

April 8, 2015

A Change in Plans

Subbing last year was quite an education.  I enjoyed it most days.  There are advantages and disadvantages though to subbing.


  • You can take some days off whenever you choose
  • You see a variety of ages and a variety of teachers' classrooms
  • You don't have to plan or take work home 
  • Unless you are able to pre-arrange your days with a teacher, you won't know where you are going to be until early morning
  • There may or may not be adequate lesson plans 
  • The pay is not so great

In all I believe it was a good experience for me, but I will not be returning to sub again next year.

Why, you ask? 

I accepted a position teaching middle school students at a private school this year.  
I am excited and somewhat overwhelmed. 

What are you doing this year?