peachyteachy

For realsies

Mice, Lice, and Everything Nice October 22, 2016

Filed under: humor,school,teaching,Uncategorized,urban schools — peachyteachy @ 9:37 pm
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Peachy, end of June:

School is still in session.

We’re hard core. We like our students pissed off and confused. The lunch menu is “Chef’s Choice.” Come on!

Peachy, mid/early/late October:

School is in session, again, and this year is clearly slated to consist of 472 days rather than the customary 180. Some things cannot be altered or resolved by upping one’s coconut oil consumption.

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the iconic image of the traditional teacher, hair pulled back and up in a severe bun, cloudy spectacles perched on face? It’s not rocket science.

The bun goes up right around mid-September, at the exact moment when teacher spots tiny and tenacious members of the animal kingdom creeping up her students hair.  It used to be that school nurses would advise parents that their kid would have to be cleared before returning to school, and the remainder of the class would be lined up for the “head check.” No more.  These days, I send a kid who is visibly crawling with critters, along with a note to the nurse: “Head check?”  Six minutes later, the kid comes back with the scrawled reply: “Yes,” and a letter to take home.  Most parents in my school do a less-than-thorough treatment, supporting record levels of lice at any time of the school year.

It’s even worse when one is ambushed at head level by several kids a day, sweetly bestowing hugs before a teacher can establish a safe distance from hairdos.  At this point, teacher scalps feel perpetual itch until the end of the school year.

Let us not overlook our furry friends, the mice of the urban school.  We are provided with sticky traps, which are gory gadgets that can trap a family of mice who are out for a stroll, at which point they usually tear themselves apart in the attempt to escape. Urgent calls to the custodian result in less-than-urgent responses.  In one classroom, a teacher confiscated a note being passed from one student to another, after the entire class had been whipped into a frenzy by the squeaks of trapped rodentia .  The note read, “I tuched the mouse.”

Oh—and the glasses? That teacher’s got pink-eye.

 

 

 

Messy Mother’s Day May 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 8:18 pm

peachyteachy

Five years ago, on May 12, it was also Mother’s Day.  It had been a lovely day with my kids, and I had spoken that afternoon with my 80-something mom, who was on what she was determined would be a temporary stay at a nursing home.  Her voice had been so raspy that it was difficult to understand her.  We had talked about the upcoming commencement when I would celebrate the completion of my master’s degree.  She had spoken of sharing with the nurses the photo I had sent of my then four-year-old son.

That night, I was awakened by a phone call telling me that she had passed away.

Obviously, Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me.  It’s also complicated.

Thanks to my mom for all of the important things that she taught me to do and be.  Mom shared with me her passion and respect for the natural world…

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My Role in the Revolution May 5, 2016

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 8:04 pm
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Where’s Peachy and what’s she doing? She’s busy doing her best to single-handedly dismantle our educational system, that’s what.

Exhaustive data analysis reveals that, if I administer what we call a pre-test, run detailed genetic error analysis of the test, teach for a few weeks,  then have the cherubs take it again after this period of targeted, data-driven instruction, the scores generally support the following:

A. My instruction sucks all knowledge out of the brains of children.

B. My instruction  makes children believe that they are track stars and champions of English as a Second Language (their first language: profanity).

I live to serve.  You’re welcome.

 

You might not be working at Mensa headquarters if. . . February 4, 2016

Filed under: education,humor,teaching,Uncategorized,urban schools — peachyteachy @ 6:07 pm
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*A student asks if biographies are “fake or real,” then notices the birth and death dates in a biography of MLK. “Is that his phone number?”

*A student tells that the solution to the community problem of mosquitoes in summer would be to construct a “honey city,” presumably to attract all mosquitoes away from their eons-old diet of blood from us, to an irresistible city of honey, far enough away that they set up camp and move there.

It’s been a rough week, and it’s not a full moon, so I blame the goddamned groundhog.

TWO fights in two days in my classroom—the kid involved in both NOT a heavy hitter. Particularly heart-breaking.

Today’s third grade responses to a question about a problem in our community:

1) PROBLEM: Mosquitoes

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Honey City

 

2) PROBLEM: Shooting/Killing/Violence

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Dangerous criminals go to super max prison.

 

3) PROBLEM: Illegally Parked Vehicles

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Call police, tow cars, tickets

 

4) PROBLEM: Cockroaches

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Kill them

When asked how many had been affected by Problem 2? A sea of hands.

Image:http://manasota.us.mensa.org/mbroch.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super effective teacher immune to all that teacher crap January 14, 2016

Filed under: education,humor,teaching,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 7:45 pm

This school year, I am blessed to have the daily opportunity to interact with a third grader who could, arguably, teach the class. He is a gentle soul, to boot.

Today, when faced with the task of explaining recent snowfall, SweetBrainBoy raised his hand to privately ask for my assistance in spelling the word “fractal.”

Yeah, that was a first, and enough to keep any teacher going for a few more days.

A few minutes later, his hand was up again.

“Yes, SweetBrainBoy?”

“Ms. Peachy? I decided that no one would understand ‘fractal.’ So I changed it to ‘crystal,’ because then at least they will understand.”

 

 

On losing rock stars, and how kids are not excited enough about snow days January 11, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 8:12 pm

I feel super sad when we lose another of them.  The ones who, at some point, have made it very clear that music is the only thing. Period.

Then there are these kids who just don’t know when it is time to rejoice.

There is this kid who developed a Snow Day Calculator. It is super accurate. We shared this with our students today. There is a 99% likelihood of a snowday in the near future. This brings me to the brink of tears of joy. Our students were more excited about the Wendy’s 4 for $4 ad. WTF?

This is why I need a snow day.

 

 

 

Bribery: Still and Always, Moral Imperative November 15, 2015

Image: brothersoft.com

I wrote the following more than three years ago. I found it because I am a one trick pony who wanted to write again about bribery as a moral imperative.  It is clear that this deeply held belief has come to be held more deeply than ever. I have been buying record numbers of  “treats” to hand out like so many little placebos as I convince the youngsters that every sweet  is an indicator that they are achieving like Einstein. Truly, it usually buys me a few minutes of reduced decibel level. As a matter of fact, I was working with a colleague a few days ago when she erupted with candy from God-knows-where, proclaiming herself  a human pinata! Bribery is alive and well and living in school, my friends! That deserves a treat!

Do I want my kids to do the right things for the right reasons? Sure!

Do I tell my students that they should behave as if their grandmother is watching them at all times? Yup. God knows I shouldn’t be the only one carrying that macabre little thought around the world of the living.

Is there a little Lego set in my closet, awaiting my son’s completion of swimming lessons without melting down and leaving the premises once? Um, why, yes, there is.

Hey, I have never paid money for good grades! That is my ex’s job.

The kid is older than most of the other “Goldfish,” loves the water, but has remained absolutely terrified of going underwater.  Water in his nose, eyes, ears or mouth is reason for extreme distress.  He’s a tiny bit high maintenance. Previous attempts at swimming lessons have gone terribly wrong.  It hasn’t helped that the teachers have had exactly one strategy in their “toolkit” when it comes to getting kids “used to” going underwater. It goes something like this:

  Boy: “I CAN’T GO UNDERWATER!!!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!”

 Aquatics Instructor: “You have to.”

 Boy: (climbing instructor like a tree, screaming) “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”

 Aquatics Instructor: “Okay, okay, you don’t have to go underwater.” Dunks him under.

 Boy: Comes up sobbing and doesn’t stop until class ends and we can leave the Satanic waterpark, having learned the invaluable life lesson: Never trust your swimming instructor. Sweet.

This display would, of course, be followed by the natural born swimmer kid who is next in line executing a back flip with a half twist into the water.  I am looking around as if to figure out which parent goes with that screaming, flailing child.  Which works for exactly ten minutes, after which we are greeted daily with whispered “Here they come”s.

You get the idea, and surely understand why part of my preparation for this swimming session was calculated bribery.  I didn’t tell him that he couldn’t cry, because I am not super pumped to shoot myself in the foot on any given day, but I did say that he would need to stay with the class for the whole time every day.  This, he did.  The first two days were painful, and did involve screaming, crying, and, yes, being forced underwater after being told he would not be.  While this does not synchronize with my personal philosophy, we managed to make it out of there mostly intact (remember, the bribe requires not melting down AND leaving the premises).  “Keep your eyes on the prize!” I said brightly.  This referred to the unknown surprise bribe awaiting him, should he complete the session.  Let’s face it, he won’t be getting a certificate for passing Goldfish!  My bribe is kind of like the “Participation” ribbon that is so coveted by the mediocre athletes of the world.  Only cooler.

The happy ending is that he turned a corner somewhere around the third day.  Strangely, this coincided with the fact that he had a substitute instructor that day who was actually skilled and was able to give him some baby steps to take to help him move in the direction of surviving wetness of face.  We call this Divine Intervention, and I am appropriately thanking the Universe.  He WILL cry today because it is the last day, and he’s like that.

Sometimes the bribery thing works, sometimes not.  I don’t honestly think that it made much difference with the swimming thing; he gets credit for making the progress that he made (as do all of the angelic host that helped him).  He also gets a prize. If folks are really up in arms about this bribery thing, tell it to the Olympic committee.

 

 
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