For realsies

Drinkin’ some magic tea. June 26, 2012

Filed under: fitness,humor — peachyteachy @ 2:59 pm
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I like Dr. Oz as much as the next gal—if by “as much” you mean the 27% likeability that I afford any multimillionaire health guru who scampers around in scrubs as much as he does.  I fully believe that, if I followed every piece of advice and took the entire arsenal of supplements and remedies and superfoods he recommends, I would probably drop the ten I would like to drop.  On the other hand, I might gain the ten I don’t wish to gain, due to the sheer volume of ingestion I would need to do.

Confusing, no?

Never lose sight of the fact that it is Oz we’re talking about here. Don’t ever think that you will escape the fact that, up until very recently, the only mode of transportation that could take you there was a bona fide twister!  He wants you to think that it’s a coincidence; they are completely unrelated, but come on.  We’re not that naive, are we? Do you remember much obesity in the land of Oz? Neither do I—except in its citizens affectionately known as “Munchkins,” who have now become synonymous with the decidedly non-super food, the donut hole.   Curious. . . I’ve watched enough TLC to know that Little People live in a big world.  How is it that Dr. Oz has turned his back on his people this way, and hasn’t launched a full-out assault on Dunkin’ Donuts over their insensitivity to this apparent medical issue?  I don’t know the answer, and, ultimately, don’t care.

Because of the four mega-metabo-teas, and the fresh citrus cleanse water I drank three cups of earlier, my writing groove is wrecked, done, kaput.  I will get up to go to the bathroom, my kid will commandeer the computer and descend into his part time occupation as digging person in the game Minecraft.  I will, in all likelihood, go and find a snack.

Curse you, Dr. Oz!



Chatting with Native folks: Dos and Don’ts June 21, 2012

Filed under: family,humor — peachyteachy @ 6:05 pm
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My son has a friend who has a mom. I’m good with that. This mom needs someone to watch Junior for a few hours, and asked my partner to do the duty. Still all good.

Daddy is a native person, indigenous, Native American–you get the idea.

Soooo, this mom suggested that perhaps they could do a craft project while playing (cute, but really, they will be playing the Wii–it’s a dad, remember?). But wait! They could make–brace yourself–dream catchers!  I am not kidding.  We all got pretty quiet while it sank in that she had actually said that out loud.  To his credit, he did not ask if she wanted to make a reservation for this activity, and whether she would like him to also serve up some fry bread as a snack.  He, like most native people, has heard this kind of thing quite a few times.

Dreamcatchers?! REALLY? It should be enough appalling insensitivity for one play date.  He could beg off the project based on the fact that we have plenty of feathers around, but are low on sinew right now. . .

Fast forward to me checking my texts this a.m. There is one from Miss Dreamcatcher. It reads: “Do you guys have the movie Dances with Wolves?” Pause. Reread. It’s still there. Um, no, we don’t—but I am pretty sure we have the entire Lone Ranger series, because the actor who played Tonto was his cousin!

Is it just me, or does this smack of the essence of asking an African American person in the grocery store to help you pick out a watermelon?  WTF?

Oh, your name is Dutch? What size do you think I would take in a wooden shoe?

Really? You’re German?  I love your beer! Did I draw this swastika in the right direction or what?

I may have to invent the Cultural Sensitivity Filter Hat that flashes tiny neon messages to its ignorant wearer: “Don’t talk. Listen.” “Hispanics don’t want to talk about burritos.” “You don’t even know where Jamaica is, mon, although you have bought jerk-seasoned chicken.”

Just a possibly helpful little rule of thumb: if you find yourself wanting to say something about someone’s heritage that conveys a perception that it is “cool” or “neat,” you may be trivializing things just a tiny bit. Don’t talk. Listen.



Wheelchair is my middle name June 19, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school — peachyteachy @ 4:29 pm
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It’s a trifecta! A turkey! A trilogy! With two schooldays left, I pulled out my third wheelchair incident of the year–this one a legit broken bone, most likely.  I do feel sorry for this kid, as he wasn’t wheeled out due to screwing around and avoiding following rules and such.  He was just playing on the playground.

Followers of this blog know that I am a winner when it comes to having kids taken out in wheelchairs.  But now I hold some kind of record. I might be able to retire on this. To a tar paper shack, probably, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

School Nurse Most Wanted List was actually the first post ever for Peachyteachy.  In it, we met one of my geriatric students who possesses powers of super recovery.  He has since continued to develop his other superpower—the ability to avoid completing schoolwork.  Apparently he is planning to hone his skills in the NBA after earning high school credits for sleeping and chewing gum.

Later, Wheelchair Event #2 came along, starring another of my dedicated young scholars.  The good news is, this young man has not lapped the school swearing at all humans in his path in quite some time!  This is one of the success stories of my school year, in all seriousness. You can keep your comments about the bar and its altitude to yourself.

If I don’t get some kind of medal for this, I figure that’s pretty much it for my career.  They aren’t giving out that many teacher accolades these days.

Actually, I did receive a stellar teacher accolade today, in the form of a sweet little fragrance gift set, along with a hand-written card from a truly wonderful student.  In it, she expressed regret for the “disrespectful things” that students do and  say.  Her appreciation for how much I want them to do the right thing so that they will be happier in the future.  Despite all of my snark, this is true.  For the vast majority of my students,  I will most likely never know whether any of it made a difference, the academics or the life lessons.  The year is ending.  I feel like I have been in a war zone.  We do what we can and we let it go.


Ouch–The Pain of Leaving Second Grade June 16, 2012

Filed under: family,parenting,school — peachyteachy @ 10:48 pm
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Dang. It’s hard being an eight-year-old. Tonight there was heartbroken weeping when he asked how many more days of school and I told him that it was fewer than you can count on one hand.

Me: “Yessssss!!!”

Him: “NOOOOO!! I don’t want to leave second grade and Ms. J!!!!” Then, the weeping.

The grief is real and cannot be redirected with a cookie, the way that it could be in younger days. Please substitute strawberry for cookie if you lean toward paranoia about dysfunctional food/emotion relationships.

All I can do is bear witness–hold him and let him cry and tell him that it will be okay.  I ache for him long after he has fallen into deep sleep.  Ache for my dad, who passed away three summers ago, who can’t take my Father’s Day call.  The aches, apparently, all share a condo in the same neighborhood of my chest.


Summer Goals June 13, 2012

Filed under: fitness,humor,inspiration,motivation — peachyteachy @ 6:28 pm
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I don’t want to mislead anyone here.  This is not a post written as motivational, highly effective, goal-setting efficiency making inspiration. My goals for the summer will most likely resemble the goals that those kinds of guys set for, oh, the next 3 days.

I am afraid that I have misled (pronounced “my-zld” by any self-respecting third grader) some folks who ended up reading my blog under false pretenses.  For example, my post entitled “The Perfect My Little Pony Party” was never intended to be repinned on anyone’s “Party Ideas” board on Pinterest.  But people keep doing this.  Sorry, pinners! Read before you pin!

Also, I am afraid that some earnest report card writers have stumbled into my unknowing report card comment tutorials accidentally as well.  “Report Card Comments Redux”will not provide a new teacher with a hell of a lot of insight, although, in reality, I am an acknowledged wordsmith as a report card comment writer. But that’s no fun, is it?

So let’s talk about Summer Goals!

GOAL #1:Beat back the hands of time, work out, fit into pants.  Time was, I could “be good” with my food intake for a week, and all would be well, pants would get looser, and I could feel adequate.  Last summer, I rode my spin bike, walked, lifted, ate few calories as dictated by some online fitness minion, and lost exactly one pound.  At Christmas time, I made my customary variety of cookies, candy, and high cal goodness, and weighed exactly the same amount.  Hmmmm. The scale is a cruel mistress.

GOAL #2: Teach my kid to swim.  There must be a way.  He was traumatized by swim lessons a couple of years ago and he still won’t go underwater.  Suggestions welcomed.

That is really all I can muster right now.  See what I mean?  Oh, those two, and to construct an assortment of twig-based fairy furniture.  Maybe I will freeze some dog treats in a big chunk of ice for the pooch. In your face, Pinterest!


I love the honor system at farm stands June 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 9:19 pm
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I love the honor system at farm stands

This has inspired me to try to remember to take pictures of the places where I find the honor system in place when I buy squash, corn, tomatoes this summer.


Competitive Slug Collecting–Lesson plans for the last days of school June 10, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school — peachyteachy @ 9:11 pm
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Due to the fact that I live and teach in the Twilight Zone, some of you may know that, at my school, June is no excuse for engaging in wacky hijinx! And by hijinx, I refer to crazy, over-the-top behavior such as –*gasp!*– taking. children. OUTSIDE. TO PLAAAAAYYYYY!!!!

Here’s the way it works: in high poverty, high refugee student populations, we often see somewhat different, you know, test scores, than we see in, oh, affluent suburban student populations.  I take full responsibility for this disparity, as I am reminded regularly that I should.

Something that I have noticed in our student demographic (aside from the fact that they are major consumers of Hot Fries as a breakfast food), is that many of them are pretty angry most of the time.  Additionally, they tend to spill this anger all over their peers when provoked by such outrageous behavior as brushing past each other in the hall, or being nearby when they put their pencil under their textbook and immediately shout, “Someone stole my pencil!” Since they do not take to all holding on to a length of rope when we travel from place to place, these tiny altercations often erupt into discussions of several generations of fat family members and acts of libel regarding where one’s shoes were purchased. At least once or twice weekly, fisticuffs ensue.


Since these kids have not achieved academically, it has been deemed inappropriate to waste any time doing activities such as outside play, field trips, etc.  Therefore, they have not learned the stuff that kids learn when they have to do recess all the time: getting along with humans, with the occasional or frequent coaching provided by the adults in charge.

With 8 full days of school remaining, my lesson plans should probably include an introduction to the Calculus. Please don’t blow me in when I tell you that they include the following:

>Independent Center: Make a poster collage showing everything that you have learned this year.

>Walking Field Trip around the school grounds: Competitive Slug Collecting–I will pay 2 cents for every slug collected in your decorated-at-morning-work-time Slug Bag O’ Salt (this is really just a reworking of a real activity pursued at my house this weekend–damn you, slugs!).

>Letter to President Obama telling him everything that you have learned this year.

Oh, there’s more. Not really.




Report Card Comments Redux June 7, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school — peachyteachy @ 8:24 pm
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Has it really been an entire marking period since I started this blog? One of my earlier posts centered around actual report card comments as compared to more candid comments that will never be included in the real thing.  See

Have my charges made incredible progress?  I think that you will be  surprised horrified. But you be the judge.

How is our beloved Eustachia doing, you wonder?

Actual comment: 

Eustachia has shown potential for growth when she gives her best effort.  However, in order to be successful next year, she will need to control behaviors that seek peer attention. Good luck in sixth grade!

Unwritten comment:

Eustachia has repeatedly extended cordial invitations to other students to “suck my d—.” Our school counselor has reminded her that, as she does not possess a d—, she may not wish to invite others to it. I may have thrown her gum out of the window at one point. Good luck in sixth grade!

What about Skippy?

Actual comment:

Skippy has improved his reading fluency by twenty-three words per minute.  He should read daily in order to prepare for the next grade level. Good luck in sixth grade!

Unwritten comment:

Skippy has improved his reading from a first grade to a second grade level, and would need to read R. L. Stine‘s complete works this summer in order to approach readiness for his new grade level.  This would require reading more than three sentences at a sitting.  He also might enjoy the ever-popular Capitals–Not Where the Dudes Make Laws!   Additionally, he may wish to avoid addressing boys twice his weight thusly: “Hey, don’t drop the soap!” Good luck in sixth grade, and in whatever institutional setting you may explore in the future!

Actual comment:

Ricardo will need to focus on his organizational skills next year, and will need to be more efficient in starting and completing assignments.  He is an active young man and may benefit from athletic activities outside of school. Good luck in sixth grade!

Unwritten comment:

Ricardo is a hot mess, has lost every paper I have ever given him, and his name has been submitted for an episode of “Hoarders-Buried Alive.”  However, we have all enjoyed the months-long development of his hallway interpretive dance rendering of the classic Cervantes work, “Don Quixote.”  The little girl has recovered nicely from the “windmill arm spin” injury unintentionally inflicted by Ricardo. Good luck in sixth grade!

Excuse me while I get back to writing report cards. . .


End of Year Fun–Take It Seriously June 3, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school — peachyteachy @ 3:57 pm
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Check the handy dandy countdown calendar over there in the doobly-doo.

Eighteen more days until the last day of school for students!!!!! Far too many exclamation marks for a highly effective teacher, I know (or for a highly effective writer).  But surely you remember the excitement and anticipation of the end of school and the beginning of summer vacation.  In school days, that’s thirteen and a half! After that, I will have the opportunity to re-calibrate my socio-psycho orientation through intensive therapies involving the absence of poorly spelled profanity and of heated debates regarding someone’s mama, grandma, and the entirety of their generation.  Word to me, civility will surround me like a blanket.

As thrilling as it all is, it has been dampened a bit by the fact that our district decided very late in the game (six weeks ago) that it would implement the new thousand point, computer-based teacher evaluation system that was originally slated to begin next year. Just in selected schools (ours included). Goody.

What does this mean in real life application? It means that everyone who is being evaluated via this system must undergo a scheduled and an unscheduled observation, complete with major questionnaire and lesson plan and lengthy conferencing with administrator.  Doing this during the last 13 1/2 days of school does pose a few problems, not the least of which being that June is typically not the apex of the instructional year, for teachers or for students. You might expect to see students spending a bit more time outside than usual at this time of year (for our school, that would mean spending any time at all outside), or perhaps playing games, like Around the World or even the much-loved Heads Up, Seven Up.  A math lesson during the last two weeks of school should include some component of students using cotton swabs to clean chalk trays.  This doesn’t translate real well into a learning objective that is expected to be posted for every lesson.  Still, I shall give it the old college try:

Objective: Students will estimate the number of cotton swabs required to clean a chalk tray to spotless perfection, then determine the actual result by conducting an experiment.

Objective: Students will supplement previous research about careers in the custodial field by using appropriate noxious chemicals to bring their desks to an acceptable level of cleanliness, then will compose a five-paragraph essay describing their process.

Objective: Students will improve their fine motor skills by removing every single staple from every single bulletin board or surface within two miles of the classroom,  thus obtaining clearance to receive their report cards and leave the school.  This lesson will be differentiated for different learning needs by allowing some students to remove masking tape, some to remove sticky-goop, and others to remove traditional staples.

Add to all of this the fact that our rooms were stripped of any personal AC units last year, and you’ve got yourself a sticky, sweaty mess 0′ attempted learning that will supposedly be going on right up to the bitter end.  Let the countdown begin. . .



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