peachyteachy

For realsies

Inspirational Quotes January 30, 2013

Filed under: education,humor,inspiration,life,teaching — peachyteachy @ 6:13 pm
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#1

It is always inspirational to read heartfelt apologies written by students.  Here’s an example of how one student wiped the slate clean:

“Dear Mr. Gym,

I am sorry that I said to go suck one. I promise that I will not say it again.

Signed,

Mr. Sincerity”

Note: “Go suck one” represents approximately 7.6% of the threats of physical harm that were verbalized toward Mr. Gym. But who’s counting?

#2

Sometimes, it is difficult to respond to a student remark.  Case in point:

A sweet-looking six-year-old girl approaches my colleague, who is a lovely young woman in her twenties.

“My brother told me that you are a serial killer.”

 

Please feel free to create wall plaques of these quotes and display them on Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

Going South, Fast January 29, 2013

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 8:28 pm
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Today, when I was writing my learning goals (previously known as “objectives,” soon-to-be-known as “impossibilities”), I accidentally misspelled the word “assess” as “asses.”  Oh, happy accident. I considered leaving it for tomorrow.  And I laughed, audibly.  All by myself. At the whiteboard. Sniffing my dry erase markers.

Had you been a giant fly on the wall in my classroom or the hallway today (there is a real, live, giant fly taking turns dive bombing my colleagues’ and my classroom for weeks, despite sub-zero temperatures and gale force winds around the windows), you might not be so quick to judge my lowbrow reaction to my spelling error.  Don’t judge me, either, for naming the dive bomber P’fly Ylf, adding him to my class roster, and recording slightly higher grades for the fly than for my lowest achieving student.

After lunch, which is better described as Fight Club, I stepped outside my classroom door to check on my young Willem Dafoe at his most psycho.  Willem had earned a non-stop ticket to the main office during lunch, but, since he views such consequences as optional, he had chosen instead to slink around the door, making faces at the rest of my students, who are all one degree removed from mutiny after each and every lunch period.

As I opened the door, I witnessed a virtual hallway encampment of the less-than-high achievers from the class next door.  According to these trustworthy young lads, their sub had sent them to set up a shanty town right outside my door.  In addition, they had apparently been directed to sit there and draw ninjas.  Not having suffered  a severe lack of oxygen to my brain, I questioned the validity of their claims.  When a student hears a teacher yell to another teacher down a hall, in careful standard English, “Oh, yes! It is my understanding that their teacher instructed them to sit here outside MY door.  And he is required to draw ninjas,” they know that, sooner or later, the officials will arrive to break down their little Occupy camp.

All of this did not serve to mellow out Willem.  The school day did not close before he had received a request/suggestion from a student that he should spit upon another girl in my class, to which he cheerfully complied.  Wait—if I had asked him to spit on someone, there is no way he would do it! I’m devastated.

If this doesn’t explain solitary chuckling at inadvertent ass objectives and fabricated insect students, I don’t know what could.

 

Image: http://www.fjm.org

 

 

 

When Showering is not Optional January 26, 2013

Filed under: Hair,humor,life,Style — peachyteachy @ 8:40 am
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It’s flipping Saturday and there’s an early kid thing I have to do and I had every intention of pulling the hair back, minimally decorating the face, and skipping the shower til later.  It would look like I came from the gym, I reasoned.

Then I saw myself in the mirror.

What the hell happened?  There is no WAY I can get away with not showering this morning. Granted, I watched a weepy show before I went to sleep, and I had a weird dream, but nothing that should render me frightening and bloodshot and puffy and ready for my close-up at my zombie movie audition.

Perhaps, after I have attempted to rehabilitate my face, I shall plan my next installment: When Showering is Not an Option.  It will be my breakthrough piece into the world of fashion publishing.  Dry shampoo, floral body spray, jaunty hat and bright scarf for a pop of color.  Boom.

Image: goodreads.com

 

Aspiring perfume snipers return January 24, 2013

Filed under: education,humor,teaching,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 7:14 pm

Here’s another one from the vault. I had forgotten about this episode completely.

peachyteachy

You will be so proud of me.  Since we just learned that our State Assessments are going to be even longer and more difficult, I decided to add a new component to my otherwise test prep-oriented teaching world.  Of course, I will transform formerly dull, failing scores into shiny, passing ones.  But, just in case that doesn’t pan out, Plan B awaits.

So today, I stepped it up at work–I started career grooming a couple of students in earnest.  Their future, world-competitive occupation?  Perfume snipers!  Inspired, I know.  I can’t take full credit for this, truth be told.  I can, however, take credit for the vision needed to see their hijinx as a veritable job aptitude survey!

Behold the magic–while at specials, the girl in question (let’s call her Xena), produced a sprayable fragrance from I-don’t-want-to-know-where and took aim at the boy in question (we’ll call him Jethro), effectively emasculating…

View original post 147 more words

 

Report Card Comment Do’s and Don’ts January 22, 2013

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 9:18 pm
Tags: ,

Another invaluable little tutorial from the  trenches hallowed halls.

DO write this:

Zorkonoman must work on positive behavior choices with peers.  I am supporting him with strategies to quietly bring issues to an adult if he feels threatened.

DON’T write this:

Zorkonoman removed his belt to quietly signal that he was ready to fight during Social Studies.  I generally discourage this, especially when accompanied by a stick figure drawing of him, his aggressor with cartoon balloon of “Let’s fight, Bitch!”, and six adoring onlookers.

DO write this:

Homework completion is an issue for Rapscallawag.  Please support him in this important practice of our classroom learning.

DONT write this:

Rapscallawag registers shock and confusion when asked on a daily basis whether he has his homework.  He does take home at least one classroom pencil daily, possibly to practice reading the words on the barrel. Although, when asked if he had built a bonfire with all of those sticks and papers he never returns, his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. . .

DO write this:

Vidalia is sometimes distracted by items in her desk.

DON’T write this:

Vidalia was writing on her teeth today with a permanent marker. . . After rendering an image of a pony, rainbow, and kitty in Miami Ink style on her arm.

DO write this:

Captain Sunshine has the potential to be a successful math student—-

DON’T write this:

—If he doesn’t get his cousin to cut you.

DO write this:

Edward Scissorman determined the capacity of his desk in square units.

DON’T write this:

Scissorman has made 375 paper ninja stars, 62 paper pistols, 9 fortune tellers which are arranged strategically in his desk to mask the 14 cereals, 3 bananas and 5 orange juices that he lifts from the cafeteria weekly and transports to the classroom in his pants pockets.  He does not take off his belt when ready to fight.  He throws ninja stars.

See here and here and here for more professional report card writing tips.

Image: acc.blogs.starnewsonline.com

 

 

Emergency? Really? January 20, 2013

EMERGENCY! #1: 

Do you recognize these two gentlemen?  They are Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth–Kevin Tighe probably looks familiar; he went on to a successful movie career, appearing in a few John Sayles films, among others.   But first, he was a life-saving paramedic on the super-awesome “Emergency!” Roy and Johnny weren’t too cool to rescue a cat up a tree now and again.  This represents the television of my youth.  It pre-dates the inferior “CHiPS,” which tried to make up for the lower-case in its title with Erik Estrada’s neon teeth.

EMERGENCY? #2:

Earlier today, I washed my hands in a well-kept, flatteringly lit, public restroom.  Things were going well, thanks to the absence of glaring fluorescent lighting that could make a 22-year-old look like she needs to have some work done, not to mention someone from  the 23-plus crowd in which I have dwelled for some time.  When I proceeded to the hand-drying stage, I noticed that I had the choice of paper towel dispenser OR the air-blower option.  First, I tried to wave my hand at the paper towel dispenser, which resulted in no perceptible change in the presence of paper towels. The toilet had been on a sensor; don’t judge! That is not the emergency; that the towel thing was a manual model.  I adapted, and elbowed the hot air blower thing on.  This is not the emergency, either, but the hot air was pretty flaccid, as hot air blower speeds go, resembling nothing more than someone mouth-breathing one-fourth of an inch away from your hand.  I had been expecting the blast that will distort your features if you stick your face under there.  At this point, I turned to the paper towel dispenser to help with my personal goal of drying my hands in less than twenty minutes.  It was apparent that there was not an accessible towel, but, much to my relief, there was an EMERGENCY FEED on the side of the machine!  What a relief! It was a brighter, sweeter world when I walked out of that bathroom; I can tell you that, mister. I had walked through the emergency and had emerged unscathed and more fully alive (Please note the deft manipulation of the word “emerge” here.).

EMERGENCY? #3:

On the off chance that you take issue with my cavalier attitude toward the whole emergency concept, may I present for your consideration some alleged emergencies that I encounter on a nearly daily basis.

“You stole my pencil and I’m going to punch you in the face! What? It’s on the floor? Oh. Don’t touch my stuff!” Dubious, as emergencies go.

“I have to go to the nurse! We were throwing water on each other when we went to the bathroom without permission and water got in my ear! This ear–water–it hurts! This ear–no water–it doesn’t hurt!” Near-emergency then occurred when I choked on my water in my attempt not to laugh in student’s face.

“Can I PLEEEEEASE go to the nurse? The bottom of my pantleg got wet and I need a new pair of pants. My mom told me if my pantleg is ever wet I should go to the nurse so I won’t get sick.”  Let’s do an evaporation experiment instead!

You can see why my definition of “Emergency” has become as broad as the proverbial side of a barn.

You want to talk about legit Emergencies with a capital E?

ACTUAL FREAKING EMERGENCY:

It is an incontrovertible emergency when a woman is being interviewed on television, discussing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and she utters the following words: “It is important for us to talk about the heroes, and the sheroes, of our history.” WHAT? Where was the emergency editing intervention here? Do we need to enact legislation in order to assure that this completely preventable incident doesn’t repeat itself? Because I am pretty sure that Emergency rooms across the local viewing area were flooded with folks who involuntarily attempted to gouge out their own eyes and ears in the face of the horror of it all.

ANOTHER ACTUAL FREAKING EMERGENCY:

I am making chili for dinner.  There is not one onion to be found in the house! WTF?! Fortunately, my guy is a former first responder, and recognized the situation for what it was, pronto.  At this point in our relationship, he knows that I am expecting him to not only hightail it to the nearest onion purveyor, but to slap the flashing light on the roof before he throws the car into gear.

Fortunately, some of us know how to respond to an emergency.

image: tvseriesfinale.com

 

Still in Cub Scouts: Miracle or Curse? January 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 6:05 am

It’s getting to be that time again, so I thought I would share another older post that you might enjoy. It’ll be different this year. This I swear by the stars.

peachyteachy

Oh, Cub Scouts.  Oh, Pinewood Derby.  Oh, mommy humiliation at the horrific reality of having the only minimalist (read: ghetto) car at the event.  You are supposed to transform your car into a tank, or a monster, or maybe even a parade float.  Ours looked more like a suet cake on wheels. With googley eyes.  One of the uniform-wearing types in my kid’s “den” asked him point-blank, “Did you work hard on that?” Yeah, about as hard as you worked on tying that neckerchief, Skippy. We will invest in the uniform shirt after taxes come back. Maybe.

I’m the mom.  I don’t go to the Cub Scout meetings.  This means that males have to acquire all of the relevant information using only their own rudimentary listening skills.  This is why we somehow did not know that the one-time “Car Cut” event meant that you either go and have your block…

View original post 236 more words

 

Yeah, “OnlyTuesday” is a Thing January 16, 2013

Filed under: dogs,education,humor,inspiration,school,shopping,teaching — peachyteachy @ 7:40 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Oh, what? You’re one of those sunny individuals who, on Tuesdays (or “Tooz-deez” if you are old school and midwestern), says something like, “Hey, it’s almost Hump Day!” Every day is Hump Day if you’re my dog.  TODAY is, allegedly, Hump Day. The downhill “Wheeee!” has not kicked in.  The looming deadlines have.

One sunny side of this hallowed Hump Day is that, this year, we only have to draft a school supply order for seventy-six cents to outfit our classrooms for the following year.  If you are a special ed person, I’m sorry—you get thirty-one cents to spend.  Paper clip frenzy! In addition, you must complete your order form online in a format that is impossible to save. . .while a webcam records your every click, I am pretty sure. Yes, Ms. Crabapple (we’re all named after tree fruits), you have been–er—humped!

I commend you and tip my non-existent hat to you as well, my optimistic reader.  I’m guessing that your Toozdee (or Hump Day)  did not include witnessing a ten-year-old cussing out a sweet lady who is pushing seventy.  At the end of such a day, one occasionally reflects upon the soul-crushing reality that it is, indeed, OnlyTuesday.  Or, in today’s case, Lumpin’ Hump Day.

Hey! Here’s a happy Hump Day tale to tell!  One of my overflowing handful of students who view schoolwork as strictly optional, asked me if the word “wheat” is pronounced, “Hweet.”  To which I responded that, yes, technically, it is pronounced “Hweet.”  I was thinking of the early Woody Allen film, “Love and Death,” in which there is a very artsy wheat-themed soliloquy-ish thing (my favorite moment is Woody’s heartfelt, “CREAM of wheat!”). My student, on the other hand, was inspired to spend the next twenty solid minutes saying “Hweet” over and over again, to my delight.  It was a high point in my career as a life-changing, inspirational educator.

” What do you remember about fifth grade, Skippy?’

“I remember one day I said  ‘Hweet’ three thousand times.”

And then I started to think about regionalisms and then I watched this video about state stereotypes and then I decided to write the end of my post in the style of my students, but without misspelling stuff because I love you all too much to take it out on you…

Image: stickyegg.com

 

Of What Art Thou Afraid? January 12, 2013

Filed under: humor,inspiration,life,teaching — peachyteachy @ 8:33 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I am afraid of leaving that preposition hanging off the edge of that title.  “Art Thou” is my little distraction to make it look oh-so-deliberate.  But in fact, I’m just a bit afraid of the WordPress grammar police showing up on my little blog doorstep and stating that they have discovered that I am, after all, an impostor.

 

There have been some lovely, candid videos posted of late by some of my favorite vloggers on YouTube. The topic? Fear–of people not liking your work; of people not liking YOU.

 

I am a bit older than the demographic that consumes most of these vloggers’ content, but they have made a real difference in my life, regardless.  Some of my most stressful, anxiety-ridden moments of the past few years in my profession have been eased by the joy, humor, intellect, and sanity found in the work of John and Hank Green, the Vlogbrothers.  Likewise, Brits Charlie McDonnell (our dear friend above) and Alex Day   have elevated the atmosphere countless times when I have been tempted to suspect that the convoluted and increasingly crazy-making world of education that I inhabit is the real picture. This happens in the trenches.  Thanks to these guys for expanding the picture.

I have been noticing of late that there is, within me, a rising level of anxiety that I am keeping at bay through some healthy and some less-than healthy means.  I work harder, do more of what is demanded as a teacher, and my students seem to achieve less, and treat each other worse.  I fear that all of my work to get to this place, professionally,  will be lost when state test scores decree that I am, officially, “Ineffective.”  Enough afraid already.

For what art thou grateful?

I am grateful for my sweet young son who is somehow convinced that I am, in his words, “The best of the best,” which he tells me every day.  And my big son who turned me on to all of this YouTube content! I am grateful for the amazing people I work with. I am grateful for the cookies that are cooling in the kitchen.  Grateful for the man who feels my wrath if he dares to touch me on a morning when I have the option of sleeping in. Or not. And, yes, I am grateful to these YouTube guys. If I need a pick-me-up, I can always watch Alex Day read Twilight.

Here’s a lovely response  to the above video, made by another well-known YouTuber and friend of Charlie’s, Michael Aranda:

 

Betty Crocker is Like Lassie January 9, 2013

I wrote this post when I had approximately four readers. It still seems like a fresh and current issue to me.

Betty and I collaborated again this evening; we made the “healthy” cake mix concoction where you add a can of pumpkin and none of the oil and eggs that the box calls for.  This time, I tried something loosely named “Carrot Cake.”  Except that the fine print under “Carrot Cake” said “with carrot flavored pieces.”  This should have read, “with no carrot whatsoever,” but someone (I presume Betty herself) thought these carrot flavored pieces would be a better selling point. Damn it, Betty!

Naturally, I decided to have a heart-to-heart with BC herself, so I went looking on the box for Betty.  Remember how Betty has calmly walked with you through your baking-from-a-box development, shifting and changing, getting older, then younger, then older again? Just like the many collies who became Lassie for a few years, then disappeared, making room for a newer, fresher, puppier Lassie? Well, let me save you seven seconds out of your life.  Betty is gone.  The only humanoids on that box are a Mister Mom and Daughter on the back. Yes, they ARE wearing matching pale blue button down shirts! As if that is going to make you forget to put out an APB on Betty.

I went to bettycrocker.com, where there was a prominent feature on rhubarb (fine), but no sign of Betty, except for a teeny little tab on the left that said, “Follow Betty.” Even on Facebook, she is nothing more than a red spoon.  Not even an I- don’t-have-a-profile-picture-yet silhouette. Oh, Betty.

General Freaking Mills needs to be court martialed.

P.S. Betty, if you are reading this, please post a photo of how you look now so that we can all make copies and paste them onto our cake mixes.

 

 
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