For realsies

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.


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


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:


 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.


Teaching for College and Career Readiness? Yup! November 15, 2014

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 2:17 pm
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One of the things they tell teachers is that one should not use sarcasm in the classroom.  Anyone who has read a few of my blog posts knows that if I took one of those moronic Facebook quizzes that ask “How sarcastic are you?” I would fall somewhere between “80 and 97 percent sarcastic”. On a good day.  That’s right, I embrace sarcasm as a trusty lifeskill, and I am proud to share that skill with my beloved students.  Without sarcasm, most teachers would be found collapsed in a pool of their own tears by the end of any given day.

Case in point: one teacher was attempting to teach a math lesson on a recent Friday afternoon. She was holding the promise of the weekly prize drawing over the students, in the hopes that this might inspire some shut up reduced volume in the room.  One student in particular was yukking it up as if the expanded form of 768 was as entertaining as an episode of Sponge Bob.  Also, she was repeatedly sticking her ample booty above the desk.  As a holder of an advanced degree, I can categorically assure you that sticking  your ass in the air is not conducive to learning, at least not in math.  Look it up. In my archives.

The aforementioned  excellent teacher made a suggestion to the class: “You can thank Ms. Zippity Doo Dah for the fact that we won’t have time for our prize drawing.”

To this, of course, several students complied, saying, “Thank you, Zippity Doo Dah.” *sigh* Clearly, this teacher had not delivered enough instruction in sarcasm. . .

But then, from out of the clear blue sky, another student, in a raspy and disgusted voice, like that of a 40-year-old smoker, yelled out, “You’re not supposed to say ‘THANK YOU!'”

“You’re supposed to just SIT THERE!”

The teacher swelled with pride.  Until the day got even better. The student continued, confirming that the teaching of the higher understanding of the sarcastic remark had been successful after all.

“. . .and FEEL ASHAMED!”

Teachers really do make a difference, after all.








Taking One For the Team December 17, 2013

Filed under: humor,life,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 7:18 pm
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Yes, well, sometimes, state departments of education decide to visit  low-performing  schools the week before Christmas break.  For three days.  A team swoops in and observes classrooms with the expectation that the teachers and students will be demonstrating best practice and best  behavior and best planning and best data whoring.

On a full moon.

Which is a naive myth to all of you superior people who have never been responsible for a pack of twenty-to-thirty younglings for six to seven hours a day.  Children teach one the ways of the moon, my friend.  I’m sorry for calling you superior. There’s too much superiority hovering around these days; I’m starting to see it where it doesn’t dwell.

Don’t imagine that any of these days before Christmas will include any moment of special holiday preparation, or story or, heaven forbid, crafts!  No.  The children will complete unit assessments in both reading and writing. Please bring me to litigation if I am off the mark when I say that I cherish the sweet treasures brought home from school  by my babies —and that I do not give a rat’s ass about the score they received on some unit test.

Never mind all of that.  Take a walk into my classroom today,  after lunch (translation: the witching hour).  Sitting comfortably in my desk chair (which is probably infested with bedbugs) is a representative of a state department of education.  Unfolding before him is a veritable three ring circus of children who have apparently been given cappuccino for lunch, if you go by the calling out, falling out of chairs, and approaching the teacher to complain of various medical maladies. It is a perfect storm of we-took-a-test-it’s-almost-Christmas-break-the-moon-is-full-phonics-is-only-good-if-you-yell-it.

The problem is that, in these situations, you can’t crack the whip the way you would normally. You are trying to use all the positive strategies to turn the craziness around, when in fact they need their fearless leader to yell the hell out of it for a minute. Instead, it was as if Ozzy Osbourne had inhabited my class.   You can bet that when that state dude left, it was not pretty.

My only comfort is the thought that I made the rest of my teammates look really good in comparison. As for me, this would be an optimum time for the Megamillions to smile on down on Peachyteachy.  Today, all I want to do is stay home and bake.



Dr. Peachy, Medicine Woman–There Will Be Blood October 15, 2013

Filed under: humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 8:42 pm
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I’ve determined that my cosmic chemistry (which happens to also be a popular elective at the University of Phoenix) has positioned me to attract the bleeding and infirm of our young learners.  Within five minutes of the arrival bell on any given day, you might peek into my room and think that I was wearing a velcro suit, by the looks of the three-to-five children who are attached to my sides and burrowing into the folds of my clothing.

A year and a half ago, when I embarked upon the blogging journey, I speculated that I might owe the school nurse a case of wine or six.   At this point,  I need to look into buying her a timeshare in Boca Raton.

“Ms. Peachy, my stomach hurts.”

“Okay, put your head down, let’s see how you’re doing at gym time.”

After gym, “My stomach still hurts.”

“Since you just performed ‘Flashdance,’ let’s sit down for more than eleven seconds and see how you feel.”

Three minutes later, “My stomach still hurts.”

“Honey, how about you write down exactly where your stomach hurts and when it started and what you ate today.”

“Ms. Peachy, I was looking in my desk for my pencil and I hit my head on the desk.  Can I sharpen my pencil? And my stomach still hurts.”

Child skips out of the building during fire drill.

Upon return, her stomach—well, you know.

Ten minutes before dismissal: “Ms. Peachy, my stomach still hurts.”

“You made it to the end of the day! Yaaay! Great job! Go get your things to go home!”

Don’t judge, people.  I am not insensitive. This is a daily script.  Oh, and don’t quote me the old teacher comeback, “Show me the blood.” My kids are happy to show me the damn blood, dripping down their legs, arms, eyelids.  And their compassionate classmates make sure to alert me of each and every bloody incident.  My own little Blood Alert Posse.

At least I am not Miley Cyrus’ TV stepmom once removed.



Literacy in Action! September 28, 2013

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 6:47 pm
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This year, I teach skills such as  phonics.  That’s the stuff that makes your brain understand the code involved in reading letter sounds and words. 


The word “stock” has a consonant blend: st, which retains two sounds in the word.  It ends with a digraph: ck, which consists of two consonants that combine to make one sound.  

Sweet 7-yr-old raises her hand.  

“Like when you stalk someone!”

Welcome to second grade. 



Big People/Small People September 21, 2013

Filed under: education,humor,teaching,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 7:14 am
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I have teleported to a land where people are shorter than me.  Also, they love my jewelry. I know of no better response than to curtsy in the middle of my higher level instruction.

Surprising similarities abound, however, between the youngsters and the older youngsters over whom I wardened previously.

  •  They share a passion for bathing in hand sanitizer.
  •  They want their hands on walls when they walk in the hall—this may have something to do with the hand sanitizer obsession.
  • They go through pencils a la woodchucks chucking wood

Charming stuff:

  • Sweet, darling girls declare their love in heart-encrusted notage on a daily basis. “I love you so so so so so much. Do you have a heart of love?”
  • “Miss Peachy! Miss Peachy! It’s almost Halloween! In the store, I saw bones (skeletons)! Not real ones!”
  • After lunch: “I’m soooooo tired. Can we watch a movie? What about a video?”

They do rival my older classes in the hypochondriac  department, however.  Clearly, I am poised for another banner year in my relationship with the school nurse.  Their necks hurt, their shoulders hurt, their eyes hurt, and lord knows their TUMMIES hurt!  I am filled with gratitude when I recall the day in history that gave rise to this post:  wheelchair . Also, this one: more wheelchairs in education.

Even the full moon wasn’t too bad.  Unless you count the fire drill.  During which half of my class migrated to the first grade line, and almost walked to the corner store.



I Feel Ugly, But I Forget Why September 25, 2012


Today, a student drew a likeness of me standing by a likeness of her.  She was saying, in a cartoon bubble, “Me you ugly.” I think that was her way of writing a little micro-screenplay where she was writing her part, as in, “Me: You ugly.” I did have a cute little flipped-up-at-the-end hairdo, and my skin was shaded in, while hers was not.  This does not reflect the physical reality of our skin tones, which makes it that much more intriguing and avant garde, I guess. I am what is known in polite circles as Super Caucasian.  In less formal terms, I have been described as a “White Cracker.” In her view, I must inhabit the dark side, though.  This is due to the fact that I took issue with her telling another student to “Shut the f— up.” I’m outrageous like that. Even more outrageous, I asked her to write something in paragraph form.  My students view this as tantamount to waterboarding, especially when I slip in the requirement of using periods.  So she was pissed, as well she should have been.

You are going to be extra mad at me when I tell you that I stood between a kid and his destiny today.  It’s true. And I am deeply sorry.  I have a student who gives me resentful looks when I ask him to follow ANY direction within thirty minutes of uttering the direction.  He looks as if he is planning his return to school with semi-automatic weapons, because I have the unmitigated gall to suggest that he should not be using his scissors to create a mini-snowdrift of paper cuttings underneath his desk.  But that is not the destiny to which I refer.  After the scissor confiscation, I looked over toward where his homicidal looks should have been leveled in my direction, and I noticed that he was no longer inhabiting an above-desk profile.  “WTF?” think I to myself.  At this point, I noticed that he was underneath his desk–communing with the paper cuttings, apparently.  In predictable teacher fashion, I merely shot HIM a look, and said, with gusto, “No!” Well, apparently, he was “repairing” his desk.  And when I say “repair,” I mean “disassemble.” A few minutes later, he stole the show when his desk essentially collapsed.  No stranger to desks being kicked, thrown, and vandalized, I held out my hand to receive the two bolts that had miraculously loosened themselves.  WHO FIXED THE DESK?  Come on! You know it was Peachy!

There are precious few “vocational” paths these days, and even fewer “Become A Skilled Tradesman But Only Do Your Trade When You Feel Like It” paths available. My student is unlikely to succeed at taking shit apart as a career path, not so much because we don’t need folks to TAKE shit apart, but because their bosses will expect them to take shit apart WHEN THEY SAY SO, not when they are good and ready.  There’s the rub.

Last thing: scholars, am I off-base with this next item? When I studied Multiple Learning Styles, I did not see the categories, “Lazy,” “Obnoxious,” or “Making Fart Noises.” Research this, will you? Thanks.



First Day Fiesta September 4, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school — peachyteachy @ 6:44 pm
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A question for my fellow educators: Is it bad when, after the first day of school, you spend 7-12 minutes speculating on possible self-inflicted injuries that could land you on medical leave for an extended period? Is it pissy to be annoyed at the fact that the district computers are incapable of opening the eleven documents that have been electronically transmitted, and by which we are required to take attendance sixteen times a day?

I didn’t think so!

It’s not the kids. Except for the part of the kids that talk incessantly and listen to exactly two directions out of the approximate 73 directions given today, many of them repeatedly and with visual aids.


“To make this flip book about the amazing behavior choices that will enable you to become a role model, you will first WRITE this—-THIS THING THAT I HAVE WRITTEN ON THE BOARD IN HUGE LETTERS—-each and every student will WRITE these words as your heading before you do anything else!”

Student: “Are we supposed to write something here?”


Get to know you activity: First Day of School Questionnaire. Question 3: Name the state or  province where you were born.

Student (non-refugee, white American) response: Country. When pressed, he stuck by his guns, reiterating that he did, indeed, mean “country.”

Me, in pastel voice: ” You’re pretty sure you were born in Country? Me too! Sweetie, can you go home today and check to find out which country that was?” Sweet baby Jesus, the kid who wrote “Africa” as his state or province can tell me he was born in Kenya.

Help. Please.

There is a program in our district designed to provide intensive intervention for kids who have SEVERE and continuous behavior problems.  There is a lengthy process of data collection that must be navigated in order for a student to earn a coveted spot in this program.  This is reserved for students who are extremely disruptive on a daily basis.  When one goes through this process at the end of the school year, and it is determined that the student needs this extreme intervention, the student will actually start the school year in this program. It’s established—the child needs very structured intervention in a very small group setting before he can try the general ed setting again.

I have one of those in my class,  slated to begin his new program today.

Guess who showed up on my doorstep this morning? Severe-and-Continuous-Disruptive-Behavior-Boy! It would seem (according to the grapevine, not an appropriate communication of this information) that our district has not closed negotiations with this program and has failed to contract with them in time for these super at-risk kids to start the school year where their parents are expecting them to begin. Way to go, school reformers! What a relief that you are in charge!

Did this child smack other kids today?


Did he make fart noises several times over the course of the day?

Hell, yeah!

Did he refuse to return to the classroom with the rest of the students, after we practiced your typical first day procedures in the hall?

Sho did.

Is it fair to this kid that his plans have been abruptly changed?

God bless us, everyone.




Hospitality Man-The New Face of Star Wars August 25, 2012

"Hospitality Man"

Hospitality Man wishes he was Han Solo.

Our dog, Bob Marley (no relation to that heart-wrenching retriever that made someone a successful writer awhile  back), used to enjoy chewing stuff.  A lot.  Isn’t that cute and unusual? No, I know.  Settle down.  The mildly interesting angle that I want to share with you here is how she had a preference for certain items. Yeah, Bob Marley is a girl dog.

Bob Marley did have a varied diet, and took to heart the nutritionists’ admonition to all of us that we should Eat a Rainbow Every Day!  What a sunny reminder to help us back into Oz when we veer off into the brown-and-beige-based food groups, such as oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (transformed to healthier Rainbow Eating by the strategic addition of M & Ms), mashed potatoes, and the breads in all their glory.  Bob Marley managed it by eating toys, especially Legos (always the coolest ones from the expensive kits, not the basic bricks) and action figures.  Star Wars action figures.  She could be surrounded by toys all over the floor, and she would be cheerfully chewing away on a Storm Trooper, not blinking an eye when you came in the room.   Many tears were shed, you can be sure.  The number one super fave, though, was the Clone Troopers–the ones from the animated series that we Star Wars purists poo-poo as illegitimate.  Like Cheez Wiz, it should be written “Star Warz the Clone Warz.”

None of that pure Star Wars propaganda holds any sway with my son.  “There’s too much conversation in the original Star Wars.  There’s more action in the prequels and in the Clone Wars,” he blithely states, while my older son and I gouge our eyes out with Lego light sabers that have missed the Bob Marley scourge.  Yeah, we have kept a lot of the damaged troopers, so the action figure collection in this house might not be suitable for younger viewers.

As a matter of fact, we came across one of the amputees this morning.  Grisly.  As you can see, both legs just clean gone.  “Does this guy play as the wounded one?” I asked (see  Ambling and Rambling’s Stupid Questions for more like this).

“Yeah, he’s Hospitality Man.  Cuz he has to go to the hospital so much.”

Hospitality Man.  Defiantly hospitable. Coming soon to a theater near you.


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