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.

 

 

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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.

 

It’s All in How You Look At It November 1, 2015

Filed under: humor,nurse,school — peachyteachy @ 1:00 pm
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Consider my colleague, who teaches some youngsters who tend to see things from a different point of view.  On top of the usual requests to go see the nurse because “My finger hurts,” or “I have bumps on my face,” she found out last week that one of her kids (we’ll call her Princess I’m Telling) suffers from an even more serious condition.

This affliction is characterized, according to the student, by the presence of “blue marks all over my arms.”

Markers! If you guessed that markers played a role in the onset, you would get a sticker for good thinking, but you would have missed it by just a smidge.

Upon closer inspection, it became apparent that PIT was suffering from circulation.  Which is to say that the telltale blue marks turned out to be none other than the veins in her arms.  It would seem that she had not detected their presence in her previous eight years of life. Neither, I guess, had she noticed these strange markings on others of her species.

Suffice it to say that we are quite prepared to put money on the odds of her nailing the state tests in the spring. It’s right in step with the odds of winning the MegaMillions.

Because, hey, you never know.

 

Check It Out August 1, 2014

NEW BLOG ALERT

You can help to build a blog that will explore some of the issues surrounding the standardized test score-based school reform movement.  It will also look into how we can support kids to navigate the educational waters these days.

http://biggerthananumber.wordpress.com/

 

Math Mastery November 24, 2013

Filed under: education,humor,teaching — peachyteachy @ 8:17 pm
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Perhaps you have heard some of the uproar over our latest curriculum dictator, known as Fidel Common Core. Things need to be more “rigorous.” Here’s a second grade example. I was going to include a photo of this student response, but you are going to have to take my word on this one. The photo looks like it was written on one-ply bathroom tissue (incidentally, I cannot recall the last time I referred to toilet paper as “bathroom tissue”).

Assessment question:

Ms. O’Hara has 21 students in her second grade classroom .  All of them have 10 toes and 10 fingers.

a) Write the total number of toes of the students using hundreds, tens and ones.  Explain using words, pictures or numbers.

My kid’s response: 

“The students have 10 toes and fingers because they are a person I now (know) why they have 10 toes and fingers cause they eat food a lot these students are they eat good food. ” In a box in the same space, she wrote 1020.

WTF?  I assure you that I have taught no connection between number of toes and the correlation between that and food.

b) One day, three students are absent.  How many students are in Ms. O’Hara’s class that day? Skip-count to show the number of their toes. Explain using words, pictures or numbers.

Her answer:

“The students all have ten toes and the students have bones on they toes.”

Off to med school.

 

Fired Up for State Testing! April 10, 2013

Each and every day for the four weeks leading up to THE TEST, I hand out practice test books.

Each and every time I hand out the booklets, at least three students say, “Is this a test?” Then I push the button on the continuous loop that says the following, “No, sweetheart.  This booklet, like all of the twenty three booklets that I have handed to you, is just for practice.  So that we can look at it together, and practice our skills so that we can do our very best on the actual test.”

Attempting to make this task “engaging”—letting kids work in partners or small groups, or placing  small candies on their tongues for every four-minute period during which they remain on-task—slightly less than successful, as my students quickly break down into pencil larceny vigilantes, ready to take justice into their own hands, until they realize that their pencils are  in their pockets or under their papers.  Then they get even more pissed off in the face of the embarassment, and commence cussing at anyone who looks at them.  “What are YOU looking at? ShutupI’llpunchyouintheface!” Yes. It is one word.

After we complete the exactly nine hours of testing in the next two weeks, I am pleased to announce that I will be hosting a “Burn the Test Prep Booklets” event on the playground.  I have found no prohibitive language in my contract, nor in the Code of Conduct of the district (which is, by the way, a rare document and very tough to find. Presumably, there was either an earlier bonfire event, or students and families used them as a stopgap method during the toilet paper shortage back in November 2012.  Times, they be tough).

I think it’s a go! We can roast marshmallows and hot dogs and, with any luck, attract some emergency vehicles that will act as a de facto field trip, since those frivolities are frowned upon and require a professional grant writer in order to procure their funding.

My posted learning objective for Bonfire Day will read as follows:

*We will explore the combustive properties of gently used test-prep booklets.

*We will not write a five-paragraph essay including an introduction, three paragraphs of textual evidence to support our answers, and a conclusion.  

*We will write goodbye notes to our soon-to-be-dismissed teacher.

Image: blog.karendillard.com

 

Awaiting Combat Pay February 7, 2013

Filed under: humor,school — peachyteachy @ 8:04 pm
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People, give me a reality check.

There is an unspoken rule that you don’t throw pencils at your teacher, right?

Well, whatever. Geneva Conventions are lifted in the no-man’s land where I try to teach.

What exactly IS the appropriate response to this situation?

Should the teacher:

A) Use “I” statements to express disappointment at the lack of respect displayed by the student.

B) Assign a higher order thinking question to the class, asking them to describe why someone might choose to whip a pencil across a classroom at one’s teacher, providing details to support their position. Be sure to provide the state rubric to guide their response.

C) Go to one’s desk and put on one’s coat.

D) Start a firestorm of chalk, pens, crayons and don’t stop until they provide a motorcade out of there.

Write-in votes are welcome.

 

 
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