School’s.Out.for Summer!!!

We did it!  We managed to get to the end of the year.  I don’t think I’ve cried that much at the end of the year since 1994, my first year teaching.  I really felt that this was my last time in a classroom setting…at least in this way.  Oh, have I mentioned that I was RIFed (laid off due to reduction in force) and I have gone in to sign up as a substitute.  I’m actually not as upset about it as one would think I’d be after 18 years in the classroom because I have projects that I want to complete this year.  I would like to get my National Board Certification and I want to start an online charter school through LAUSD.  That should keep me busy, doncha’ think?

I got my teaching credential in the late 90’s through the District Intern Program and I have heard that the National Board Process is very similar to that.  Therefore, I figured if I’ve done it once, no reason I can’t do it again.  Now the only question is for what specialty I should apply.  Although I have a multiple subject credential, that is not how I want to be certified.  I am thinking either Math or ESL.  I loved teaching my beginning ESL class.  It was very challenging and always brought something new.  That is right up my alley!  However, there is a national need for math teachers, so I think that it might be smart for me to get certified in math.  However, if I do choose math, there is still the question of “What level?”   Do I select the middle school level, or the high school level?  Just for the sheer challenge, I would love to select high school, but all of my experience is with middle school.  (sigh)  What to do?

Now, I am absolutely jazzed about starting a charter school!  I want a different model than what is currently out there and LAUSD does not have any online charter schools.  I figure the reason is that it is a difficult process, so me being me, I am looking forward to the challenge.  I plan to do a lot of research this summer and I am confident that as I discuss it more, I will be able to get a board together to do it.  My strength is in realistic curriculum that will work IRL (in real life) but I need a board to help with getting the idea from my head and into the real world, or virtual world.  I can’t wait to get started.

As I start these projects however, it is all bittersweet.  I will definitely miss the classroom.  And I can’t begin to express how much I will miss my students.  I love the interaction I had with them and I really love the rapport that I was always able to create with these middle schoolers.  I am going to miss my monkeys.


End of the school year…

It is the best of times; it is the worst of times.  The end of the year is wonderfully, horribly, productively, tiring time.  I love this exhausting time of the school year.  The kids are wild with Spring fever, yet they learn more at this point than at any other time.  No, really, I’m not crazy!

At the beginning of the year I nearly kill myself setting up classroom procedures.  I make sure that the students know what is acceptable behavior and they quickly learn that they will face the consequences if they do not meet expectations, this usually includes my calling their parents and putting mama’s and/or papa’s number in my phone memory.  Throughout the year that phone is within quick reach.  As we work consecutive lessons, the students learn the structures.  Pretty soon they know the routines and what I will say so well that they start saying things before I do—that’s right about the time that I have them start playing teacher for certain activities.  By the end of the year, they’re playing teacher for virtually all activities.  I love when students teach themselves!  In fact this post was written during the work day as students taught themselves.  (Okay, maybe today is not the best example since I did have to actually do some teaching for their upcoming project, but you get the point.)

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