Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!

teacher_appreciation_week

I don’t know about you, but I’m having one of the nicest Teacher Appreciation weeks ever. However, I can’t help but note the irony of National Teacher Appreciation Week coinciding with STAAR testing. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for the acknowledgement we, teachers, receive and I thought I’d take a moment to share how my Teacher Appreciation Week is going thus far.

At my school, teachers received a small goodie bag with a can of coke, a bag of chips, and a Whataburger certificate. Then, this morning, we had a Teacher Appreciation breakfast with pastries, coffee, and juice. However, what has truly made my week so far are small acts of kindness from my students.

One of my students drew me a picture. 

IMG_0090 (1)

Another wrote me one of the most beautiful thank you notes of my career. (BTW: Ding! is the catchphrase I use when my students get a question correct in class.)

IMG_0088

IMG_0086

My 8th period drew me a witty picture (the misspellings are intentional).

IMG_0098

Then the National Hispanic Honor Society gave us the most delicious Mexican cookies in honor of both Cinco de Mayo and Teacher Appreciation Day. Yummmmm!!!!

IMG_0079

And just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, I discovered in the parking lot that my “happy friends” had decorated my car with some of my classroom catchphrases. Wow! What an awesome day!

20150505-202610.jpg

20150505-202625.jpg

20150505-202642.jpg

Please share in the comments below how is your Teacher Appreciate Week/Day progressing. I’d love to know which activities your school does to recognize teachers. Also, what special ways did your students acknowledge you during this week.? 🙂

From Galveston with Love

20150407-112649.jpgOne of my seniors visited her family in Galveston, Texas during Easter break and returned to El Paso with a gift for me–a hand-carved lion pen. Wow … how thoughtful!!! Although I truly loved receiving this gift, it means so much more to know that my students are thinking of me even when they are so far away from school. 🙂

 

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

 

 

 

We Came; We Saw; We Slaughtered.

20150407-171133.jpgI am so proud of my Lit. Critters (also known as my University Interscholastic League Literary Criticism Team). While I have only coached them for two months, they did an outstanding job at the district UIL competition and won 1st place.  Hopefully, our team will be as successful at the state competition in a few weeks. Wish us luck!!!

PS. Although we definitely believe in good sportspersonship, “We came; we saw; we slaughtered” has become my Lit. Critters team mantra. It is a modern spin off derived from Julius Caesar’s “Veni, vidi, vici” which is Latin for “I came; I saw; I conquered.” And yes, we’re nerdy like that. LOL. 🙂

 

Started From the Bottom … Now We’re Here…

OMG!!! I’m so excited. Our iPads finally got a much needed upgrade from being charged on rigged up dish racks. 

IMG_20140423_135034

Now we have have a re-purposed C.O.W. (computers on wheels) laptop cart that we can use to charge, store, and transport our iPad minis.IMG_0040

 I’m so grateful and appreciative to finally have a secure storage solution in my classroom for our iPads. 🙂IMG_0042

 

Happy Friends

happy friends2It’s that dreaded time of year…test season. I’ve been in and out of the classroom helping with our End of Course ELA Pullout Program for our senior re-testers and guess what? My students actually missed me. I returned late in afternoon, to the English wing, and unexpectedly found a present waiting for me–a chalk drawing with my signature catchphrase for my students (fondly known in my classroom as “happy friends”).

This chalk drawing spanned from the front of the English wing until the edge of the railings near our Fine Arts building.

Honestly, I can’t remember when I’ve smiled so much and been so genuinely surprised. I showed every teacher and administrator in my path pictures of one of the most heartfelt gifts of my career. It’s days like this that make teaching worth it. 🙂

Happy Friends

 

Teach Like Me

Gandhi so aptly said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” As teachers, we use this quote nearly to the point of cliché. However, how often do we apply this concept beyond working with our students?

Given the critical nature of the press and public towards teaching, maybe it’s time we do more than transform our classroom. Maybe it’s time we also transform the public perception of our profession.

One of the ways we can begin this process is by participating in a positive PR campaign like “Teach Like Me.” A friend sent me an invite through Facebook and I liked it enough to share with you. 1

IMG_0999.JPG

This spring, “Teach Like Me” will launch its 2nd annual campaign to publicize and increase public awareness of the positive contributions teachers make. On May 5, 2015, “Teach Like Me” asks educators and supporters to change their profile pictures on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to one of their custom Teach Like Me logos (available here). Then use social media with the hashtag #TeachLikeMe to share/tweet/post what you teach and why you love teaching. However parents, students and other members of the public can also use the hashtag to show their support, appreciation, and encouragement of teachers. For more information on “Teach Like Me,” please visit http://www.teachlikeme.org.

I am excited about participating and I hope you are too! 🙂

  1. I am not an official ambassador or an affiliate of “Teach Like Me,” but I like their idea.

Teacher Tutorial: Creating an Extra Duty Timesheet Using Google Forms


extradutytimesheet

 

When I shared how I use Google Forms to track the extra hours I work at school, a few teachers were interested in seeing a tutorial, so I created the tutorial below using Screencast-O-Matic. I hope this Google Forms tutorial is helpful. 

Before you get started, here are a few teacher tips that can help you use the Extra Duty Timesheet tool more effectively.

Teacher Tips:

  • Creating this time tracking form is not about clock-watching. I will not use it to document fairly quick tasks. However, if a school related task warrants more than 10-15 minutes of personal time then I will definitely record it. Often, teachers are the victims of our own success. We spend countless hours working on school projects without recognizing how that may cause imbalance in other aspects of our lives. Therefore, this time tracking tool not only records our additional contributions and dedication to our profession, but it also creates self awareness. This time tracking tool is about building personal and professional accountability for our time. 
  • If you are looking for a better work/life balance this time tracking tool may show you how you are utilizing portions of your personal time.
  • Also, this time tracking tool may also be a great documentation to take into your teacher evaluation. Unless you have a very visible role in such as an athletic coach, it might be difficult for your administration to see all of the valuable contributions you have made during the school year.

Please let me know in the comment section if there is anything I could explain better or if you have additional questions/comments about the tutorial. 🙂