A Happy Heart…

A popular expression says, “Teachers encourage minds to think, hands to create, and hearts to love.” Well last week, I received some of the fruit from my labor when my Early College students chose my classroom door to decorate for a Valentine’s Day contest.

My students worked for weeks to complete an elaborate design for my door, a Sweethearts box with my name spelled out in the window and a Valentine’s Day poem. 🙂

This sweet gesture was absolutely the best design in the entire school. Needless to say, my students won the door decorating contest and made me feel extra special in the process.

 

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!

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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. 

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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.)

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

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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!!!!

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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!

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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

 

 

 

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. 

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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. 🙂

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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 clichĂ©. 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

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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.

I Live for the Roses…The Best Teacher Appreciation Gift Ever

Yep…it’s that time of year. My terrorists (as I affectionately call my seniors) are graduating on Saturday and yesterday was their Rose Ceremony.

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I swear the Rose Ceremony is the teacher equivalent of Christmas and, as you may know, it’s the day I live for all year. If you’re not sure what a Rose Ceremony is, simply put–it’s the day teachers at my school receive roses.

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At my high school, the Rose Ceremony is a Lobo tradition. Every year, a few days before graduation, my high school calls an assembly to recognize the top ten graduating seniors and to announce all of the academic scholarships the senior class will receive.  This is also the day that seniors wear their graduation gowns and receive their academic cords and honor sashes. However, at the conclusion of the assembly, teachers and staff are called down to the gymnasium floor to be recognized for helping the graduating seniors along the way.

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As the teachers and staff circle the gymnasium, graduating seniors walk up and give the teachers of their choice a rose (and in many cases another sort of flower, note, candy, handshake, hug, and/or verbal “thank you”).

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Given that many of my students are economically disadvantaged, the simple gift of a rose is humbling. And while I am proud of many aspects of  my 13 years of teaching, receiving these roses are one of the major highlights of my career. Each rose and token means so much because each represents the sacrifice my students made to give it. Most importantly, each rose and token means that I made a difference. –And on a tough teaching day remembering this keeps me holding on.

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