Saturday, August 4, 2012

Poor Pluto

Last week was probably the worst week of my life. And I'm only exaggerating a little. Too many loud children, too many meetings and too many headaches. I ended the week without a voice. It was exhausting. On the bright side, September vacation is steadily approaching. Two glorious weeks of freedom. Only 26 more days (of work, that is), and yes I counted.

I've spent the last few hours staring at an unfinished test I have to write about the Mayas, Aztecs and Incas. I'm so over chinampas, quipus and human sacrifices. I'm sure I'd get more work done if I hadn't just downloaded all three seasons of Community. Who can possibly get work done when Joel McHale is only a click away?

Anyway, a while back I posted about the side effects of teaching. After the week I just had, I think it's necessary to write about the positive aspects of teaching (other than shaping the minds of children and all that crap). Basically I just need to remember why my kids are so awesome. So here it goes.

1. Never being fond of math, it has somehow become one of my favorite subjects to teach. It is rewarding to see children finally grasping the concept of fractions and long division (two of my favorites). It's even better when my kids ask for challenging problems. I'd reckon that many adults would find it difficult to divide a fourteen digit number without a calculator. My kids kick ass at long division.

2. My kids ask the BEST questions. They are curious and actually want to learn. We move slowly though social studies and science because we always seem to end up miles (or should I say kilometers) away from the original topic. Our last science unit on the movements of the Earth seemed never ending because of all their questions. At least they now know why Mercury and Venus don't have any moons and why poor Pluto was kicked out of the cool planet club. Side note: I found this entertaining video on the subject. But I didn't show it to my kids because the guy talks too fast.

3.One of my students asked to play a game on my iPod. I was feeling nice, so I let him. His game of choice? Temple Run. As he was playing, a group of kids formed around him. They started comparing their high scores (all under a million points). They awarded me the coolest teacher ever award when they found out my high score was 19 million. This was a few weeks ago. They are still talking about it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's so easy to impress kids.

4. For whatever reason I have accumulated a ton of nonsense information in my brain, mostly dealing with pop culture. Well now I can add to it. On Friday my kids were presenting their one-minute speeches. I'm sure I don't need to explain it, but I will. Basically, they need to talk about something for one minute. Okay, I guess it was pretty self-explanatory. Anyway, I gave them some topics to choose from like their favorite food, animal, country or musician. Apparently pasta and dogs are super popular. One student decided to talk about her favorite singer. Justin Beiber. She mentioned several facts about his life including his blood type. I don't even know how she found this out. But I do know that I will be very happy the day I forget that Justin Beiber's blood type is A positive.

Okay that's enough. This test isn't going to finish itself. The moral of the story is that even though they sometimes drive me crazy, my kids are pretty awesome. Plus if you're a knowledge junkie, being a teacher means you get to learn tons of cool things (and some not so cool things like other people's blood types). And in case you're still wondering what quipus are, I'm not going to tell you. I'm not your teacher. Go look it up on Wikipedia. While you're there, look up chinampas. They're pretty cool, too.


  1. Your kids are lucky to have you as their teacher. Even during one of your worst weeks with them, you've managed to focus on something positive - if that's the only life-skill they learn from you, they're ahead in the game.

  2. It's great following a teacher blog because you learn some great stuff.

    Can't tell you how happy I am that you are enjoying math and passing that on to your kids. With the exception of communication I can think of little that is more useful in so many aspects of life.

    Pluto is no Mickey Mouse planet, it is the coolest planet. First off it's really far out, back in my day that alone was enough to make you cool. Another cool thing would be that it is in a class all by itself - you can't get a whole lot cooler than that. More-over it's on the cutting edge of the solar system.

    As long as you keep the kid inside you alive and well you will always be among the coolest teachers to your students.

    I think it is wonderful that you are so open to learning from your students. Some of the most profound things can come 'out of the mouths of babes'. And who knows, maybe someday you'll be looking at final jeopardy and you'll make a ton of money because you'll know the question "What is A-positive?"