I teach English to sassy teenagers.

  • I'm playing Mumford and Sons when some students walk into the classroom.
  • Student: What's that?
  • Me: Mumford and Sons.
  • Student: And do you listen to this often?
  • Me: Yes, I guess.
  • Student (turning to another student): See, I told you she grew up on a farm!
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  • I am a condom distributor for my school. When students come to get condoms from me, I am supposed to ask them two questions. 1) Do you know how to use it? and 2) Do you know what to do if it breaks?
  • Me: Okay, do you know what to do if it breaks?
  • Student: Umm, go to the hospital?
  • Me: No, you probably don't need to do that, but have you ever heard of Plan B?
  • Student: Ohhhh! You meant if the condom breaks.
  • Me: ...yes.
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Thoughts?

I think this is an interesting article.  I spend a lot of time worrying that, in the interest of preparing students for everything that I am being held accountable for right now, I am not actually giving them the tools they need to be successful in college.  My students are picking up on it.  They get that teaching to the test is different from teaching for the rest of their lives and resent their success (and mine) being measured in ways that don’t seem genuine.

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  • I'm reading to the students from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. We've been reading it together and discussing how it influenced the abolitionist movement. In the middle of the page, a student raises his hand.
  • Me: Yes?
  • D: Miss, it's Black History Month!
  • Me: Yup, I know.
  • D: Why don't you ever let us read anything about Black history in this class?
  • Me: ...
  • D: Seriously, we never read anything by Black people.
  • NB: Before Frederick Douglass, it was Their Eyes Were Watching God. Also, I'm fine. I know I've been gone for a while. There's been a lot of turmoil at school, but I believe from my core that whatever happens at the end will be for the best.
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Before we started Their Eyes Were Watching God, I had the students create language maps to illustrate the different languages they switch between each day.  They needed to show what they speak and where in some visual way, but the rest was up to them.  

After English and Spanish, some of the kids got flummoxed for a while.  And then the ideas started pouring out.  One girl raised her hand, “Miss!  Miss!  Miss!  Does Elvish count?”

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"I wish I was a white person.  All the cool white kids drive to special spots and make out in the car."

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My dad is getting an addition put onto his house so that my stepmom’s elderly mother can move in.   It’s being built by Amish people.  The first thing Pop says to me when I walk into the house: “Look out the window.  The one without the beard is not married!  Just saying”

"Dad!  He’s Amish.  And probably 19 years old."

"You looked!"

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I am unsure how to explain this.

I am unsure how to explain this.

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Snow place like home for the holidays.  Stay toasty!

Snow place like home for the holidays. Stay toasty!

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  • M: Miss! Miss! Come here!
  • Me: Yes?
  • M: I got you the business card for that rug place. Are you still going to get a carpet for your room?
  • Me: Yeah, if I can find one.
  • R (who I had last year): So you guys are going to have story time on the rug?
  • M: Yes!
  • Me: Yup.
  • R: Why didn't you do that with us?!?
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