Tag Archives: writing

Afraid

Teaching kid a new math skill…

Kid: “Can you show me one more time? I’m not ready to try.”
Me: “I showed you several times– at this point you will learn best by doing it yourself. Just give it a try!”
Kid: “But sometimes I get afraid to try.”
Me: “There is nothing to be afraid of. Trying is how you learn, and if it doesn’t go the way you want it to, that just gives you good information for how to try again. Learning and success is a process, kiddo!”
Kid: “So you mean if I get it wrong, just learn from it?”
Me: “Yes! You got it!”
Kid: “When you say it like that, it doesn’t sound so scary.”
Me: “Exactly. It really is THAT easy. Just try! I promise you, you have nothing to lose!”

(2 hours later)

Therapist: “So have you taken any steps to pursue a writing career?”
Me: “No. I’m too afraid to try.”

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Lady, you found just the tutor!

A potential client called to inquire about writing lessons for her son

Potential Client: “I just want my kid to know how to write. In complete sentences. With punctuation and real words. Everything today is text-speak and emojis, I feel like he isn’t getting reinforcement for actual WRITING, and that’s still a skill that is extremely important, you know what I mean?”

Me:   img_3482

 

I got the job.

 

Brainstorm

Teaching a writing lesson…

Me: “Ok, so we’re going to start with something called a ‘brainstorm.’ Have you heard that word before?”
Kid: “Yes! A brainstorm is when you have like a storm in your brain. Like when all your thoughts are bad and they just keep crashing around in your brain and it’s hard to stop them, even when you try to think of good things.”

No.

But you are my spirit animal.

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A Few Clarifiers About My Retirement

I am in day 2 of my retirement and I feel the need to address some questions/comments/concerns that have come my way regarding my decision to leave classroom teaching. This is not a rant– you’ve all been awesomely enthusiastic about it. Just want to clear up some confusion.

1. To be clear, I only left classroom teaching. I am not retired and lying around doing nothing. I’m not sure why this is so confusing for people. Maybe it’s because I keep calling it “my retirement.” img_7921-2

2. I did not quit my job because I met a man to take care of me, and now I don’t have to work. That is absurd. This is real life, not Real Housewives of Potomac.  img_7921-2  I am still working. But yes, Eric did give me the support, encouragement, stability and gentle kick in the ass I needed to finally leave something that was making me unhappy (and had been for years) and move on to pursue things that bring me joy and contentment. And for that I am eternally grateful.

3. “But I thought you love the people you work with?” I do. With all my heart. They are now some of my best friends on earth, and will remain so. The people I met in my 7 years at that school are the only reason I stayed as long as I did, and I never could have made it through without them. They are my family. My actual job, and all the political/administrative limitations placed on it, is what left me unfulfilled. Not the people. My co workers are, and always will be, the brightest spot in my memory of classroom teaching.

4. “So what are those things you’re going to pursue?” As of now– full time tutoring (which focuses on all the aspects I love about teaching without the systemic BS that prevents me from actually helping children), getting more involved in mental health causes, working on my blog, pursuing freelance writing opportunities, and, honestly, whatever else I think of that sounds exciting!

5. Which leads to the final question/concern: “But if you don’t have crazy stories about classroom teaching, or crazy stories about dating, what are you going to write about?”

Yeah, well, I don’t know, people. I’m just hoping it turns out better for me than it did for this guy.

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Today, Junior

During a whole-group lesson about personification, writing a poem with the kids. 

Us: “How can we personify the sound leaves make in the breeze?”

Kid (raises hand): <makes loud breathing noise> 

Us: “Ok, but how might we say that in words?”

Kid: <makes breathing sound again> 

Us: “Ok, but we are writing a poem, so we need WORDS.”

Kid: “Ok, hold on.”

Us: “WORDS.”

(Long Pause. Entire class waits.)

Kid: <makes breathing noise again>

Last Time I Help That Kid

Today the kids are practicing using similes in poetry. 

Kid (writing a poem about fish): “Scaly like…hmmmm….Miss Emily, can you please help me?”

Me: “How about ‘scaly like an old lady’s hands’…”

Kid (looks at my hands): “But your hands aren’t scaly.”

Me: “I’m not an old lady!”

Kid: “Oh.”

Get the fuck out of my classroom.