Tag Archives: teaching

Reasons I Love to Teach (#3)

Chaperoning dances can be surprisingly fun.

I hated going to dances when I was in high school.  I didn’t have a boyfriend and I didn’t have rhythm, so dances weren’t all that fun.  I still don’t have either, but as a chaperon, high school dances can be kind of awesome.

For starters, not only do I not have to dance, chaperons aren’t ALLOWED to dance.  I was a bit weirded out by the numerous reminders that we were, under no circumstances, permitted to dance with the students.  Was there a legitimate concern that we would be bumping and grinding out on the dance floor?  Ew.  I’m sorry I used those words.  I hate them too. Continue reading

Reasons I Love To Teach (#1)

I’m starting a new series because this week I was reminded over and over again just how much I freaking love to teach.  Some days are hard.  Others are long.  Some weeks I feel like curling up in the fetal position on my classroom floor.  But MOST days are wonderful.  And here’s why.

Reason # 1

The wallflowers will occasionally shock you.

Today’s example comes from one of my Korean girls who has said maybe 10 words in class.  Maybe 10.  Her English isn’t awesome and her voice is ridiculously quiet, but it turns out that she is kind of hilarious. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 23

I’m not Catholic but on Sundays, I make confessions.  Instead of telling them to a priest, I tell them to you, the internet world.  I try to post these in the morning, but let’s be honest, they typically get posted on Sunday night or Monday morning.  The best part about these confessions is when you make them too, so don’t be bashful and add your own confession in the comments.

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1.  I was busted picking a wedgie during class.  When my undies bunch, my go-to maneuver is to hang out in the back of the classroom while my students work on something independently.  I also use this strategy when I need to pick my nose.  I suppose I could try Kevin Jame’s move as seen IN THIS AWESOME CLIP(begins at minute 7:50), but I prefer to hide in the back of the room so I can really “go for it” and quickly and efficiently dislodge the offending garment.  However, this week, a freshman boy had a pertinent question at the wrong moment.  He turned around and made eye contact with me right as I was mid-pick.  I’m not sure who felt more awkward at that moment, but he chose not to ask his question.

This awful moment reminded me of that moment when you walk in on someone in the bathroom.  Eye contact at that moment is thee absolute worst.  I so dread that moment that in my dreams a few nights ago, I got in a car accident and when the police showed up, I was in the bathroom and the officer walked in on me while I was mid-wipe.  Talk about a nightmare.  I don’t dream about vampires or chainsaw murderers; no, my nightmares involve painfully awkward moments.

2.  I eat A LOT of cereal.  Need proof?  My roommates and I have a shelf just for cereal.  All but two of these boxes are mine.

Until college, I honestly didn’t know that people my age ate “non-sugar” cereals.  Why would anyone ever choose Special K when they could have Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Another cereal confession:  I wish there was a meat-flavored cereal.  Does this sound good to anyone else?  For instance, tonight I had Cheerios for dinner.  It was delicious but I thought, “Man, this would be even better if the Cheerios were steak-flavored.”  I don’t know, guys.  I think this could be my million dollar idea. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 22

I’m not Catholic but on Sundays, I make confessions.  Instead of telling them to a priest, I tell them to you, the internet world.  I try to post these in the morning, but let’s be honest, they typically get posted on Sunday night or Monday morning.  The best part about these confessions is when you make them too, so don’t be bashful and add your own confession in the comments.

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Before I jump into this week’s confessions, an update on a few from last week:  first, my mom tried to scare me again.  She thought I was on my way to their house so she hid in the bushes in the front of the house.  She didn’t confess to exactly how long she was out there, but it was for quite a while considering I was over an hour late and she had given up by the time arrived.  The best part is that at one point, her neighbor came out, saw my mom smashed in the bushes, and gave her a questioning look that seemed to say, “Cindy, what on earth are you doing?”  So my mom said, “Oh hey Carol, just doing some trimming,” and then pretended to trim the bushes with her fingers shaped like scissors.

My mom: Cindy Scissorhands.   She’s the best.  (nickname credit to my dad)  And Mom, you can’t get mad at me for sharing this story because you never made me promise I wouldn’t like you did about that other delightful conversation:)

Also, remember how I procrastinated by petting the neighbor’s cat?  Turns out I made a friend for life.  Four nights this week, I’ve come home to this cat waiting in front of our garage.  I was on the phone one of the times so I opened my car door and

he/she jumped right in.  (I haven’t checked for balls so I don’t know the gender.)  That’s a lie.  I did check, but I couldn’t tell.  Plus, I don’t know if they cut those off or deflate them or shrink them or what not when a male cat is neutered.  And I want to assure you that, despite this picture, I am NOT turning into the crazy cat lady.  I know, I know: “Thou doth protest too much,” but this particular cat is particularly friendly.  Any of you would pet it too.  You might not let it in your car, but you would pet it.

Moving on…here are this week’s confessions: Continue reading

Wow Wednesday 13- teaching English to Christians

“Wow Wednesdays” is a discipline for me.  Not like a “soap in the mouth” kind of discipline, but like a “read the Bible each day” kind of discipline.  It forces me to write and it forces me to acknowledge the times my jaw has dropped during the week.  I say “wow” for lots of reasons.  Often it’s because humans are so stinkin weird or my nephews are so stinkin cute, but the greatest instigator of “wows” has always been our great God.  Wednesdays are when I chronicle some of the odd crap I’ve witnessed but mainly the cool crap God has taught me.  However, since I’m a procrastinator to the core, I typically post these on Thursdays. “Wow Thursdays” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, though.

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Ten years ago I made an impulsive decision.  I had planned on majoring in English but after one day in my first upper division English class, I got a  mean case of writer’s block and instead of powering through it, I waltzed into my advisor’s office and announced, “I’d like to change my major to History.  Can I do that?”

He said I could and the next day I had a new schedule, a new major, and a new plan for my future.  God must have giggled.

Actually, I don’t picture God as the giggling type.  But perhaps He chuckled.  Chuckled because He knew that in a few years I would end up teaching English- teaching English at a private Christian school no less.  Having been raised in the public schools, I was absolutely certain that was where God wanted me to teach.  Private schools weren’t even an option for me.

“Those schools are for the Christian teachers who collect PRECIOUS MOMENTS FIGURINES and wear “What Would Jesus Do?”  bracelets; for the wimpy Christians who are afraid of the hooligans in public schools and don’t have their teaching credentials.”

So, fresh out of college, I followed my plan and taught history in a public school.  I was there for three years and absolutely loved it.  And I have no doubt that those years were part of the “grand plan” for my life.  However, in my head, that was the end of the plan.  I would be a history teacher in the public schools until I retired or died. But God had other plans.

Today whenever I read Proverbs 16, I laugh at the ways I’ve seen this truth pan out in my own life.  Verse 1- ” The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.”  Or again in verse 9- ” The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”  Solomon seems to be saying, “Go ahead and make your plans but hold onto them loosely, folks.  You’ve got no idea what God’s got up His sleeve.”

My plans and my way seemed so wonderful;  my career path was so certain and my future seemed so bright.  But now I can see how my plans and my way were just that: MY plans and MY way.  I had no idea that God was planning something else, something better.

Last week I had a smattering of “wow moments” that all arrived because I’m teaching English at a Christian school.  They were simple moments, moments that made me smile and by themselves, aren’t a big deal.  But added together, all these little moments pointed to a big God who has much better plans and much better ways than I do.  They pointed to a God who’s got everything under control, even my uncertain future.

First, I got an e-mail from a kid telling me about a band I should check out because their lyrics include the word “maelstrom” which was a new vocab word that week.  The fact that my students see how excited I get about vocabulary and start to share in my excitement makes me giddy inside.

Next, I assigned a project to my freshmen where they have to choose a fictional story to read outside of class.  I gave a bunch of recommendations of my personal favorites and was quickly reminded that I have the same taste in books as 14 year old boys.  As the class walked to the library, I led a pack of 6 boys, all of us giggling and talking excitedly about how the 4th book in the Eragon series is coming out soon.  Yeah, Eragon as in the dragon-rider.  Don’t knock it till you try it. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 20

I’m not Catholic but on Sundays, I make confessions.  Instead of telling them to a priest, I tell them to you, the internet world.  I try to post these in the morning, but let’s be honest, they typically get posted on Sunday night or Monday morning.  The best part about these confessions is when you make them too, so don’t be bashful and add your own confession in the comments.

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1. I was the line police while at the movies.  There are certain types of people in this world whom I have very little tolerance for.  These people get under my skin and bring out a side of me I’m not proud of.  These folk push my buttons and cause me to act in ways that are far from Christ-like.  Who are these troublesome, irksome, loathsome people?  You’ve probably met all of them and I really hope you’re not one of them.  I may have yelled at you or rolled my eyes at you or confronted you if you are one.  So who are they?

They are the incompetent drivers, the mean strangers, and the line cutters of the world. Continue reading

I’m guest posting in Canada today

I have a “Wow Wednesday” in the making but it’s coming tomorrow…or maybe Friday…you know how I am. I’m full of excuses and today it’s twofold: first, I had planned on finishing writing the post while my students were taking a test.  However, there is a bucket of candy in my room (don’t ask) which is conveniently placed under my desk. So before lunch I ate 17 fun sized Whoppers, 12 fun sized Butterfingers, 9 tootsie rolls, 5 fun sized Kit Kats, 4 fun sized Almond Joys, and 2 regular sized Reeses Peanut Butter cups.  No joke.  Yes, I have a problem. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 19

I’m not Catholic but on Sundays, I make confessions.  Instead of telling them to a priest, I tell them to you, the internet world.  The best part about this is when you make them too, so don’t be bashful and add your own confession in the comments.

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1. I saw a kid puke in the grocery store and I had to stifle a laugh.  Like watching a car accident, I couldn’t look away as the two year old ralphed all over himself and the shopping cart.  I couldn’t help but cringe and giggle.  Moms everywhere are probably judging me right now for my lack of sympathy, but the toddler was calmly sitting in the cart and then suddenly blowing chunks everywhere.  This is the best part: his dad immediately ran to the kid and CAUGHT THE PUKE IN HIS HANDS. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 16- First Week Back

The first week of school requires some major adjustments for teachers.  Our days of lounging by the pool with a book in hand quickly become a distant memory as we step back into the classroom and onto the stage to perform for 6 straight hours in front of 20-30 teenagers who scrutinize every word we say and necklace we wear.  Not only do our vocal cords have to adjust to all this non-stop blabbing, our feet have to adjust to all the standing and our bladders have to adjust to all the holding.  Twice I came home and collapsed on my bedroom floor and woke up 2 hours later.  My cat was very concerned.

But I’m not complaining because I really do love this job.  In the midst of all this “readjusting” to my life as a teenager entertainer, I did some things that I need to confess.  And I’m not just talking about the fact that I missed the week of meetings before school started because I forgot to look at a calendar when planning my Europe trip.  No, I’m talking about confessions from inside room A1.  Confessions that I’m sure have been shared with parents by now and confessions which may or may not be the reason the principal stopped by my room on Friday and said we needed to chat.  Dun dun dun.  (to be read in the tone of dread)  I’m really hoping it’s just to remind me to check my e-mails every once in a while and not because of…,well, because of one of these: Continue reading