I'm finally on Spring Break, and while it has been glorious and relaxing (and full of Target trips!) thus far, I cannot for the life of me get an interaction I had with a student out of my head. The moment plays out whenever I have a quiet moment. When I'm brushing my teeth, it … Continue reading That Time I Didn’t Know What To Say.
Every once in a while, you have a moment where you try something totally new and weird, and it works. I had a moment like that recently, and I'd like to share it with you all. Also, I need to document it because it is the Friday before Spring Break and I have already almost put my … Continue reading My Mr. Miyagi Moment
It's now day 3 of MAP testing. My students have started calling it "MAPS," because they say it actually stands for, "Make all people suffer." They're not wrong. It's the most boring thing in the world. I'd rather sit through a dental cleaning. I'd rather clean my bathroom. I'd rather watch April the giraffe not give birth. … Continue reading Ms. Mocha’s Guide to Surviving Standardized Testing
It's day two of MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) testing in the my classroom. We have a day to go. I'm vacillating between immense, crushing boredom (I've already given every student a spirit animal, and a superhero name), and intense fury that we actually had to drop one of our yearly novels to do it. … Continue reading Sacrificing Actual Learning for Standardized Testing
I realized today that I'm in the middle of my fifth year of teaching. When did that happen? It certainly feels like just a week ago I was closing the door of my very own classroom, saw 32 pairs of eyes staring at me, and had the panicked thought of, "Oh dear God, what have … Continue reading Observations from the Fifth Year of Teaching
I've realized lately that some people reading this blog may be wondering, "Gosh, Ms. Mocha, if it sucks that much at work, why do you stay there? Are you some sort of weird glutton for punishment?" I'm here to tell you that I'm not, even though my ranting and raving on this blog may suggest … Continue reading Why I Teach: For Them.
I got an email from an irate set of grandparents. It was kind of cryptic in that they didn't mention anything they were really mad about, just that their grandson, a "wonderful boy," was saying some "really disturbing things" about things going on at school. They didn't ask for a meeting; they demanded one. Given … Continue reading Let Me At ‘Em!
I finally got the balls (metaphorical, anyway) to ask the top muckity-mucks in my district about the possibility of having me as an Equity/Diversity Coordinator. I told them that it seems odd to me that we're a large district without an equity department, or even a single equity coordinator/diversity director/person who makes sure people aren't … Continue reading White Guy Took My (Dream) Job
I am part of a cohort of folks who like to talk about inequitable hiring practices for teachers. Sounds thrilling, I know. Anyway, we are getting ready to present at yet another conference and I get an email from a cohort member, asking us to post a picture of ourselves from our student days so … Continue reading Single Stories versus Equity Warriors
One of my learning targets for our current unit is, "We can learn to empathize with others." Does it actually hit on any of the 72 Common Core Standards? Nope. Do I think it is absolutely crucial for my students to become super amazing, excellent human beings? You bet. Why is empathy important to 7th … Continue reading Costco Pies and Collectivist Culture