Exercise Every Day

A few years ago at a particularly stressful point of my life, I had given up exercising altogether. I was in crisis mode. Morning exercise was impossible because I had to get to school early to get my workload done. The day was long and by the time I got home, I needed to make dinner and be present for my family. I worked through vacations and weekends as well to meet the requirements of this particular job. My health was my last concern. Don’t even get me started on how many packages of Donettes from the 7-Eleven I ate a week…

She’s On To Us (For my students)

She’s On To Us (for my students) “She’s on to us.” The classroom of high schoolers shifted uneasily in their seats. Not enough so you would notice, or anyone would notice just casually walking by the open classroom door. In fact, anyone walking by would think Mrs. Wanket was a teacher who knew her stuff better than most. She wasn’t exciting exactly, but she didn’t put you to sleep instantly. The students were amused by her daily attempts to make learning fun. It wasn’t always fun but the attempts were amusing. This was a teacher who read stories aloud in funny accents…

One to Watch: Gabriel Pulido

Gabriel wasn’t supposed to be in my junior year American Literature class.  He had been in another class for an entire semester, but he heard from my students that I was “hard.”  I gave tons of writing assignments.  My students told him I was nice, but I “did too much.” I made students work. So Gabriel parked himself in front of the counselor’s office until they changed his schedule. Changing the schedule because you might like another teacher better was not allowed. You can’t really run a high school that way. Students can be fickle.   Gabriel wasn’t fickle. He…

7 Labor Day Thoughts

My students’ daily homework assignment is usually to frolic in the clover. When I write frolic in the clover on the board where the homework assignment goes, new students want to know what I mean. Students:  Is that a book we are supposed to read? A website we’re supposed to look at? Me: No. Just find a patch of clover and frolic in it for a second. Students: What do you mean frolic? Me: Why does the forty-five year old lady have to tell the teenager how to frolic? Just find a patch of clover and do this (takes off shoes…