How much longer until retirement?

A teacher blogs about reading, writing, knitting, and classroom life.

Spring Break 2009: Peru April 14, 2009

Filed under: Life,Teaching — Stephanie @ Finances & Fatigues @ 5:54 pm
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I had an awesome Spring Break.

My roomate S1 (both my roommates are S’s, incidentally) and S1’s mother and I went to Peru for 8 or 9 days.  I loved it.  I loved speaking Spanish again, I loved the people (mostly), I loved the sites, I just loved it.  Except I didn’t really love the agency we went though, we had too much traveling.  Too much planes, trains, and sitting on buses.  But once we got to the sites I loved it.

I also bought a car over Spring Break.  I had still been driving the same junker from high school and was sort of half heartedly looking and then I saw a good deal and I took it!  So I now drive a Volvo S40, 2006 but under 10k miles on it.

Anyways, back to the whole Peru thing.  At school, I only speak Spanish to tell the colors and numbers and months.  I love teaching Spanish, but the amount I use doesn’t push my skill.  I was so excited to be able to practice so much in Peru and it got me all pumped up and rejuvenated to teach Spanish when I got back.  My students were soooo excited to hear about my trip.  They keep asking me questions, some oddball, but some really thoughtful, and they were excited to see the coins I brought back.

I also got a lot of reading done in Peru, again an effect of the whole plane-train-bus issue.  Then I realized that I haven’t updated my books read in a long time, so I went ahead and did that.  My count right now is 21.  I know I read mostly young adult and juvenile books, but it still seems like a high count.


Missing my mentor February 27, 2009

Filed under: Teaching — Stephanie @ Finances & Fatigues @ 5:50 pm
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Today was a half day, 12:00 dismissal, and I still managed to be at school until 5 in the evening.  But in the evening my former mentor (we’ll call her Ellen) came in and talked a bit.  I guess I shouldn’t call her former, as she continues to be a huge help to me.  I’ve said some things in the past about her resignation, but basically she and the principal had a falling out and she decided she’d rather resign now than risk getting fired before the end of the year.  Ellen’s position has been filled by a great lady (we’ll call her Darlene) who I really like and seems to be a good teacher.  But it’s just not the same without Ellen.    So I compiled a list of all the ways that Ellen has helped me:

1. She helped me pull my classroom together. My classroom was… well… a bit of a mess.  But I think I will write about the physical space of my classroom tomorrow.  Anyways, on the day she was officially assigned to be my mentor she stayed until 6:30 and helped me pull things together.

2.  She tells me things straight, but in a nice way. Ellen will tell me the truth, but in a way that I don’t feel bad.

3.  She has excellent behavioral management. Anyone will tell you that behavior management is hard, but Ellen does a great job with it.  She is stern and holds the kids to a high standard, but she never acts like a drill sergeant or embarrasses the kids the way that other teachers at my school do.

4.  She is generous. Ellen has so much stuff it’s unbelievable.  Her classroom library rivals the school library.  Not only does she have it all, she’s generous with it.  She has given me tons and tons and tons of resources from class sets of books to teacher resources.

5.  She never stops learning. While I consider Ellen to be an experienced and great teacher, she doesn’t see herself that way.  She’s always telling me about new things she’s seen and learned and how she can’t wait to try them.

All in all, she really is a great person and I miss her very much.  I hope that we continue to keep in touch and that our paths continue to cross.