Category: Mr. F

Day One Hundred Eighty-Six

IT’S SUMMER!!!!

Two evening teacher workshops counted as a day for us, so today was it. We had our final faculty meeting, which was done before 9:30, and then we all went to finish up whatever we had left to do. 

I didn’t have much. I revised my APUSGOV syllabus because college board said it needs more detail. Then I finished organizing Mr. F’s shelves. 

Aaaand then we watched a movie in Mr. W’s room.

And then we left to celebrate. I really did have an incredible year, so it was a celebration for me. 

On to the next…

Day One Hundred Eighty-Five

Teacher workshop day two was a day full of meetings: a meeting about new grading protocols, a meeting about CBE, a meeting about how adding flex time next year will work, a PLC meeting… Thankfully, there were breaks in between each one. 

The flex time meeting was the rowdiest. The faculty I work with has no chill, so new initiatives are always met with a barrage of questions. New initiatives that expose gaps in technological savvy are even more fun. But I think there’s a lot of excitement to try this out. I certainly think it’s got potential. 

Stay tuned, I guess.

Afterwards, I grabbed lunch with Mr. F, Mr. W, and- when she got out of her additional meetings (because she’s a department head)- Mrs. T. Then I had to head own to Mrs. Z’s room for a department meeting because she’s filling in for Mr. B temporarily (It’s weird, but I’m still very okay with it not being me).

I didn’t have anything to do after that because it was time for wrapping up grades and verifying them, and- BOOM!- I’m a wizard, so my grades were done last Friday. My room’s also in order, so I gave myself the job of helping Mr. F organize his nasty, cluttered book shelves. I’m halfway done, so I’ll finish tomorrow!

Day One Hundred Fifty-Nine

You know, today was glorious, at first. It’s a perfect spring day, it’s payday Friday, and Mr. W and I did a karate demo for my ninth graders during World (and it was so much fun). Katas, tricks with body mechanics, sparring… Mr. W did the “one inch punch” to me (on my shoulder so I could twist and dissipate some of the force, and Mr. F still had to catch me).

And then there as an incident in the hall.

And then our SRO hurried of for… something.

And then there was a shooting. 

Again.

I’ve said before that nothing is as wrenching as listening to kids in public schools after mass shootings. The resignation is terrible. But there’s a defiant joy, afterwards, and a desire to affirm life. 

And so I found myself here with my athletes this afternoon:

That’s the public beach a few towns over, where we gathered for a team spag. Conference championships are tomorrow. 

Day One Hundred Fifty-Eight

Today, the Speaker of the NH House came to APUSGOV, which was very cool. There was a good discussion about some big pieces of state legislation that have come up recently (medicaid expansion, death penalty repeal, vouchers, banning conversion therapy…) And I love listening to my students talk to our guests. They’re so informed and well-spoken. A handful of freshmen, galvanized by Parkland and beginning to explore politics, joined my class, and I’m psyched they have such good role models. 

World was pretty solid. I did the same lesson today as I did yesterday.My Block 4 class was a bit slow, at first, in figuring out how different philosophies (Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism) influence other aspects of culture; I had to give multiple examples and reword my questions a few times. But once it clicked they were on fire. I think, ultimately, they understood it the best.

Halfway through the block, Mrs. T sent a student over to say it’s Mrs. H’s birthday, so she and I stepped out during Block 5 to get her a giant bar of dark chocolate (her fave). We miiiight have gotten ourselves one, too, along with coffee. We got coffee for Mr. F because he didn’t get home from his lax game last night until after 11:00, and we are awesome friends.

Track practice was short and sweet. Tomorrow’s off, and then Saturday is the conference championship. We’re as ready as we’re going to be.

Day One Hundred Fifty-Seven

Today was one of those days when a lot of little things went wrong. Like, nothing catastrophic happened, but there was enough to put me out of sorts: a white out bottle leaking in my desk, a marker being out of ink when I tried to use it, a student letting me know today that he’s going on vacation for ten days, a guest presenter canceling last-minute… You get the idea.

My World classes were still all right. My students did group work activities on East Asian cultures, so it was pretty low key. They made a mess doing some Chinese arts and crafts for one activity, and I think I was a bit short with them about it, but it wasn’t too bad. The general mood stayed positive. 

I did roast one of the lax kids (it’s an ongoing joke that sprung out of the fact that Mr. F and I roast each other all season and our athletes wanted in), which got a laugh out of everyone… 

Block 5 was team meeting time. Thankfully, nothing went wrong there. Then I headed out to practice, greeted a handful of former athletes who came to visit, and got to work. I went to get the relay batons out of our supply shed, and as I was jogging back I sprained my ankle.

In true, melodramatic fashion I’m treating this like it’s the worst thing ever. WHICH IT IS.

At least no one saw me do it…

I had a meeting after practice, so I had to put my dress clothes- and heels- back on, which was not awesome. Buuuut I made it through.

Day One Hundred Fifty-Four

Today capped off Teacher Appreciation Week. Our teacher prep students (yes, we have a whole program complete with an on-site preschool and internships at all the district schools) have been doing little things like putting surprise candy in our mailboxes all week. Today they decorated the whole school with supportive signs and personal notes, so we walked into a celebration of us. That was fun. 

Then they came around during Block 3 to deliver awards to the winners of student-voted superlatives. Mrs. T and I won “Best Friends.” She also got “Best Dressed” (I’m told I was runner-up), and Mr. F won “Most Outgoing.” I heard them coming, so when they burst into my silent room (my students were writing essays) I got up and cheered right along with them. 

At lunch, I went down to their classroom because they had food for all of us, and it was fun to hang out there for a bit. 

I definitely feel appreciated. 

It’s Friday, so practice was quick: relay passes (soooo pretty) and grass strides. Tomorrow is the last meet of the regular season!

Day One Hundred Forty-Six

Truth: teacher prep did not prepare me for the hilarity of 2.5-hour bus rides with forty teenage boys.

We had an away meet today that was seriously far away, but it’s a great track and we like the opposing team- they have nice coaches, and they run a good meet- so we go. And, yeah, the ride is ridiculous. They talk about cheesecake, war pandas, Greek philosophy, politics, and video games and listen to trash music. 

And I love it.

Really, everything was good today. My APUSGOV students worked on projects that are due next class (and also looked at memes, ate donuts, and roasted one another, which… yeah). My World classes were the same as yesterday, so that was lowkey. I taught the lesson and gave them the remaining time to start the homework; most finished it, too, which is good. 

i had to leave Block 4 early to get on the track bus, so Mr. F watched my class for me- it was only about ten minutes- and my students all wished me luck as I was walking out. That made me smile, as did the ice cream Head Coach’s wife brought Coach T and I for the ride. So nice. 

And the meet was good. We didn’t win (boys 3rd, girls 2nd), but my top two sprinters had mega PRs in the 100m. One of our girls pole vaulters PRed. A bunch of distance runners did, too, or came super close. And both 4×1 teams got the baton around the track, despite awful hand-offs at zone two, so yay for that!

Day One Hundred Thirty-Seven

“We’re not talking about Hiroshima! We’re talking about track!” -one of my athletes

Let us note, I have no context for that quote. I have a team that discusses everything from ridiculous memes to building mercenary armies, so I just don’t question it. We had our first meet today- I’m just now getting home- and it was snowy (and also sunny), cold, and awesome. All of us coaches are super happy about how our athletes competed. We have a ton of rookies, so mostly today was about laying down some baselines, but a handful of veterans threw down some championship qualifying stuff already. We came away with two third place finishes overall, which is fine. It’s all about improving from here. 

While I was at the meet there was a faculty meeting, and I apparently won Teacher of the Month. I’m a bit embarrassed I wasn’t there, but Mrs. T assures me everyone knew I was coaching. 

What else? Ooh! It’s local voting day, so Mr. F and I ran out and voted during our prep time (he was coaching an away game this afternoon, too). I had a wicked headache, but it was gone by the time we got back to the school. I think it was the stress of needing to get so much done in a short amount of time. We barely made it back before the bell change!

I scrambled a bit to get stuff on my whiteboards, but it was okay. I introduced a new unit (Central/East Asia) in World with the usual pre-teach of vocabulary and some quick activities on the region’s geography and culture. My Block 4 class also had me do a karate trick because they’re especially excited about that. 

All in all, it was a good day. 

Day One Hundred Thirty-Two

Athlete A: *says something I can’t hear*
Head Coach: Are you worried about cooties?
Athlete B: Only girls have cooties! *looks at me* I mean, uhhh…

Being a female coach of boys is generally hilarious, in case you were wondering. 

Today, in addition to being hilarious, it was cold and windy. I’m wrapped in blankets, sipping hot chocolate now. I want spring back. 

But that’s New England.

I started my day with an APUSGOV lesson about civil rights policymaking in the 1960s. My goal was to teach them the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but I ended up answering questions about a lot of other things, too (black nationalism, Vietnam, anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism, Reagan Republicans…) That’s the fun of a discussion-based class, though. It goes in several directions. 

I ended up rewriting my next lesson to include more detail about some of the things they asked about. I actually like the lesson better now. 

It was the last day of debate prep in World/English. Mrs. T and I have been a bit worried because this set of students struggles so much more with group work than our other set- for myriad reasons- so we tried to monitor their final preparations closely. I watched rehearsals in the hall while she helped groups polish their writing inside the Cavern of Learning.

I did step out for twenty minutes to do instructional rounds in Mr. F’s geometry class. Got to do some SOHCAHTOA, which I actually do know how to do. Woohoo! And it was neat to see my students in a different setting.

Day One Hundred Thirty

It was very serious in APUSGOV this morning because they had an on-demand essay to write on Letter from a Birmingham Jail. And it was serious, at first, in World/English because Mrs. T and I laid down the law about excessive sign-outs and wandering, like we did yesterday. I thought we’d get more push-back, but it didn’t happen, and we actually had a good, productive class. 

It did have tough moments. In one debate group, one student- who is very smart and focused- deleted another’s contributions because he didn’t think it was “good enough,” then didn’t understand why she wouldn’t keep working. There were tears. Mrs. T and I had to mediate that one. But then all four group members reached an accord and started working really well together.

Later, we stopped debate prep to show Taylor Mali’s “Totally Like Whatever” because Mrs.T was wearing a t-shirt with a quote from one of his poems on it, and we realized that one was good to play before students started rehearsing.

And then I helped a bunch of students with an early April Fool’s Day joke. We snuck up on Mr. F with an air horn. So ninja. Another of them stole his stapler and plans to cover it in jello.

He got me back by sneaking up on me with his coaching whistle, though. 

We think we need a scoreboard. 

At practice, Coach T and I continued our “Fun Friday” tradition by hiding Easter eggs in the (muddy) woods around the track. I’m talking something like a hundred eggs. It was awesome. 

Now I’m going to clean off the mud on my face and hands, make myself presentable, and go to Good Friday service!