Lindseyjuly's Blog

My life as a math teacher, wife, daughter, and new momma.

Last 5 Randomly Strange Things I Learned or Heard Teaching Teenagers January 20, 2015

Filed under: Teacher Moments — LindseyJuly @ 2:03 PM
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When I wrote my first post with this title, I had intended to continue writing these every month or so.  Two years later, here is finally another one.  This is certainly not because I haven’t heard crazy things in the last two years, but because I simply get too busy and forget to write them all down.

 

1) A conversation between two of my freshmen students:

“If two white people have a baby in China, the baby will be Chinese!”

“Right, they will be Chinese citizens.”

“No, no, I’m saying they will look Chinese!”

“You’re crazy, no they won’t.”

“Yes, I swear!”

“Okay, well what if two black people have a baby in Mexico…will their baby look Mexican?”

“Of course not!  That would be crazy.”

(I know as a teacher I’m not supposed to laugh at my students, but on this occasion I went the other direction and I couldn’t stop laughing!)

 

2) I got asked last week by a student (who again, was totally serious) if my hair was permed.  I told him that was a funny  joke.  For those that know me, or who have seen pictures, you are fully aware of exactly how straight my hair is…whether I attempt to make it straight or not!

 

3) One class seems to have an obsession with old I am.  After telling them at least three times that I am 30 years old, I started responding instead that I am 55 when they ask me…which still seems to be at least once a week, as I tire of their repetitive question.  After several weeks of being super sarcastic and stating that I was 55, one student, out of the blue came up to me on her way out of the room and said, “Wow, I just can’t get over how good you look for being 55.”  Sheesh!

 

4) If your variables cancel out when solving an equation, then you have either infinite solutions or no solutions based on what’s left.  This student knew exactly what they were doing…however, they didn’t exactly abbreviate their answer appropriately.

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5) My last one of the day I figure I probably can’t use in my Trig classes anymore.  What a bummer!

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~I also refuse to play Trivia Crack, because that’s all I hear about from my students lately.  For those not around teenagers all day, I hear this is a great app to check out!  ;)

 

 

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Oh Parent-Teacher Conferences… October 28, 2014

I type this as I am in the midst of the final night of parent-teacher conferences for the school year.  Being my 8th year teaching, I find that I am not nearly as nervous as I once was, but still find several of the encounters a bit unsettling.  Here’s why:

 

1) While I have many more conferences than a lot of my fellow teachers, it is quite disturbing that out of the 150 some students I have, just under 20 parents care enough to meet with me.  Granted, I could eliminate around three-quarters of that 150 whose teenagers have good grades and are doing just fine in my class.  On the flip side of this however, I have at least 20 students who are failing and another 10 or so that are barely passing.  Not ONE of those parents has contacted me or set up a conference.  Of those 20 parents who did show, two had C’s, and the rest have A’s.  So for the most part, I didn’t actually meet with any parents that I actually needed to.

 

How can one care so little for their child, that they don’t even bother to find out why they are failing?  Or what they can do to fix it?  Even if you hated school yourself, it is your child’s ticket for getting farther in life…whether that means going on to college or simply being able to get a good, career-type job.

 

2)   On the other end of the spectrum, I have parents coming in truly disturbed by their child’s grade in trigonometry because they only have a B+.  And even one or two last year, that had a 98% and were not happy with that.  They act as if their child is a horrible student and beg me to tell them what they can do to help them improve.  Because of their “poor grades,” several of those students will now have outside tutoring to attempt to get their grades up.  Unless it is the student themselves who wants desperately to have that A, then I just feel bad for them.  Their parents seem to put so much pressure on them to essentially be perfect.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I was one of those crazy, school-obsessed students myself, who thought life would be over if I ever got an A-…BUT that was coming from within myself.  Not because my parents wanted me to have an A, but because I wanted an A.  There was definitely never pressure from my parents to be perfect.  I can’t even imagine trying my very best, and then having my parents telling me that my best was just not good enough.  Why would a parent chose to make their child feel so poorly about themselves?

 

3)  I seem to be reflecting and thinking deeper about all of these conversations and interactions, or lack-there-of with various types of parents, as I now directly transfer it to how I imagine Avery might be.  And, then on to how I will be as a parent in a similar scenario in the future.  I like to think that Adam and I will be somewhere in the middle of the above mentioned extremes, but I also know that is easier said than done.  It would be extremely difficult to sit back and just let her get a B, when she makes it very known to us that she is not actually giving 110%, as my Dad used to say.  But at that the same time, if she is happy and succeeding and still learning, then perhaps that is good enough?

 

Only time will tell on this one.  For now, I will just soak up every moment of watching Avery continue to learn and discover the world around her.  Life as her Momma is the best job there is.

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Favorite Parent Quote of the Night (of one of my freshmen girls):  “D. says you you have such cute clothes, are so pretty, and are by far her favorite teacher.”  (This student has never particularly liked math, or thought that she was good at it.  And now she has an A, and actually seems to enjoy Algebra 1.)  I love it!

 

Last 5 Randomly Strange Things I Learned or Heard Teaching Teenagers April 6, 2013

Filed under: Teacher Moments — LindseyJuly @ 8:14 AM
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The other day I was at school, saw something I was shocked by, and sent Mari a text about it.  She was just as appalled, then made a comment about how I should be writing these crazy types of things I see at school down somewhere.  After thinking about it, I thought what better place than my blog?  I’m still working on a title that I like, not sure if this one will stick.  I hope though to keep a collection of the craziest, weirdest things I see at work, as well as funny things kids say…which is a lot!  That way I have a record for myself, and also to hopefully entertain some of you.

Last 5: (in no particular order)

1)  I learn new words ALL the time!  I swear these kids have their own language.  This week the word was RATCHET.   A kid asked me, “Have you seen that RATCHET girl?”  I replied with, is that a band?  a movie?  what are you talking about?  I was waaay off, apparently RATCHET means ugly, gross, icky, etc.  I will not be using that word, but at least now can stop kids if I hear them using it against each other!

2) TATTOO’s.  These are shockingly huge in high school.  I had one girl who showed me her’s that she had just gotten for her……13th birthday!!!!!  And her parents allowed it.  Also, if you are a male and you get a new tattoo, you must walk around school for at ls east a week with one of your sleeves rolled up so that every one can see it as it heals.  Ridiculous.

3) A group of kids told me the other day that I should be in movies.  At first I was flattered, until they continued with, “ya, ya, you could be the pregnant lady that they always need in movies.”  Ha.  Not quite where I thought they were going with that one.  :)

4) Teenagers have no germ boundaries whatsoever.  I watched two freshmen girls share a giant sucker, passing it back and forth, for an hour and a half.  Gag me!

5) Gifted middle-schooler’s are amazing.  After a 7th-grader finished his math work, he pulled out a book titled “Communism” and began reading.  When I asked him about it, he was just reading it for fun, not for any type of school project.  Not at all what I would have chosen to read in 7th grade, let alone right now!

~More posts like this to come.  :)

 

Reminders of Why I Became a Teacher January 17, 2013

Filed under: Teacher Moments — LindseyJuly @ 5:17 PM
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Total Honesty:  The majority of days I enjoy my job, some days I would even say I LOVE my job…….every now and then, my job also sucks and I want to pull my hair out.

Over the last couple of months I’ve gotten some sweet notes from students out of the blue.  I thought I would post several of them if for no other reason than for myself to look back on for them on those rough days.  Hopefully someone else out there will enjoy one or two as well though.

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This one is a sketch by a student of me at my podium teaching.  Not too bad.

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I randomly got a postcard this week from one of my former tennis players who is in her freshmen year of college at The University of Chicago.  I thought this was soo sweet, and very unexpected!

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This showed up in my mailbox…totally anonymous.  I have no idea which student told my principal this, but it definitely made me smile.

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Each of these I got around Thanksgiving from two boys I have in Algebra I.  Obviously it was an assignment in their foreign language class to send a note to a teacher telling them what they were thankful for.  I felt pretty special to have been chosen by them though.  I adore each of these!

~These are the types of things that remind me that I can make an impact on my students.  These tiny little reminders make my job very rewarding and they help to make me feel as if I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to do with my life.~ 

 

 
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