School’s OUT!

Darn, I am tired. 

The last two weeks of school flew by in a mad rush of marking and rechecking exam scripts, chasing down the kids for their files for end-of-term book checks and preparing for the dreaded parent-teacher meeting. 
PTM. Painful Time Mostly. Blood-sucking day.

I literally spent 9 hours straight talking to parents with one loo break and no meal break. My throat is sore from all that and I am Strepsil-ing myself, silently praying that it will recover. 

Poor throat – third time this year now. 

It’s probably my fault since I didn’t tell the parents that I wanted to eat. But they kept streaming in and I just couldn’t catch a break. I wish the school would use its PA system to announce a break for the teachers so everyone would know to turn up their patience just a bit. Empathy would be appreciated. As much as I like my students, I am SO glad it’s over. Pfff.

Tired.

I mostly need sleep though. Two days after and I still look tired. Recovery isn’t as quick when you are older…

To assist in my recovery, I had soul food today that is this glorious bowl of sliced fish soup. Heaven sent. 


There are a few more things left to do before I can truly say that I am on break. The hardest parts are done -woohoo!- and I simply need to chug through till the end of the month. 
After that, travel begins! Yay!!!


Summer in Greece. No kidding.

Bloody Nose reminds

It’s been a trying first term with full responsibilities heaped on. It isn’t even that big of a deal compared to the load of my previous job but it sure is hectic. I should thank my lucky stars if I even have a half hour to sit and eat a meal without marking or fiddling with some administrative matters at the same time. But it is what I chose to do, so I chug on.

Till this morning. I was clearing my nasal passage this morning when blood continually oozed out of my left nostril and stained the basin red. Yikes.

I have been feeling under the weather since late last week and have been been trying to herbal-drink my way out of my predicament. The sore throat is gone but Mr Cold and Ms Cough came to visit. Nose bleeds are rare for me – they appear only when I have gone too far to the dark side. The blood told me it is time to rest. I called in sick and thought I could spend time sleeping in. I could not. I did get some shuteye but woke up in between to grade papers.

It’s funny how I feel better looking at my now empty desk, free of ungraded worksheets. Maybe it’s the meds.

Did I leap from the frying pan into the fire? Not possible.

But health isn’t something to be reckoned with. I better get my priorities straight.

Deja Vu

  
I had the same thought about a year and a half back when I sat in the same cafe with a book and a coffee.

If this is retirement, I am going to be bored out of my mind

Fast forward 18 months – I am finally getting my license to teach after a year of postgrad study. 

It is a profession I find deeply meaningful and one that I can see myself undertaking right into the retirement phase of life. 

It also finances the wanderlust and gives time to satisfy globetrotting cravings. 

First of which is a celebratory trip to Yangon, Myanmar for surviving the crazy hours at teaching college and the 10-weeks of non-stop lesson observations.

Punctuation and Palindromes

I am in the midst of developing lesson extensions – in the occasion that I need to give my students something further to think about. 

While lounging on a sofa on a lazy Saturday morning, I came across a Facebook post from Grammarly.com, and I immediately thought about how I could use that to make learning punctuation fun. Job hazard.

But I wanted to write it down somewhere in case I forget again. The WordPress app is next to my Facebook one. How convenient.

My type-scribbles:

Some self-discipline is required to apply punctuation. No critical thinking needed since it really isn’t rocket science. 

 It can be ignored when you want a laugh or if you would like to turn into a cannibal : Let us eat Grandma.

But when do you get to ignore punctuation?

Palindromes. They are words, phrases or number sequences that read the same backwards and forwards – spaces and punctuation within are not too important. 

1. Hannah

2. Race car

3. Sit on a potato pan, Otis.

4. Was it a car or a cat I saw?

5. Dennis, Nell, Edna, Leon, Nedra, Anita, Rolf, Nora, Alice, Carol, Leo, Jane, Reed, Dena, Dale, Basil, Rae, Penny, Lana, Dave, Denny, Lena, Ida, Bernadette, Ben, Ray, Lila, Nina, Jo, Ira, Mara, Sara, Mario, Jan, Ina, Lily, Arne, Bette, Dan, Reba, Diane, Lynn, Ed, Eva, Dana, Lynne, Pearl, Isabel, Ada, Ned, Dee, Rena, Joel, Lora, Cecil, Aaron, Flora, Tina, Arden, Noel, and Ellen sinned.

Death Star Waffles

3 months and over 30 assignments later, my first post will be about waffles. Not the usual variety, but the ones shaped like the Death Star. 

The Waffles  

I am certain the company that produced this should ride high on the fervour of fans who, in anticipation of the upcoming Star Wars prequel, sequel, movie, cinematic extravaganza – I am not sure which, will pay all kinds of money to make this for breakfast the day they watch Han Solo appear on screen again. 

I would if I could. But they don’t deliver to my part of the world. Bugger. 

I have one last essay standing between me and freedom. Or maybe two, since I might just write a nice long one to North Pole to report how good I have been and why I might deserve a Death Star waffle maker.

Teacher-in-Training

Wow. It has been awhile since I’ve been in school as a student. The past weeks have been a blur; Running from lecture to lecture with a gigantic bag perched on my back, and have barely time to grab a bite. It has been a challenge, both physically and mentally, to keep up with classmates 10 years younger on average. But I am hanging on. Grrrrr!

I have also come to realize that resources like comic strips, interesting pictures, stray bits of info you never thought would be useful are actually pretty useful when it comes to teaching. They can help drive home a point way better. So I went digging into my folders and found some quotes I stashed away for some reason only God knows. I found some on Motivation.

Then it dawned on me why I had been looking. Heh.

What do Teachers make?

Next time someone like that asks…..

Teacher Taylor Mali’s unforgettable, searing retort to a thoughtless question certainly put a dinner companion in his place—and can make the rest of us appreciate the incredible role teachers play in our lives.

He says the problem with teachers is:
What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?

He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say about teachers: Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests that it’s also true what they say about lawyers. Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.

I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?

And I wish he hadn’t done that—asked me to be honest—because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass kicking: If you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face.

How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.

No, you may not work in groups.

No, you may not ask a question.

Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?

Because you’re bored.

And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:

Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time; I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today. To the biggest bully in the grade, he said, “Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes; don’t you? It’s no big deal.” And that was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are and what they can be.

You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder,

I make them question.

I make them criticize.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them write.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful over and over and over again until they will never misspell either one of those words again.

I make them show all their work in math and hide it on their final drafts in English.

I make them understand that if you’ve got this (a brain), then you follow this (a heart), and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:

Teachers make a difference. Now what about you?

Read more: http://www.rd.com/true-stories/inspiring/what-teachers-make/#ixzz3hZ0TeVE0

IMG_4454.PNG