Being Ms. B

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Ms. B Room 374 School January 4, 2013 Dear children of Room 374, I am writing this note, in friendly letter format, because after two weeks without my priceless insight, you’re probably in the mood for some light reading. Here are some of the things that I have done since December 21st: Read some books, many…

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I have this fantasy that I will unit plan out the rest of the year in the next two hours, leaving time to bond with my family, reconnect with high school friends, fly back to STL, clean my apartment, determine my fate for next year, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc…   That’s a lot…

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As a member of the sixth grade team, I have the indubitable privilege of last hour plan periods.  Here are three from this week. One. At the beginning of my plan period, I have the honor of spending the first 10 minutes chasing seventh graders from the hallway into their classrooms.  The only sixth grade…

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When I was little, a famous family Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house in Illinois changed the way we talked about gratitude in November.  When we, like dutiful Americans, went around the table to say what we were thankful for, we were banned from the profound or the cliche.  So my mom was thankful for post-its,…

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ELA (English - Language Arts) teachers universally dream of a single phrase sprouting, unbidden, from the mouths of their students. “CAN WE KEEP READING?” If it’s not a universal dream, it’s at least one of mine. Anyway, this week, I heard the elusive phrase. I have certainly heard it before, but generally because I was using…

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Friends, a major event of my teaching career occurred this week. I discovered a chalk board eraser. To you, this may seem small.  But since a child stole mine in February of last year, I have used a combination of old raggedy towels and wet wipes to clean my chalkboard on a daily basis.  When…

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Oct 21 2012

In which there are nine weeks

Here is the good news. Nine weeks remain in the second quarter of the 2012-2013 school year. Of those nine weeks, seven are being cropped by district professional development, external professional development, and one free standing personal day. There are five weeks before Thanksgiving (thanks Southwest Airlines, my flight is, “just around the corner,” indeed).…

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Oct 14 2012

In which the Octobers descend

Bonjour October. We knew you would come. In the yearly voyage of the earth around the sun, October had to come. October, for those of you who don’t know, is a funny little month, full of parent-teacher conferences, report cards, and sugar crazed adolescents. And sleepy, sleepy teachers. Between the most recent state visit (my…

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[NB: This excerpt was inspired by a brilliant conversation I had in the midst of a highly charged baseball game tonight.  More soon on The Octobers, as they have well and truly arrived.] Remember the kid who always wore a hoodie to school?  And not just a regular sweatshirt – she wore the same hoodie…

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Sep 23 2012

In which I wonder as I wander

  Dear Terminal 2, Thou art a muse. But really, why have more people not written odes to your inspirational qualities?  The entrancing qualities of the flickering fluorescents, the gentle odor of old Starbucks grounds, the peaceful murmur of waiting Midwesterners… With such conditions, and with my propensity for travel in the past five-going-on-six years,…

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Teaching by the arch

St. Louis
Middle School

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