Monthly Archives: March 2010


so, it’s funny to become a teacher. things that i never ever even considered are now huge major day to day concerns and worries. saying that pencils give me nightmares seems like an overreaction, but ask any title one teacher about pencils. they’ll shudder, i promise.

pencils are a scarce commodity. no one has them. when people do get them, they’re ground into stubs, broken in two, thrown out of windows, rolled around the ground, and used to write notes on desks (my favorite to far: “Ms. Rhodes + Jay-Z 4evr” in a heart). pencils need to be sharpened constantly. i can’t even count the number of times i have had to stop class out of sheer frustration to explain that pencils can’t be sharpened while i’m lecturing. kids will just stare at me, open mouthed, jamming the pencil into the electric sharpener. also, did i mention that i’m on my fourth electric sharpener of the year? and probably my 67th hand sharpener (like the pencils, those also get stolen quickly).

the worst (ask any teacher) is the kid who comes into class every day, sits down with a blank stare for twenty minutes, raises a hand in the middle of whatever i’m explaining, and calmly, like they haven’t said the same exact thing in every class since august 27, 2009, says, “Miss. I don’t have a pencil.” i have a few choice reactions, depending on my mood:

1) Patient Teacher: keep talking to the class, grab a pencil from the five in my pocket or ponytail, hand it to the delinquent without missing a beat. [you caught me on a rare day, and you’re lucky, kid]

2) Sarcastic/ Exasperated Teacher: just stare for four seconds with the “are you serious? are you… serious right now?” look, kid squirms, and i walk away without saying anything. [figure it out or flounder, kid]

3) Teaching Moment Teacher: who can tell [insert name of asshole kid] what we should do when we do not have a pencil? [insinuation so obvious even seventh graders get it: you should freaking know this by now, kid]

the may 2009 me would think i was being ridiculous for even wasting time talking about pencils (much more important things to think about then). now it’s a daily struggle. i’ve become a pencil klepto. pencils are tasty treats that i eye in the school supplies section. my dad sends me bundles of pencils in care packages and relief floods over me. my corporate friends steal pencils from work events and i take them in with open arms. my kids say, “Miss?! Why does this pencil tell me to call D’Angelo’s Auto Insurance for all my insurance needs in Stone Mountain, GA?” “Just appreciate your pencil, kid.”

on thursday
i went to the rodeo with twenty of the people who make this lifestyle doable, worth it, and happy.
seriously, they help me keep my hope for my job.
on saturday
i had great conversations with eighth graders about civil rights.
i got to spend time with my three roomlifemates. we felt like we were in miami, outside with sunshine and palm trees.
i saw an old friend from college, who drove very far to give me a hug! so special.

two new blog addictions:

(one of my faves is baby lynx. ahhhhh.)

Boys Life
seriously, the sex and the city of men

from a sixth grade free write:

“Where I live alot of people get killed here. If you would come to where I live, make sure when your mom is driving be sure to look out for a red & black car. Those people that are in that car are very dangerous. When you come to my house you can make yourself at home you can play my games, the one game you can not play in the living room is spin the top on the bottle. That is my favorite game & 7 min in heven. You can eat whatever you like. If you have a problem with where I live you best believe I have a problem with where you live. A nother thing If you are afride of pitbull than you better get out. Luv M $”


seventh grade summers:

–> “When I think about summer I remember sleeping late. I remember playing soccer all day. When my dad had the day off he showed me how to weld.”

–> “When I think of summer, I think of the hot beaches. The reason is that it’s hot. You can get a tan. But remember wear sunscrean. Another reason is that lots of good food, the smell of lemonade. Also, when you drink this cold drink, drink it slow so you can taste the cold sensation of the ice lemonade.”

–> “When I think about summer my grandma’s house comes to mind, I remember when we play outside & make fun of each other. I miss it over there. Hopefully this summer will be just like the others.”

–> “When I think about summer I see beaches, sand and the beautiful soft blue. I hear eagles, birds and butterflies. I smelled vapor water or just humid. When I’m there I feel relaxed. Like if I had work all day and then feel like I’m almost going to sleep. I feel the sun burn on my skin. That’s what I feel when I think about summer.”

–> “In summer I remember the screaming of kids that summer started. It smelled of the beach sand in stuff. I felt like is the time of the year to have fun and forget about all your bad worrys and just to do whatever you feel like doing. That there shouldn’t be no problems.”

–> “I remember the ocean. The sand and salt water. even the sun set. Walking up and down the water. I can’t wait. I go every summer to South Padre.”