Monday, January 18, 2010

Reinventing Fabulous

Happy Martin Luther King Day everybody! I hope you just woke up (LATE!) and are lingering over coffee and Matt Lauer. Don't late anybody hate on your day off. Just savor it, friends, savor it. (And for those of you who don't have the day off or perhaps in some sort of workshop...sorry?)

Here I am, more than halfway through this January challenge to post every day and I feel like I have nothing to write about. (Insert hilarious story about my cat or what happened last night while I was making dinner here.) (Don't worry, I won't really do that to you.) (Today.)

Writing everyday has forced me to reinvent myself. I can't rely solely on one type of post anymore. (Meaning, I won't just be complaining anymore...I mean, I just won't stop all together because I think that would be impossible, but it will definitely be sprinkled with things like advice, positivity, hilarity and commentary about goings-on in the news and other media.) At first, I was afraid to reinvent myself. (Why mess with a good thing, right?) But I realized that, I am no stranger to reinvention. As a teacher, I had to reinvent myself all the time to save my sanity, to find my Zen place where I was a good teacher and not a clock-fearing, schedule-whipped, overworked crazy person with more To Dos than coherent thoughts. Sometimes within the same week, the same day, or even the same hour. (Hey, assembly week was rough.)

I mean, how many times did I have to reinvent myself (and my plans) when there were weeks WEEKS I felt like I never saw my friends because I spent all my time ALL MY TIME in various professional development sessions held during the school day and a slew of meetings that I didn't ask for and really didn't want to attend? I mean, maybe I'm wrong, but I thought teachers actually spent time with the children during the school day. Who knows though, I'm also the same person who thinks teachers are smart enough to be able to push the buttons on the new photo copier, but we're not allowed to do that either so I guess being in control of our own time is a lot to ask. Bitter, party of one? Your table is ready. (Lea, hope you don't mind - had to use it! Too good!) After countless hours spent in the company of other adults, I really had to pull my you-know-what together and reinvent myself for my friends.

And how many times did I have a terrible week, I MEAN A TERRIBLE WEEK, where everyone seemed to have forgotten where the hell we are and all the rules that had been firmly in place forever?? Does that ever happen to you? Usually, it's after a long break and the kids come back all fabulous and cute the first day but the the next day OH THE NEXT DAY we all act like we don't know any of the rules anymore or where Mrs. Mimi has kept the extra erasers for the last 102 school days? So you need to take a breathe (and perhaps get yourself to the nearest happy hour) and begin anew, with a whole new refresher course on the rules and the way we treat each other. Reinvention #473.

Or, what about all the times that you're dutifully following your plan, sticking to the schedule, are a slave to the Powers That Be when you realize, "HOLY CRAP, I'M BORED!" And then, like the brilliant teacher that you are, you scrap the plans and reinvent yourself to be an exciting and engaging teacher once more. (Hopefully.)

So I guess really not all that new to reinventing myself. But just (for my ego) for my notes, what types of posts are you most interested in seeing from Mrs. Mimi in the future? (Links and commentaries to recent articles, advice, hilarious memories from classrooms past, general teacher hilarity....you tell me.) I mean, we do have 13 more days until the end of January and I might just keep going after that...

Consider yourself warned.

8 comments:

Tracey said...

I haven't read all of your posts...so I was wondering...do you have any good stories about "the art project from h---" or maybe "it sounded like a good idea at the time..."? Times when great plans went horribly wrong...

Rebecca said...

I have liked some of your new ones with strategies in them (like the positive reinforcement one). I sent it on to all my teachers I work with and one of them is trying one already.

Also, your cat's napping cycle would be intriguing... :)

halpey1 said...

I, too, am trying the posting every day thing... and finding it challenging. I've resorted to carrying a post-it note in my pocket so I can jot things down during the day. The weekend posts are the hardest since I didn't see my peanuts on those days. I did a pretty good post on MLK since we just spent the week learning about him:

http://halpey1.blogspot.com/

Lea said...

Woo hoo! Mentioned in a post with my first comment! (although you've been in my RSS feed forever)

I like the articles and when you give authors of articles grief for what they wrote. (see article from substitute teacher) I like the strategies too, because what good teacher isn't constantly trying new things or reinventing him/herself?

One of my (NOT!)favorite parts of being a teacher is how they keep the supplies locked up to dole out to us as soon as we appear sufficiently humble and needy. They trust us with the children, but not the paper or paperclips? Is there really that big of a black market for dry erase markers?

Mrs. Maslonka said...

Mrs. Mimi,
I am being "staff developed" today and am ready to slit my wrists. After 14 years of teaching I am well versed in how to teach children how to "trade" a 10 for ones. I do not appreciate watching videos of these teachers teaching small groups with no interruptions from other kids, administration, the phone etc. I do envy you today. Time for another cup of french press coffee or I might sleep through the afternoon session!

Audra said...

LOL...you are hilarious and telling the truth-I love it!
I found your blog while starting my research to create my own blog-what an inspiration! Thank you!
I look forward to having an outlet for my grief, as well, as a preschool teacher. I will definitely add a link to your blog as soon as I get up and running.

SmilingTeacher said...

I, just like Mrs. Maslonka, was "staff developed" today. BOO HISS! All we heard about were our test scores and then were "talked to firmly" (read: yelled at) about how they were going to be changing things and we have to get used to it (aka suck it up and deal).

So within the next two weeks (or week- not sure yet) we are going to be pushed to start our new schedule. This schedule takes AWAY an hour from our current schedule to add remediation/enrichment. But we are still expected to do the previous work. Which we did not get everything done now! (I have 30 minutes to teach math!!!! SERIOUSLY!?)

Ok, sorry had to vent!

Was at WalMart last week and found double-sided Sharpies on CLEARANCE for 75 CENTS! Thought of you! (I bought 3. I restrained myself!)

Idea: Favorite read aloud. Or just some good read aloud ideas.

Thanks!!

luckeyfrog said...

I really enjoy the variety of your blog. It's sometimes positive, sometimes vent-y, sometimes more political- but it's always honest and amusing.

I'd be curious to see some reflective posts, maybe even looking back at your old posts. Strategies for both teaching and organizing would also be great!

Maybe you could also share some great books about teaching (or to use for teaching!).

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