First Week of School

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Faculty and staff returned to school on August 23 and it was genuinely wonderful to see everyone again. There were laughs, hugs, high-fives, and more. We welcomed the unusually large number of new faces and got ready to welcome back the students. The good news was that enrollment was up for the freshmen class and […]

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What I Did on my Summer Vacation

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I report back to St. Vincent Pallotti High School this morning, beginning my sixth year as a teacher there. Somehow, the ten-week summer break has evaporated and the 2022-23 academic year is poised to begin on the 29th. So, what did I do on my summer vacation? The big project was writing the second Above […]

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The First Semester Draws to a Close

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The first semester officially has closed. The mid-terms are graded and posted and the focus is on the second half of the school year. My four sections of freshmen arrived after a year and a half at home, effectively transitioning from seventh grade to ninth grade, entering high school somewhat unprepared for the expectations. They […]

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Q1: So Far So Good

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I find it hard to believe that we are more than halfway through the first quarter. Our classes began August 26 and the quarter ends on Oct. 21, so it’s barreling along. I am relieved to see everyone from freshmen to seniors are happy to be back in the building. They mostly do not complain […]

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First Day of School

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Even though I spent most of a week prepping materials before returning to school, the actual return required a tremendous amount of mental recalibration. The shift from that of a writer to that of a teacher felt more profound this time. On Sunday, Deb helped me get the classroom ready. After everything was moved to […]

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School’s Out for the Summer

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Even though grades are due this coming Monday, Wednesday was really the final day of the school year for most of us. All we thought that afternoon, as the faculty and staff celebrated, was that we survived. We opened on September 3 and finished the academic year without once having to close because of Covid-19. […]

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Feeling Appreciated

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I am not sure who created Teacher Appreciation Week, but I sure like the timing of it. By having it the first week of May, it reminds the administration and parents of the role we play. At this point, we’re all getting tired, certainly worried about the students who are definitely not passing the year, […]

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Six Months Down

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When Pallotti opened its doors to students on September 3, no one imagined we’d still be open without having to shut down to control Covid-19. But, we have not lost a day to the coronavirus. We’ve lost more time to the weather and have remained hybrid. It’s been a struggle as we continued to master […]

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First Day and Last Day of Semester

So Ends the First Quarter

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The first quarter drew to a close on Tuesday. I’m very impressed that we got through the stretch without a day off and with just two diagnosed cases of Covid-19. Our protocols seem to be working, which is a relief to one and all. Our principal decided that since we hadn’t had a day off […]

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One Month-Plus Down

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I knew there would be plenty of challenges moving to hybrid teaching but with each extra step, the amount of time for preparing, executing, and grading each lesson has snowballed so I find myself taking a lot more time than I anticipated. My hallway with heavy plastic sheeting to shield students as they shuffle following […]

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And the School Year Begins

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After extra time to prepare, the school year began in earnest on Thursday. Here’s how the in-class students see the online students. My desk got moved upfront to create more socially distant desk spaces for the students. I have five freshmen classes and it’s interesting as their personalities are starting to take shape. Overall, four […]

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Navigating the Digital Teaching World

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One of the things I have been doing in the back half of July has been gearing up for the return to the classroom. At the time, it was clear we were trying to open the building, but also knowing a portion of the teaching would remain virtual. I needed to sharpen those digital skills […]

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Coming this Fall: The Hybrid Classroom

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The school year has taken shape after evolving all summer long. We’re going with a hybrid plan that will see the classes split in two with the Blue Team being in the building on Mondays and Thursdays with the other half watching via video. The White Team will be in my classroom on Tuesdays and […]

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Adjustments

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2020 is proving to be a year where you cannot predict what will come next let alone prepare for the future. The goalposts keep moving as the world writhes under normal events, a pandemic, and a racial debate that’s long overdue. While Deb and I have been sheltering in place, being as cautious as we […]

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Transitioning into Summer

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This was a transitional week for me. Technically, it’s finals week, but we canceled them. Instead, this week has been a hybrid between personal work and school work. At our faculty meeting on Monday, we were informed we’d know our contract fates next week after the Board of Directors meet. Teachers are ten-month employees on […]

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Cycles

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When I was hired to teach at Owings Mills High School, I was assigned freshmen classes and as my schedule was modified the next two years, I had many of the same students again, and again. That amount of day-to-day contact led to certain bonds being formed so it was incredibly sad when my principal […]

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T Minus 9 Days and Counting

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And just like that, we are down to nine days of teaching left. I have stretched the final units a bit for the sophomores and juniors, slowing down the pacing and adding in supplemental works so it’s more in-depth than. The honors freshmen are just now wrapping up The Old Man and the Sea and […]

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Teaching Online: Adjusting, Tweaking, Pacing

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I began online teaching on March 17 so, I’ve been at this for just over four weeks. It’s been a period of adjustment not only for me but for my students. As I read about how counties in Maryland and neighboring Virginia have struggled, I take some pride in how quickly my school pivoted and […]

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Boldly Going into the Unknown

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On Thursday, we watched the tide turn and it became increasingly obvious we would be shutting the school to keep in line with other states. The governor confirmed that at 4 p.m. and by 5:30, the email went out to notify staff, parents, and students. We already had called a two-hour delay for Friday so […]

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No Surprise, Teaching is Rewarding and Tiring

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Teaching is incredibly time consuming, especially when the teacher makes the mistake of scheduling various components of a research essay for five classes with overlapping deadlines. As a result, not only am I planning and teaching the usual course load, but now I have lots of documents to review. To help them craft the best […]

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So, What Kind of Year has it Been?

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As 2019 ends, and the final year of the decade begins (at least that’s how I count it), it’s time to take stock and judge the year as a whole. Deb and I had a relatively quiet, relatively good year. We saw plenty of television, a handful of plays and a bunch of movies, did […]

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As the First Semester Ends

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For whatever reason, unlike last school year, I have been exceedingly pressed for time. As a result, I have barely done any writing or editing, let alone blogging in ages. Here it is, the third day of my break, and I am finally getting back to the website. My freshmen wrote and performed skits showing […]

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And so Ends the First Quarter

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Having two new preps – Introduction to Literature and Honors Introduction to Literature – have certainly proven to be more time consuming than I anticipated. First, I plan the former, then modify it for the latter, altering the pacing and type of work they do. As a result, the last few weeks have been a […]

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And the Summer Break Comes to an End

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Last day of the summer break. My next project got delayed from starting and the editing Iwas told to expect in late July has yet to arrive. So, rather than get deepinto something else or seek out other projects, I have been noodling on anarticle not due until February. How am I spending this final […]

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T-Minus 20 Days

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The Lecture Hall we used for the week-long Project-Based Learning class. Three weeks from today, I report back to St. Vincent Pallotti to begin my third year of teaching there. And yet, as this week began,I already began planning out lessons so the next few weeks will be a hybrid of relaxed summer time and […]

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Survey Says

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At the end of the school year, I created a quick survey for the students, hoping to get constructive feedback. Of course, the students wanted credit for doing this but I explained this was strictly voluntary — and anonymous so they could freely say what was on their mind. I had 25 responses from across […]

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Where have I Been?

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It’s pretty amazing how fast three months can zip by. I havehad every intention of writing here but life keeps getting in the way so by thetime I think about writing a post, I’m worn out and resort to a shorter notationon social media. With the school year winding down, my summer goals include postinghere […]

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As the First Semester Ends

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Given an odd quirk to the school calendar, I return toschool on Thursday with three days to teach before mid-terms. Given that two ofthose days will be review, that leaves a dangling day for mop up duty andgetting everyone, myself included, back into school mode. The first semester has been fulfilling and challenging andfrustrating. I […]

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Looking Back at the First Quarter

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Time is flying.Our second quarter began October 25 and I have been meaning to reflect back on it ever since but here we are a week later and I’m finally getting to it.Given religious and national holidays, the first quarter felt long. The prolonged summer heat didn’t help, keeping kids longing to be back outdoors. […]

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One Week Down

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The 2018-19 school year began on Tuesday and this year, I will be teaching six classes. Like last year, I have three sections of American Literature but only one section of Honors British Literature, and one section of standard British Literature, plus Journalism. Unfortunately, I had only seven students for the elective, but it lays […]

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School’s out for the Summer!

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And just like that, the first year at St. Vincent Pallotti High School has drawn to a close. This has been finals week so all I needed to do was proctor three exams and grade the tests my five classes took. I have until Tuesday to lock the grades and will do that today or […]

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Coming up for Air

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I have not planned to let so long pass without writing here.As usual, life gets in the way. Deb recently described me as having two jobs and I really never saw my freelance as a second job. While teaching, I always see it as a way to stay creatively engaged, stretching muscles I wouldn’t be […]

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As the First Semester Draws to a Close…

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We have just five days left to the first semester at school then we go into mid-terms. The transition from teaching in a public school and a private school has been an interesting one with many differences.The biggest adjustment may well be the schedule where most weeks we have a shortened teaching day to accommodate […]

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What’s it Like to Teach in Private School?

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It’s hard to believe that we’re hurtling toward the end of the first quarter already. Sure, we started August 24 but wow, it feels fast.I was asked recently what it is like to teach in private school compared with public. First of all, no two private schools are identical so I can only speak about […]

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So Far, So Good

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I have either one week or two days in the books depending upon how you look at things. After a long, tiring drive home Sunday, I reported for work first thing Monday. The faculty had an off-site retreat to discuss the more spiritual aspects of teaching high school students. I was, thankfully, not the only […]

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Back to the Classroom

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This morning I signed the contract and have formally joined the faculty at St. Vincent Pallotti High School. This is the school where I was a frequent substitute teaching between October and May, allowing me to get to know the students, faculty, and administration. They’re a small school compared to Owings Mills and their English […]

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A Fast Five Weeks

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On a day by day basis, my long-term substitute gig felt grinding but as I walked out of the school on Friday, it suddenly felt like a rush.The grind had a lot to do with gearing up to try and learn 160 or so student names plus faculty and staff identities. Then, to try and […]

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Quick Update

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I look up and realize I haven’t posted in a while.I’ve had things happening, things to talk about, and the like but the long-term substitute assignment coupled with a busy freelance side has squeezed out a lot of leisure time.We’re in the final week of my assignment, already, and it felt good to be back […]

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I am a Temporary Titan

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I’ve gone from being an Eagle to a temporary Titan.My former department chair teaches now at New Town High School in Owings Mills. Oddly, there are three high schools – New Torn, Owings Mills, and Franklin – within something like five miles of each other. She reached out to me three weeks ago with the […]

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Help me Lobby Against Betsy DeVos

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Normally, I don’t bring up politics here. The few times I have, it’s been fairly clear I would like our elected officials to represent the peoples’ will and not their personal ideologies. I’ve also pushed for them to actually be in session more days out of the year.Today, I change that by talking about Betsy […]

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A Delay to Professorhood

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When I took my first steps on the path to becoming a teacher, I needed to round out my undergraduate load with a handful of classes. I wound up taking several online and others at nearby Housatonic Community College. It was my first exposure to adjunct professors, the underpaid, overworked people who grabbed as many […]

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What Kind of Year has it Been?

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This wasn’t the year I was expecting nor am I in a place I ever imagined for myself at 58 but if I have proven anything over time it’s that I can roll with the punches and keep moving.EducationIn the first part of the year, I watched my hopes for staying at Owings Mills High […]

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That’s Professor Bob Now

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As one academic chapter closes, another beckons.On Saturday, I completed my final course in the Fairleigh Dickinson University Master’s program in Creative Writing and Literature for Educators. This began in late June 2015 and I have plowed through seven courses since then and all of a sudden, it’s over.This final one, Comedy, Satire, and Parody, […]

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The Hardest Writing Assignment of All

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I’ve been a professional writer since 1980, but I cannot recall an assignment that has been so difficult, I have literally wasted hours avoiding it.In my Writing & Critiquing Comedy, Satire, and Parody course, we kicked things off with an analysis of stand-up comedy. This required me to work with two others and brainstorm ten […]

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Progress Report

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This week my peers at Owings Mills have reported back to work and the academic year is about to get underway. I’ll miss them and the students, especially the ones I had for three years running.It’s a weird feeling after three years of routine but I have reconciled myself to this new routine. I’ve been working […]

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Revisiting my High School English Books

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I’m taking two grad school courses this summer. One is Writing & Critiquing Fiction and its interesting being asked to write a short story without a premise or anthology theme. It was kind of freeing and also kind of scary as I not only wrote something from scratch, on deadline, but then submitted it to […]

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Leaving the Eagles’ Nest

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Today marks my final day at Owings Mills High School. On the one hand, I can’t believe three years have sped by so quickly. On the other, there was more I had hoped to accomplish.I have spent these years with a handful of students for two or three years straight and I am amazed at […]

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Thanking my High School Teachers

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I was an indifferent student until tenth grade. Before that, I had some fun teachers I got along with but for whatever reason, things began to click as I neared the end of my sophomore year.By junior year, I was a different student, engaged and active in class, pulling down some reasonable grades and actually […]

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Changes

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I have been told by many throughout the years that I would make an excellent teacher. When I hit a dead-end as a fulltime freelance writer, teaching seemed the next logical career step for me.I got my master’s, did my student teaching, and thought myself fortunate enough to land a job with Baltimore County Public […]

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Emerging from the Wilderness

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I am finally coming out of the wilderness and returning to a more manageable life.When I started the fall, I knew I had a full plate with my third year of teaching now coupled with a graduate course. What I didn’t anticipate was having a massive revision of Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Sorrow’s Crown to […]

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Check out my Computer-Equipped Classroom

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Back in July, I popped one of our assistant principals a note about my plans to switch our print newspaper to a digital one. At the conclusion I added that I had hoped we’d figure out a way to get me a writing lab so my journalists and creative writers could have consistent computer access. […]

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As the School Year Zips By

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Hard to believe, but we’ve been in school for eight weeks already and the first quarter is rapidly drawing to a close.What kind of year has it been so far?A year of growth and confidence. I am teaching English 11 for the third year so there’s a comfort in working with familiar material. The lessons […]

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Back to School – Student Edition

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Two days down and not so bad.I got my classroom as ready as can be despite the lack of computers and at 7:25 Monday morning we were off and running the marathon that is the 2015-16 school year. My schedule is nicely arranged so I have one each of Creative Writing, Journalism, and English 11 […]

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Back to School – Teacher Edition

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Boy, did this week zip by.Teachers reported Monday morning and we were presented with a full agenda that, by week’s end, left everyone wishing for more time. While we’re ready for Monday, I suspect we’d all like to be a little further along in our lesson planning.It’s not like we can just whip out last […]

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And So Ends the Summer

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For most people, the measure of summer goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day. According to the calendar, it’s really from equinox to equinox, late June through late September. For teachers, it’s from the last day of school until we report back.I report back tomorrow so for me, this is the last hurrah of summer.It’s […]

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ASNE Texas: Bonding and Barbecue (and some learning)

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Regular followers here know that I was fortunate enough to sneak in under the wire and get accepted to the ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. I was selected to join the cohort in Austin, based at the University of Texas at Austin. I write this from the airport where my plane has been delayed […]

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And So the Summer Learning Begins

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The Creative Writing and Literature for Educators program requires us to begin with a three day residency. As mentioned previously, I skipped the final day of school to be at Fairleigh Dickinson University in time for the 9 a.m. Friday kickoff. Good thing, too, since it took about 5 hours to get there, far more […]

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How I am Spending my Summer

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If you said to me in 2010, I would be awarded a Master’s Degree in anything, I would have not believed you. I never felt I needed a Master’s Degree in anything related to my writing or editing, letting decades of experience be all the schooling I needed.When my focus shifted to becoming a teacher, […]

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Once More Taking the Stage

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I used to do a lot of theater, finding it a fun outlet for my energy. My best performance may have been back in 9th grade when I was a killer Evil Eye Fleagle in Jericho Junior High’s production of Li’l Abner. My last production was a year later in the high school’s One Act […]

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As the First Quarter Closes, I’m Beat

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Our first quarter ended on Friday and I am only now recovering from an exhausting final week. Starting the previous Friday, the moment the bell rang at 2:05, I was inundated with students asking to check their grades, deliver overdue work, seek extra credit opportunities, or plead their cases. Despite bending my no late work […]

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As the School Year Progresses

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I’m not writing as much about being a teacher this year as last; largely because I haven’t had a lot of time nor do I have a lot of angst to work through.I can’t begin to describe the difference between Year One and Year Two. Not every single thing I do is new and I […]

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Reflections After 17 Days

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Now that we’re 17 days into the new school year, I think I have enough evidence to make a few conclusions.Our switch to block scheduling has been pretty smooth and I have to say I like it a lot. Although I have to keep my eye on the clock, the lessons are flowing smoothly and […]

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8 Days Down

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This post should have gone up on Friday but technical difficulties made tat impossible although the observations below remain valid.One of my peers came over to me Friday morning to tell me how proud he was not to hear me yell once this year. Now, the school year is a mere eight days old, but […]

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Day One

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Last year, it made perfect sense that I was nervous on day one. It was my first time in a classroom for real and there were five classes of strangers awaiting me. I was therefore surprised to see how nervous even the veterans were getting on Monday and Tuesday. I was feeling fine, though, better […]

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The First Week Flew By

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According to my mother, she used to return to her Los Angeles-area middle school exactly one day ahead of her students. There was little time to revise lessons, decorate the room, or even learn of changes to curriculum or the school staff. She therefore is amazed I have seven days prior to the kids returning.Here […]

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Transitioning

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It snuck up on me. As I was preparing for Shore Leave last week, I checked my calendar and was reminded with startling clarity that school is around the corner. I had forgotten that this week’s professional development was two full days which meant last week was the final five day week of being home. […]

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Seeing How it’s Done

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I’ve always been envious of Bob Rozakis being able to take off for six weeks each summer to teach writing and imagination as part of Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth program. He started working at the program at Goucher College here in Maryland so once upon a time I was a one-day guest lecturer, […]

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Already Thinking About School

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We had barely celebrated Independence Day when the Back to School circulars began appearing in the Sunday paper. While I know some regions of the country start classes in early-to-mid-August, for the rest of us, it feels like we just finished school so are shocked to consider the new school year is already upon us.The […]

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One Week Later

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Last Monday we had an odd half day of school, bringing my first year of teaching to a close. The morning was spent cleaning out our auxiliary bookroom, dealing with dust bunnies the size of rats and tossing paraphernalia or outdated text books, finding we had plenty of space after all. The few students who […]

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As the School Year Winds Down

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The school year has six five and a half days left to it. Yesterday, the actual teaching drew to a close so next week, I am either reviewing material for the final or proctoring the final itself.  We’re in the year end rush as we complete grading, begin the end-of-year checklist process, and the classroom […]

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Upon Reflection

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I keep waiting for the pressure to drop away. But, even though the number of teaching days dwindles, there remain lessons to plan, papers to grade, and end of the year paperwork to prepare. Additionally, it appears there is direct proportion of the temperature to the students’ behavior. Since the seniors left, the underclassmen have […]

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A Transitional Week

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Our seniors have taken their finals and today was their last day as students at Owings Mills High School. I have two repeating 9th Grade English and seven in my 11th Grade class. I have watched them these last few weeks, the apathy towards their work growing as the temperature rose, replaced this week with […]

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One-eighth of the Year to Go

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The march to the inevitable continues apace. Yesterday, we closed the first half of the fourth quarter and I stayed late to make sure every paper turned in was graded and all the interim grades were entered before Monday’s deadline. Additionally, I had to crunch the numbers across the quarters to compile a list of […]

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When Worlds Collide

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It was a short week but a packed one as the kids returned all seeming to have memorized the countdown to the end of the school calendar. On Tuesday night, though, the state revealed our waiver request was granted forcing a readjustment of the countdown clock, shaving a day off so we finish on June […]

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Collecting my School Thoughts

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As I write this, I am finally having a break from school. Spring break came at a good time as everyone was feeling the weight of days gone by and the busy schedule ahead. Hard to believe three quarters are behind me and we’re already two weeks into the fourth.I am feeling far more confident […]

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Three Quarters Down

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Suddenly, the third quarter is over. On the calendar it was always the shortest quarter since there was only one scheduled vacation day so add in a few snow days and two hour delays and just like that, it’s behind me. It also means I am now three-quarters of the way through my first year […]

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The Scheduling Game

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So we had a snow day this week (and more crappy weather threatening this week). Another day slips out of the third quarter, which still closes on Friday. As I adjusted my planning, I then learned I need to carve out time for my juniors to write resumes for mock interviews in April. Oh, and […]

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Catching my Breath

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The last two weeks have been intense and I have been so preoccupied with things that this thing called leisure time feels ephemeral. Still, Deb is out at an event and I actually have an evening to clear the decks a bit and want to ruminate over what has been going on.Things at school continue […]

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My Students Have Their Say

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Last week, I wrote about the dismal numbers my students had earned in the first half of the third quarter. Sadly, I was not the only teacher with such horrible scores so our principal is asking everyone to try and analyze and quantify the causes and issues involved. Yesterday, I asked my students why they […]

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Adapting and Adjusting

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One of the subtler things about teaching is that there is a rhythm to the lessons as we strive, day after day, to keep from repeating ourselves, varying the lessons so both teacher and students don’t grow stale.Weather, though, has an insidious way of upending the routine and rhythm, making us hastily readjust as days […]

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A Week of Changes

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There are some weeks where you feel on a treadmill, routine carrying you through the days. Other weeks are so jam-packed with a variety of events; you never know what will happen next. This was obviously the latter and hence worth a look back.Monday began with my third formal observation, postponed from the previous week […]

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And so the Second Quarter Comes to an End

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The second quarter ended on Friday, marking the halfway point of the school year. It feels like a lot longer and in some ways it’s amazing it flew by. There was the mad dash of students panicking and trying to cram late work or extra credit in this week, but with few exceptions they were […]

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Trying to Gain Traction as the Quarter Closes

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School has been wildly uneven since the break ended on January 2. We had a snow day January 3 and then on Tuesday and Thursday we had two hour delayed openings. As a result, getting into anything resembling a rhythm has proven problematic.As the temperature precipitously dropped on Tuesday, so did the attendance so I […]

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Twas the Week Before Break

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Twas the week before break and somehow five days felt like ten. The amazing thing is that every member of the faculty felt the same way. There was the pressure to wrap things up in time for the break despite losing two days the week before to the weather. We had an assortment of extra […]

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Keeping Connected

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There’s been a lot written about the 24/7 work week, as our devices allow us unfettered access to one another. Thankfully, my students don’t email me often and the office Inbox is quiet during the weekends. As the administration catches up afterhours, I have come to expect their missives at all hours so often check […]

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2nd Quarter Interims Means Time to Reflect

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This week, weather permitting, the students will be receiving their second quarter interim grades, a chance for them to assess how well they’ve progressed. It’s also an opportunity for me to see if I am actually teaching them anything. Every now and then, I ask the kids one-on-one if they’re learning and they assure me […]

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Giving Thanks, Taking Stock

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It’s been way too long since I’ve posted and with good reason. I’m busy. Nothing new about that, I like being busy but this is really a different schedule and set of commitments that is threatening to become all-consuming.The best things my department chair says to me are “don’t stay too late” and “stop working […]

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Still Adjusting

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While I am getting into the rhythms of actually teaching, two other areas are of some concern to me.  First, as I’ve mentioned before, is the classroom management. Some seem utterly incapable of keeping their mouths closed and others are just rude. Many can’t seem to contain themselves so they’re popping out of their seats […]

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Another First This Week

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The second quarter began on Monday and I spent a fair amount of time reviewing my policies, rules, and procedures. I wanted to start with a clean slate, correcting the misconception that everyone was starting with an A. I said they’re beginning with a void and would fill it with each assignment.Unfortunately, the chat didn’t […]

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The First Quarter in Review

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Halloween gets everyone excited, whether you’re in costume shaking down the neighbors for candy or girding yourself for the onslaught of candy-crazed kids. At the high school level, most kids have decided they’re too old and too cool to dress up and collect fun sized pieces of chocolate. Still, it reminds them of childhood and […]

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Supported in and out of the Classroom

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I seem to be getting the hang of teaching. On the other hand, I am still struggling with wrangling the kids and not wasting time endlessly repeating myself or trying to keep them quiet and focused. To that end, this past week an in house professional development resource and I jointly observed my fellow ninth […]

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A Packed Week

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This past week was incredibly long thanks to three extraordinary events happening over three consecutive days.First, I stayed late Tuesday night to perform one of my four contractual chaperone duties: the National Honor Society Induction ceremony. I ran out for a flu shot and to pick up dinner (where I ran into one of my […]

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Students Confront the Interim Grades

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On the first day of school, I told my ninth graders that beginning that day, things got real. Things counted. Every grade mattered because it would inform the GPA that would give them options in four years. I explained it was time to get serious and laid out in my syllabus that I would not […]

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Four Weeks Done

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If I thought the first four months of the year was a rush, the last six weeks rival it. I am only now coming to terms with what has happened and the dramatic changes in my life. While still not entirely feeling real, I am coming to accept that yes, I am a newly employed […]

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And the School Year is Underway

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Monday morning came quickly enough and the new routine has me up at 5:50, dressed and walking the dogs before driving to school. I’m arriving around 7 and have some time to get settled before the kids begin coming at 7:30. My schedule has me teaching 9th grade periods 1 and 2, including a 10 […]

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A Week is Not Enough Time

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So, let’s catch up a bit. The last few weeks have been packed as I have prepared and begun my new career.The week of the 19th, the teachers were reporting back to Owings Mills High where the veterans greeted one another warmly. Thankfully, with at least eight other newcomers plus a new principal, there was […]

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I’ve Been Oriented

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Since I signed the contract a week ago Friday, I’ve been working fairly steadily on preparation. Still feeling the butterflies, especially with each day bringing me closer to that pivotal first day with the students.Last week, it helped to remember I was not alone. Tuesday and Thursday we had county-wide New Teacher Orientation. There were […]

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Preparing for School

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The whirlwind continues unabated.As you know, I accepted my teaching position a week ago Friday then headed out to Shore Leave.In the past week, I have been steeped in academia. First, last Tuesday, I headed back up to Towson where I was fingerprinted, injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected. Or had my prints digitally recorded […]

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My Next Career: High School English Teacher

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Since April, I have been applying to jobs in four Maryland counties. Interestingly, Anne Arundel and Montgomery were silent. Howard, where I live, brought me in for a first (of three) round interview but the competition is such that I did not progress further.Baltimore County, though, called me for five interviews. The first was in […]

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