Strong Opinions

Convictions with a dash of sarcasm

Fall Goals

I remember reading somewhere that the school year begins on the right note when a teacher has clear goals in mind. Now I know that many of us start with the goals that we wish for our students to achieve but in the article (which I have no idea where it is), educators should be thinking about the goals that they wish to set for themselves. As real people.

Many a time teachers forget that they are “real people” with lives outside of school and there needs to be an appropriate mending of the two worlds. We either get completely sucked into our job that we forget about home, or an incident at home leads us to neglect our students. So how about thinking of some goals that may help for the two to meld?

  1. This year is the first in a long time that I will have the chance to have a planning period. So one simple goal is to actually make sure that I use that time for planning/ grading/ actually getting stuff done. Even if it means making sure that I designate one or two things that need to be accomplished and making sure that I do them before a potty break.
  2. As a school we are actually switching our start time from 7:30 to 8:00 am and I already know that I am not going to allow myself to wake up any later than I used to. First, because of the ridiculous commute I make, if I leave any later I will not make it to work with the amount of traffic that builds up. But, though I am arriving with about an hour to spare,I want my time to be used seriously and calmly. There, is nothing worse than arriving to work rushed. I hate that. Yes HATE. You feel frazzled and disorganized before you’ve even set foot in the door. So arriving “early” will allow me to enjoy the little things. Coming in calmly. Enjoying my morning cup of coffee in peace. Getting to have a chat with a friend, etc.
  3. Now that we are starting our day later we are also leaving later. Instead of being able to escape at 3:00 it will now be 3:30pm. And I think that is the true term. Escape. Hopefully my completing my earlier goals I will make the promise to leave exactly at 3:30. There should be no reason for me to stay any later, as well as I vehemently refuse to take any work home. So that I allow for that separation of work and home to truly happen.

Hopefully one of these things happen… for longer than a month. Apparently knowing myself I’m definitely going to have to get a partner in crime to make sure some of this actually occurs.


Bookmark Birthday

A small benefit to my profession is the joy that comes from going to school on your birthday. Now I completely understand how many people would respond, “Me? Go to work on my birthday? Are you insane?” And while in some circles I am more than a bit “eccentric” who wouldn’t enjoy going to school on their birthday?

Funny enough it’s the same excitement as when you were a high school kid yourself. There’s random people showing up sending well wishes your way with the threat of actually singing in the halls. There are various treats thrown in your direction like candy, chocolate and cake. And of course one major benefit is the fact that the kids will actually make an attempt to behave themselves a little more than normal. But the truth of the matter is that after working with teenagers year after year I would gladly use my Birthday wish hoping that they would remember…

I hate bookmarks.

Someone, somewhere just let out a book loving gentleman let out a gasp and a literature loving lady swooned into an over-sized chair. I love books, but absolutely abhor bookmarks, which for some reason kids associate English teachers lives as being filled with only 3 things: books, caffeine, and bookmarks that we inadvertently need for when we leave our books in search for fresh sources of caffeine.

I guess the biggest problem is that I don’t understand the point of them. Yes, they are meant to save your place on a page but why? A newly purchased set of pages will pop open with a cracking noise to greet you right at the last page you left off. A more collected piece of literature, possibly one that had passed hands more than your own, will flutter its pages to the exact paragraph you need to start. A hardback somehow finds its groove, if you lay the spine on the table it opens effortlessly. Why would anyone want to bother with the annoying addition of a bookmark?

I know they are pretty and I know they can be an easy token from a trip you’ve taken to bring back home but I can’t see the benefit. What do you do with them when your’e reading?

Do you leave them lying on the table next to you?

Risk them being left behind at the coffee shop?




Save your money people. Stop buying bookmarks, especially for English teachers who don’t use them.

Snowflake gummies

I’m going to be honest. I have no clue who will read this or what they will think of me. But… I also feel that it is not in my nature to care.

My “office” window is grimy on the outside and filled with little snowflake gummies on my side. A small metaphor for whats really going on right now. Work is not what it used to be. My living situation isn’t what it used to be either. Not by  long shot. Friends? Same deal. Seems like everything changed so quickly and before I knew it it was all different.

This post was not meant to be depressing. Somehow we took a detour into nothingness. What I really wanted to start on this blog was a recollection of thoughts. It seems that I cannot keep all of my memories in my head anymore so maybe if I let them spill onto the keyboard something of worth will manage to stay behind. And here we go! A round of teacher stories. Expressions of new love. A newly awakened love of the printed word. And most importantly a hopefully greater outlook on the dirty window… just because its filthy on the outside doesn’t mean I can’t decorate the inside.

And so I’m reaching out for the one
And so I’ve learned the meaning of the sun
And all this like a message comes
to shift my point of view
I’m watching through my own light
as it tints the shade of you

Sleep – Azure Ray

NaPoWriMo Day 2: Lies

 Prompt: the idea of a poem that tells a lie.

I’m a poet.

NaPoWriMo Day 1: Watery Mornings

Prompt: Continuing with the theme of firsts, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that has the same first line as another poem.

The first line of my poem comes from an awesome one written by my idol Sandra Cisneros.

Mornings I still reach for you before opening my eyes.

My fingers slide across the sea of sheets weaving in and out of crests,

avoiding seams and the cold spaces they border,

attempting to find the life raft that is your skin.

The nightmares seem to float in my mind like drift wood in the water and I kick to the simple and uninterrupted idea of getting a little closer to you.

The tips of my prints make contact and I grab hold of your flesh bracing against the next wave of terrors that threaten to pull me with the current.

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