happy holidays

The holiday season has every child at school acting crazy. Some are depressed and angry, while others are so excited and rambunctious that they can not sit still or stop talking for even a minute. Needless to say, I've had to hand out a few more detentions than normal, and I have received abnormal responses from the kids. Some cry. Some curse at me and storm out of the classroom, and teh others don't seemed bothered and usually don't even bother to show up.

I forgot how hard the holiday season can be for children who know that they are not getting much. Hearing their friends talk about everything they want and what they are getting can be really bothersome when you don't have much to contribute to that type of conversation. There have been numerous thefts at my school this past week or so. Two teachers' wallets, a blackberry, money, lockers being broken into, etc. I have had to give the "lock everything and make sure your valuables are secure" speech all too many times. I also find myself telling them that sometimes people get desperate around the holidays and that they just want to have something to give to someone, or have something for themselves that they can not get from "santa", and that while some of you may be angry that you do not feel safe in this room, that we should feel sad for people that feel like they need to do this. Surprisingly, my students were very mature about it all, and agreed with me without argument (rare thing!).

All of this makes me want to do something really nice for my students. Even after a day like today; no one listening, people breaking our rules left and right, cursing at me, not doing homework, not even attempting classwork, etc., I still want to do give them something to look forward to. I am thinking that I'll have an Exam on Wednesday, and a party on Thursday. Something fun, light-hearted, and somewhat educational.

This year, I am really looking forward to xmas. For the first time ever, I have some money, and I bought everyone a cool gift that is unexpected and probably a bit more than I should have done. It feels good though. I can't wait to see Ray's face, and Jimmy's face, and Dad's and Mom's, and.. well, everyones! I especially love spending xmas morning at Ray's parents. I don't know what it is, but his family just seems so happy xmas morning. I love that his mom cries whenever someone gives her a nice gift! She's the best!!!

Anyway, if you've read this far, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. And, If you're a teacher, enjoy the well-deserved time off!!!


it's been too long

Sorry I havent been keeping up with my blogging. So much is happening and I don't even know where to start. Let's not talk about the negative, for starters.

We finally have an AP at my school. I feel like things are constantly changing as far as staffing goes, and it's kind of nuts. But, the AP is a really really nice woman, who is really supportive and clear about what I need to do to succeed. This is exactly what I need. It's weird that instead of being nervous and anxious about my upcoming formal observation, I am excited and relieved. My principal just doesnt know how to give a real observation. I'm not going to get into it, but I am really really not happy with her.

Besides this, there really isn't much to say. I'm falling into a nice routine and everything is starting to get easier, with the exception of a few bumps in the road, typically caused by the principal.


Trick or Trick

Last week was very trying. The week before I had been absent on Thursday and Friday due to a conference in Atlantic City. I came back to my classroom, and was greeted by complete chaos. Posters ripped from the walls, whiteout covering brand new desks, chairs and desks overturned (which I think might actually been the janitor pissed off at cleaning up after the crazy kids). Needless to say, all of my students received detention. I wanted to kill them. Even more, I wanted to kill my principal. I gave her and the substitute the work I wanted to be done in my absence. Of course, not a damn thing was done, and the kids were left to have free time. So of course they acted like animals... they had nothing else to do. Then my principal has the nerve to blame me for their misbehavior when she was only one room away the entire time, and coincidentally did not hear or see a damn thing. I was PISSED.

But, this week has gone much better. Sometimes I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of losing control of my class, but I usually gain it back momentarily. Sometimes I give up a little too easily, and I let them take control. Still, I'm not feeling too bad about it all right now. It's just my fucking administration. They need to get their shit together, and soon.

In good news, I am now MATH COACH for the mathletes in my school. How exciting?!!?!?!?


So, I'm well on my way to becoming a real teacher now. I've hit a sort of plateau in my creativity, and I am looking forward to the weekend (and it's only monday). Wednesday night my coworker and I are heading to Atlantic City for a NCTM Conference where we will be inspired to teach math in a creative way. (hopefully). I need some inspiration right now. That's for sure.

I convinced my Principal that the students NEED to have Math on Fridays and that the poetry class that I was teaching is a real waste of time. She kind of agreed, and is letting me teach math instead. I am going to use it as a review / further exploration day. She wants my kids to have some sort of product from this class that may be performed on Friday's at our "Cafe" a.k.a. bullshit excuse for my Principal and her boyfriend (who is also the music teacher) to show off their talents and make people think that we are going such a wonderful job with our students. Meanwhile, the math scores are in and every student fell at least one level. We have NO level 4 students, when we used to have about 10. I made sure to mention this when persuading my principal to let me teach ONLY math.

Anyway, this little trip should be refreshing. A nice break from reality, and hopefully I'll come back with a better outlook and a better strategy!


So, what is it? Week six already? The kids are responding very well to me. They seem to be making a lot of progress in math, and that feels really good. These kids were never really far behind to begin with, in my opinion.

This is my last day off until Thanksgiving. Ugh.

The only thing I am really, truly hating is the administration at my school. For some reason, they just can't seem to get their shit together. They want us to pick our students up from the Cafeteria and escort them down. I get shit when I am not the first teacher down there. My students are not always in line, but they get where they need to go, quietly and in a timely fashion. So what if they're not in a fucking line?! I guess because I think that lines are stupid, the kids don't feel the need to follow that rule, and I don't really care. The only problem is that the dean at my school does not look at your TEACHING, but whether or not your kids are in line and out of the cafeteria quickly enough, to determine whether or not your are doing a good job. It's really such bullshit. I need to follow the advice of my co-worker, and just let them rant and rave, and when my door closes, it's done how I want it to be done.

This same dean told another co-worker that the reason a student was acting out in her class (and this student acts out in EVERY class) was because the teacher was not making it fun enough for the students. The dean has not even observed ONE class, so how could she even make that judgement?? Sometimes people baffle me.

I can tell that my Princpal is starting to feel more under fire. If she does not do well this year, she is going to be replaced (which would be a good thing for these students).

Anyway, enough of my bitching. It's beautiful outside, and I have the day off.


The end of my third week of teaching. I love it. Some days I hate it. Like yesterday, for instance. I'm PMS'ing and getting sick. The kids have been sneezing all over the place (my room is way way way too dusty) and finally I caught whatever they have. It feels like strep throat. What sucks is that my FLONASE ran out and I need to get it refilled. BUT, my insurance also ran out as of sept. 1st. I have new insurance, but my prescription coverage doesn't start until later. Bummer. I might just suck it up and pay full price for it. I hope it's not 100 dollars. I NEED IT.

On top of having the worst sore throat and runny nose yesterday, my kids were OFF THE WALL. Friday syndrome. I really don't like doing Poetry on Friday's. They need the math, and frankly, they think poetry is a joke, making my life miserable. My day was so bad that the kids in my 7th and 8th period were given a pop quiz in math and for homework they have to write a letter explaining the rules of the classroom and why we need them. If they were breaking the rules, why they thought that it was acceptable to do so. I completely lost it 8th period yesterday. I know that I have to keep my cool, but sometimes it's just so hard. I think these kids are trying to getme to quit. This really is teh only class that i feel is doing this, and not even the entire class, just the select few. I tried calling their houses yesterday, but to no avail. All of the numbers were disconnected. Figures.

But now it's the weekend, and tonight I am going out no matter what. Sick or not. I need to get OUT!!! Last night I was planning to do so, but I came home after a lovely dinner with Ray and completely assed out. I'm talking 10:30 here. It was so bad that I fell asleep in my clothes and ray had to change me into pjs a few hours later. Awesome.

Today I have an IKEA trip to look forward to, as well as a Rockland trip.


Lesson of the day

Teaching is the best form of birth control ever created.


First Day

The first day has come and gone. I am sitting in the computer lab at City College, winding down before class begins. The kids were... well, rowdy. Not bad, but rowdy. I've definitely figured out who can not sit near one another, and plan on fixing that tomorrow. I only saw one of the three groups of kids today, so they didn't get the full blown first day lesson, only the jist of what the rules are, and how to do well in my class.

The day started with the kids all riled up after breakfast. They eventually calmed down and did what they were asked to do. I just had to repeat it 3 times so everyone could hear me over the chatter and yelling. After lunch, they started to realize that they were not going to get away with being so bad, and decided to cooperate. We played Math Bingo using their multiplication tables, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. They are a competitive bunch, and extremely energetic. I'll definitely have to use that to my advantage.

Anyway, that is the jist of my first day teaching. Most of my anxiety has melted away as I realize that these students just might be able to be taught!! haha.

I am so exhausted.


Day one of "professional development" was a long one, to say the least. I sat through a morning of boring talk, explaining the very thing that was explained on retreat. In the afternoon, I met up with Max and Elitia, and went over our pacing guides. Mine was pretty much right on target with what Max had thought. That was quite a relief, seeing as I thought he would rip me a new one.

After my Math meeting, I made my way to my classroom. It's by far the biggest classroom, located right next to the Principal's office and the staircase. All of the desks and all 2 of the chairs are extremely old and falling apart. I was assured that new desks and chairs are on their way, and that I have first dibs! What a relief!

Day two of "professional development" was not so smooth. Apparently my principal likes to run things in a hands off fashion. This is nice for me as far as curriculum goes. She recognizes that she does not know math, and can not tell me what to teach, or when to teach it. This sucks when she fails to make administrative decisions in advance, and leaves it up to 12 very different-minded (some all too outspoken) teachers and aids to decide upon. I just want her to say "This is how it's going to happen" and if anyone does not like it, we can discuss.

Also, the desk and chair problem only got worse. THere are no extra desks or chairs to be found. I was about 20 chairs short and 4 desks at the end of the day. Mr Bialy, the Art teacher, also known as "papa bear" assured me that he will pilfer some desks and chairs for me, and that when I come in on Tuesday, my room will be all set to go. Papa Bear is also the Union Rep at the school. Needless to say, we'll get along famously.

I met two of the girls in my honors class yesterday. They were extremely sweet, but I couldn't help but feel like I was blowing up my spot. I was nice and laughed a little with them. This is not how I want to be known the first month of school. Honestly, I want to be an evil, but respected, classroom dictator. Then I'll loosen up a bit and be myself. We'll see how this goes.

Alright, I'm going to run to the teacher supply store while ray is still sleeping.


The Day Before

Tomorrow I am to report to school at 8 a.m. for "professional development", whatever that means. Hopefully they will explain my schedule. It looks like I have some kids 8 times a week? I didn't know my school was math intensive! haha.

I am getting excited, nervous, anxious, etc. Realizing that I only really have a few more free days in which to plan for the first week of school. Crap.

I am not the only one with new beginnings in our family. Little Jimmy moved to New Paltz on Sunday, and has already started classes. I'm really excited for him. He seemed a bit nervous as we all left on Sunday evening, but now he seems to be doing well, and hopefully enjoying himself. Sometimes I can't believe how well he is doing, and I feel so proud of him. Maybe one day we can teach at the same school!!!! (He probably wants to go back and teach at CHS though, which is definitely not in my plans)

I also realize that our parents, unfortunately, have no idea what college means. As soon as you go away and are no longer living in their house, they seem to forget that you need money for books and food. Out of sight, out of mind. I'm just glad that I'm going to be making a little more money (a lot more than I'm used to!) and can afford to help a brother out every now and then.

Anyway, I know I'll have much more teacher related stuff to write about once we get this show on the road!




This is the first post in my new blog. I feel it's appropriate to move on from livejournal to my own personal blog. I first started blogging when I moved to Buffalo and started college. Seeing as I am embarking on my journey as a Middle School teacher in the Bronx, it is only appropriate that I start blogging with a clean slate, right?


On Thursday, I will be beginning my career as a teacher. That's right, a career. And, yes, I am 22 years old. And of course, this scares me half to death. I never would have thought, as a freshman at UB that I would be sitting here today, in this lopsided Brooklyn apartment, preparing lessons for 100 seventh graders. Never in my wildest dreams. Nobody in my entire family has had a career before the age of 25 or so. I find myself worrying that I am rushing growing up.

Still, on Thursday, ready or not, I am officially Ms. Carrancio. Yikes.