Monthly Archives: January 2017

What’s Next?

Today, as usual on a Sunday, I went to a coffee shop to do work and plan for the week ahead. Three hours later and I have 0 out of 15 lessons planned for this week.
Instead, I’ve been reading about the president’s most recent actions to create a ban on Muslims entering the USA. I decided that I will not go down on the wrong side of history and I must act – it is what is right. Instead of planning lessons, I’ve reached out to volunteer my time to support undocumented youth with a local organization, like some of those I’ll teach tomorrow morning. I have made a list of talking points to talk to my Senator tomorrow morning and will challenge him to do more. (Want to make a call? Here’s a list of contact information). If that call goes into class time, so be it – I will be heard. My students will then clearly know where I stand, if they didn’t already. 
I teach more than math. I work so that every child can have an excellent education and future in the USA. Everyone is welcome in my classroom, regardless of gender, race, religion or immigration status. There is no hate allowed though, only love for each other. If only the people in the Oval Office had the same philosophy…

#DITLife: January 8, 2017

Today is Sunday and the last day of winter break, and I got sick Friday (thanks Dad :P). Since today was both a vacation day and I stayed in bed sick, this will be brief. Also, today was boring, but necessary because teaching while sick is horrible.

Wake up: 7 am (no alarm…story of my life)
Read Station Eleven
Binge watch Vikings Season 4 on Hulu
Eat Lunch at 1:30
Continue being sick
Bing watch some more, while doing a few chores around the house.
Watch NFL Playoffs (Sadly, the Packers beat the Giants…)
Make dinner ~7
Make cookie dough for an advisee’s birthday that was over break. We’ll celebrate on Tuesday, our first day back with students.
Scroll through twitter and watch Meryl Streep tell us what’s up.
Write this post at about 9 and go to bed so I’m ready for the first day of Semester two, and hopefully not sick.

Reflection Questions:

1) Teachers make a lot of decisions throughout the day.  Sometimes we make so many it feels overwhelming.  When you think about today, what is a decision/teacher move you made that you are proud of?  What is one you are worried wasn’t ideal?


Not really applicable since today is Sunday. My biggest decision was do I stay in today and hope I get better or risk getting worse when I have to work. I erred on the side of caution – here’s hoping to I don’t get crazy sick anyway.

2) Every person’s life is full of highs and lows.  Share with us some of what that is like for a teacher.  What are you looking forward to?  What has been a challenge for you lately?



Unrelated to today, but the last few weeks were incredibly exhausting and little felt worth it. I spent a lot of break sitting in a chair watching football and didn’t do work – a first for weeks. I need more of that not working or this will be my last year in the classroom. 

3) We are reminded constantly of how relational teaching is.  As teachers we work to build relationships with our coworkers and students.  Describe a relational moment you had with someone recently.


I wrote a letter of recommendation on my flight back home that made me cry for an amazing young man. I kept him in the loop about my progress, and he kept me in the loop if he needed me to send it out to more schools.  I hope that the time I invested letting him know I was there and working with him over break leads to me knowing him a little bit more. He’s a great person, and I hope the admissions counselors get that from my letter.

4) Teachers are always working on improving, and often have specific goals for things to work on throughout a year.  

Goals: As mentioned, I’ve not made much progress because it’s been such a rough fall semester, but I have reflected on what it means for a goal to be reasonable. I realized that I was seeking change too quickly for some pretty BIG changes within my practice. That has made me more motivated to make smaller changes in the coming months – like those I planned on improving since the beginning of this DITL project.

5) What else happened this month that you would like to share?

I’ve never felt that this graphic has more vividly described my academic year as it does right now. My lows were so low its hard to describe. Here’s to hoping we keep moving on up, and out of that bad place I was in a few weeks ago.