Archive for June, 2011

June 23, 2011


I’ve attended two rallies in the past two weeks in support of Chicago Public School teachers and I must say my throat is sore from shouting. The 4% raise that we won’t be getting this school year is not the only reason I’m attending these rallies. As a teacher I want my presence to make a statement and that is that I have dignity and will fight to keep better pay, healthcare, work hours, etc. We had a good turn out at the rally and I hope future ones are even more successful.

June 16, 2011

One step closer to a bigger fight

Chicago labor unions rallied against corporate greed in front of the Hyatt in downtown Chicago. We have a bigger fight ahead of us next week when the Chicago Board of Education meets to discuss how to take away our 4% raise and make us work longer without pay. Reverend Jesse Jackson joined the rally. Check out this link.

June 15, 2011

A simple approach

This is not my typical post, actually it’s more like a venting session and a simple answer to all my stress.

A coworker frequently comments about how impeccable I look every day. She loves the way I dress and my hairstyles. Today after school she made her usual comment and all I could say was thanks as I looked at the stain on my pants from the cake my student dropped. I was looking forward to eating that slice of cake. I was having a bad day and I was hoping it would get better.

I arrived at home feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and my friend could hear it in my voice over the phone. He said he noticed that I haven’t been myself. I told Jeff that I had a very hectic weekend and needed to catch up on some sleep. He didn’t let me get away with that excuse so I went into more detail. I haven’t managed my stress levels the way I thought I would. This stress is coming from the emphasis I’ve placed on goals I hope to achieve. Health and nutrition, exercise, a career shift, family and my blog are priorities in my life. I have become overwhelmed and frustrated for not achieving my desired results within the timeline I created. After about 20 minutes of venting, Jeff asked me what tips was I offering for stress on my blog. I had to ask myself how could I when I can’t manage stress. Would I become a product of what my blog is set out to do and that is help teachers manage and reduce stress? So I had to analyze the goals I was achieving. I go to the gym on certain days and see my dad one day a week. I do this religiously. Why wasn’t I applying the same method to everything else? After all the ranting I came to the conclusion that I need to utilize my iPad and make a weekly schedule the way I do with exercising. One day I will work on my career shift, another day on my blog and so on. I feel more relaxed just thinking about it. Simple as that. I look forward to my new and simple approach to reducing the stress in my life.

June 8, 2011

The Next Picasso

Today I just had to post this drawing by one of my students. The student that drew this picture is a very bright 6yr-old girl. She is autistic and many times has difficulty working for more than 10 minutes (don’t we all). So to keep her engaged I give her breaks in between lessons. After every lesson she is given time to play or draw. This student chose to make her own interpretation of a drawing made by my teaching assistant. I thought it was great to see her own interpretation. The details she added clearly indicate her creativity and what really amazed me is how she hid her name in the drawing. You have to look closely to find her name. She may be the next Picasso.

June 5, 2011

What do you do on weekends?

From May to October Chicago Farmers Market opens up in my neighborhood. Flowers, fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods are sold at stands between the morning and afternoon. I love fresh buying croissants and flowers. The best part is talking to people. Local as well as tourists come to the market. I get the pleasure of talking with people while looking for flowers or trying a homemade hummus and chips. Yum! Take the time to visit your Farmers Market and describe your experience here. Better yet, talk about how you spend your Saturdays.


June 3, 2011

Grading Papers II

My sister also graded papers at the coffee shop with me last Thursday. Her sign invited people to ask her how much she spends on her classroom. We buy things for our students despite the fact that we don’t get reimbursed. We receive $100 to spend on the classroom for the school year. $100 barely covers what you spend in  the first few weeks of school. I’ve worked with teachers that have bought their own copiers and laminating machines.  I would love for this to be a topic of discussion. So how much do YOU spend on your classroom?

June 1, 2011

Plants Promote Good Health

Added another plant  to my place and not only for aethestic reasons. Scientific studies have shown that houseplants such as lilies are good for you in many ways. Plants remove harmful chemicals from your environment. In addition, houseplants make your home appear more welcoming. After a long day teaching and running errands after work it always feels great to come home to a place that is inviting. Plants in the classroom provide the same benefits. Children appreciate living things and are always eager to care for plants. Plants also make a great teaching unit. We can teach children how plants support personal and global health. I hope you accept this idea for better health. As I always say, the healthier you are the more available you’ll be to your family, friends and students.