Tag Archives: School

I ran across my elementary school report cards. Memories, good and bad.

Ellen talks too much, Ellen doesn't talk enough.

Ellen should read more, Ellen needs to leave her books at home.

Ellen needs to participate in discussions, Ellen needs to leave the people around her alone.

Ellen needs to do her homework, Ellen needs to be more organized.

Somehow, shy little Ellen morphed into MzEllen

Few people who know me now would recognize the shy, quiet (and very skinny) girl who was too shy to talk, to participate in games, to have a discussion.

1st grade...I got a new best friend. On her first day, she told me that she was a "n-word" and that's why I told my dad. He spanked me and told me not to ever use that word. Then he asked me who told me that's what she was...well, *she* did. She happened to be Native American, but that's not what she told me.

In 2nd grade, every student took an IQ test. Mine was high enough that they made me take it again...and then once more. Nobody "got" that the shy little thing that wouldn't talk...could be that smart.

3rd grade...ah...this is where my organization (or lack thereof) got me into trouble. It's also the age where kids start seeing "differences" and separating into cliques. And I didn't have a clique. If I was shy before, it got way worse here.

Anyway, those old, yellow report cards represent where I was, WHAT I was...where I am now.

Those social cues I just didn't get, the ability to stay in the "inner circle" - wanting to at least be able to fit with "that crowd," if only for a little while. Maybe not even fit...just be worthy of having them say "hi;" just a little word.

Those report cards, with the hand-written teacher notes on the backs. What made me change? Maybe I'm still shy, I'm just determined to not let it beat me?

I don't know. What I know is that I'm not one of the "farm kids" anymore. I don't have to take an IQ test 3 times.

I still cry when I remember that

I remember the awkward


This has been a major project...and a "joy"

  • math - counting beads and reading graphs
  • following directions and listening
  • fine motor skills

Three of the desigans were designed by our staff - I made the candy cane and "joy", our lead teacher designed the Christimas tree. The Santa and snowman came off the internet.

For some of our students, this was a very hard project. We started off by giving them graph paper and making them color in their own graphs (the tree and the candy cane). Some never did get it.

In this photo (face cropped out for privacy), you can see that we made the graph large enough so the student can put a bead in every square and then string them in order...no counting!

I'm putting the finished project together; in hindsight I wish I'd had string with no strectch.

Anyway...here are photos



A link to the full article is at the bottom...

LOS ANGELES -- Teachers are expected to bear long days, challenging students and demanding parents. Now, apparently, some teachers are baring too much of themselves. School boards and superintendents increasingly are pursuing dress codes for teachers. At issue is the same kind of questionable attire most often associated with students.

Last year we were told that we no longer were going to have "casual Fridays" - no blue jeans. At first I was disappointed, but later, totally understood. The school I work at has a discipline problem to start with and there needs to be a much greater respect for staff.

Add to this - I work in an inner city high school and we have a number of young female teachers. I work with a great teacher, but she is young and cute. It really wouldn't matter how she dressed - she'd still be young and cute. We work in a classroom with high school students with autism - they may be low to mid-functioning, but their hormones are working very well. If this teacher dressed the way that many students dressed - I won't get graphic, but you can figure it out.

In a world where a lot of adults are refusing to grow up, it makes it harder to enforce discipline for those adults who are responsible in the schools. In a world where many children are growing up in homes where it is hard to respect the adults in those homes, it is essential that the adults in schools be visually respectable.

I notice a difference in myself. On days where we're going to a job site where "dressing down" is the appropriate dress code, that's the way I dress. On those days, I find myself being more of a "buddy" to students. When I dress more professionally, I act like it.

I don' t think that we need a dress code that mandates knee length skirts for women and ties for men, but I don't think the schools are out of line to expect teachers to dress like teachers.