Not bad for a fat girl

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A Shot of Pepto for Breakfast and Nothing to Wear

Today is Sunday. It’s the last day of my glorious Spring Break. I say glorious not because of all the wonderful things I did or accomplished over said break. I say glorious because it gave me a chance to rest, which I desperately needed. Apparently I still need it.

Frankly I’m a little worried about going back to school tomorrow. All the little ones will be recharged and ready to go, but I’m still drained. I feel a bit like my old cell phone battery, I need to be powered up more and more regularly and I lose my charge faster. This illness, whatever it is, has knocked me out. Still coughing (less though, thankfully) and still low energy, but now a new twist… yep, tummy troubles.can-i-give-my-dog-pepto-bismol

Seriously, I slept relatively well, thanks to Mr. Nyquil and his magic medicine, but this morning was just no fun. I stumbled into the bathroom expecting the same old routine, but nope, surprise! My insides rebelled. At least I was in the right place at the right time. Mmm, nothing like some delicious, pink, Pepto Bismol to get the day started.

Eventually I managed to pull myself together enough to shower. A few minutes later I found myself standing in my closet faced with the remnants and reminders of a smaller me. Granted, not a much smaller me, but still.  As my eyes darted around, the seeds of panic began to take hold. I had nothing to wear.

“Calm down, it’s not a work day, you have options,” I told myself.

“Like what? Pajamas?!” I answered with maximum snark.

I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I wouldn’t talk to a friend like that, so I shouldn’t talk to myself that way. Then this gem slipped  out of my brain,

“Oh shut up, you need to face facts, you’re a whale.”


I grabbed a cute (huge) brown beaded tank top and a pair of (giant) olive-green (stretchy) shorts and got the hell out of there.

Note to self: Maybe it’s the only the Pepto talking, but stop being so MEAN to yourself!

other note to self: Do Your LAUNDRY! There are clothes in there that fit.

last note to self: Maybe it’s time to pick up a couple of pieces for the spring wardrobe.

Maybe I do need to go back to work. At least my dresses still fit.

P.S. Well no wonder. Today is March 15, the Ides of March. My father, who was not a superstitious man, always warned about the Ides of March. I know it’s from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and that there’s no logical foundation to it, but I still hear my father saying, “Beware the Ides of March.” Maybe I’ll just stay in today.


Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!

What makes a teacher great?  Being a teacher, I have some pretty strong opinions on the topic. I think back to my own school days, as everyone does, and pick out those teachers who stand out. Why were they the best?

unnamedIn elementary school, it was my sixth grade teacher who made the greatest impact on me. He was funny, knowledgeable, and compassionate. Learning in his classroom was fun, but the standards were high. He made it clear that we would be well prepared for Junior High by the time he was done with us, and we were. He also had a more playful side, and on blustery days when there was no outdoor recess, he played endless hands of blackjack with his eleven year old charges.

Later on, I had Dr. T. He also had high standards. Really high. He, too, knew his field inside and out. He pushed us to think beyond our own teenage existence and orchestrated opportunities for us to connect with Hester Prynne, Lady Macbeth, and the Joads. He took us to the university library and taught us how to find reference materials (pre-computer era) and write research papers. He was a stickler for details, and he taught me to be a critical reader and ruthless editor. Sometimes I wished he wasn’t so demanding, but when I arrived at college, it all became clear. He saved me. As a result of his demands, I could write.

As an educator myself, I have some thoughts of what makes a teacher great. First, are their students engaged with the topic? This sounds easy, but when you have to teach a particular curriculum, which you may or may not be excited about yourself, it can sometimes be a challenge. Not every student is going to be thrilled to learn the quadratic equation, just as not every student will find joy in poetry. Your job as an educator is to sell it, and it can be a tough sell. Knowledge of technology can help a lot, as can having an open mind when it comes to learning new teaching techniques and trends.

School_House_Rock!A second hallmark of great teachers is that they entertain. Kids are media savvy, and many have short attention spans. When I was a kid, a filmstrip was a thrill. Those days are gone, which is why I believe that great teachers are also entertainers. Infusing lessons with great stories, a little drama, the occasional joke, and a spirit of fun can go a long way toward student learning. If I’m being entertained, I don’t mind going along for the ride, even if I didn’t sign up to be there in the first place. Think back to Schoolhouse Rock. My generation could sing the preamble to the Constitution, explain the function of a conjunction, and tell you the types of adverbs all because a little learning was squeezed into our Saturday morning cartoon lineup. Genius.

Finally, great teachers know their stuff and know their students. I have to understand my content inside and out, and I have to develop multiple ways of sharing it with my students. I’m always assessing what they understand and what they still need. I’m watching them, reading their work, listening to their conversations, and thinking about the next step. I gather resources, put them together into learning experiences, and evaluate how effective they were. I reassess and determine where to go from there. You really can’t get that out of a teacher’s guide.

Great teachers are a little different than the rest of the world. They may not have the prettiest classrooms, and other teachers may not always understand exactly what they’re doing, but their students love to learn, and ultimately that is what it’s all about.