Teaching Moments: Conflict Between Close Friends

Yesterday during break time, I looked up from my Kindle to see one of my students repeatedly hitting another boy on the back of the head. He was clearly angry and exclaiming something I couldn’t understand in Korean. I immediately sat up and started yelling. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” The hitting stopped. “BOTH OF YOU […]

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Teaching Moments: Finding My Way Back

Teaching Teaching has always had its challenging moments. Amidst wanting the best for my students, there have been moments during the past five years when I’ve gotten frustrated, lost my temper, yelled, even belittled. Kids can be tough. And every teacher has their bad days. I’m sure every teacher and parent can empathize. Recently, however, […]

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Teaching Moments: When Everyone Decides to Go Cray

Sometimes I think teaching has literally made me insane. Or perhaps I was simply insane to decide to teach in the first place. Sometimes my students are great. Everyone comes on time with their books prepared and pencils sharpened, having gone to the bathroom and drunk a satisfactory amount of water. Whatever candy or toys […]

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Teaching Moments: Runaway Student

A boy ran away from class on Tuesday. He wrote on the wall with a pencil. I got angry and told him to “get out” of the classroom. He did. In fact, he left the building entirely. What?! I was shocked. And even angrier than I already had been. How dare he leave! How dare he write […]

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Teaching Moments: Contagious Laughter

Most teachers have a soft spot for a particular type of student. Some teachers like the cute, quiet ones; others are drawn to the confident, ambitious ones; some prefer the consistently obedient ones. I’ve realized I have a soft spot for the kids with a sense of humor. I like the kids who know how to […]

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Teaching Moments: The Girl Who Doesn’t Talk

I’m sure every teacher runs into their fair share of shy students over the years. Students who are hesitant to raise their hand. Kids who speak softly no matter how enthusiastically you encourage them to be emotive. I was one of those students way back when. But I currently have one student who never talks. Ever. And […]

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Solo Christmas

Today, like every day, I asked my students, “How are you today?” Although yesterday was Christmas, no one said a word about that. They gave their usual answers: “Happy,” “Hungry,” “Tired and happy,” “Very, very, very, very happy,” and “Angry.” Except one boy. One rambunctious eleven-year-old who occasionally has streaks of uncontrollable laughter that turn […]

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Teaching Moments: The Pink Jesus Necklace

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about my students, but they are very much still a part of my life, and noteworthy things have been happening. For instance, the tiniest girl in my third class recently arrived at my classroom wearing a huge pink cross necklace with “Jesus” boldly printed across it. “Jesus! Teacher, […]

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