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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Teaching Moments: Everything is Okay

There was this moment yesterday when I caught myself scolding some students for playing the dot game wrong. (You know, that game where you try to connect dots on a piece of paper into squares, whoever finishes the square gets to claim it?) Some of my students had not understood my explanation and had incorporated rock-paper-scissors into the […]

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Teaching Moments: Confronting Liars

I caught one of my students cheating yesterday. Well, a student in the following class caught her. The girl had written the longest vocabulary word on her test (delicious) on her desk and left it plain as day for the next student who used that desk to see. Not the most subtle technique. But even though the truth […]

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Teaching Moments: Fresh Starts

On Monday, I returned to work after a two-week vacation. I love returning to places after vacation. Everything feels so fresh. The time away gives you space to miss people, to miss the routine. Despite one student’s “No hello, Teacher” greeting on Monday, I couldn’t help feeling all warm inside as I welcomed the kids back. There was one […]

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