Teacher Humor Pins for July

Since I spend more time pinning funny pictures than educational materials, I thought that I would share my favorite Teacher Humor pins for the month of July. Enjoy!

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What is the Deal with Panel Interviews?

I show up at 8:35am, 5 minutes early, because I’m slick like that. The secretary extends a big welcome and tells me it will be a couple minutes. As I take a seat and put my 26 pound portfolio on my lap, I notice an air conditioner in the window on full blast. This thoroughly impresses me, because I didn’t realize schools had funding for these things.

Guess I’m in the big leagues now.

As I sit in this cozy air conditioned office, a parent is signing her child up for Kindergarten. I pass the time by starting a nice little conversation with the Kindergartner-to-be. She is using blocks to build a house on the seat next to me. I convince her to build a cool playground instead.

The principal walks in as I am teaching a lesson on shapes to a 5 year old. Jackpot. I am stoked that she observes me teaching, smiling, and connecting with a 5 year old.

Perfect timing. Just beautiful.

We greet each other and walk down the hall to another room, which will presumably be her office. As we are walking, I express a great enthusiasm for the size of the school and tell her how great it looks. She responds with a small smile, “Yeah, it does feel like a maze at times.”

It is at this point that I am thinking we are off to a REALLY great start. I mean, gosh, our rapport is already fantastic and we haven’t even reached her office door yet. I can’t wait for the Triscuits and warm milk that are probably awaiting me on her desk.

As she opens the door in front of me, I look down and notice a little cat hair on my dress pants. I remove it stealthily and proceed. When I look up, I take in a sight that I am NOT prepared for:
Panel-Interview

An emotionless panel of 10 stone cold faced women.

These aren’t just any women though. Many of them look at me as if I were their husbands’ last mistress.

So I do what I would do in any other uncomfortable situation. I switch into complete jackass mode. I smile at everyone and say, “WOW! A 10 person panel? Yiiikes!”

I also manage to let out another “WoW!” before taking a seat.

Since I know that I am already screwed at this point, my priorities shift into looking for my Triscuits and warm milk. Unfortunately all I am seeing on this obnoxious rectangle table is a cute little 8oz. Poland Spring bottle that is just for me. You know what though? You can keep this one.
Panel-InterviewsThe interview starts with the principal telling me that I will receive a call that night if I am chosen for a 2nd interview. She also talks about some other important things that I am not quite sure of, because I am too concerned about the ridiculous situation I am currently in.

After that, every woman on the panel introduces themselves.

“Nancy Jones: Math and Numeracy Leadership Specialist, Linda Smith: Kindergarten Teacher, Deborah Jenkins: 1st Grade Teacher” (To be honest, I couldn’t really tell you their names if I wanted to. I am still too concerned with the ridiculous situation I am currently in.)

After everyone on the panel introduces themselves and it gets back around to me, I take it upon myself to give an introduction, “Beth Ann: Interviewee”.

I get a couple sneers and snickers for that one.

Now it is time for the interrogation from hell.

(If you aren’t familiar with the panel interview, you’re lucky. You sit at the head of a rectangular shaped table and each person on the panel asks at least 1 question. The great part about a panel interview is once you finish answering a question, you don’t get a moment to breathe because the next interrogator is way too eager to ask her question. In my case, it was done at a rapid fast pace, similar to this:

The process begins with all of the ladies clicking on their finest $10.00 Bic pens. Question #1 comes from the woman to my immediate left. We will call her “Blondie on My Left”.

Blondie on My Left: “In terms of the elementary classroom, how do you approach the balanced workshop model in the teaching of literacy, writing, and math throughout the course of a day?”

Oh great, it’s going to be one of those interviews where a bunch of unnecessary educational jargon is tacked onto simple, straight forward questions.

Me: “Are you asking how I run a reading block?”

Blondie on My Left: “Yes.”
Panel-InterviewSo after I hit that question out of the park, I observe all 10 women writing furiously on their interview question sheets. Meanwhile, the second woman to my left, Curly Q, has already started asking her question about my classroom management style.

At this point, I decide to whip open my professional portfolio and let the pictures do the talking.

No one is impressed by my amazing graphics or my flawless classroom management techniques.

Whatever. No one here even knows what a clip chart is. I’m over it.

This cycle of question/answer/furious writing continues on for what seems like an eternity, so I will cease the play by play.
Panel-Interview
If I had to do it again, I would answer all of these generic questions the same way. So without further adieu, I leave you with the phone call I received later that day:

Principal: “We have decided to move you forward to the next round.”
Me: “That’s great! Thanks!”
Principal: “No, I’m sorry. We decided to NOT move you forward…and see this is what I don’t understand. You seem more enthusiastic now than you were this morning. Were you feeling okay?”
Me: “Gee, bummer. My lack of enthusiasm could be due to the fact that I was caught off guard when I walked into a panel of 10 women.”
Principal: “Well, now you will be better prepared when the same situation happens again in the future.”
Me: “You’re right. If I walk into that same situation again, I will know to leave IMMEDIATELY.”
Panel-Interview

Top 3 Classroom Organizational Tools

This year, I taught first grade in a closet. No, seriously. On any given day, I saw at least 3 kids go ass over tea kettle due to the cramped obstacle course they routinely participated in. I’m actually surprised that there haven’t been any lawsuits for all of the injuries caused by bumping into desks, shelves, and..each other. Anyway..let’s get back on topic.

Due to this limited space, I tried my best to stay on top of my organizational game. So today, I share with you: My Top 3 Classroom Organizational Tools of 2013-2014.

Top-3
#3: Folders with Regularly Used Printables
Okay, you might look at this and think it looks stupid, but it has worked for me. These folders have copies of papers that I regularly use in my classroom, such as: Spelling Pre-tests, Spelling Tests, Time-Out Reports, Writing Templates, Homework, etc. You get the picture.

Desk-Organizer
#2: Days of the Week Desk Organizer
This thing is fantastic. I bought it on Amazon. I did contemplate buying those cute, colored bins from Really Good Stuff to store my copies for the week, but I couldn’t justify giving up 2 paychecks to pay for a couple pieces of plastic. Instead, I scoured Amazon for a highly rated desktop organizer that wouldn’t break the bank.
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Desk-Organizer
This is probably the best $20 I’ve ever spent. I use each tray for a different day of the week. Monday is red, Tuesday is yellow, Wednesday is black, Thursday is green, and Friday is purple (my favorite day of the week AND my favorite color).

It might look a little disorganized, but I put all reading work for the day on top of the folder, all math work inside the folder, and everything else (social studies, writing, etc) goes under the folder. 🙂

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#1: Grade, Copy, File Organizer
This organizer was Pinterest inspired and it was probably my MOST used tool this year. I didn’t realize how great it was until I reflected about it this past week. These simple drawers will save your life.

Last year, I had many “OHPS moments”. These moments involved tossing piles of papers from my desk into the recycle bin. When the time came to Iook for an important document, I would spend a few hours shuffling through disorganized papers. This scenario almost always ended with me mumbling something like, “Oh Sh%$, I think those signed permission slips could have been in that pile I chucked yesterday.”

I knew that I needed a better system this year. Instead of throwing papers onto my desk when I receive them, they go directly into one of these three drawers. I haven’t lost any documents this year and my desk is no longer the classroom dump.

What are some of your best classroom organizational tools this year?

I Hate Desk Pods

It’s 1995. I’m in 4th grade. I sit in row 2, seat 3. My behavior is pretty good, not Student of the Year good, but top 10% good. The nuns only reprimand me once or twice a week for whispering to a neighbor.

The most exciting part of my day involves the interaction I have with John. He is the boy in front of me with the perfect, brown mushroom haircut. He sits in row 2, seat 2.

When I see Mrs. Booker grab a set of worksheets off of her desk, it’s show-time. In just moments, she will be releasing 6 worksheets to the first person in each row. This means John will be turning around to pass me those worksheets. The potential for eye contact here is huge.

Ohp, here we go. Mrs. Booker is currently licking her thumbs as she counts off 6 papers to the first person in each row.

I wait eagerly and patiently for our row to receive our set of papers.

Kevin, who sits in row 2, seat 1, just turned around to pass John the papers. Smooth transaction.

John then turns his body around and I flash my pearly whites. We engage in 3 seconds of solid eye-contact as he hands the papers off to me.

Butterflies awaken in my esophagus. A beautiful transfer was made and I think our pinkies just touched. Oh My God, our pinkies touched.

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Why did I share this nostalgic flashback? I thought it would be a nice segue into a topic in education that baffles me more than Kim Kardashian’s everlasting and unexplainable fame status.

Ladies and gentleman, what am I talking about? It’s Classroom Desk Arrangement.
Desk-Pods
Not familiar with desk pods? They can be seen in most elementary classrooms across America. It is that ugly clump of 4-6 desks squished together to form a group. As you can see from above, this desk arrangement has no flaws. It promotes cooperative and collaborative learning at its finest!

I find myself completely fascinated by this setup, because traditional rows are all I ever knew growing up.

Ah, Heck. I guess I’ll just put on my big girl sneakers and share a little secret with you:

I hate the glorification of desk pods almost as much as I Hate Centers.
Desk-Pods
Unfortunately, I am completely guilty of having the clumpy dumpy pod setup in my classroom. My excuse? I teach in a closet and couldn’t arrange them any other way.

Some days I teach a new concept when the students are sitting in their clumpy dumpy pods. Some of those days I see attention wander quickly, and some of those days I get frustrated with how distracted some of them seem.

Then I take a step back to reflect. I gotta put myself in their shoes. How can I possibly get upset at my students for being distracted? If desks were arranged in groups when I was their age, I would probably have a heart attack sitting across from John.
Desk-Pods
If it’s 1995 and the desks are in groups, my complete and undivided attention is on a getting a glance from Johnny. Sorry, Mrs. Booker. I could care less about what you have to say about changing a fraction to a percent. There are bigger concerns when I have this fine specimen sitting across of me.

To solve the situation, I think you should put Justin Timberlake’s assigned seat across from me too. Oh, and while we are at it, make sure Leonardo Dicaprio is assigned to my right, so we can play footsies. I think that might make me less distracted.
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When I took over a chatty 3rd grade classroom last year, I wanted to switch up the desk arrangement. When I expressed my grand plan of putting the desks in rows to a veteran teacher, she laughed at me.

Yep. Laughed at me.

Have I gone completely off the deep end for wanting to spice it up with a traditional setup? Are traditional rows so bad that we can’t even talk about the option, let alone actually have that setup in our classrooms?

Do I think traditional rows are perfect? No. Does it annoy me how much people praise the clumpy dumpy pod? Yes. I don’t understand how we praise cooperative learning all day, then turn around in the same blink to complain about students not becoming independent enough. Uhm, Hello? Am I the only one seeing a correlation here?

If my class was big enough, you would probably see rows of desks. They wouldn’t be traditional desks though. These desks would be based off of grandma’s old extendable dinner table. When it’s time for group work, the middle desk will extend and only chairs will be moved!
Desk-Flaps

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(If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy some of my other rants. Just click on the “Rants and Funnies” tab at the top of this page.)

Spring Math Printables

Before this winter, I never believed in “Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder”. Now I believe it is real since I was definitely affected by it. Creating these NO PREP Spring Math Printables helped get me through those winter blues and I am happy to say that I created this freebie sampler pack for each grade level.

This FREEBIE sample pack includes printable pages taken from each of my Spring Math Pack sets for grades 1, 2, 3, and 4. Click on the links below to view the full product for each grade level.
Spring NO PREP Math Pack – Grade 1
Spring NO PREP Math Pack – Grade 2
Spring NO PREP Math Pack – Grade 3
Spring NO PREP Math Pack – Grade 4

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4th-Grade-Spring
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Top 10 Grouchy Teacher Phrases

Just for laughs. I compiled a list of some of my grouchiest teacher phrases.

Enjoy. Teacher-Phrases

What are some of yours?

(A big thanks to Glitter Meets Glue for the border and KG Fonts for the font. :))

Check out some of my other grouchy teacher blog posts:
I Hate Centers
Three Kinds of Fridays That All Teachers Experience

Common Core Math Cheat Sheets

Are you tired of flipping through dozens of pages to figure out what a certain Common Core standard is?! I know I was. This freebie has Common Core Math Cheat Sheets for grades K-5!!
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I decided to make this 1 page “Cheat Sheet” that has every Common Core math standard on 1 page. I keep it in the back of my Math Lesson Plans Binder. It has been extremely useful. I find myself constantly looking at it when I need to know what a certain standard is.

I also used these cheat sheets to create my Common Core Math Assessments for each grade. Take a look at the product links below. 🙂
Common Core Math Assessments for 1st Grade
Common Core Math Assessments for 2nd Grade
Common Core Math Assessments for 3rd Grade
Common Core Math Assessments for 4th Grade
Common Core Math Assessments for 5th Grade

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Grade-2-Common-Core-Math
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Grade-5-Common-Core-Math

There is one “cheat sheet” for each of the following grade levels:
• Kindergarten
• 1st Grade (Grade 1)
• 2nd Grade (Grade 2)
• 3rd Grade (Grade 3)
• 4th Grade (Grade 4)
• 5th Grade (Grade 5)

Each 1 page cheat sheet includes every standard in the following Math strands:
• Operations and Algebraic Thinking
• Number and Operations in Base 10
• Geometry
• Measurement and Data

You might also be interested in my NO PREP Fall and Winter Printables for grades 1-3. Click the links below to view each product:
NO PREP Winter Math Pack for 1st Grade
NO PREP Winter Math Pack for 2nd Grade
NO PREP Winter Math Pack for 3rd Grade
NO PREP Fall Printables – 1st Grade Common Core Math and ELA
NO PREP Fall Printables – 2nd Grade Common Core Math and ELA
NO PREP Fall Printables – 3rd Grade Common Core Math and ELA

Enjoy!

A big thanks to Glitter Meets Glue for the cover design, Graphics From the Pond and Creative Clips for the borders, and KG Fonts for the title fonts. 🙂

Shoe Tying

Dear Parents and Future Parents of America,

Before enrolling your children in school, please do the whole world of elementary education a favor and teach them how to tie their shoes. Wanting a teacher’s head on a platter because she doesn’t tie shoes is completely senseless.

If this is too much to ask, please bypass the $200 Jordan sneakers and invest in some Velcro.

Sincerely,
Miss Common Core Galore and More