Calling all Catholic educators in the Ohio diocese! Two Teachers on the Edge will be giving a fun and informative session at this year’s Ohio Catholic Education Association Convention. We want to see you! Our topic is “Connecting with Children of Poverty and At-Risk Students”. We are scheduled on Thursday, November 12 at 8:15. We are number 12 in the schedule booklet.

Let us wake you up and start your convention experience with excitement and enthusiasm for education! We provide concrete energizing activities that will build relationships in the classroom as well as meeting the standards we all need to teach. Your students will thank you.

P.S. Bring Coffee!!!

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Here I am after my first week as an assistant principal and teacher. I have to say that I really am liking the switch. But, I also have to admit that I miss the kids.

Although I am still teaching two classes a day, I have only taught two classes all week because of the “janky” schedule. Every year in our school it takes awhile to get every class on the schedule up and running. We have team assemblies, all school mass, and fire drills. So Monday will be the day that we are in full swing and I get my true schedule going.

I have been extremely busy. I know….I know! Everyone in education is extremely busy the first week of school. No matter how many years we teach, the first week is always a confusing, hectic endeavor. For me, being in a new position I haven’t stopped. I think this is a combination of beginning year junk, new position junk, and education junk. It is a bit overwhelming, but fun…yes fun to learn everything that is involved in being an administrator.

My main priority is the kids then the teachers needs are a close second. What this means is no matter what paperwork I am completing – and let me tell you that although I was warned, I had no idea how much paperwork there actually is. Anyway, no matter what I’m doing, if a student or teacher is in need of anything I stop and redirect my focus. We have a lot of babies that didn’t have their paperwork for the buses completed. So with the help of all the office staff, we really had to hustle to get our students on buses, forms filled out, and transportation figured out. This was a daunting task and it included a lot of running around the school looking for students, teachers, and siblings.

I feel that the teachers are the “talent” in the school. They are the people that ensure we succeed in our educational goals. Their problems have to be solved and addressed immediately. I know how it feels to not be in the know (for whatever reason). Clarification and strong explanations are needed. I have made it my mission to make clear communication happen. Email is my new best friend. I also want to be seen as an administrator within the building so whenever my eyes need a break from the computer screen, I take a walk around the building. I want my teachers and students to know IMG_0206[1]that I am there and that I will help whenever they are in need. I peek into classrooms waving at kids, smiling, and answering quick questions. I also tease and torment my most favorite kiddos. (Best part of the job!!!) I want the teachers used to seeing me so when I do walk-throughs for evaluations they feel comfortable and confident. I just love seeing their brilliance in action!

This is a new year for me for so many reasons. My feet are already aching, my mind is already filled to capacity, I am already stressing and thinking continuously, and I am already dreaming about my job. I love it!!!

Happy New Year everyone!!!!

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We are back to school. We are two days in and tomorrow is already Friday. I really missed (and worried about) so many of my students all summer. It is nice to see all of their smiling faces. Now, maybe in a few months I will have a different outlook, but right now I am ready to go.

When people ask how the first day of school went I always say absolutely crazy, because it always is. Students do not know what bus they ride or if they are being picked up by a parent, no one understands that we have learning groups, leveled reading and math groups, family groups, and homeroom groups that are mixed with 6,7,& 8th graders.

The primary students are scared to tears or clinging to their parent’s leg for dear life. Kids are walking around lost staring at their color coded schedules like zombies on some cheap Sci-Fi movie, and the office has parents lined up down the hallway holding unfinished paperwork and more questions.

I try to help but what is that saying about the blind leading the blind? Lori is now in the office as an administrator and I have only seen a flash of hair and striped skirt fly by my classroom a million times a day as she tries to find answers and solve problems for parents, students, and teachers.  It is a whirlwind couple of days. We will have a full week next week and hopefully establish some semblance of a routine. What a great place to work, so much energy, excitement, and love

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Times of Change

My baby went off to college. How could she? Who told her she was allowed to grow up? Although I am intensely proud of her, I feel this loss that I can’t explain. I know many great parents have felt the same feelings I am feeling today as I wake up from a fitful night of sleep knowing something is missing.

First of all, I want to tell you that my Facebook friends have been unbelievably supportive and fantastic. My sister commiserated with me as I called her the night before the exodus sobbing my eyes out. Her daughter had the nerve to move out the year before. My mom and dad have been wonderful also. Dad assuaged my tears and worries with a wonderful dinner of cavatelli and calamari. Food serves as my father’s words.

All this because my beautiful daughter is growing up, achieving great things academically, striving to make a future for herself, and demonstrating bravery by leaving her safe home and loving parents to enter the unknown world of academia. Ridiculous really when you think about it. I am so very proud.

So…back to education. Many of our students and their families do not understand the importance of remaining in the same school throughout their children’s years of education. Students living in poverty move around a lot. This is mainly due to financial needs. Whatever the reasons, children are being shuffled around schools throughout their very important formative years. Their building blocks of education are being disrupted and although many dedicated teachers strive to determine learning levels and the best modalities of learning for their students, it is very difficult when you lose and gain students throughout the year.

Teachers form bonds with their students. Like parents, we are responsible for that child’s wellness and development as they grow and change during that year. For teachers that loop with their students or have them for multiple years, the bond is that much greater. I have witnessed amazing growth in students that I have had the opportunity to teach for multiple years. By being in the upperschool hallway, I have taught some students for three-four years because I moved from fifth grade a few years back. When a student is abruptly taken out of our schools, we feel the loss, much like a parent does when their child moves away to college.

How odd really. So many make light of the work teachers and other educators do. They don’t consider the emotional aspect of our job. When a beloved student leaves our schools, for whatever reasons, we feel the loss. The hallways seem to be missing a certain voice, our classrooms are missing a certain smile, and our hearts are missing a certain hug. We worry about our students that leave. We hope and pray that they are receiving the attention they needIMG_1513[1], the smiles they crave, and the education they deserve.

Change is so darn hard!

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Let The Games Begin

Lori has been going into school for almost a weekmy classroom since she has moved into the vice principal position along with teaching several classes. I went in today. I absolutely dislike the first day or two of getting my classroom ready. I walk around aimlessly moving things, then moving them again.

My classroom is across from the office so everyone stops in to say hi and we end up talking, which is not helpful for someone like me who is already walking in circles. Once I get going and things start to take shape I end up with everything done, but I am NOT an organized person and I am NOT able to visualize the end result.

I am so envious of the teachers who come in with an entire agenda and have their classrooms looking like DIY meets Pinterest on steroids. I feel like when the people go into the hoarders homes for the first time, where to begin, where to begin?

It will all get done and the students will come. I will love them, laugh with them, and ask them once again for their help. Nothing will be where I put it by Thanksgiving anyway, I teach middle school students, and they cannot leave anything alone.

Oh well, here we go again, another adventurous year in the upper school hallway.

Let the games begin!

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