by MsOui, a first-year 2nd-grade ESL teacher in Queens
Advance: Formerly just a category students were put into based on ESL assessment scores; now it is the name of a new teacher evaluation system we are all still trying to figure out.
Budget: Hopefully in my second year of teaching I won’t have to spend quite as much of my own money on classroom supplies as in my first.
Charlotte’s Web: The first text my 2nd-graders read in our ELA curriculum.
Danielson: Familiarize yourself with this teaching framework and you will be amazed at how you grow in your instructional practice.
Engagement: No matter how interesting and awesome a lesson is, there’s always one student who sits in the corner and reads a book.
Family: The relationship I have with my students. We stick together like crazy glue!
Gobbela: What we named our paper turkey, who was eventually replaced by a stuffed turkey acting as our class mascot. Fortunately, by “stuffed,” I mean with cotton.
High expectations: Because sometimes all it takes for a student to succeed is a seed of belief planted by someone they believe in.
Inspiration: Learn to grow, grow to teach, teach to learn.
Just kidding: Something I learned I can no longer say to my students – because after awhile they won’t take me seriously. I’m not kidding.
Kaleidoscope: Looking at my students is like looking into a kaleidoscope. I see so many bright possibilities. We as teachers have the ability to adjust our perspective to create high expectations for all students.
Laughter: Giggles, chuckles, snorting and bellyaches.
Mathematics: What’s odd plus even? Even odder. Math has become more than numbers. It includes word problems or riddles that calculators cannot solve.
Normalcy: Each student shows me unique and extraordinary possibilities, and this has become the norm.
Oops: Failure drives our success.
Princess: I have one student who frequently forgets to write her name on her test papers and assignments. However, her illustrations always include the same princess on a unicorn with a rainbow background. While other students print their names, she has her own signature!
Quiz: What used to be called quizzes are now called assessments. If you tell students they are having a quiz, you’ll just see a quizzical look on their cute faces.
Rainbows: See princess description above.
Sarcasm: Sarcasm confuses the students who are told their parents are going to be so happy to hear that they are misbehaving at lunch that day. I will just say what I mean and mean what I say from now on.
Tattle: Yes, because your partner spilling a drop of water on her desk will somehow have an astronomical effect on your learning.
Unicorn: See princess description above.
Vow: Because children have pretty darn good memories, keep those promises. Once a promise is broken, good luck!
Why? Curiosity sparks discussion. Get ready. Kids can say the darndest things!
Xerox: Another paper jam?!
Yo-yo: Days are filled with ups and downs…ahhh, and the worst is when the tricks are performed!
Zeal: If you still have this on day 180, then congratulations, you have survived your first year of teaching. Now the best thing about this year is what’s yet to come!