IAT Tiger Times

Week of June 19, 2017


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It's Finally SUMMER!! - June 21st

Teachers work really hard, and while most of the world would have you believe we are so lucky to have summers off, I wonder how many teachers actually TAKE the summer off. I don't.

There is always a new curriculum to learn (especially with all the changes going on), new assessments and programs, new lessons, new methods, professional development, and planning. I also tutor (as do many of my collegues) during the summer, participate in summer programs, and try to catch up on reading the latest educational blogs, sourcing pinterest, and reading twitter comments.

However, with just a handful of days left until another school year comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to have students write down what they think teachers do during the summer break. I loved the responses so much that I had to share the most creative answers!

In addition to my student responses about teachers' summer activities, this list also contains what I told my students about what teachers really do over the summer (or at least what I do).

Without further adieu, here is my list of what teachers REALLY do over the summer break.

Teachers go to the beach, but hide behind other people or bury themselves in the sand whenever they see their students!

This really made me laugh. Not only do I love to go to the beach, as it is my favorite place to sit and read, I also love running into former students (well MOST former students). I think most teachers enjoy seeing their students outside of the classroom. We don't have to be “the teacher” and they are not “the student,” just Mrs. Conway and Hannah.

As for hiding or burying myself in the sand, I have discovered I get very little acknowledgement when reading on the beach, as most students tend to turn away from anyone reading a book - it reminds them too much of school!

Teachers dream about next year's class, and hope they will not be annoying.

Well, I don't know about the annoying part, but I am pretty sure every teacher has had a dream or two about the coming year's class and what they may be like. Just like we also have dreams of missing deadlines, confrontations with unhappy parents, a poor observation or review, and even the occassional going-to-school-not-fully-dressed dreams. Maybe that last one was just me!

Teachers keep track of the days until school starts again because they miss it so much!

While teachers are good at keeping track of days, and knowing just how many we have remaining during the school year, I don't know too many teachers who have a “I can't wait until school starts again” countdown calendar hanging on their refrigerator. Most teachers welcome a few weeks to gather themselves (recoup if you will), and prepare for the following year.

We may not have a calendar starting the count down right after school, but I am willing to bet there are those who do know how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds they have left until the first day of school! (Again, maybe just me! I am one of those who knows, but I don't start counting until the second week of August!).

When teachers cannot sleep, they stay up thinking of brain washing techniques and ways to torture their students!

A lot of imagination here! If lesson plans, activities, projects, and possibly long term assignments are torture, then I am guilty.

If I can't sleep because I have idea after idea of what I can do the coming year, I will get up and write them down. I keep a notebook nearby so I can jot down things before I forget them. As for brain washing, well, if I could find a technique that will allow me to suggest a few things, I admit I might use it to get my students to read more, love math, write more, or simply enjoy learning more.

Teachers take down student papers, look at them one by one, and cry their eyes out because they are going to miss their class.

I admit, I have cried. Last year, our school closed (as many do nowadays) and the entire student body created a video tribute to the teachers. It was so touching and moving that I couldn't help but shed a tear or two or three (ok, I was bawling). Aside from thiat, I have not cried over my students moving on because I knew they were going to do terrific in the next grade. I was blessed to have been part of the journey they took to get to that next level.

Sometimes. I will review student work and enjoy the walk down memory lane. I have albums from each year, or journals I occasionally pull out and view as part of my personal reflection process. I will miss all my students, but I know a new group will be coming soon and, together, we can create new, wonderful memories.

Teachers have a secret hide-out where they meet once a week with other teachers to plan our doom!

I do have a hide-out, but I don't think it is a secret. I love the teacher store, any book store, and of course, Dunkin Donuts - no big secret with the DD - it is on my desk every morning!

I do hang out with other teachers outside of school, but it is usually at a restaurant, the movies, or someone's home. There is always talk of school, but we try to keep it limited. As for planning, as sinister as I think this student thinks our meetings may be, they are really not! Yes, we may talk about Johnny or Susie and what to expect, but no real evil plotting is happening. Besides, teachers are people, too. We love to hang out with our friends and have fun!

Teachers figure out a theme for next year, get supplies, and decorate the classroom in the theme.

This is pretty close to what I do. I haven't really changed my classroom theme over the years. I love frogs and so I have a frog theme: posters, knick-knacks, etc. I will plan a supply list for things that need to be replaced or updated, and will come in early to prepare the classroom.

Sometimes, I will make things over the summer for the classroom, such as a cart skirt, bulletin board pictures, or student folders but, for the most part, the theme and decor is all set.

Teachers relax on a secret island where there are no kids!

Does such a place exist? I don't think I would want to stay there long. Maybe a short visit! An island without kids sounds great at first, but with whom would I share the next great adventure from 39 Clues? By the time June rolls around, I am sure it may appear I am ready to “get rid of my students" but, truth be told, I'm really going to miss the humor, the activities, the discussions, and the learning that transpired all year long.

And Lastly,

Teachers have a big party celebrating the end of school!

Summer's arrival generates a sense of excitement, so a little celebration is expected. After all, my students and I worked together side by side for 180 days. That's 180 days, multiplied by seven hours a day...for a total of 1260 hours! That's a lot of work! We deserve a little celebration!

Source: http://www.teachhub.com/what-teachers-really-do-over-summer-break

Let It Go! Let It Go! On June 23rd!

Yes, you heard me right. It's National Let It Go Day, an occasion for all of us to let go of our baggage.

But what sort of baggage, exactly? The definition is pretty broad, according to the website Days of the Year, which announces minor holidays like this one:

You know those nagging regrets and grudges that tug at your soul weeks, months, or even years after the people, jobs, or situations which once made them important ceased to be part of your life?

Yes, there was a time when you felt you had to take every opportunity to demonstrate to your ex, you former workmates, or classmates how well you were doing without them, but isn’t it finally time to move on and let go of the negative emotion pulling you down?

That is exactly what Let It Go Day is all about; a national day when you know you are not [alone] in taking the brave step to cast away all those hang-ups from a previous chapter in your life.

Let It Go Day is the perfect occasion to stop wasting your energy on negative feelings from the past and instead focus on building yourself a positive future.

It might also be a good time to get some friends together and watch Frozen. Because if you're not sure about this whole letting go thing, Idina Menzel can probably convince you.

Here are some specific things that you can let go of:

1. Fear

OK, maybe hang on to your fear of jumping off balconies or getting in car crashes... but you know what I mean. Fear can hold us back from having exciting adventures, taking career risks, or pursuing new relationships. These things may very well not work out, but if we don't try, we'll never know, and if we do, we may be pleasantly surprised and find the risk was worth it in the end.

2. Excuses

"I can't go out because I'm tired." "I shouldn't apply to this job because I won't get it." "I can't take that class because I don't have time." "I shouldn't work out because I ate too recently." We've all had these excuses run through our heads when the truth is we're scared (see #1) or just plain lazy. "No" can be a liberating word, but sometimes turning down opportunities becomes a reflex when it doesn't make sense. There are always a million reasons not to do something, but the reasons to do it are usually better.

3. Toxic People

Sometimes, out of inertia, we keep friendships alive that would have never even been born if we met the person today. It might seem undesirable to be down a friend, but it's about quality, not quantity, and no friendship is worth the toll that the drama takes on the rest of your life.

4. Grudges

Grudges are usually understandable, and I don't fault anyone for being unable to let go of someone else's poor conduct. If you want to try, though, it helps to remind yourself that forgiving someone can be a pragmatic decision to minimize your own distress rather than a stamp of approval on the other person's behavior.

5. Things You Don’t Need

I know, I know, maybe that third pair of nail clippers will come in handy one day. But the space they're taking up in your drawer is space you could use to store something you actually need or, you know, close the drawer. Clearing out your space clears out your mind.

6. Regret

I believe in learning from mistakes but not getting mad at yourself for making them. We do what seems like the best decision in the present, and we can't always know that our future perspective will look like. We also can't know how the future would have turned out if we'd acted differently. The results of our "mistakes" are often blessings in disguise.

7. Guilt

Did you commit murder? Did you steal candy from a baby? If not, I officially exempt you from feeling guilty — because everyone but you has probably moved on from whatever you're feeling guilty about. Even if you did something truly bad, you're not alone, and nobody can fault you for moving on if you've changed your ways.

8. The Past

You don't have to be who you were 10 years ago. You don't even have to be who you were yesterday. Every day presents the opportunity to reinvent yourself. You can always change your mind about anything (except, you know, things like whether or not you're going to take care of your kids). Give others this freedom to grow as well, and you can have the enriching experience of constantly evolving together.

Source: https://www.bustle.com/articles/92254-its-national-let-it-go-day-so-here-are-8-things-you-should-definitely-well-let

Summer Lovin' Spirit Week! Week of June 26th

The week of June 26th will be our last spirit week.

Here are the Dress Down Themes for each day:

Monday 6/26 - America Monday (red, white and blue)

Tuesday 6/27 - Tie Dye Tuesday

Wednesday 6/28 - Work Out Wednesday (active wear)

Thursday 6/29 - Tropical Thursday (Hawaiian shirts)

Happy Birthday to YOU!

May your day be blessed and may you have a wonderful year ahead!

June 21 - Anthony Shelman

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