January update!

First of all, let’s talk about this stock image. I don’t think my desk has ever been that clean, ever. Also I’ve never used a planner for longer than about four seconds. I’m exclusively a Post-It note kind of gal, and if I can’t fit it on one Post-It, I make a Post-It “train” where I stick them to each other, forming a long line that I sometimes pull out of my purse to the amazement of people around me. Honestly, it’s a wonder I get anything done. But lest you wonder: this desk is absolutely not mine.

How is it the end of January? I’m not speaking figuratively—I mean I actually don’t know how it’s the end of January. Earlier this week I mentioned to my students that we’d be starting parts of The Odyssey the first week of February and one of my students piped up, “Ok, so really soon, then.” And I laughed and said, “Oh, no. Like I said, we’ll start reading the first week of February!” And my student looked at me like : |  and I understood: February starts very soon.

Here are some things that have been happening!

A Good Thing

On Wednesday, I announced that they would have a sub next Thursday, and my class said, “Nooo!” I said, “What? Was the sub last time really bad or something?” and one of my students said, “We just hate it when you’re gone.”

I’m sharing this with you not because I want you to know how great I am, but as an opportunity to remind you that I used to be very much not great. In fact, especially during my first few years of teaching, when I told students they would have a sub, my announcement was met with joy. Not like hushed excitement that they tried to stifle when they remembered that I’m watching their reaction and am a human with feelings, but unapologetic, raucous shouts of acclamation.I was working so hard to be good at teaching—harder than I’d worked at anything in my life—and to hear my students effectively say, “We are happiest without you! Please be gone forever!” felt crushing.

So. If you’re in your rookie years and are struggling so hard that it feels impossible to even imagine the type of classroom you wish you had—know that you will get there. Your journey might not look the way you expected or happen as quickly as you’d like, but if you keep with it, one day you’ll look back the way I did this week and realize: Oh. I’ve made it. (And if you quit before you get there, you’re not weak or inadequate in some way—teaching is hard. Plus, teenagers can be savage.)

A meme that really speaks to me

via @lizandmollie

Two teacher-friendly meals I’ve been making a lot

This slow-cooker chicken tacos recipe. I’ve been making a vat of it on the weekends and use it for leftovers for lunch the whole week—and I hate leftovers. So that’s saying something. It’s cheap, easy, flavorful, healthy and there is NO CHOPPING, which, if you’ve been following me for some time, you know I loathe. I spoon the chicken onto a tortilla and heat it up in the microwave for lunch, but you could put it on salads, add it to soups, stir it in your coffee, WHATEVER.

My overnight oats recipe I’ve been playing around with. I’ve always wanted to be a person who loves oatmeal—it’s filling, warm, soothing—but could never come around to the experience of it hot. Turns out though, I LOVE overnight oats! They’re so yummy and keep me full until lunchtime, which I thought was impossible. I make mine this way:

-1/3 cup Greek yogurt (you’ll use full fat if you know what’s good for you)

-2/3 cup almond milk

-1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

-1 tablespoon chia seeds (I don’t know what they actually do but apparently are healthy?)

-maybe 2 teaspoons honey? I don’t know.

-splash of vanilla

-some shakes of cinnamon

-a tiny pinch of nutmeg

-a tiny pinch of salt

-toppings of your choice (pecan pieces and blueberries are my jam)

1. Mix all the ingredients up in a mason jar (you can also do this for the next two or three days in advance!!!) EXCEPT for toppings. Or maybe you could go ahead and put the toppings in overnight? I don’t know. I’d be worried about soggy pecans. But you do you.

2. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.

3. Eat it cold—plain or with toppings! Stay full until lunch! Make overnight oats forever!

Be on the lookout for a Love, Teach cookbook! HAHA I’M KIDDING. There would be a whole chapter on Pop-Tarts.

Give piece a chance

Is anyone else noticing a sweeping trend in the education world of the use of the word “piece”?  Add in the discussion piece, this is the performance piece, the essay is the assessment piece, etc. It’s like one of those things I never heard and then suddenly I hear it everywhere! Is it from something?

I have some district professional development trainings coming up and maybe I’ll throw “piece” around until someone notices. Excuse me, when is the lunch piece? I like your scarf piece. I can’t wait to take this info into the teaching piece.  

More good things

Big things are coming your way in the Love, Teach world. I’ve been teasing this every once in a while for what seems like years now, but now things are really coming together. I’ll reveal the news sometime in February. For now, all I can say is that I’m so, so, so excited to share it with you, so be watching! How’s that for vague hype?!

I love you. Work hard. Take care of yourself. Eat my overnight oats.

Love (and piece),

Teach

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