The Most Awesome Teacher Planner Ever

Teacher Planner

I love Erin Condren. I have been buying her life planners for four years now. Recently I purchased her Teacher Planner and OMG I am in love! It is by far the best planner ever made. If you are a teacher you need to check it out. She thinks of everything. If you want to see it page by page check out the video below.  Also, here is how I set up a weeks lessons.

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing teacher planner click here to see it for yourself!


Apparently, I’m Not Mary Poppins

Apparently, I'm Not Mary Poppins

Apparently, I’m Not Mary Poppins

Today my youngest son, who never gets in trouble, came home with an Oops Slip from his teacher with tears in his eyes. His teacher had yelled at him and made him cry in class because he mumbled, “This sucks,” when she handed him a packet of math papers where each sheet had about 30 problems on a page. It was the second from last day of school for the year and when Casey saw all those math problems that were to keep him busy he genuinely mumbled the words, “This sucks.”

When I first saw the note my immediate response was to laugh. Really? This was worthy of a note home? Then when I found out that she yelled at him and made him cry in class I was kind of angry. I snapped a pic of the note and posted on Facebook with the comment,

“As a teacher in the inner city I wish a kid grumbling over a huge pack of math papers was the extent of my problems.”

I honestly expected others to rally behind me, and I know my coworkers would have. But within a minute or two of the pic being posted my fellow mom bloggers started slamming me. I shrugged my shoulders. Then my own sister slammed me as well. Wow, that caught my attention. I deleted the post from Facebook and texted her.

“You really think this was a big deal? In the past couple of years I have had several children with emotional impairments flip their desks upside down and give me the middle finger. I had a student try to set my classroom bathroom on fire by stuffing toilet paper into the space heater unit. I had a student squat and pee on my carpeting every time he didn’t get his way. I had a student sneak my cell phone and toss it into the toilet. I’ve had subs leave me notes telling me they will never come back. To have a kid tell me something sucks wouldn’t even draw my attention, let alone make me stop and take the time to write a note to send home.”

That was when my sister texted back:

“Yeah, but you work in a totally different situation. It’s like working in a war zone vs. being Mary Poppins. It’s not the same.”

Her words hit me like a brick. I was Mary Poppins once upon a time. I really was. I was young and fresh out of college and believed that all children were sweet and innocent and just a gentle coaxing and a happy smile from me would always keep them on the straight and narrow.

Now, however, I am twenty years in and while I don’t actually work in a war zone there is no denying I have had some truly tough kids over the years. There have been kids who have kept me from falling asleep at night as I tried to figure out the best way to reach them. There have been kids I have cried over because I felt that nothing I did could reach them. There have been kids I worried about when it was time for the weekend and would they have enough food to eat. There have been kids who I went out and purchased clothing for because their families couldn’t afford the uniforms. There have been kids who are so angry and have such a chip on their shoulder you have to stop and pause and think what on earth could have done that to a child not yet ten years old.

I have gone to war with some of my students in an attempt to save them from their own negative opinions about themselves. So have my coworkers. Luckily I have a pretty good group this year, but there are a couple of teachers I work with who are truly deserving of a Silver Star for Bravery in the Face of Adversity. We are in the trenches together and we work to build a family that supports each other when the day is too hard and the tears come or the frustration bubbles over. Still, even if the Mary Poppins shine has been worn off our weary eyes we all know that what we are doing is important.

My job can be exhausting, and yet so incredibly rewarding when they get, they really, really get it! There are days my job makes me want to hit my head against a wall, and then there are the days when one of my students walks up and gives me a hug, not because I need it, but because they do. There are days when I am so tired I have to drag myself into my classroom, and then there are the days when a student will write me a note telling me that I am the best teacher ever and will I please be his teacher next year, too.

Being in the trenches isn’t always easy, but strong bonds are made there. Our students need us. They count on us to be there and provide structure and routine to their days, even the one who peed on my carpet and the one who threw my phone in the toilet. Sometimes the ones who truly drive us crazy are the ones who need us to love them and support them the most.

So does this mean I think my son should be punished for saying “This sucks?” No, not really, but I did tell him that he shouldn’t ever say it again in school. In my classroom this comment sincerely would not have drawn my ire. In my classroom as long as my students aren’t using true vulgarities or racist comments they are allowed to speak freely because so often they just need their voice to be heard regardless of the vocabulary they use.

I need to remind myself that where I live and where I work are two different situations and people will approach these situations with different perspectives, and fellow mom bloggers will approach this situation from their own perspective. So even if I get slammed for this post, even if other moms tell me I am wrong, I’m okay with that. My eyes have seen both sides.

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