All posts filed under: Teaching

2016 Monthly Photo Project || May

As my seventh year of teaching comes to an end, I find myself pulling out of the end-of-year drudgery and reflecting on the special moments and people who have gotten me through this year. It’s no secret that work drains me. I’ve contemplated leaving the profession completely and the beginning of this school year knocked the wind out of me. I guess the universe must have known I needed a pick-me-up because it sent me the most incredible group of students. At a time when I questioned my purpose, I met kids who answered that question over and over again. I work at a difficult school, but I have some of the most kick-ass students you will ever come across. I am grateful to each and every one of them for making me feel like I matter. Oh, and I received an award from Yolo County as well. My principal and school district nominated me for the “Excellence in Education” award and even though I still argue it isn’t a big deal, I’ll concede that …

Cooking in Class Again

Less than five weeks to go until the end of another school year! Today was a rough day, so I thought I’d write a happy post to turn that frown upside down! My neighbor told me to drink away my worries, but this girl has to get up early in the morning! 😉 As most of you may know, I teach high school English and Conversational Vietnamese. There is a cultural component to my CV class and the students get to have fun in the kitchen every few weeks or so. We have cooked several times so far this semester (click here to see what we made last time!) and we are at a point where the students get to request repeat dishes. We’re running out of time together so I like to give them the opportunity to redo their favorites. The first dish I make with each CV class is a Vietnamese breakfast sandwich. Most of my students have never heard of, nor tasted, Vietnamese food before so I like to slowly acclimate their …

Cooking + Teaching + Photography = Happy Patty!

I am less than three months away from finishing my fifth year of teaching. Goodness gracious, where has the time gone?? It feels like just yesterday I was stressing out because there were so few high school job listings back in the summer of 2009. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to secure a position, which actually happened to a few people I knew. Not good! As luck would have it, I was called in for an interview at 11:30 AM on the first day of school and offered the position three hours later. Phew! Toward the end of my first year of teaching, our then principal (I’ve had four different principals now) came up with the idea to include more electives in our course offerings. I work at an alternative/continuation high school, and for those who are unfamiliar (as I was before I took this position), continuation schools house mostly at-risk students who have been (for the most part) involuntarily transferred from their original comprehensive school sites for a variety of reasons, including …

Holiday Mail for Heroes

This is the third year my students and I have participated in the Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes Program. It is one of my favorite projects and I am so glad I have made it a yearly tradition. The students create cards that are quite touching and heartwarming. They really get into the spirit and put a lot of thought and effort into their work. Most students want to make more than one card so I give them free reign. Each year I invite Carmencita’s class to join us and this year the elementary class came over as well. It’s nice to see the different levels of students working together in one room, toward one common goal. I love it! Here is a little more info about this program from the Red Cross website: Each year the American Red Cross provides assistance to more than 2 million service members and many of our nation’s 24 million veterans. We support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe. And once …