a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, March 29, 2015


March 11, 2013

This week is a full week for me.  Tomorrow is the author visit, and I get to play host.  Thursday and Friday are our state Reading Council Conference days, and I get to travel to Springfield to attend.  That means three days of a guest teacher immediately following state testing, which followed a snow day.  Needless to say my middle school students are out of sorts.  And it is not getting better soon.  This unique vantage point sparked today’s slice.

Things I really want to write wrote in my Guest Teacher Plans:

Keep Calm and Live Through the Day Thanks for coming in for me today.

Watch the one in the far left corner.  He has a pink, fleshy heart somewhere beneath the black crustiness, but he is not ready to reveal it yet—and certainly not for a guest teacher.  Guard your heart and stay strong.  It might help to know that he is terrified of tornadoes.  Use that little nugget if need be.  Some students need additional support. 

Please don’t get me fired.  Please copy this learning target onto the board.

If they turn on you, it might be a good idea to just try acting crazier than them.  It will throw them off their game.  I left a back-up plan in the blue folder.

Though they act bold, they are really pretty naïve.  Don’t joke about packing heat.  Really.  A Guest Teacher got fired for that.  Leave me the names of any students who were especially challenging.

In the case that you are going to play cool guy by bad-mouthing me and the work I assign, just know that my students are a fairly loyal bunch.  That plan will backfire. It may take them longer to settle in today because we just finished ISAT testing and they have been on a different schedule.

If you want to me to request you again in the future, don’t leave notes about how awful my students were.  What I don’t know won’t hurt me. Please leave me the names of any students who were particularly helpful.

No matter what it looks like today, just know that a week ago we were reading Shakespeare.  Iambic pentameter, sonnets, ecphonesis O, analyzing passages, the whole nine yards.  For real.  These same children who today are twisting their hoodie sweatshirts into fake sweatshirt babies that they cradle and rock.  Really.  Remind students not to write in the QR code on their answer sheet or they will have to do the test all over again.

They keep chocolate in Staff Services.  If you need any, just put it on my tab.  I owe you.  This is a great group of students; I expect you will have a wonderful day!

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