Tag Archives: Teacher

Professionalism 101


Professionalism – the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person(see 1professional).  That’s the definition according to www.merriam-webster.com.


As educators, professionalism should be ingrained in us.  We, as a profession, are often frustrated by the way the public perceives us and treats us.  We feel maligned and under-appreciated by parents and disrespected by students.  Yet, do we present ourselves and conduct ourselves as professionals?  Fortunately, the majority of educators with whom I’ve worked in my career have easily fit the definition of professionalism as stated above.  From them I have learned empathy, dedication, and a commitment to improving my practice.

Unfortunately, those aren’t the ones who make headlines in the paper.  Recently, I read about a teacher who made a horrible remark about a student ON FACEBOOK.  Which of course, has landed him or her (I don’t know – don’t care) in the spotlight, and in the middle of a state investigation.  The parent of the child is aware of the remark and angry – quite understandably.  Maybe a course in professional behavior should be a requirement of certification or recertification.  I don’t know what the answer is, but educators will never be looked up to as a whole as long as the unprofessional minority keep making headlines.

Curiously, I googled professionalism and looked at the images available.  There were medical teams, businessmen and women, many images of people at computers, and soldiers.  There were not any photos of teachers.


“Professionalism is not about adherence to the policies of a bureaucracy. Professionalism is about having the integrity, honesty, and sincere regard for the personhood of the customer, in the context of always doing what is best for the business. Those two things do not need to be in conflict.”
– Eric Lippert, software expert, author.  25 Jun 2008 at:
< blogs.msdn.com/ericlippert/archive/2008/06/23/customer-service-is-not-rocket-science-part-two.aspx >


Organizing on Spring Break


I have been so looking forward to organizing, snapping Nat Geo quality photos, and celebrating the beauty that is my art supply cabinet.  But they keep expecting me to teach all day.  Don’t they realize I am trying to create a thing of beauty here?  No one understands artists.  It’s so hard…

And now I’m on Spring Break.  I’m not sure if Spring Break is supposed to be capitalized, but I feel it deserves the reverence that capital letters bring to it, don’t you?  So there is no work being done on the organization of my classroom. In fact, with my teacher bag and rolling cart still in the car, there is no schoolwork of any kind being done.  I’ve been doing my best to pretend I am actually retired, at least for the next week.

Yesterday, however, I was talking shop with my daughter, who is also a fifth grade teacher and phenomenal at it.  (Yes, I know she’s my daughter, but I keep hearing it from other teachers she works with, so there.)  She has every awesome power point, rubric, and graphic organizer she’s created over the past four and a half years.  And they’re all amazingly organized on her laptop, where she was able to quickly pull up things to show me.  I am ridiculously envious of her organized files.

So my goal this week has shifted from flat-out denial to going through all of my computer files to sort, discard, and organize my resources.  And then steal all my daughter’s wonderful stuff before she wises up and starts selling them on TPT!

Next week, when I return to work, I will also return to the Week 5 Clutter-Free Classroom Challenge and by gosh, I will post those after photos!  Until then, check out The Clutter-Free Classroom and the latest challenge!

The Chaos That is Me


One of the reasons I decided to start this blog is that I am a mess.

Two parts of my psyche battle it out, both in my personal and professional lives.

Oh, no, not like Sybil or anything.

One part of me craves order, structure, and routine.

I could use six arms.

The other part is in love with spontaneity, freedom, and doing what feels right in the moment.

Yep. This is totally me.

Both sets of traits serve me well as a teacher, but both also make my life much more difficult than I’d like it to be.  Fortunately, I recently stumbled across The Clutter-Free Classroom.

What an amazing blog by an amazing teacher named Jodi.  This woman has more energy in her little finger than I have in my entire body.  I spent hours poring over her blog posts until I had read just about every one to date.

And now I’m inspired.  As usual, I’m coming late to the game, but I am accepting Jodi’s Clutter-Free Classroom Challenge.  I’ll update my progress in future posts, but to find out the details of the Clutter Free Challenge, click here.

Welcome to My World


Two years ago this spring, I packed up my many years’ worth of teaching supplies and donated, sold, and gave away most of them.  I was not going to teach anymore.  No siree, enough of that nonsense!  I’d bounced grades down from fifth to second in the space of three years.  I was tired and I was moving back to my hometown for a fresh start.

That lasted… two months.  A week before school started, I headed back to my school district in Florida to a new school and back to my beloved fifth grade.

Of course, I had given most of my posters, books, manipulatives, containers, and whatnot away, so last year was almost like starting over.  This year, I have a room and a blessedly large storage closet with piles and boxes of jumbled up teacher stuff that I can’t put my hands on, but I know it’s there somewhere.

My desk is no better – yuck.

I hate my desk!

As I rebuild my classroom, I will share with you those things I found to work great, and those things that crash and burn.