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Important?

I spend about 80% of my time wondering if I’m asking the important questions. If I’m having the important conversations. If I’m saying the important things in the moments that they need to be said.

I spend the other 20% of my time thinking about chocolate.

Modest.

Next time someone says girls should dress modestly or be modest I might punch them.

Modest.  Def:

1. Avoiding extremes of behaviour; well-conducted, temperate; not harsh or domineering. Obs.

 2. a. Of a woman: decorous in manner and conduct; not forward, impudent, or lewd; demure; (of a personal attribute, action, etc.) proper to or distinctive of such a woman. Hence: scrupulously avoiding impropriety or vulgarity in speech or behaviour. (Sometimes applied to men in later use.)

b. Of a woman’s dress: seemly, not ostentatious; sober in colour and style, esp. so as to avoid revealing the figure of the wearer. (Occas. also applied to men.)

c. Of a part of the body, spec. the genitals: that modesty requires to be covered. Obs.

d. Conforming to the requirements of decency. Obs.rare.

3.

a. Having a moderate or humble estimate of one’s own abilities or achievements; disinclined to bring oneself into notice; becomingly diffident and unassuming; not bold or forward. Of an action, trait, etc.: proceeding from, indicative of, or accordant with such qualities.
b. In extended use, applied to things: not obtrusively conspicuous; not inviting attention by elaborate show.
4. Of a thing: unpretentious or moderate in size, appearance, style, etc.; (of a sum of money or financial means) limited, not lavish or extensive. Hence, of a person’s origins or social circumstances: undistinguished on the social or economic scale.
For the love of god.  Be immodest be loud, be proud, and take up space.
(but maybe keep your genitals covered, although, totally up to you.)

Teacher Appreciation Week.

Notes of Appreciation.

To my actual teachers

Bryan Anderson, my high school math teacher and my cooperating teacher in my second student teaching assignment.  Thank you for showing me that math wasn’t just lectures and students being talked at. Thank you.

To Stimson, who showed me that only a small portion of teaching is your content. (I never did build a bridge.  Sorry not sorry.) Thank you.

To Lawler, who taught me a bunch of stuff I thought I’d never use and allowed me to figure out how to use it myself. (I use all of it) Thank you.

My Colleagues

To Kat, who showed me how amazing elementary school teachers are and supported me when I couldn’t figure out how to teach 6th graders. (I was never good at it) Thank you.

To Christina, for traveling through our first years together and teaching me the value of teacher-friends. Thank you.

To #MTBoS, those of you who have been here for all my 6 years, who have supported me through pink slips, moves, anger, tears, successes, and summers.  Those who I met at TMC and those who I haven’t.  Thank you for being in this space with me, it continually makes me better.

To Bob, Wendy, Alan, Judy, Raimie, Angie, and Carol, my first ever real department.  You are the kindest group of people I know.  You taught me how to connect with kids and how to see student’s understanding. Thank you.

To Renee, Allie, and Brent, who have for this whole year been showing me that teaching is changing (even when you don’t want to). Who allow me in to their classrooms and brains whenever I need.  Thank you.

To Tiffany and Kris, who make me think deeper and better about everything we’re teaching and don’t let me off the hook even when I’m grouchy. Thank you.

To Katie and Lindsey, my favorite english teachers, who talk to me about the important things, who let me be crazy, and who allow me to be involved in their passions and subjects even though they are not mine.  You make me smarter.  Thank you.

And to my mom and my brother, the two most different and yet best teachers I know.  My mom for her infinite structure and time management skills and my brother for his unlimited patience and care for kids. Thank you for reminding often me that being a fantastic teacher doesn’t mean one thing. Thank you.

I’m gonna skip the update right now and just say, Happy Teacher Appreciation week.  If you’re a teacher, I appreciate you.

Tell me something you’re good at.

Last week I told the monsters I was doing a professional development to be a better teacher.  Many of them kindly responded with, “But you’re already good, Ms. Schwartz” and other similar sentiments. When I quickly replied, “I know.” A bunch of them groaned or made noises to imply that I was bragging.  I tried to explain that I am allowed to know what I am good at but they had little fits about being full of one’s self.

Well, I say screw that.  We don’t do enough recognizing of our strengths.  So if you read this here or on twitter or on facebook my request this week is that you reply with something (or multiple things) you are good at. Here I go:

I am really good at making connections with kids.

Personal Stuffs: I am really starting to make a life here and I love it.

Classroom Stuffs: Matrices with freshman and Polynomials with sophomores.

Personal Change: I didn’t walk last week and I would like to do something this week.

Classroom Change: I’d like to incorporate “things I am good at” into each of my classes somehow this week.

Reading: I’m listening to old Susan Grafton novels.  I’ve so far heard, “A” is for Alibi and “B” is for Burglar. Also, I’m reading Much Ado about Nothing for the students’ book group.

Watching: More Amy Schumer and a couple more episodes of Daredevil.

Your assigned reading: Just for fun.  Six word love stories.

Things that scare me.

At some point this month Grace Bonney of Design Sponge wrote an article about things that scare her.  It started a few years back and a bunch of design and lifestyle bloggers jumped on board and did it then.  I can’t remember if MTBoS jumped in or not but we were a smaller community then and maybe it wasn’t such a thing.  Anyway, I thought this week I’d follow Grace’s lead and write the five things I am afraid of.

1. I am afraid I am not doing enough.

This one is pretty straight forward.  I spend a ton of time worrying about that one kid and what they are having for dinner or that other kid and how they are suddenly failing all their classes.  How do I help?  Can I help? Should I help?

2. I am afraid I am gonna piss off my colleagues or my boss.

I am not an easy person to like.  I have strong options and almost no ability to shut up sometimes.  I would like to do more things and different things and I need the support of my colleagues and my boss to do this.  So, how do I balance the line between saying what is important and not being unbelievably difficult?

3. I’m scared I will get depressed again and it will ruin my life (again).

I don’t know how to explain this one.  It is just always there.  Hanging out.

4. I’m scared I am too introverted. People who meet me and don’t know me think this is ridiculous.  I am good in a crowd.  I can make friends at work and, as I said earlier, I have no fear sharing my thoughts or feelings.  But here’s the thing, I require MAJOR recharge time.  If I go out two or more evenings in a week I pretty much want to spend the weekend alone.  If I can think of an excuse not to leave my house I will probably take it.  I don’t really want to do things on the weekend.  This leads in my last and probably biggest fear.

5. I am afraid I will never find a partner.

I don’t think I am terribly easy to like and I don’t like people terribly easily.  How the hell does that lead to a relationship?

Anyways, thanks for listening to my over share.  If you’re interested in joining I’m hash tagging this #5fears

Personal Stuffs: This next week has a lot of things happening in the evenings.  I am preparing myself for this.

Classroom Stuffs: I did some really hope to continue that this week.

Personal Change: I walked 3 days this week.  I hope to do the same this week.  Also I used the Konmari method to clean my closet, next week I tackle my books.

Classroom Change: I’m just going to try to live through the crazy this week.

Reading: I’m working my way through The Life Changing Making of Tidying Up.  This is how I cleaned my closet.

Watching: Not much at all.  There was a lot happening this week.

Your assigned reading: Or really watching this week: Amy Schumer is AMAZING. 

Dear Children,

Dear Children (or as I like to call you monsters),

You took a survey back in January.  It had about 100 questions on it.  It was REALLY long.  Some of them were about drug use.  We spent a long time googling skittles to find out what those were (still unclear).  In that survey it asked you to rate the following statement,

I believe that an adult on campus cares about my well being

agree, mostly agree, somewhat agree, disagree

Only 40% of the 9th graders put agree. I don’t know what to do with that.  I am so very very sad. I am also super pissed.  In fact when we talked about it in class today I told you we were in a fight.  You didn’t really believe me.  I should of said this:

I really truly care about you.  Sometimes I stay up at night worrying about you.  I love this job.  I work incredibly hard to get you to do math not because I think math is the most important thing but because I think that if you can be successful in my class you can take that and transfer it to other classes. I say that so you understand I push you not because I care about your no marks but because I care about you. I care that you feel smart and important and respected.

I’m sorry if I haven’t been doing a good job of making you feel that way lately.

Sincerely,

Ms. Schwartz

In other news:

Personal Stuffs: Joanna was here! Two best friends visiting in a month.  I have also been working on handwriting letters.  I’ve sent probably 16 in the last 2 months.  Want one?  Email me your real life address.

Classroom Stuffs: I’ve been a bit out of sorts since spring break I want to focus back in and get good again.

Personal Change: Started walking this week.  I’ve done about 4/6 days about 2.5 miles.

Classroom Change: I need to focus back in on student voice and how they talk to each other. 

Reading: I JUST READ THE MARTIAN!!!!!!! It was the best book I’ve read in year.  Buy it and read it so good.

Watching: Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix.  Netflix is really doing it right.

Your assigned reading: I’ve just bought this book and it’s on it’s way.  Also, this article hit home hard.

Two last things.

1.  I am really excited about Hilz.  I need her to put out some t-shirts now.

2. I am thinking about a post called supporting friends with loved ones with cancer.  I have a lot right now.  Any advice?

International Women’s Day

I am remarkably lucky.  I am also remarkably privileged but I truly believe that there is luck there, too.

Today I am celebrating the women who were doing the work before I was born.  My grandmother who was a nurse and bucked tradition by not marrying until her thirties.  My other grandmother who just turned 101 and was the first Jewish nurse in Toronto.  My mother and her friends who despite (or possibly because of) incredibly different belief systems have remained friends for over 20 years.  These women showed me what strong women look like. They were the mayor and school board members, they ran organizations for suicide prevention and raised children.  They demonstrate to me what womanhood looks like. They are what I want to be.

I am celebrating my peers and the work we do.  We study writing and make art.  We work with children, college students, and adults.  We spread tolerance and love.  We talk about important issues and support each other’s endeavors.  We push the definitions of feminism to make sure all women all included and we work on ourselves and our friendships.

I am celebrating the girls I teach and have taught.  The girls who are working on becoming women.  Who are finding their places in the world and learning to express themselves within that. They are fighting the good fight for equality and change.  They are learning younger how to love people for who they are.  They are amazing.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Personal Stuffs: Sarah was here!!!! She’s my bff from Hawaii and it was an amazing weekend.

Classroom Stuffs: I am caught up on all my work!!!!!!

Personal Change: Yoga this week?  Maybe?

Classroom Change: We are starting our game designing this week.  YAYAYAYAYAYYAY.

Reading: I am (still) listening to the Mistborn series still.  I (still) like it.  (STILL)

Watching: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!!!  It was sooooo good.

Your assigned reading: JOMO, the opposite of FOMO.

Things I am thinking about.

How am I balancing support and agency?

How am I making sure that my last class does not get a more annoyed version of me?

Do the students know how much I like them?

When am I not setting them up to meet expectations?

What is my fault?

When is fault okay and when should I give everyone a break?

Have I dived so deep in to this world of teaching and math that I am losing some of my other important works?

Am I doing a good enough job? Is there such a thing?

#shutupandduckface

I miss your face.

Last year a wrote a post about selfies and about how I consider myself to be hot.  That post turned itself in to this one.  Which takes you to the #shutupandduckface challenge.  I, Anne Schwartz, challenge you, insert name here, to take a picture of yourself everyday for the month of March.  Here’s a little bit of what I wrote last year (if clicking the link as just too damn hard):

For the next month I will be taking selfies and posting them on the internet. I’m using Instagram and the hashtag #shutupandduckface.  You need an instagram account to do this.  I am 90% sure to have instagram you need a smartphone or tablet.  Just download the app and get on it.  If you just want to do this on the twitters I’m into that, too.

There are no rules.  A selfie is what you make it.  Really love your shoes today?  Take that.  Mastered eyeliner?  I wanna see. Ran three miles and are a sweaty mess?  Rock that shit. I’m impressed.

Here is my first entry to soon be on instagram.  I call it, “What Saturday looks like or I haven’t showered since Thursday.”

So this year’s could be called, “What Sunday looks  like or I haven’t showered since Friday.” *

Photo on 3-1-15 at 10.35 AM #2

Personal Stuffs: Blah.  I wrote the last one of these on Thursday so not much has changed.  There is a lot of rain right now.

Classroom Stuffs: I am behind on grading (again)  whoops.

Personal Change: I’ve been balancing work life better.  Oh! And I’m going to the DR in March!

Classroom Change: Excited about the freshman doing a probability unit.  I let them make a list from 1-20 of things and each day we roll the die and whatever it lands on we do. :)

Reading: I am (still) listening to the Mistborn series still.  I (still) like it.

Watching: ummm…. Old episodes of Crossing Jordan.

Your assigned reading: Guys, net neutrality is importante.

*I am really bad at showering.

Appreciation.

I appreciate my students, who make me feel like I am doing something good.

I appreciate my colleagues, who are the best team of people I have ever worked with.

I appreciate this place I live and the things I have.  My life is really fantastic.

I appreciate you for allowing me this space.

Personal Stuffs: I am super late with this because this week has been rough.  Oh hai, insane migraine of Wednesday.

Classroom Stuffs: I am behind on grading because this week has kicked my ass and I am too tired to say late.

Personal Change: Nothing?  That’s not good.  oops.

Classroom Change: Must finish game for model of game presentation and also get on top of grading.

Reading: I am listening to the Mistborn series still.  I still like it.

Watching: Who knows. Oh, I watched a movie called Love, Rosie.  It was real cute.

Your assigned reading: Just in case you need an emergency dance party.