Chalkline with Ilana Horn. (Part 1)


Okay, Lani and I talk too much and Lani is always on point soo this is part 1 of my interview with Lani.  In two weeks (maybe next week?) I will put up the second part. In this part we talk about her journey to PhD work, what she’s teaching, how much she loves teachers, and her observational tips.

Episode 5

This week’s syllabus:

To read:  I’m reading Lindy West’s Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman.  As a loud women myself I love hearing that I am not alone.  On a side note I tweeted to her about something and I apparently set off the trolls and dudes, from 2 tweets interacting with her I was called a cunt by at minimum 45 strangers on the internet in the course of 10 minutes. If you want a peek into her experience here is her interview on this American Life.

To read (2): Instead of listening this week I will share the statement from the unconscious woman that was assaulted at Stanford.  Read it.

To watch: So I’m watching Being Mary Jane with Gabrielle Union.  If you want some slightly trashy and hugely engaging summer binging the first two seasons are on Netflix.



Game Time #MTBoSyearbook

I humbly request that you tweet your picture and senior quote for the #MTBoSyearbook.

All Tweets will be complied next week and posted in a most excellent spread. If you would like to put someone else in the yearbook you are welcome to do that but they can override yours for their own.

For example:  Andrew really wants Fawn in the Yearbook.  He tweets this pictureScreen Shot 2016-05-24 at 10.26.57 AM.png

With the quote,

“I’m always fucking losing shit including my mind.”

Fawn is like, OH HELL NO. And instead tweets this.Fawn Nguyen

“Andrew is super nice.  Except when he bites, which is a lot.”

I would include the one Fawn wants since it’s her spot. Even though obviously the first one is better.

Basic Rules

  1. Tweet with #MTBoSYearbook
  2. Include your name, a picture of yourself, and your quote
  3. Yes Elizabeth it has to be your face and not a monkey
  4. You can include other people but be sure to tag them so they can override
  5. The deadline is Next Friday June 3


Spread the word friends.


30 things

Thirty things I have done (and will do) since I turned (and while I’m) 30.

  1. Dyed my hair blonde and pink
  2. Filled a two bedroom apartment with furniture and love.
  3. Managed Mulligan’s first health crisis
  4. Began the foster care process
  5. Spent the night in the gym with 80 seniors
  6. Held auditions for the second school play
  7. Took 27 hours of foster care classes
  8. Worked out twice a week for three months
  9. Made new friend
  10. Got my best friend a job at my school
  11. Failed a test (for the second time)
  12. Drove to and from Vegas to take said test
  13. Got my home inspected
  14. Supervised Pride Week
  15. Hosted a Talent Show
  16. Co-Hosted a Baby Shower
  17. Put up a second production
  18. Started a Podcast
  19. Became more involved with the local LGBTQ community
  20. Saw a friend be ordained
  21. Attended a student’s father’s funeral
  22. Saw my cousins for the first time in years
  23. Graduate our first class of seniors
  24. Learn how to work out properly
  25. Let a child into my home
  26. See my best friend get married
  27. Put up a musical
  28. More things
  29. to be added later
  30. to this life reminding

me just how good my life is.

Chalkline with Tina Cardone.

My mom always laughs because I refer to Tina as the loveliest human I know and soon you will all understand my love.   Tina and I talk special ed, class sizes, busing, nixing the tricks, foster parenting, and more. Her kindness and generosity of spirt shine through in every word she says.  I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.

Episode 4.

This Week’s Syllabus

To Read:  Lani’s post on creating a sense of belonging in the math classroom. It’s so good I wrote a post about it.

To Listen: Stuff Your Mom Never Told You.  Pick a topic their research is top notch.

To Watch: This Vine.  Which I definitely haven’t watched four hundred and seventy five times.


Tina thinks everyone should follow the MTBoS Blogbot.


There is a one period release available at my school next year for a math teacher to work with the department to facilitate conversations and observations and help share best teacher practices.  It’s a thing I am interested in maybe doing. In order to apply they want three letters of rec and a cover letter. Since it’s the only writing I’ve done today I thought I’d share the ROUGHEST draft of the first part.

I almost went to graduate school.  When I was deciding to teach at Del Lago it was a debate between that and a PhD in Adolescent Psychology.  I had taught for 3 years in a department that I thought was great.  I was fairly convinced I was an excellent teacher.  I was wrong. I was a good teacher.  I worked mostly on my own and a little with the group.  We all liked each other.  That seemed like enough. My two years at Del Lago have taught me that it is not even close.

The curriculum comes first.  As a department we have spent the last three years writing pacing guides and assessments.  We know that all students in the same grade are receiving the same basic instruction and the exact some assessments.  When we find time we have conversations around big ideas and important problems.  I want to be the TOSA next year to give more opportunities for that.  Our department has two positive pieces in this area already: we like each other and we like the curriculum.  A little bit of questioning and some freeing up of time has the potential to push this work forward.

Secondly, the work we have done with Teacher’s Development Group has been invaluable.  It has been hands down the most effective professional development I have ever done.  This is the main reason I want to do this TOSA work.  Every teacher in our department took away a little something different from the work with TDG we would talk about it and focus on it for the first couple weeks after the studio days.  Then the conversations would be less frequent.  Teachers work hard and there is always something to be doing.




That’s all I’ve got there will be more eventually but tomorrow is an all new Chalkline. 🙂

Lani gets me.

Ya’ll, this post.  This post is it.

In case that wasn’t enough of an enticement it is a post by Lani about belonging in the math classroom.  I really believe it applies to all subjects but math is a good starting point.  I was going to write a bunch about this post but I’d prefer you read it yourself.  I’ll just say this: names matter, identities matter, belonging matters.



I took this picture today after spending hours digging through my mom and aunt’s facebooks looking for a picture of my grandmother wearing this necklace.  I want to write a whole post about how much I miss her but I am exhaustion. So, not tonight.  For now, know this, I got her steel trap mind and Tom got her luck.  I’m not sure who made out better.

Today’s story

I teach a student let’s call Mike. Today Mike’s dad emailed me to set up a meeting and I said “Sure!”  Then I checked in with a few people who said I should ask for an extra person in the meeting.  Okay, cool.  So I spent all afternoon worrying about this meeting.

Then after tutorial one of my freshman’s dad is picking him up and he walks in to talk to me.  I have a quick chat with him but I am well aware that I have another meeting like this exact moment. But it’s cool cause that parent is late.

Anyways, after that meeting my AP and I walk up to the front thinking we’ll meet the parent there.  When he’s not there 20 minutes late I check my email.  “Where’s the email?” Then I find it.  You know what the student whose dad I just talked to’s name was?  Mike.

I had confused my two students with the same name and worked my self up to a tizzy about a meeting that was SOOOO easy. Also, I worked like 4 other people up, too.

#winner #tuesday

#middleschool #livejournal

Who is in?


A- Age: 30
B- Biggest fear: Alligators and Dinosaurs.  Yes I am stupid thank you for asking.
C- Current time: 9:16 pm but I’m tired like it’s 4am
D- Drink you last had: water
E- Every day starts with: waking up to pee 
F- Favorite song: Party in the USA
G- Ghosts, are they real? Nope.
H- Hometown: Encinitas, CA
I- In love with: Teaching
J- Jealous of: people who get to go to graduate school
K- killed someone?: not today
L- Last time you cried?: Student’s Dad died
M- Middle name: Deborah
N- Number of siblings: 1
O- One wish: napz
P- Person you last called: Mom
Q- Question you’re always asked: What page are we on
R- Reason to smile: Kids are funny
S- Song last sang: My Humps
T- Time you woke up: 5:34am
U- Underwear color: black
V- Vacation destination: All of my friends
W- Worst habit: all the terrible food
Y- Your favorite food: Pizza
X- X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth
Z- Zodiac sign: Capricorn 

Nominate 8 more people

Michelle, Tina, Fawn, Kate, James, Julie, Hegde, Wendy  ❤ You.

Follow Up on Rudeness

So for those of you that were wondering the child I was rude to came to tutorial today (and/or the child who was rude to me).  She doesn’t need to fix anything she just came to hang out mostly.  The tissue issue was brought up and here’s the conversation that happened:

Students including her laughing about her tone.

Me:  I felt really bad about the that.

Her: (laughing) You always feel bad, you don’t have to.


I don’t know exactly what this means but I think relationships have been repaired and it will be okay.


p.s. I know I missed 3 days so I’m gonna try to double up on a few just for myself.  Happy Monday.