July 24, 2006

at the last minute, extra work!

we are not there yet. we will never be there. I hate everything.

July 17, 2006

sometimes, things actually are inspiring. especially when you're in survival mode.

My dear friends (yes, you are my friends not merely CMs),

This is the low point of Institute. Week 3 has the most dues dates, the highest stress levels, the fewest hours of sleep and the most frustrations of any week at Institute. You can do it!

Week 3 is NOT indicative of the life of a teacher. You are learning to teach. It is difficult. That is why most ed. preparation programs require years of student teaching. We do it in 5 weeks. There is a lot to learn in 5 weeks. You can do it!

The life of a teacher is not one of day-to-day survival. It gets easier. You will have time for your friends, significant others, favorite TV shows, and life outside of teaching. You NEED a life outside of teaching. The life of a teacher is not Institute life. You can do it!

I have already seen so much skill, knowledge, talent, and drive in each of you. If I didn't think you could do it, then I would have told you by now. It is unjust to make you work this hard if it is hopeless. You will all be good teachers, but it may not happen over night. Be patient. Take one step at a time. You can do it!

Look out for one another. This is our Institute family. We have made it too far to let any our family members struggle alone. Be there to empathize and to add a little sunshine to a teammate's day. Plan a cheese steak social or two. You can do it!

Lastly, I wouldn't get out of bed every morning if I didn't have 16 great colleagues. I wouldn't live this lifestyle for 5 weeks if I didn't believe that ALL of you will achieve success with your students over the next two years and beyond. I wouldn't encourage you to teach if it meant you had to be a martyr and live everyday like a day at Institute. You don't. I do it because y'all are the good teachers that my students need.

I'll be in my room with the door open after the movie.


July 13, 2006


Summer smells like sweet corn and stone fruit, clean dirt and rain, sweat and cedar.

This summer also smells like permanent markers, sharp nerves and chalk, stress, raw onion, white cheddar popcorn. And tonight, a little like sweet corn.

I am going to make it through this summer if it kills me.