I’m Here

If you don’t already know, my grandfather passed away on Friday. I’ve had many students and coworkers ask me how I’m doing during this time, and my go to response has just been “I’m here.” It’s not good, it’s not bad; but I’m here. I’m in the one place that makes me feel normal, where I have some semblance of control. It just is…

Friday was a difficult day at work, there was a school performance for Black History Month, so the classes were shortened, and the schedule was rearranged for some reason. Naturally the students hear this as “Hey, you shouldn’t be expected to do anything in your classes today, so just be wild and obnoxious”.

My first class that I had was being their normal selves, except for one kid who was being so worse than he usually is, and then he was refusing to go work in another teacher’s room, and I lost it with him. I yelled that my grandfather had died that morning and I didn’t have to be here, but that I was here because I just wanted something normal that day.

And the class goes silent.

And the kid starts to argue with me.

And the class starts to yell at him to just shut up and go.

And he starts to argue with the class.

And one of my other students gets up and pushes him out of the classroom and closes the door behind him.

I will forever be thankful to that kid who shall remain nameless, because I know he knows what loss is. A few years ago his father died suddenly, and now he pretends that his parents are just divorced, so that way the other boys don’t pick on him for not having a father.

Trust me, I am in no way comparing my loss to his, or my struggle with what he goes through everyday.

The point I’m trying to make is that loss unites us. Many of my coworkers have come and said nice things in the hall way, given me a hug, anything to let me know that they’re here for me, and I’ll appreciate that more than they could ever know.

And a special thank you to one of the teachers who started the same time I did and sent this wonderful email:

Good morning,

I wanted to tell you before, but I didn’t want you be reminded constantly. However, I’m sorry that you lost a loved one. That’s always hard. I’ll never feel exactly the same way you do now, but it was hard to lose my Nana in college. Just know that the healing will come in time and the memories will always be vivid. Enjoy remembering the good times 🙂

Bless your family,

So this is for you Teddy. You never gave up on me. You encouraged me every step of the way through school. You were so proud of me when I joined the long line of teachers that came from our family. I’m going to miss you so much, and I know one day I’ll see you again in Heaven,  but for now I’m Here.

Harrell “Teddy” McRae

September 28, 1937 – February 24, 2017


My First Sale!!!!

With the Oscars being last night, I just wanted to make a post about my own little award that I earned recently:

This is a follow up to my Teachers Pay Teachers post. Today I made my first sale!!!!!

I’m so excited!!! I really needed a boost today, so thank you to whomever is the new proud owner of a Sampling Foldable!

If you want to check it out:


My Kids Bank

This year I wanted to try something new with my students. Over the summer I was part of a book chat and we were reading Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire by Rafe Esquith. One of the things that he wrote about was teaching students about financial literacy, and I got inspired since it’s also part of the 8th grade curriculum. Like so many others before me I decided that I was going to go above and beyond and teach my students about rent, bills, income, and budgeting. 

My Plan:

  1. Have students earn income by turning in assignments and being on time to class
  2. Charge students rent for their desks
  3. Fine students for eating, swearing, littering and writing on desks
  4. Have a class store where I provide chips, drinks and other things for students to spend money on
  5. I would print money to pay my students with, which means that I have to buy paper and ink, which means that I would have to spend money to make fake money, and expect students to keep up with it all and realizing this made me want to quit teaching and school hadn’t even started yet.

Obviously if I was going to implement my plan I wasn’t going to spend all my money on colored paper. I decided to search online to see if there was an online banking solution, and to my relief there is!

What I like:

  • You can have individual accounts for your students
  • You, as the banker, can make deposits and withdrawals from each account
  • There is a setting for earning interest
  • You can edit multiple accounts at one time
  • You can print bank statements for each account

Teachers Pay Teachers

As an Aggie, I’ve had it drilled into my head that you do not “lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do”, but as a teacher, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that we’re just elaborating, collaborating and borrowing.

“Ms. Jones made this activity, but it doesn’t cover all that I want it to, let me make it a little better!”

“Hey Ms. Smith, this resource book costs $10, and has some really good stuff in it, do you want to split the cost and we can share it?”

“Oh wow! This resource book is really good, but you paid how much for it?!?!?! Oh can I borrow it for a few minutes to make some copies? I only want this page, not the whole book.”

Let’s face it, we’ve all done it, so there is absolutely no reason to judge a fellow teacher for doing it!

In comes Teachers Pay Teachers

I’ve been wanting to make a post about this site for the longest time, but I have had no real experience with the site, UNTIL NOW!

Think of a huge flea market, where there are teachers from all around the world displaying activities and lesson plans that they have come up with. They have books that they have written, there are foldables as far as the eye can see, projects, rubrics, interactive journals galore! The best part, is that you have access to this market, and you can get there without even having to put on reals pants while you sit on the couch this Saturday stressing about what you’re going to teach Monday morning (because again, we’ve all been there).

What I Like:

  • can search assignments by subject, grade, and price
  • once you download something it saves it so you don’t have to keep an extra copy from year to year
  • they update you if a product you bought changes
  • free to join
  • free* to sell (*they do collect a fee, or you can make a professional account with a yearly fee)
  • if you find a teacher who has amazing stuff you can follow them and get to their stuff faster

What I DON’T Like

  • My first sale was for a $2.00 foldable, I only got $0.90 of that

I have a few things for sale if you want to check them out, or view my freebies!