adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass


Today some of my students started Googling me in class… and discovered my modeling career. By modeling career I mean 35 seconds of not tripping on a runway in front of hundreds upon hundreds of women at one of the best blogging conferences I know.

I had a momentary silent freak out, and then I remembered that, as a blogger, I have made the choice to let my voice be heard. In class, I value the honest relationship I have with my students. Despite my slight bit of unease to know my students have seen me in a ton of makeup walking on a runway, my momentary anxiety was fueled by my blog being attached to my “runway show.” Then I remembered the mantra I’ve had since I’ve been blogging: if I’m posting something I wouldn’t want my students to see then I probably shouldn’t be posting it anyway. This mantra has made me a better blogger, much like the experience of being a model in the BlogHer13 Fashion Show helped me become more confident and unafraid to embrace who I am.

Do your homework, kiddos. Seriously.

Do your homework, kiddos. Seriously.

So, although I say this with a bit of unease, welcome to my life, silently lurking students. Yes, your English teacher was in a fashion show this past summer. Yes, your English teacher is a blogger. Yes, your English teacher has a life outside of school.

Welcome to reality, my dears. Now go do your homework.

I don’t do enough.

This is my current workday schedule. As implied by recent educational developments and discussions, I don’t do enough to get my students where they need to be.

4 AM – wake up, get dressed
4:30 AM – eat breakfast
5 AM – do my hair and makeup
5:30 AM – leave the house
6 AM – arrive at school
6:05 AM – put my bags down at my work station
6:15 AM – make copies for each of my classes
6:30 AM – set up each of my 4 shared classrooms 
7:20 AM – stand in the hallway and greet students
7:27 AM – 2:38 PM – follow the following schedule, depending on what day it is, rotating class days and periods everyday, 5 days a week*


*During hall duties I am often asked to cover other classes since we have a sub shortage in our district. During Common Planning, I am either grading or developing curriculum with my colleagues. More times than not, we use this time to grade a myriad of state and district mandated common assessments we are required to give our students during the 3-4 days a week we see them as a result of our schedule. During my prep period, I am either grading, developing work for my students, planning lessons, calling parents and guardians, having meetings with supervisors, or running around the school to get questions answered for myself, my students, or their parents/ guardians.

2:28- 4-4:30 PM –

Mondays: staff meeting, department meeting, or professional development
Tuesdays: Office Hours until 3:20, then grading until 4:30
Wednesdays & Thursdays: grading/ record keeping/ organizational teaching tasks/ photocopying until 4:30 (if I’m lucky)
(Fridays I force myself to leave by 3, unless there’s a school event my students are involved with that I wish to attend. Then I may be at school until 8 or 9.)

Also, on any given night, I’m usually up until 10 or 11 grading, writing lessons for my 3 different class sections (in 2 weeks my schedule changes for the 2nd semester and I get to plan for 4 completely different classes and grade levels!), preparing material for class, researching articles to use in class, thinking of ways to engage my students, and thinking/ worrying about my students and their home lives.

I wouldn’t mind the fact that the governor wants to extend the school day and year, except he thinks I’m not doing my job, and that teaching is cozy, easy work. If you want to extend our hours, so be it– just extend our benefits and salaries as well. I’m in one of the lower paying districts in NJ in comparison to my equivalents in other parts of the state, and I highly doubt the governor is willing to compensate for me adding another two hours to my work day. I’m emotionally and physically drained more often than not. I love teaching, and there’s a reason I entered this profession. Now, I’m second guessing what this profession is turning into.

I also question what will happen to my school community. Some of my students have 2 or 3 jobs after school so that they can support their families. Other students are expected home by 3 in order to pick up and/ or care for their younger siblings and, in some cases, their own children. Some teachers work part time at second jobs in order to make ends meet. Other teachers are spending a fortune on childcare and dropping off their kids before the sun rises in the morning and picking them up at 5 or 6 in the evening, when most daycare centers close.

I went into teaching because I wanted to make a difference. I went into teaching to change lives and educate the world’s future. I went into the education field to change– and save– lives. Between “teaching to the test” and trying to meet student growth objectives, somewhere the desire and yearning for educational and personal growth and development has been forgotten.

It’s okay though, I shouldn’t be worrying about any of this. I don’t have a right to, as, when it comes to teaching, I don’t do enough.


Remember that post where I talked about my secret en(gay)gement?

Today I had a meeting with my supervisor about some school stuff. After the business end of our meeting was done, I asked for her opinion on the whole wearing my engagement ring thing and parental concerns.

She essentially told me to wear it, and if there are any parental complaints it’s their problem, that “there are plenty of gay folk at school.”

So, I’m wearing my engagement ring tomorrow at school. It’s essentially my coming out day.

Wish me luck.

I can wear this thing to school tomorrow.

I can wear this thing to school tomorrow.