September 17, 2014

A New Gig

After work yesterday, I started my new tutoring gig with a family I met through an online tutoring list for the district I worked in last year. This is the first time anyone has ever contacted me from this list, and I honestly thought it was a waste of time to even add my name. It's kinda ironic that I get called now, after I'm no longer employed by them, but I was happy to accept the job!

I met with this 5th grade boy at the public library where he showed me all the things he's been learning in his classes, we re-did his math homework (I think we have a rushing problem here), and talked about what he likes to read. Then, because we had some extra time in our one-hour session, I introduced him to mad libs, which we did to review some parts of speech. He LOVED them!

At the end of our session, when his mom and sister came to pick him up, he asked if he could get tutoring again today. They reminded him we are meeting again Thursday, but that wasn't good enough for him.

"But we have homework every day!" he pleaded.

Too cute! I'm glad he had fun with me, and I'm confident I even taught him some new things. This little guy has personality for DAYS, and I just adore him already. 

Best part of the session, though? Two of my former students from last year happened to be in the library (which is exciting enough right there) and spotted me working at the table. They knew I was busy but couldn't resist calling my name and coming over to give me a hug and tell me how much they miss me.


Completely unrelated: The rental market in the Chicagoland area has become cutthroat! Not only have the prices increased dramatically since I last rented here ($300 increase for the exact same property in 3 years), but the houses that pop up are often rented within 24 hours. We were supposed to meet our Realtor again today, but she just texted me to tell me the house we wanted to see was rented last night. I don't know how I can compete with this market when I have a job!! I don't have a choice but to keep looking, but this quick turnaround makes me anxious!

September 16, 2014

My Reactions on Test Days

As my students walked into class today, the first question I heard was, "Wait... we have a test today?"

Yes! Not only have I announced this every single day, but the date is written on the cover page of your packet for two weeks, on the board and website daily, you had a study guide due yesterday, and we spent an entire period playing a review game to prepare you for TODAY'S test!

Every single section of my test is pulled from the activities we completed in class. In fact, some of the questions have been pulled directly from the study guide. Nothing on here should be a surprise. So, I'm sure you can imagine how I feel when they tell me, "I don't get it!"  

Oh, I'm sorry! Did you miss my daily reminder about how I'm available before/after school and during my lunch/planning time to help you? Have you tried to come in for extra help even ONCE?

How about the homework? Have you been doing that? Have you even been writing it down in your planner as expected?

So... the number of parent calls I have to make to discuss these tests...

They're lucky I love them!

September 15, 2014

My Weekend and IMWAYR: Panic

The weather in Chicago turned unseasonably cold last week, and we were thrown fully into autumn, complete with hoodies, boots, and pumpkin spice coffees. I don't normally complain about such things because you all know how much I LOVE FALL, but I was a bit disappointed at the number of summer dresses I hadn't yet gotten the chance to wear to work!

Imagine our surprise, then, to wake up to a GORGEOUS day yesterday, full of blue skies and a bright, warm sun. It was the PERFECT temperature to head to the local apple orchard, so that's exactly what we did. Hello, farm fresh apple cider, apple butter & doughnuts! You are delicious!

It was the perfect way to relax together after a night in the city hanging out with my friend/cousin Bobbie and her boyfriend who invited us to their new apartment for dinner. What a great weekend!

It's Monday, which means I have another book to review for you guys. Have you read Panic by Lauren Oliver? I can't remember where I first heard of it (It's not on the list I'm currently using as my personal recommendation guide), but when I received notification that it was available on OverDrive, I jumped on it before it flew off the virtual shelf.

Panic is a legendary game played by the recent high school graduates in Carp simply because they are bored and lacking anything better to do. Players must face their deepest fears and battle each other in a high-stakes game where only the payoff promises to be greater than the risk.    

The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of Heather and Dodge, which is a writing style I personally love. It's especially important for this story though because it allows us to learn about secrets and hidden motivations for playing Panic, and we realize that, for some players, there's much more at stake than ego and a lump sum of cash.

For me, the book was just kinda...

It's along the lines of Hunger Games, which I loved, and Divergent, which I did not. Honestly, I think this is a story I would have enjoyed more had I read it because I HATED that the narrator made some of the characters sound SUPER whiny and needy. Like everything that came out of their mouths sounded like a complaint, even when it wasn't. 

I enjoyed the back story for each character more than the actual game, which I think is pretty much par for the course for me. I love good character development and reading about the relationships between those characters. And ultimately, each of the characters in this novel are forced to ask themselves exactly how desperate they are to earn $60,000.   

If you haven't done so yet, please be sure to visit yesterday's post where I've got a Bears Victory Freebie waiting for you! And don't forget to follow my Facebook Fan Page so you don't miss the next one!

Have a great Monday, friends!

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