Archive for July, 2012

Quick Post on Teaching :)

I figured something out very quickly.

In a conversation I once had, someone had mentioned “must be nice having the summers off!” And yes, I could sense a little jealousy and contempt rising from his voice. Which is fine. I’m sort of used to it by now.

However, I usually respond with “I make sure to earn my break during the year.”

And I truly mean that.

Teachers usually teach 180 days in the year (at least in my district), not counting any ESY (Summer School), classes, or further training you might attend. This doesn’t include the teachers who work moonlight jobs as well (which I don’t).  Anyway, with the hours I worked during the school year, which includes school functions, tutoring, academic camps and whatnot, I extrapolated the time across the whole year (without any breaks) and still manage to work over 40 hours a week (41.5 to be exact).

Just a little something I thought about.  Which also made me think, “seriously, I need a wee bit of a life during the school year.”

Categories: Education Tags: , ,


Recently, I read a few things about the town/city I live in, good ole’ Reno, Nevada.  These two articles were interesting from the standpoint of “why are they writing about Reno?”

Honestly speaking, there are a number of very good reasons to write about Reno (and a few “interesting” ones as well).  First of all, here’s the link about Reno from the New York Times

And this from the Los Angeles Times (though the context within the article refers to the “battleground states” for the election.

One of the main issues surrounding Reno/Sparks is the fact that almost *everyone* knows we’re trying to diversify the economy after decades of gaming that filled the coffers.  What I don’t think everyone is realizing is that this will take decades to create, especially in light of the recession and the ever so paltry job market in Nevada.

Downtown Reno and the Baseball Stadium. From

I do want to say that Reno is slowly pulling itself up by it’s metaphorical bootstraps, it’s just not as fast as some would like it.  Now this is coming from the perspective of an average citizen who really doesn’t keep up too much with city planning and the economy, but I can offer up a visual observation.  Just yesterday, I actually took a detour to drive through downtown Reno and honestly, it’s a changed landscape for sure and for the better I hope.  The Aces Baseball Stadium is a fantastic venue and the Riverwalk District is shaping up to be a nice little area for restaurants and bars.  Downtown was lively, though it was mainly due to the annual Artown Festival in July.

Reno Riverwalk. From

High-rise condos are finally getting tenants.  Mid-Town Reno is also improving with new restaurants and venues to check out.  If Apple carries through with their new Data Center and Downtown Office, that could definitely help take out some of the “rougher” areas of Downtown.

Photo of Wingfield Park on the Truckee River Trail in Reno, Nevada

Wingfield Park and the Truckee River. Really busy in the summer 🙂 From

Yes, this is my “we’re Reno and we’re not at all that bad” platform.  I just wanted to make sure that people understood that.

We also have Lake Tahoe, which is a mere 40 – 45 minute drive from the city.

There are still areas of concern (ask any Northern Nevadan living in Reno about the Kings Inn, and they’ll probably gag and the tax breaks given to certain companies along with the controversies of the STAR Bonds to name a few) but at a tortoise-like pace, Reno is improving.

So, in short, Reno is progressing and yes, it’s definitely (and smartly) finding new streams of revenue to keep the city going.

There was also this article which also summed up Reno’s Evolution as well.

In case you’d like more information, the blog I usually check out is Downtown Makeover.

Summer is Here

So I’ve decided to try and keep writing, at least in this format, for the summer, to keep myself . . . writing. After all, I did go to school to learn how to be a writer, though honestly speaking, perhaps the only way for me to get better (and this holds for the general population as well), I just have to write to get better.

So here I am, finally writing something near the mid-point of my summer vacation.

I really wanted to voice my reflections on the past school year, my 5th year as a teacher. Even though I’m officially on summer break, it still feels like I should be in the classroom at this point. I remember telling some of my colleagues that I could probably keep teaching another month or two, which garnered me a few interesting looks.

I’m getting better.

Let’s just say that I’m getting better in the sense of what I need to do in the classroom in order to get my students to learn. I’m very much trying a number of different things and still studying a number of different things to be more effective. I still read, watch videos, and talk to colleagues about what I need to do in order to become better. In a sense, it reminds me of when I was younger and studying tapes of basketball players I wanted to emulate. The only difference is I can’t go out onto the driveway to practice any new teaching method or technique.

I’m still having fun as well, if you can believe it.

Yes, teaching is a very challenging profession (but I’d argue that almost any profession is challenging if you have a passion for it. It should be for crying out loud!), but I think the key for me is still trying to find a way to have fun at whatever I do. Or at the very least, be actively and completely engaged. Whether it’s in the classroom or just poking fun at some of my closer friends at the school, I think I need that reminder to step back and smile every so often. I remember working some jobs where time always dragged along, which prompted more than my fair share of frustrations in the workplace, along with those essential “existential” questions like “what the hell am I supposed to do with my life?”

In all, I’m probably going to continue writing on this idea later in the week. I just wanted to get something down before I drowned it out with something else.

Anyway, here’s a recent book I just read on Education

I remember watching the “Ron Clark Story” on television, mainly because I knew Matthew Perry was playing the title role. I always thought Matthew Perry was underrated as an actor and I was curious to see what he could do in a very different role than what I’d seen from him recently. This led, however, to me getting more interested in Ron Clark himself, and for a brief time, I read up on what he accomplished and how he did so in the classroom (thank you interwebs). Anyway, this book, like other good educational books, outlined a few tips for students, teachers, and parents alike to use at home and in the classroom. It’s a recommended read, I’ll say.

Categories: Books, Education, Teaching Tags: , ,
Elan Mudrow


Ryan Decasa Photography

Fine Art Landscape Photography

Kristen VanCitters

An Innovative Educator

Giving Your Team Hope for their Financial Future!

Envision Your Future Online

Helping you Improve your Online Business

Digital Dimensions

Blog about Blogging and Digital Marketing


A great site

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

The writer gives life to a story, the reader keeps it alive.

Project Light to Life

A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.

Chalkboard Chatter

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery."

A Beautiful Mess is

Fisticuffs and Shenanigans

It was all fun and games, until the fisticuffs and shenanigans... -Deutschmarc

marvelous teacher musings

OCD Teacher, Chef, Animal Rescuer, Muser


Jesse Hagopian's Lesson Plan for Liberation

a blonde and her camera

Capturing your world.

Craft Fear

Handmade horror with a side of suds.

cancer killing recipe

Just another site


Just Click It