i love it when they listen.

Every day when my students enter the room, they know that they are to begin working on the daily journal. This does not always happen immediately, as one might imagine. I am simultaneously trying to elevate my students' vocabularies, which is also not happening immediately. Today's journal question was, "What is your most indispensible possession and why?" They struggled with the term "indispensible" and had questions as to what I wanted them to write, so I very clearly explained, "Okay, in other words - what is something that you have that you couldn't do without? Don't say anything about a person, because I know that there are people in your life you would never want to be without."
Here is one response I received:
"I want to indispen my mama sometimes because the only thing she do most of the time is nag nag nag all day long about everything."

Clear as mud.

Tonight I decorate Halloween cookies!

Please be so kind as to click on the picture to enlarge & admire.


it's official!

Well, they're letting me stay!

Two months later, I'm officially a teacher.

One more thing. My mother mentioned that I had neglected to write about a rather humorous event from my parent conferences and made a request that I add it to the illustrious blog. Mom, this Bud's for you.
So, rewind to the student who had never attended my class. While the school administrator and I were trying to figure out how to address the situation, the mother called her son in front of us an asked her son where he had been 8th period. We could hear his answer pretty clearly: "English!" Mother was extremely curious and asked what his teacher looked like. His answer? "That short black lady with the bangs and funny hair." I looked at the administrator and said, "That doesn't really sound like me." She laughed and said, "No, no it doesn't."

I am so white...


thoughts & tinkerings

Eyes of hatred -
Because I'm right?
Because I'm wrong?
Because I'm white?
Anger, distrust -
Because I care?
Because I teach?
Or because I'm there?


We had parent/teacher conferences today, which, thankfully, I only had to attend from 8:00 - 12:00. I met with a few parents/guardians. The first was the mother of one of my delinquent females, who was rather displeased when she discovered that her daughter has not been in attendance since Oct. 11. The second was the mother of one of my [very few] quiet, hardworking students. I was pleased to tell her that her son is doing wonderful work and always turns assignments in on time and to the best of his effort. She was very happy and proud of her son, who happens to work 40 hours a week, in addition to attending school regularly. The next conversation was with the aunt and uncle of another of my favorites. The last mother I talked to was introduced by our school director as "the mother of [student's name]." I looked at her blankly and replied, as professionally as possible, "I'm sorry, who?" The dilemma? This student has never been in my class. Apparently he had been going to the English class across the hallway. Better than nothing!


I enjoyed a leisurely afternoon of shopping for craft materials, feeling very inspired by all the approaching holidays. This evening I made (well, painted) a delightful ornament for the bathroom door.

I guess you can't really tell from these pictures, but it's maroon with a yellow star. Hand-painted. Yes, I am really that awesome. And humble.

Now, to all, a good night!


a day at a time.

Things are rough at school.
Two of the teachers with whom I was close left for other jobs, and the third is done after this week. The teacher who is leaving after this week will be greatly missed, as he often provided godly encouragement and prayers for me, giving me a little extra push for the week.
Yesterday our cell phone was stolen.
Thankfully the insurance on it covered a new one.
Today I had to sub for all the other English classes as well, meaning no lunch break.
I've also had to sub for a period of a Gov/Econ class two days in a row, which I am clearly not certified to do, as I've so lately discovered.
There are two students terrorizing the schools. However, one of them will more than likely be gone after Tuesday, as he is apparently going to be locked up for 10 years. I've overheard car robbery - he was bragging about it to his friends, but one of the teachers said he claimed to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Image is everything, and apparently it's relative.
Also, today we got a memo saying that we are to attend a Parent Orientation this Friday. From 8:30am to 6:30pm. We will be "compensated."


In other, happier news, we enjoyed a lovely weekend at home. The Cider n' Donut party was pretty fun, despite a severe shortage in ... well, cider and donuts.
The boys watch a Chelsea match, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

Victoria & I working hard on our new fall/winter line of vintage ornaments.

Bannister Babes always.

Cute little cousins!

Being the father of a newborn and a Charlie is obviously hard work!

My little Licks

Now I'm just taking each day as it comes and praying for Friday to arrive speedily...


the love of Christ

I just received the following email, from Marci Stanley (my former supervisor) at the School of Education at SAU:

"Hey Rachel - I'm amazed that such a teeny tiny girl like you is working in the Last Chance Academy in Detroit. [...] I want you to know that in honor of my 50th birthday yesterday - I collected $118 so far for your classroom books. I milked it for all its worth. [...] When John came down here regarding your request - I e-mailed people and said I'm collecting money for Rachel's class [...] People from Adult Studies came over to donate money... Anyway - we love you and are very proud of our Rachel Rae - hopefully we can send you something soon."

I'm speechless.


"I tell you the truth,
whatever you did
for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me."


autumn hodge podge

School's been cancelled for students tomorrow & Thursday. Apparently we have teacher meetings... I'm not sure what we're going to cover. Every time we talk about changes that need to be made, nothing happens. Anway, I'm taking the opportunity to update my blog.

Last Friday I made an apple pie. I'm not sure whether to be impressed or disgusted by the fact that Doug & I demolished it in... 2 and a half days.

Thanks to Panek's Pumpkin Pile for the beautiful centerpiece!

The stairs going up to our doorway.

The door to our little home!

And finally, the charming little violet that I was able to save after it was sadly neglected for a week straight. No fingerpointing (MOM!).

Not much else to update about. Well, other than the fact that a teacher's car was stolen yesterday. By students. My students. For whom she was subbing while I was downtown for the interview with the Detroit Public Schools that have all had to go through.
But other than that, not a lot happening here in Detroit!
Can't wait for the Cider n' Donut party this weekend - hope to see everyone there!


more of the darndest things.

This afternoon, during my 6th period prep, I had to babysit, er... "cover" another class. The teacher quit last week and has yet to be replaced. Also, apparently a babysitter, er... "substitute teacher" couldn't be found either.
Anyway, one of the male students put his arm around my shoulders and informed me that we are going to get married. After I informed him that, no, I am happily married, he offered the following suggestion. "That's okay, I'll be your mistress."
Oh, really?


some things never change

The other day I was driving, as I sometimes do. I came to an intersection where I needed to make a left turn onto a 4-lane road. On the opposite side of the intersection, an elderly gentleman on a sweet motorcycle was making a right turn onto the same road. He made his turn first, and I turned immediately after him.
In doing so, I was able to get a good look at this distinguished fellow.
I would estimate that he was around 70 - maybe pushing 75, and he was wearing a biker jacket.
He was also wearing khaki pants. Which obviously hiked up, due to the position one must assume while driving a motorcycle. These hiked up pants revealed white sneakers with black socks.
As if this signature retiree look was not enough to make me smile, after making his turn... his blinker stayed on... and remained on until he made another right turn out of my vision and out of my life.


there's no place like home!

Doug & I surprised my family this past weekend! We arrived at home mid-afternoon on Friday, much to my father's delight. Friday night we enjoyed pizza & family time, along with my brother's new "friend," Taylor.

Saturday, Mom, Jayne, Doug & I went to Ethan's soccer game.

The hairy creature in the forefront is, indeed, a male.

Jayne is the team's most faithful ball girl.

I am such an embarrassing big sister! :)

So proud of him! They won 2-1!!
Such a good time with the family!
& also very happy that we'll be back again so soon!


changing seasons

I love Autumn.
It's my second favorite season, after Spring.
I picked up 6 leaves today on a walk.
& I made cookies to take in to my students tomorrow.

School's going pretty well.
Tomorrow will be the 3rd half-day we've had this week.
Since I've had my morning classes every day, I don't want the afternoon classes to be ridiculously behind, so tomorrow is going to be an easy day for the kiddos, complete with chocolate chip cookies. The way to students' hearts is through their stomachs. I hope.
Today I bought 7 books for $12 - awesome! I love old bookstores.
Tomorrow is my Friday!