Saturday, September 24, 2011


I've been assigned to teach social studies this year in addition to one section of English, so my work load has increased exponentially. Also added to my plate: STUDENTS! I have 3 times as many students this year as I had last year. It's not that big a deal, I had triple digit numbers for a couple years back home, but the difference is I'm only teaching my social studies classes in three, 40 minute periods per week. That means I'm only seeing my 25 student classes for a total of 120 minutes in a work week. Compare that to the 275-400 minutes of weekly exposure I had at home, and maybe you'll understand why I'm having such a hard time remembering SO MANY FRICKIN' NAMES!

I hate that I'm about to begin the third week of school and I'm still fumbling with connecting names and faces. Growing up, I was the forgettable girl. Not because I had a blah personality, but because I had a difficult last name and/or I had an older sister who was kind of a rockstar in the academic department. Therefore, teachers either just didn't try to learn how to pronounce my full name, or they just called me by my sister's name.

I. hated. it. A person's name is the foundation of her identity! I have always prided myself on being the teacher who remembered 100% of her students' names by the 3rd day of school. And now here I am in the THIRD WEEK of school, and I can't get it right. I'm starting to see the hurt on a lot of my kids' faces, and it frustrates me.

I'll pull it together. I've only got 2 or 3 faces in each class that just haven't clicked. Hopefully I'll have it all together by the end of this week.

The good news is, I have a TON of repeats this year, so when in doubt, I can just call out 1 of 4 names, and chances are I'll get it right. I made a wordle of my girls' names so you can see what I'm up against. Compare this word cloud with last year's, and you'll get a visual image of how much my class load has increased!

Teacher friends, I know this sounds like the whiniest blog post ever, but I also know you can relate. I don't even get the luxury of the old teacher trick of taking pictures of the kids on the first day and using them as flash cards. Can't take pictures of Muslim girls! 

Vicariously yours,

for those interested: You can create your own word clouds @

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