Focus 2 Achieve

Innovate Create Educate

I blog on Brain-Based Learning, Metacognition, EdTech, and Social-Emotional Learning. I am the author of the Crush School Series of Books, which help students understand how their brains process information and learn. I also wrote The Power of Three: How to Simplify Your Life to Amplify Your Personal and Professional Success, but be warned that it's meant for adults who want to thrive and are comfortable with four letter words.

High School Hallway Chatter aka Good Times at High School High

by Hollie Radanke

Choir Practice: High School Chatter

When you have your classroom door open, you are opening up a world of chatter that you may not understand during day.   Like the other day two girls were walking very slowly past my door and all I heard was “Seriously?  Serrriiioussly!!  No but seriously?  SERIOUSLY! Seriously?”  - that must have been a serious situation.  

Or

“I swear to god, if I die I am going to be so angry”   — umm… huh?  

Or

“Having him swear at people is the highlight of my day!”  — I am hoping this isn’t a teacher, but I would understand if it were. :)  

Or

“I don’t know she is not answering our group chat.  Probably because she is in a good person in school and has her phone put away.”  

It can also happen in class, especially when you are in a computer lab…. This one however scared me for a second.  

“Oh my god – that is soooo sexy.  YES!  How sexy is that!?!   Sex-y!” 

Don’t worry, he was looking up a used car (which was his assignment)….  Your mind went to the gutter didn’t it!?!  :)  

Happy Hour chatter can be as interesting…. Lets see what we can hear today while enjoying the atmosphere at The Tap Room (or wherever it is you go)! 

Angry E-mails: What you want to, but probably shouldn't write to Parents/Students

by Hollie Radanke

Angry E-mails

Angry E-mails

That moment when, and we have all experienced this, most likely this morning even when we fire up the good ol’ MacBook.  We take a deep breath while we mentally prepare ourselves for….  Spinning wheel of the death?  Nope!  That moment when your outlook is syncing and you pray to the email gods that there isn’t a boat load of angry student or even angrier parent emails!  Yes my friends, it is the end of the trimester and grading has commenced!  

How do we handle the passive aggressive emails?  I have a few possible statements….

Student:  Ms. Soandso  I really think I did better on that paper than what you gave me as a grade.  I would really appreciate a few points back, it would also help with my overall GPA.  

Response:  Thank you for your email.  I understand that you want a few points back on your last paper.  I however, would like a few hours back from having to grade such a horrible example of what you may consider extraordinary  English work.  As far as I can tell, time travel hasn’t been invented so I guess we are both out of luck.  But thank you for expressing your concern, I will take it into consideration.  

Parent:  Mr. Blahblah …  My son swears that he handed in those last five assignments.  

Response:  Your son swears to me all the time too.  However, I feel like we may be using that word in different context.  I would gladly repeat how he swears to me about his assignments but I feel that it may violate the rules set forth by the district for email conduct.   But thank you for expressing your concern, I will take it into consideration.  

Student:  Mrs.  Booboo …  I was gone on vacation during finals week.  Did I miss anything important? 

Response:  Aloha!  I am so glad you were able to take a vacation after we just had a four days off for Thanksgiving break.  Did we do anything important?  Hmm… Important over finals week of the trimester?  Let me think.  Nope.  We reminisced about all of the great times we had this trimester learning about different equations and problems.  We did a little #TBT to when I showed the class how to work on this one problem that had everyone stumped.  All and all it was a very relaxed few days, almost like we were on vacation with you.  

Well, I should probably check the 11 email messages I avoided in order to write this … probably because if I hadn’t, I would be answering the real emails in an almost too snarky manner.  :)   Enjoy your workshops!  Maybe we’ll see each other after school at Bonfires! :) 

Teacher Zombie

It has happened…. It is that part of winter where I either want to hibernate or let’s be honest cry. But because I shouldn’t just be crying all over the place, the happy medium seems to be a state of zombie-ness. You may need to check if you have the same Teacher Zombies as me, rumor has it, it's contagious.

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