home sweet home

It's the age-old interrogative sentence that haunts all of at some point, no matter how physically far away we are from "home." And where is home exactly? Today in social studies, I warned my students that after the lesson they were going to want to leave America and travel the world for the rest of their … Continue reading home sweet home

Why I love being a teacher in the 21st century

I've been out of the classroom scene for 6 months, but now that I've jumped back in one thing is certain: I love teaching.   It's so rejuvenating  to be reminded of what you love to do. The noise of the daily grind and pressure of tight schedules can drown out the song of the things we care … Continue reading Why I love being a teacher in the 21st century


Reading and writing opens the toolbox. Inside the toolbox are the tools to break down the doors and the walls keeping you from bigger worlds.  Meet Teddy. NOT the bear - I'm talking about my student who made me cry this morning. And this is why I want you to meet him; because I won't be … Continue reading Teddy

Teacher, I know!

The possibly two most frustrating and refreshing words in the industry of education are I KNOW. Put together, these words can create a rather powerful sentence. A very short sentence (V.S.S., as my high school English teacher taught me - Thank you, Mrs. Tyner!).  This V.S.S. can mean two very different things in the classroom. One, your student … Continue reading Teacher, I know!

The Oath

Higher-level English students should know better, and I'm sick and tired of my Level 3 class and their unnecessary Chinese. It's just lazy or rebellious, and I don't approve of either of those behaviors. So I showed them how serious I was today. I made them take an oath, and English-speaking oath. I lined up … Continue reading The Oath

Teacher’s Block

You know you have teacher's block when... ...student reports were due 12 hours ago and you're still staring at the blank spaces on your computer screen with absolutely no motivation to type ANYTHING. ...the vocabulary words you're required to teach that week BORE you. ...there's a stack of unmarked test papers on your desk that … Continue reading Teacher’s Block

“Teacher, he used me!”

In the Chinese language, the verb used when they are pushed or bumped into or physically bothered by other people gets translated into English as the word use. As a result, the native English speaker is initially confused upon hearing the sentence, "He used me!" This kind of things happens all the time when moving back and forth … Continue reading “Teacher, he used me!”

Child Labor

I'm not a mute or subtle person by any means, so when my dragon boat shoulder (I'm a left sider, so my left shoulder takes the biggest hit) suddenly became mega tight and mega painful, my students noticed. And they heard me verbalize my need for a sledge hammer to just ram right through my … Continue reading Child Labor

5 Little Monkeys

Today was an interesting day of class for me. I actually decided to follow the grammar lesson with an application activity. I usually just keep ploughing through book work, which, I realize, can be detrimental to both students and teacher; so I decided to be intentional this time. Categorize it as a "first semester of … Continue reading 5 Little Monkeys

first day back

Today was the first day back after Chinese New Year Vacation. It was the first day of school in the Year of the Snake. SSSSSSsssssssssssSSS!!! The ssssssssspring ssssemesssssster hasssss begun! (Like that alliterative snake-hiss effect? Wait, I just removed the impact by asking you that, didn't I. Crap.) I immediately discovered that there can no … Continue reading first day back