What does this teacher do on breaks???—Corona leave me alona!!!

Teachers are a one-of-a-kind breed. We are the ones deep in the trenches of the youth of today hoping to make a small difference by educating a generation. Every day we get up and teach even when many of the ones in our classroom do not want to learn. We are constantly judged and scrutinized in our profession from which we received a degree. Respect is not often given, but we trek on in the midst of it all. Because of this, breaks are MUY IMPORTANTE! 

This Corona break has given us plently of time to do all the things! 🙂 Here are

Watch All the Shows

Binge watching is a wonderful time-killer. Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, or Prime Video. There are many ways to make this happen.

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I love getting into a new show and getting lost. Make sure you have plenty of binge-watching snackies. If you are unsure what to watch, here is a list of some of my favorites.

Reality shows: Survivor, Hell’s Kitchen, Project Runway

Crime shows: Leverage, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds

Not your average shows: Stranger Things, Umbrella Academy

Need some comedy: Psych, New Girl

Take All the Naps

Teacher do not get many naps during the school year. I have taken the occasional nap on my off hour in the teachers’ lounge if I needed it. Now is the time to take all the naps that you need. 

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Disconnect All the Things

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With all the crazy media making everyone panic, it may just be time to disconnect from social media for awhile. 

You cannot really disconnect with the internet altogether because many schools are going online, but a little time to yourself without the contact of the outside world might be nice and refreshing.

Read ALL the things

I usually wait until the summer to read anything because I cannot get engrossed in a book or I will not sleep. Now is the time to take advantage of all the time you have a read all the books you have on your summer waiting list. 

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Here’s some of my favorites:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians- Rick Riordan

Heroes of Olympus- Rick Riordan

Harry Potter series- J. K. Rowling

Enjoy the quarantine.

Use this time to refresh and renew your body and mind. If we are to go back to school, the students will need a teacher that is rested and ready to get back to work. We all know that we will have to reteach many policies and procedures so rest up and be ready to be at your best. Our students need us.

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Funny Student Responses- You’re Welcome :)

Do you like comedy?

Do you like seeing comedians in your free time?

Do you like bad dad jokes?

Do you want to hear some of the most amazing comments that make you cry laughing?

You do?


You will hear some of the craziest stories, comments, and most hilarious things you have ever heard. There have been many times I have laughed so hard that I cried. These are the moments I love in the classroom because they are spontaneous and unplanned. I enjoy these moments with my students because we can laugh together with pure joy.

Every year teaching, I have bought a notebook to write down all these amazing moments in my classroom. I have so many notebooks full of student funnies from my teaching in elementary and middle school. I did not want to forget any of them.

Here are some of my favorite student responses from over the years . Please enjoy. If you are a teacher, add your own in the comments. I would love to hear them.

Things I should not have to tell my students:

6th grade—We were discussing writing and using all five senses to create your story. I took them out to the playground and told them to use their senses to write a short paragraph.

As I am giving them directions, one of my students raised his hand. I saw the look in his eyes and just KNEW what he was going to ask.

ME: Please do NOT lick the playground.


8th grade—I am giving the students directions on what to do and I look back and see one of my students……..

ME: Please don’t put your pen in your ear.

Student #1: But…

Student #2: Wait, I wanna see what that feels like (puts pen in his ear)

ME: Get the pen out of your ears!


Yeah, that is not quite right:

8th grade—The students had just gotten back from Christmas break, and a student was telling the class what they got for Christmas.

Student #1: I got a polaroid camera for Christmas.

ME: Man, those things are making a comeback.

Student #2: Polaroid? That’s a disease, right?

ME: Um, no, not at all.

Student #2: No, isn’t it a disease. I thought that’s what it was.

ME: Polio?

Student #2: Oh, wait. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.


5th grade—Playing a review game for Old World History.

ME: What are the two holy cities of Islam?

Student #1: Mecca and um…. I don’t know.

ME: (looking at other student) If you can name the other one, I will give you a point, too.

Student #2: Madonna?

ME: No, Medina.


I cannot make this stuff up:

7th grade— We were in English so I’m not really sure why we got on the subject of geography. I think maybe North Dakota was in a sentence or something. Then this great response came:

Student #1: So there’s really a North Dakota?

ME: Um, yeah, you should know this already. There’s a South Dakota, too.

Student #2: There’s a Virginia and West Virginia. Is there a South Virginia?

ME: Did you not learn this in history by now?

5th grade—Reviewing for history.

ME: What is the study of the earth?

Student: Geometry


8th grade—This was my first year coaching softball, and it was the first game of the season. We had been practicing for over a month. We had just finished the first half of an inning as the home team, and the girls were running back into the dugout. One of my outfielders asked me what the score was so I told her how many the other team scored. The next part of the story left me speechless… Reminder-We are the HOME team. Another piece of information- She has played softball before.

Student: What’s the score?

ME: They scored five.

Student: What did we score?

ME: We have not batted yet?

Student: Yeah, but how many did we score?

ME: (shocked and spoke a little slower) We have not batted yet?

Student: Right, but how many did we score?

ME: The game just started. You just came in from the field. We have not batted yet, so we cannot score any points.

Student: Oh! So we only score when we bat?

(The whole dugout stops and is in shock)

ME: (pause) (speechless) (says slowly) Yes.

Student: Oh okay!

ME: (still in shock)


This junk is funny:

7th grade—We were talking about popping fireworks and some of what they told we was not particularly safe. I told them that are lucky they did not burn anything down. Another student chimed in with a response, and it went downhill from there. You should recognize the State Farm commercial.

Student #1: I burned down my grandpa’s shed.

ME: Burned it all the way down?

Student #1: Yes. My grandpa’s shed

Student #2: She shed?

Student #3: Cheryl’s she shed?


8th grade—I work at a private school so many of my students live 20 sometimes 30 minutes away. Quite a few of them live in swamp areas or country areas with lots of wildlife.

For homework, my students had to complete their study guide. I put it online and later that night, I got this response on Google Classroom from one of my students.

Student: Mmmm I don’t think so. I went outside to go get my booksack in the car and when I walked down the front porch, I saw a bear eating our trash, so that’s a big no no. That study guide is #notgonnahappen.


There will always be more moments.

These are the moments that I read over and over again in my “Funny” books (the students named it). You never know what is going to happen at any moment. One day, a student will have a brick in his booksack because it is his “pet”, the next you are finding a student’s parent’s food stamp card in his pocket. This is what makes teaching SO MUCH FUN!!!

It only gets better from here! 🙂 Be on the lookout for more funny student stories in the future.

Tips for New Teachers Part One- Hang in there

My first time in my own classroom was extremely overwhelming. I graduated in December so when I got into my first classroom it was in the middle of the year. I was teaching out of my degree field(middle school) and felt very much alone. There was no one there that helped me because they had me teaching a new program that they needed to implement that year and I was STRESSED beyond myself. It was pure torture.

I was in that school for four months. I was tested by the students, and I spent most afternoons crying in my car at the end of the day. There was little support and I was pleading for help. All I needed was a little guidance but there was none.

My next job was so much easier. I was teaching fourth, fifth, and sixth grade and had all the support in the world. It was night and day with these jobs. I had team teachers that  gave me feedback and helped answer my questions. It was amazing. Having other teachers to support me was so helpful my first year teaching.

Now I am in my eighth year teaching and have learned SO much. I will not say that I am an expert because as teachers, we are still constantly students of our profession. However, if I can help a new teacher not want to quit within their first year with the helpful hints that I learned then I have done my job. 🙂

Breathe. Just breathe.

Every day in the classroom is different. You never know what you are going to face. This is actually something that I learned from my apple watch because it was constantly reminding me to breathe. I always thought “um thanks, cause I am gonna forget?” I always thought it was weird.

My apple watch helped me learn to BREATHE in my classroom. When things get a little crazy and do not go your way….BREATHE!!!

When you get called in the office because an irate parent emailed saying you are not catering to Little Johnny like you should…….BREATHE!!!

When you teach a perfectly executed lesson and the students still do not undersand the content……..BREATHE!!!

When you need to make copies before class, but the copier is jammed……BREATHE.


It is okay to tell the students to read, draw, or color for a few minutes so you can take a few minutes to gather yourself and BREATHE! Sometimes that is all it takes to get the day back on the right track. The students need you at your best and this could help center you in the moment.

Do not let your actions show favorites.

This is actually something that I am learning this year.

This is my third year teaching middle school. Yes, as you may be wondering from the above information, it is out of my degree field, and I was not particularly fond of it. Well, I have been in many different grades in the small private school where I have worked the last eight years(see about Jodi section for more info).

My middle school students were having a conversation with me while we had a little free time. They are constantly asking “Hey, which student is your favorite?” My answer is always the same “I love all my students the same.” Most of the time, individual students are the ones that say they are my favorite, but this particular day, I heard them saying a certain student which we will call Little Johnny. It threw me a little because I had to self-evaluate myself and check how I treat all my students.

The more I thought about it, the more I found that I could see how they thought that. What happened with Little Johnny is that we learned how to deal with other due to situations and discussion we had at the beginning of the year. I had no idea  with that understanding in how I deal with Little Johnny that the other students would think he is my favorite. I never want my students to feel like I like one more than other. This was on me.

When it comes to dealing with students, there will be some that you do not like. Remember, do not let them see your behavior towards another student as favoritism.

ALWAYS use a seating chart.

Seating charts are a teacher’s best friend. This will be your saving grace.

I have a particular group of five boys in my class that i have to keep separated. There is always one of them in the front row center directly in front of me. The others are in the four corners of the classroom. Every nine weeks I change the seating chart and to their dismay, they are never seated together. I simply just rotate where they are sitting.

There are other teachers that struggle with this group of boys because they do not separate them like they should be. In those class, those students are troublemakers. In my class, they do not have the opportunity because of their distance.

Find a teacher best friend.

My teacher best friends are my sanity. When you get your first job, this needs to be the first thing you accomplish. You will need someone who will encourage you and get you through the year.

You are going to need someone to vent to when times are tough, to watch your class so you can go to the bathroom, and make you laugh when you need it.

Teacher best friends give them best hugs when you need them. Hold them close when you find them.

Find a discipline plan that works for YOU.

My school started a whole new way of disciplining that students and the first nine weeks I was so mad and frustrated because I could NOT get a grasp on it. In order to make it work for me, I took the information they gave me and make a form, with the permission of administration, to document misbehavior and conduct. It took a whole nine weeks, but I finally felt like I became consistent in my discipline system.

You will find that your discipline plan will change and morph as you go throughout your first year or even after years of teaching. Your school will have a way of doing things, but take what they give you and make it your own.

These are a few of my favorite things….

There are so many more tips that I could give because there are so many things that you do not learn in college. You do not get to true experience as a teacher until you are in the classroom on your own. With these in mind, you will be an incredible teacher.

One book that I would recommend every new teacher reading is The First Days of School by Henry Wong. This is the ultimate classroom management book to have in your teacher library. I highly recommend it.

Tips for Substitute Teachers

As a teacher, I absolutely HATE being missing a day of school. It is hard for me to be absent because of my students. When I am there, they know they cannot get away with anything. I love playing around with my students, but they know where I draw the line.

When I am not there, they are going to do whatever they can to get out of work. They will convince a sub to do things they know I would never allow them to do. I always pray that I will not get sick or be away for any reason because I will spend the whole time worrying about students and what is going on in my classroom.

More issues happen in my class when I am not there because there is not enough control with the sub. I wish there was a class that all subs can attend to give them the tools they need to succeed when they are in a teacher’s classroom.

I have seen my share of subs throughout my teaching career. Here are a few tips from my experience that I would give to all subs entering a classroom either for the first time or some that may not know what a teacher expects.

Get to school early.

This is really important. Just like many teachers, I leave very detailed lesson plans. I leave step by step instructions so that they students day will be as close to a normal day as possible. Getting to school early allows you to get yourself acclimated to the classroom and school surroundings(bathrooms, office, etc.). It also allows you to make sure you have time to get coffee if you need it. If you didn’t know, coffee is a must have for a teacher. Keeps us moving. 🙂

I am aware that sometimes getting to school early does not always happen so I always leave a note in the front of my sub binder. I leave a note for the teacher telling them to tell the students to read a book so they can sit and read the plan for the day and be familiar with them.

However, there may not be time for that in all sub plans, so getting to school early is vital.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Teaching solo in a classroom can make you feel like you are an island. You can feel very alone and there is no one to help you. Especially as a sub, it can feel doubly lonely.

BUT…….fear not, sweet sub…….there is hope.

One beautiful aspect of the teaching world is that most teachers around you are willing to help IF YOU ASK FOR IT!

When my teacher friends have a sub, I make a point to talk to their sub to make sure they have everything they need. I check in with them throughout the day to make sure things are going smoothly or if there are issues that feel out of their control.

You will not always have someone that will come to you because days get busy. If you feel overwhelmed or in need of some assistance, you need to let someone know. Do not be afraid to let another person into your struggles. Substitute teaching is at times harder than a regular teacher because they students are going to test you, but you need not feel like you are in this alone.

Remember you are NOT the students’ friend.

I remember I had a long-term sub in one of my classes in high school. The regular teacher was on maternity leave for one-third of the semester. This class was only a half semester class, and it was a MISERABLE. The sub was too busy trying to be the cool teacher and being a friend to the “cool” students that she did not always see what was going on in the class. She cursed in front of us and was just extremely unprofessional. There was no respect established due to her trying to be on our level.

This one is HUUUUUUUUGGGGGGEEEEE!!! You cannot come into the classroom and expect to be the students’ friend. They are going to test you to see what they can get from you. If you cave and give them what they want, it will be an extremely hard day for you.

You have to put your foot down and be the bad guy in many situations. I tell my students all the time that they are allowed to be mad at me. I am aware that they will not like me one hundred percent of the time. My job is to educate them and prepare them for the world and that means getting them to do work when they do not want to.
You do not have to be liked by the students.

I listen to the students’ reactions when talking about subs. If they say “they make us do work” or “she’s mean”, those are the subs that I choose. My students love that about me (heehee). I know that means the sub did not give in to what they tried to do.

Have a positive attitude and confident in your authority.

When you enter a classroom, come in like you own the place and you know what you are doing(even if you do not know what you are doing). Students feed off the attitude of the teacher. When I am in a bad mood, the students feel it. The same will be with out.

Come into each day with your head up and walk in your authority. The day goes by a lot quicker and the students are a lot happier when the sub has an amazing attitude.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do what is on the teacher’s plans.

I saved the best one for last. This one is so important.

When a teacher is not at school for a day, it means a lot more work for the teacher when they get back. It is an unexpected setback in our plans which means hours of work trying to rework plans and tests that we originally spent hours planning.

I have had a few subs that did not get this concept. Here are some examples of this:

1. I needed my students to spend the class time answering a study guide for history because we were going to answer it together the next day. I did not want to just give them the answers so this time was vital in them doing the work on their own. I got back the next day, the students had very little done. They said the sub was interested in the Bermuda Triangle and wanted to watch a video about it. She used the class time to watch it. I was set back two days in giving the test which set my next week’s plan behind.

2. I needed my students to finish some worksheets because it was quiz grades. The next day, the sub left me this note, “I taught the students respect and discipline.” That is great and all, but I needed those worksheets. This also set me back two days. Not fun.

I understand that the students are not always cooperating and the assignments might not get FULLY done. I like to see that most of the work was completed as much as they can. I also take into account that the students will just be lazy at times and grade accordingly.

But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your very BEST to get done what is on the sub plans. The teachers will GREATLY appreciate you because of this.

With all this being said…..

I have a great respect for substitute teachers. We know how hard you have it because we know our students. They will test any new teacher to see what they can get over on them. We know it is hard. Know that we appreciate everything you do. We need you. Do not give up.

Happy Teaching New Year 2020

It is a whole new year for teaching my students. We have already been through half the year. It seems crazy. We have already experienced a half of year of craziness—many victories and many struggles. Looking back I know there are some things that I can change and make better or things that I can keep the same because they are working. I want to be better for my students. I want this year to mean something to them at the end of the year.

Do any other teachers feel this way? Am I alone in this thinking?

The more I think about it, the more each student’s face flashes through my mind. Each student being different, both their journey and struggles. I have to meet them where they are and stop expecting them to want what I have to teach them.

I want to learn each of my students. I want to be a student of my students.

My goals for 2020 are:

1. Get to know each student for who they are and not what I want them to be.

I get so frustrated with some students because they are not where I want them to be. I have a set of goals that I want to get accomplished and when they are not there yet, I get aggravated. At times, I take it out on the students.

What I want to remember this year is that every student goes at their own pace. I cannot measure my students’ progress that same way. Each individual student has a different skill set and gets developed at different times.



I want to learn what they bring to the table and what their passions in life are. I have gotten to know them a lot already this year, but I have gotten a little lazy towards the end of the semester in this area.

2. Be more aware of my student’s life situations.

This one is really important to me because this encompasses so much. I want to be aware of how they are doing in their friend groups, in their family, in their other classes, etc.

This seems a little impossible in a sense, but I am going to do my best.

I just need to continue keeping my ear out there to listen to how they interact with their peers and how their emotions are for the day, Sometimes knowing how they have started their day emotionally makes all the difference in the world.

3. Create more moments of discussion within my lessons.

It happens so often with teachers that we tend to be the ones that talk the most throughout the day. Yes, that typically is what we are supposed to do, but what about what our students have to say.

I know that every student has an opinion about numerous subject. I have never found this more true than this year with one of my eighth graders. I am not big on politics, but this particular student is very aware of what is going on in the world of politics. He could school me on many issues the world is facing right now. Hearing him talk about what he is passionate about is refreshing. I have given him a few instances to just speak about what is in the news because he has such insight.

With the teacher as the moderator, students should be given the chance to talk and express their thoughts on issues and subjects. I want to be better at this so that I can let them know that what they have to say is important.


This one is VITAL is I want any of these to happen. In order for the first three to happen, I need this one the MOST.

1- I cannot get to know my students if I have not finished the lesson due to not being prepared.

2- I cannot keep my ear out there to listen to my students to be aware of their situations if I am busy catching up on things at my desk.

3- I cannot add moments of discussion if I am not ready or prepared to present a lesson.

All of these hinge on being prepared in everything.

Being prepared is paramount in the life of a teacher. If I have not prepared as I should have, I have done a disservice to my students. This is a HUGE goal of mine.

Let’s gooo!!!

I am always so grateful that God has given me this amazing job. Speaking into the lives of the next generation is an amazing honor that I do not take lightly. My students are my world.

As I go into 2020, I want this year to bring so much joy and victories to my students. It is going to be an incredible year.

What are your goals for your classroom? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

God Bless!!!

About Jodi

Welcome to Teach All the Things!

Let Me Introduce Myself

I have been a teacher for eight years. It has been an eight year roller coaster ride. I have had the BEST of days and the WORST of days. I think every teacher understands this. It it a rewarding profession, yet it doesn’t always get the respect that it deserves. I have taught elementary, middle school, and high school. Subjects I have taught include history, English, PE, spelling, Bible(private school). I typically teach whatever is needed for that particular year. I have learned the teacher art of flexibility.

What is the PURPOSE?

I want to help teachers understand that other teachers have the same thoughts they do. Frustrations in the classroom come, but many more joys happen as well. Just because we do not always like parts of the job does not mean we do not LOVE our teaching job. This will be the ramblings of THIS teacher from the mind of THIS teacher. I do not have all the answers, but I can give my insight and opinions on what I have learned in my years of experience. I want to share how I deal with my students, procedures from my classroom, victories, and mishaps. There is no real rhyme or reason to this site. Just kick up your feet and grab a cup of coffee and enjoy. 🙂


I want to see that not even experienced teachers have it all together. Through my post, I hope to show what I have learned in my classroom with my amazing students and give them hope that they are not alone in the teaching trenches.

If you ever need a hand or have ay questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,