Category Archives: Uncategorized

A new school year


No excuses, just a fresh start.

Our district is proudly touting itself as #2 in someone’s rating for most efficient districts in the US. Easy to do if you pay your teachers 20% less than everyone else in the area and put 48 kids in a classroom that is supposed to be no more than 29. I have 184 kids listed for 5 sections. Even I can do that math!

My daughter suggested we get them ready for college- just put 200 students in the auditorium, I’ll lecture to them all at once. All that silly group work and hands-on learning can be done in a lab with some teaching assistants. I’ll have an hour of lecture every day, and an hour of office hours. The rest of the time I’ll spend honing my powerpoints for lectures.


I guess we’ll see if they change it by Tuesday. How come it’s always a shock to the district that the first day of school is here?

I blame the government for requiring an opening of school.


Oops: it must have been a bad month.


I struggle with grades. First, I hate ‘grading.’ I just want kids to  have a go and learn something. If kids don’t want to learn, I want them to go and get a job or something. I don’t want them to sit and waste their lives doing things they hate. We only have a limited number of days, why would we use them up on something we find repugnant?

So now I have to try and reconcile my “grades” with “just try it.” Since I have observed that a D- is “passing” so that you can leave the rest behind, I will keep taking late work until January – thanks to spreadsheets I can keep track. I tried this last year, and students responded well. I’ll give it another go!


Mary, Mary, interruptin’ my vacation


So here I am sitting in Thunder Bay, hoping for less thunder and more Bay, checking my email.

Will 5 links have to wait?

I love



Ninja math



What does Mary want to know?

Questions for my nominees.  Crazedmummy We want to know more about you!

  1. What are you most proud of? Right now, surviving the “Coastal Path” at Agawa. I thought I was going to die. But I didn’t.
  2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? It doesn’t matter. Wherever I go, there I am.
  3. What’s your favorite movie of all-time? Fantasia (the old one) – hippos and crocs.
  4. What song or artist is on your favorites play list? Queen
  5. What book is on your nightstand? Teacher Man
  6. What’s next on your professional development list? How to Learn Math(?)  – the MOOC
  7. What’s your favorite vacation spot? Cozumel
  8. What’s for dinner tonight? Something warm without mosquitoes
  9. If you had an extra hour each day how would you use it? swimming
  10. What advice would you like to share with the parents of your students? Love them, they’re teenagers.
  11. What inspired you to blog? Sam Shah.

The rest has to wait – I am on a trip!!