My two cents (Week of June 21, 2021)

For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 36th and final post in the series.

Monday (June 21)
Sadly, I had to miss the “graduation celebration” because of a wedding in my family. Many students from this graduating class hold a special place in heart, so not being there was especially bitter sweet.

Tuesday (June 22)
I learned today from my principal, via a staff-wide email, that he is resigning as our principal in order to take a position as deputy superintendent of a charter school network. He has been the founding principal of our school for the last 16 years; this is historic news.

Wednesday (June 23)
Being in the building with little to do but write reflective blogposts feels unusual. This afternoon I got up some shots in the gym with Brother D and DeSiervo while casually chatting it up; always leave on a make!

Thursday (June 24)
Completed and posted make up work for my NX students for their journeys during summer school. On his second-to-last day in office, my co-host and I recorded an impromptu and heartfelt podcast episode with the principal.

Friday (June 25)
Alone with the echo of an empty classroom, I packed up my crap for the summer and said farewell; what a year this was. Tried my best to consolidate my gear into a few regions of room 227 and clumsily posted “Belongs to Mr. Palacios – Please do Not Remove” signs on them.

bp

My two cents (Week of June 14, 2021)

For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 35th post in the series.

Monday (June 14)
Did lots of outreach to help some of my students make it to the finish line. Prepping the envelopes and labels that will be used to mail my students their copies of our book filled my heart with satisfaction.

Tuesday (June 15)
A quiet day — the low hum of room 227’s air conditioner kept me calm and collected throughout the day as I began to finalize grades, sent more emails to students, and finish a blog post. This afternoon, with remote learning knowing that its days are numbered, it lashed out at me one last time; with the sun in my eyes, I smoothly dodged its noxious thrust and extended grace to a student in need — I consider it my watered-down version of a federal pardon.

Wednesday (June 16)
The 110 copies of Mathematical Voices, Volume 2 arrived and I spent some time in the morning hand-delivering personalized copies to several colleagues in the building who helped make it happen. Enjoyed a reflective and heartwarming conversation with my assistant principal about the year as well as the last five years.

Thursday (June 17)
It felt awfully strange proctoring a Regents exam this morning, let alone doing it in the gym. I happily deposited Mathematical Voices into the unexpected hands of some juniors (including many sophmores I taught last year) who came in to sit for exam.

Friday (June 18)
My co-host and I recorded the last guest-centered episode of the staff podcast this morning. The podcast been an incredibly unique, community-building experience during an weird, unfriendly school year.

bp

My two cents (Week of June 7, 2021)

For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 34th post in the series.

Monday (June 7)
The Olympic Games continue with another game of Kahoot. The 11th grade teachers met as grade team after school in one last-ditch effort to plan for students who are in desperate need of our support.

Tuesday (June 8)
Had a lovely, cookie-filled meeting after school with some colleagues as we closed out our time connecting compassion with teaching and learning. I’ve never been part of professional learning quite like this before and I’m thankful for it.

Wednesday (June 9)
To close out the Olympic Games, we played Math Pictionary; to ensure every team earned a nice collection of medals, I amusingly joined a couple of teams throughout the day to support them. I also began collecting mailing addresses from students so I can send them a copy of our book, Mathematical Voices, Volume 2.

Thursday (June 10)
The last day of classes and an emotional day for me. For me, saying goodbye to my students — my comrades, my companions, my battlemates — is an act I take seriously that honors the space they’ve taken up in my life for the last 10 months; this year I found it liberating, but sad.

Friday (June 11)
Today was the annual cutting of my beard. I fully expected to do it alone on Zoom, but, in a twist, two students walked in the classroom just as I was getting started and ended up doing it all.

bp

My two cents (Week of May 31, 2021)

For each school day of the 2020-21 school year, I will be writing two sentences to capture some of the impressions, feelings, experiences, or thoughts I had that day. This is the 33rd post in the series.

Monday (May 31)
No Classes — Memorial Day

Tuesday (June 1)
The first day of the Math Olympics, an event that we’ll use to close the year which was co-designed by me and my cogen. To add an official feel to it, we held the opening ceremonies; we played the Olympic music, lit the Olympic torch, had a parade of participants, read-aloud some math writing from the year.

Wednesday (June 2)
Day 2 of the Olympic Games kicked off with a festive game of Kahoot to review some of what we learned this year. During the medal ceremony, in which I played “We Are the Champions” by Queen and slowly dragged gold, silver, and bronze medals over top of the group members’ names on screen, one student remarked in the chat, “I’m emotional for no reason.”

Thursday (June 3)
Co-facilitated a racial and social justice professional development where our staff used restorative circles (2-4-8) to add structure to some internal reckoning we’ve been doing at our school. Strong opinions abound; fireworks lit up the sky!

Friday (June 4)
A bitter-sweet day because I met with my cogen for the last time this year; I called it a “Reunion Cogen” because I invited all 19 students who were part of it back for one final conversation to debrief the experience. We spoke and I also gave them an anonymous survey; all the students spoke highly of their time in the cogen and valued it as a means of getting to know each other, building trust, and bettering to the classroom community for everyone.

bp

Monday

No classes — Memorial Day

The first day of the Math Olympics. The opening ceremonies we held; we lit the Olympic torch, had a parade of participants, and shared some math writing from the year.

Day 2 of the Olympic Games kicked off with a festive game of Kahoot. The medal ceremony was emotional for no reason at all.