Class of 2017

 

Hello Friends,

Roughly a week and a half after prom, we had graduation. This year was the 166th graduating class of Notre Dame. It was held at the California Theatre in downtown San Jose, which was a gorgeous historical building. A few days prior we had had baccalaureate mass at the Cathedral Basilica in the evening and it was such a special moment seeing my first seniors in their blue cap and gowns.

June 3rd was a hot Saturday, but the theatre was cooler than outside. This year was my first year teaching almost all freshman, so my few seniors were very precious to me. Most years prior, I taught juniors and senior exclusively. I know they are going on to amazing school, but I will miss these friendly familiar faces. Congratulations class of 2017!

A few days later I was invited to see a few students from my old school graduate at City Hall. It was such a bittersweet moment seeing a few of my juniors as about to graduate seniors! I wish I had been there during their senior years.

A few of my students had selected to finish out their senior year with a combination of online and college course. The above student stuck together in a cohort class. It was fantastic to see Joe, the very man that had hired me to teach at this school four years ago at the last graduation ever for LPS San Jose.

These two students were my most troublesome, and I was very hard on them. I was very hard on them because I knew they could do better, and I knew how smart they were. I didn’t want them to waste their education or their future with silly actions. I am so proud of all their work and can’t wait to hear all about their adventures at Evergreen and Ithaca College! 

These five hard working and devoted people brought the 15 students up to the finish line of graduation. I worked beside them for the last few years and I missed them so much during this past year of new experiences and changes as I transitioned to my new school. I wish them all the best as they now go off to new places!

To all my darling students of the class of 2017, I am so proud of you!

Love,

-S

2017 Prom

Hello Friends,

The end of the school year is always a busy time. The weekend after I was in Seattle was prom! Our school hosted it at a downtown location called the Corinthian Ballroom which was a great venue. It had a bunch of rooms on the main level, and upstairs was the photographers for the formal photos.

It was wicked hot that day, and I decided to get my hair done at Drybar just to keep it off my shoulders (it’s getting so long now!). It turned out so elegant. The theme of Prom was Beauty and the Beast, so all the students working the dance were dressed up as little maids and forks/spoons.

Downstairs they had a photo-book room, dinner and dancing in the main ballroom, and a lounge area with the drinks and dessert. Everyone looked their very best, and all the dresses were gorgeous. I was surprised by how many girls went floor-length like I did. Although I wasn’t chaperoning it, I stopped by to say hello to some of my seniors and of course to the other teachers. I snapped a few photos with some of my seniors that are from the class of 2017!

Love,

-S

Back to School Shopping

This post is pre-scheduled due to how crazy I know the first week or so of high school is. #teacherlife It’s so weird to write these words, but it’s always a sad moment the day or two before starting work … Continue reading

Awards Ceremony

163b7a2f-29dd-465e-8ed0-954e58af8822

The school year is drawing to a close! Last week on Thursday we had our awards ceremony, and it was truly amazing to see so many of our students standing there proudly with their awards. This year our kids have really risen to new academic heights, which is exciting!

005537e1-04ae-4310-b804-6783410c43b1 306367e6-255e-46af-a1bc-2773d629d027 746132c9-1bd6-43e5-a4d2-f28bdf41d418 f407f990-83b8-4cb4-894a-11b360209c88 f1245826-7689-45c5-a130-225008038fa5

When I think about where my students have come from, and how much work they have put into their education, I get a little teary eyed, and know that small things such as awards nights help validate their effort. I also love meeting and seeing students interact with their families, which is always so sweet.

Love,

-S

School Fieldtrips

During the second to last week of May, we take our students on both college visits and on academic and adventure focused field-trips. On Monday I took my lovely juniors up to the City to explore San Francisco State. It was a bright blue sky kinda day, sunny, but brisk and windy. In short, it was as perfect in the city as it gets!

We explored their library, ate in their cool kid basement game room and lounge, and walked up to their rooftop viewing station!

For the next few days another teacher and I took a few kids to a rock climbing gym in Sunnyvale called Planet Granite. We rock climbed for the morning, and relaxed at the park in the afternoon. It was a great week spending time with the kids outside of the classroom!

Do you remember going on any fun school field-trips?

Love,

-S

Dear Students

Dear Students,

When I think about my school, I smell the wafting scent of freshly cut grass, eucalyptus trees, and hear the pitter patter of rain on a thin roof. I hear the hum and chatter of my students as they move from classroom to classroom, punctuated by a shriek of laughter or a bell ushering us to class. A small breeze drifts its way into my classroom, stirring my gauzy white curtains. I feel the sticky hot cold leather of my chair on my back and legs. I turn a worn down pencil in my hands round and round. “This pencil belongs to Miss Mahler” it reads, in cheery navy blue writing on a smudged white background, its eraser down to a small nub.  A back to school gift from my mother, who knows that school supplies will still make me excited for Fall.

I’ve finally perfected my first day of school smile, outfit and teacher sayings, after starting my first day once in September and twice in August here. I have no words to describe the pain of hearing that my school isn’t a viable option anymore, that the school board can’t measure the weight of my students smile’s and their sticky hugs like they do enrollment numbers and SAT scores. I have stood painfully in heels for dreadfully long back to school nights, but I would give all the shoes in my closet to have one more back to school night at my school with my rising seniors.

Just last week I was planning my fall rosters, gleefully picking which students would return in my honors class and which would return in my AP and actually looking forward to having three sections of sophomores. On Monday, I listened to 32 parents, students, graduates and siblings describe the impact that our school has had on them, tearfully begging and pleading with our school board to change their mind about making the 2015-2016 school year our last for our San Jose campus.

Most people have a job where they have “love to hate” conversations, where they bash things about their job, myself included have vented to my parents about various things. I’m human after-all. But my mother had to deal with my tearful phone call last week describing the immense and overwhelming loss I felt upon hearing that we, and our hard work over the last few years has been deemed not enough. It has been in the 1.5 weeks since hearing that our school will be closing, that I have really understood the “burnout feeling” that has been described to me by former teachers. The heart can only take so much before closing down or putting up walls. My students and I trudge towards the end of the year with a heavy heart. I am trying to treasure every last minute I have with them, and take mental pictures of their cute faces, of my classroom and it’s messy, loud, artsy, warm feel. I want each day to last forever, because I know I only have 12 more days with my seniors and a few more than that with my underclassman.

I hope to take enough pictures to last me a lifetime, because this is a hurt that will take a long time to heal.

Your blonde, quirky, loving art teacher, forever and always yours,

-S

 

My First day of High School

As a high school teacher, I have a never-ending cycle of first day’s of high school. I happen to love my job, and look forward to starting each new year after a short but refreshing summer break. This year was … Continue reading

Summer Lovin’

As much as I love my kiddos, I also realllllyyyy enjoy summer break off. This last year was particularly brutal as I barreled through working full time, night classes to finish up my Master’s, and completing my second year of … Continue reading