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 (see above photo!)

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

Life Lately

Hello Friends!

The end of the school year is closing just like any other- with a flurry of activity and events! I’m so looking forward to summer, some fun trips planned, lots of sleep and working out hopefully! I’d love to get back on track with regularly working out, grading has taken a bit of a priority lately as I only have a few days left with my seniors.

So here is a quick view into what has been going on in the last few weeks.

I had our apartment handyman put up some shoe shelves for me, and my Type-A heart is so happy. I can see them all so I know what I haven’t work recently, and it’s wicked easy to put them back as I can quickly spot an open space on the shelf.

I went with O to the farmers market a week or two back and these strawberries were out of this world good and so bright in color.

I chaperoned a field-trip to Chinatown in San Francisco and we got dim sum and fortune cookies. So tasty!

My family has finally figured out how to make the best chilaquiles ever! Yum.

I just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Seattle for an amazing wedding to two cuties, so that post will be coming soon. How is your week going?

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

 

Prom 2016

 


Last weekend we had our prom at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. I was super excited to hear that it was planned for earlier in the school year, which meant we were able to include it in our yearbook!

Prom is such a milestone event, and I feel lucky that I am able to go every year and see my students looking so beautiful. They really dress up for it, and look like little stars on the red carpet. I have the distinct pleasure of taking a few photos for it each year, and it’s one of my favorite events as a high school teacher!

prom collage

All the staff typically come, and look pretty swanky themselves! This year a small group of us met up for dinner at Left Bank before.

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How was your prom? Do you have fond memories of it? Would you enjoy going to it every year?

Love,

-S

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

Class of 2015

I was so proud of each and every one of students as they walked across the beautiful stage in Mayer Theater at Santa Clara University on June 10th. It warms my heart to that my students graduation ceremony is at the … Continue reading

GradNight at Disneyland

Summer started about about two weeks ago. It began with a crazy, two day spree to Disneyland with my seniors for Grad-night. I have never laughed so hard, or been so tired. It was an epic amount of fun.

We piled onto a large Coach bus with a grand total of four chaperones for 40 odd seniors and tons of snacks and drinks. It took us 8 hours to get there, and had about 8 hours at Disneyland. It was a perfect way to start my summer.

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They had a Grad lounge in Ariel’s Grotto for the chaperones, where they had tasty snacks, and caffeine in multiple forms. It was necessary since we were in Disneyland until 2:30am. California Adventure closed at 10pm to the general public, but was still open for the grad-night students and chaperones, so the lines were short! We saw fireworks in Disneyland and they were beautiful.  They had many Grad-night decorations everywhere, including an awesome lights show at 2am.

We crawled onto the bus and everyone was sleeping like a baby on the way back. I know I will miss my seniors, but for now, it was a great way to end the school-year.

Love,

-S