Blog Archives

So… there is a reason…

Best compliment.  ever.

Student, out of the blue, during second period:Mr. Wells, do you remember when we were learning about poetry during our sophomore year?”

Me:Uh, yeah, of course.

Student:I really liked that.”

Me:Thanks; I like teaching it.

Student:Since then, I can’t stop writing poetry.


Student: Yeah, I have two journals completely full of poetry.

Me:Wow, I’m seriously impressed.

…not to mention feeling touched, honored, proud and successful.

One down, seventy more to go!

It ain’t easy being grumpy…

I have to admit, I’m not always the social peach I usually portray.  I have my grumpy days, I have the days when I’ve got a hair-trigger… and yesterday was one of those days.  I had not slept well the night before and I was fully prepared to hold the world and its occupants responsible for that.

I was grumpy driving to school, grumpy getting my lessons ready, grumpy when the first bell rang.  I’m not sure how it happens, if I send up a flare that I need someone to cheer me up but my first and second periods did so.  They made jokes, funny observations and even made fun of me a little (in a good nature way).  My grumpiness was dissolved.  The rest of the day went really well.  I guess it is like most human relationships; the people who can make you mad or push your buttons, are also the people who can relieve you of your emotional fog.

It’s funny that, as teachers, we are so focused on making a daily difference with the students–sometimes I forget that the reverse can also be true.  This was just another reminder that I feel like I made a good decision by going into teaching.  It also reminds me to value the kids I see on a daily basis, they’re more than ink on a roster.


I’m not sure what I found more interesting; was it that a student was trying to defend how the swastika is “cool” or that I could easily hear Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin'” being blasted from her headphones.

Time to pick a name…

In my vain attempt to do different things within my classroom, I’ve decided that I will be maing a website where students will be posting some of their work.  From there, it can be commented on, reviewed, and so on… that way it doesn’t neccesarily have to be the usually turn in and hand back format.  With the website, it would be WordPress based, such as Box of Whine, but with the school site I would remain the administrator of the sight while all of the students would have a contributor’s log on…meaning I would review everything before it was posted. Overall, it’s bringing in technology and blogging into the classroom to make it a different experience.

So here’s what I need help with from you, loyal readers.  I have one idea for the name, but Jess has informed me that it’s pretty lame (–since my ideas are supposedly flat and lifeless, do y’all have some suggestions?  Parameters: It’s school appropriate, no allusions, hints, winks, nods, or gestures to sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, tardiness or cheating.  It has to have some realtion to my name, the high school (Cottage Grove), Language Arts, or my room number (108)… or some combination of those.

Let me know you’ve got… thanks.

the race for a little less… update

It has been a while since I’ve posted about my race for less of me.  I definitely ran into some trouble, I had stopped seeing negative numbers, not that I was seeing positive ones, I just wasn’t gaining or losing.  People had said that it was just my plateau, however, I think I have to disagree.  The wall I hit was me, I relaxed how closely I was watching what I eating, there were defintely some days when I didn’t enter a complete day’s worth of food and other days when I didn’t enter anything at all.  After a little self-recorrection, I think I’m back on track. 

 I was surprised this morning.  I came in at 258.5 pounds.  When I first saw that, all I saw was the ‘eight,’ and I though, “how the hell could I have gained almost 7 pounds over night?  After a closer examination, I saw that it was “58” not “68”  I was literally standing on the scale in all my glory, staring at my feet saying, “wow.”  However, being the skillful pessimist that I am, I didn’t believe.  All the possibilities ran through my head, “Maybe you weren’t on the scale all the way. Maybe you were accidentally leaning against something.  Maybe the scale is in one of the grooves of the linoleum.”  It’s funny how I instantly go through every possible option besides: “I lost the weight.”  So I weighted myself again: 258.5 pounds.  After that I’m starting to believe.  I went through my routine, took my shower, got my contacts in, and just to triple-check, I weighed myself again: 258.5 again.  Now I’m a believer.  I’m starting to take on the feeling of doing something good and being proud of myself.  I think I’ve been resisting that because I have always had the sneaking suspicion that when I start to be proud of myself, that’s when I let myself slip.  But I’ve never done anything like this before, so hopefully I’m beyond that.

Sadly, I had a whole post in already in draft form in my head about when I hit 260 pounds.  I was going to post a picture of my license and say: “I am now offically my license weight, I have never actually been my license weight.  My license weight was a lie, but I finally made an honest license out of it.”  …But, I went right through 260, thankfully.  However, once again, my license is a liar, for the first time in my life, my license says I weigh more than I actually do.  Personally, I think that’s certain shade of awsome.

In other “repetitious self-congratulations”: Yesterday was the last day for seniors at CGHS.  I had a lot of my students that I’ve taught come through, say goodbye and take pictures… which was great.  Even my football players came by to make a couple of last jokes and give a hug (with the “man-slap” on the back, of course).  But what really touched me was that there were a lot of students I had never coached or taught that came to say goodbye to me, to give a hug and take a group picture with.  These were just kids that I had just casually talked to in the halls once in a while, or I knew them through one of their friends.  Apparently, I had made a big enough impression that they wanted me to know.  As sappy as it sounds, that was really important for me, it makes me feel as though I’m doing a good job and that I make a difference even if I don’t see them in my classroom or on the football field. 

I think I’m pretty lucky to have my job.

Quote of the day

Scene: Teacher (not me) talking to a student about getting all of their grades up so they can graduate on time.

Teacher: “You really need to pull all of your grades up so you can graduate with your class.”

Student: “Well… I don’t have to, I’ll just transfer to another school…”

Teacher: “That’s fine, but you do know that your grades follow you to that school, right?”

Student: “Uh… well, what if I go really far away?”

Do you…you, feel like I do?

I woke up this morning kind of tired and a somewhat grumpy.  How come I am a morning person when I don’t have to be (weekends) and a not a morning person when I have to be (every other day)?  Despite my serrated-edged personality this morning, I actually had a very fun first period class with my juniors and seniors.  It set the tone and mood for most the day.

We were supposed to be working on their papers on a experience/lesson called A Class Divided but somehow we ended up talking about me.  For some reason, I told the story of (sorry, Meg) how my sister managed to have every bodily function happen at the exact same moment.  The kids were laughing so hard, I couldn’t help but laugh with them.  And then, we got even more off-track and ended up talking about how if my parents hadn’t named me right away at the hospital, I was going be “Baby Wells” on my birth certificate.  So, one of my students asked, “That was your name:  baby?”  But the way she asked it made it seem like she called me “Baby” and the class lost it.  Luckily there was only two or three minutes in the class, so the utter destruction of my lesson was aptly timed.  Even though the class may not have been as productive as it could have been, I think it is times like these that both teachers and students need.  I think it forms a bond with the kids when you let down your guard and let them hear about your life… especially when it comes in the form of your sister exploding on the guest room couch.  

By the way, I’ve included a widget (the things on the side of the page) that will allow you to switch the different themes on the page.  You can do this if you don’t like the one I have right now or if you want a little change of scenery. 

It’s merely that spring will be a little late this year

It seems that all too often around the school I have heard the word “tumor“. Today was at least the third time I have had to hear it. Not to be crass or cold, it’s a lot easier to hear tumor when it is about an adult. Adults are supposed to be the ones that get sick easier, adults are the ones that deal with these things. Only all of these “tumors” have nothing to do with adults. Two mentions of the word this week. Today’s almost knocked me over–one of my favorite kids.All shades of cruel.


Makes me never wanna work, beg or borrow

It’s snowing and guess where I am?

Yup, school.
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Despite having to work today, I still made the most of it, with my two freshman classes we went outside for the first 20 minutes of class. We read in the covered bleachers overlooking the football field for about five minutes–then I released them onto the footprint-less snow of the football field, having multiple snowball fights… all of which I was involved. Then we came back into the classroom. First period was the luckiest; I bought them all hot chocolate at the end of class.All in all, a very fun day, even if I didn’t get to sleep in.