Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I use my blog as a way to reflect, share, organize, and re-conceptualize my views as an educator. Enjoy and feel free to comment, post, disagree, and share your opinion. The more perspectives, the better!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This is my kind of Superintendent

Check out what this superintendent is doing to save some money for his school!

I hate the ways you see waste in schools. There are the little things (like seeing the recycle bin overflowing with barely used paper) and the medium things (like having workbooks that the teachers requested they did not want being delivered to your classroom) and the big things (like having hundreds of teacher sit through a webinar with a poor connection on a math kit they did not ask for and will have to share between 6 regular classrooms and 3 special education instructors or having ineffective instructional assistants spend the day cooking a pot-luck while they should be in the classroom). There is so much waste! 

It is the same feeling I get when I walk around Clifton in late August. It amazes me that people are so lazy that they will throw something still very usable away instead of taking the extra step to take it to Goodwill or a similar organization. At least put a curb alert on Craig's List!

I personally am a huge fan of thrift stores. A lot of people are surprised to know that over half of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores. It is cheaper, more fun (if in the right mood), and they often support non-profit organization. Focusing back to the classroom, my children's book collection is almost entirely thrift-store purchase and I have saved a small fortune in binders and folders to house my growing number of resources (thanks to my awesome mentor teacher). My mentor teacher and I have a strong belief that staplers were made better in the past than they are now. She found our favorite stapler at a thrift store and I am on a hunt for another one! 

The bottom line to this seemingly-pointless rant is that I believe we need to look at how we are using resources before we should ask for more. There are so many ways to make better use of our money. I admire Neil Leist for implementing out-of-the-box solutions in his district. He is doing more than "go green"---he is helping provide for his students.

I am ordering a copy of his book:$uperintendent $aving $trategies. Not that I am planning on being a school superintendent (or at least not anytime soon), but I am hoping the book will give me as a future teacher some small ideas for my school and some insight on creative ways school leadership can provide for their students. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Winning Lesson...

You know you planned an awesome lesson (well in my case today, 2 awesome lessons back to back) when you hear the following:

"This is the best day of school ever. Like ever. In the whole entire world!"

"I am so glad I repeated first grade so I could have this day!"

What was the winning lesson combination?
--A simple machine walking trip around the school (well worth losing my voice and ruining my hose for btw)
--Frogger Mart money assessment

and to think, I almost stayed home sick today!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Miss Prinzo's Bookmarks week of 2/6

I really try to read a substantial amount of articles related to Education from news sources each week. I also subscribe to a few newsletters and "like"  many education advocates and groups on Facebook. Here is what I have been reading this week:

1. Teachers' Colleges Upset by Plan to Grade Them: "Grades are the currency of education — teachers give them to students, administrators grade teachers and states often assign grades to schools. Now U.S. News & World Report is planning to give A through F grades to more than 1,000 teachers’ colleges, and many of the schools are unhappy, marching to the principal’s office to complain the system is unfair."

My Response? We grade our students, we grade our school districts, and we grade our teachers in some way shape or form so why shouldn't we grade teacher training programs. As a college student, not too far removed from the college search/application process I would want to know how my program ranks nationally. I would also want to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses before I apply. I think it is important for colleges to have an outside perspective on their programming---constructive criticism (and/or praise) will ultimately make teacher training programs better. 

2. Teacher, My Dad Lost His Job. Do We Have to Move? "Statewide, 43 percent of Ohio public school students are disadvantaged, as measured by free and reduced lunches, compared with 33 percent in 2005, according to a recent survey by KidsOhio, a nonprofit educational organization based in Columbus. A sign of how deep this recession has reached into the middle class: here in Franklin County, 44 percent of the disadvantaged attend suburban schools, compared with 32 percent five years ago."

My response? This article looks at middle class families who have been hurt by the recession and the effects it has on students. So often we do not think of suburban schools having to deal with money problems or students on free and reduced lunched, but it is a very real problem. I am a student that though due to slightly different circumstances identifies with the families in this article. It was difficult to be a low-income student in a high-income, suburban school district. I often felt pressured to try to have the same opportunities as my class mates (school dances, senior pictures, and art fees to name just a few) even though it was not necessarily the best thing for my or my families budget.I believe that educators we need to be aware of students in these circumstances, use our resources wisely (to eliminate as much extra costs for their students), take advantage of resources, and most importantly learn to support and accommodate this increasing population of students. (A magic wand to fix the economy would be helpful as well...).  

3.The Princess Wears Plaid "Here’s the start of a list of books for young girls that turn more than a few stereotypes on their heads while remaining fun reads"

My Response? I have no problem with "girly" things, but I do believe many of the things that boys and girls are attracted to are direct results of societal and parental influences. Regardless of if your child is a "girly-girl" or a "Tom-boy" the books on this list look like they will be great reads! I can't wait to check some of them out!

4.Creating a Corps of Change Agents "While much of the debate around Teach For America (TFA) in recent years has focused on the effectiveness of its nontraditional recruits in the classroom, the real story is the degree to which TFA has succeeded in producing dynamic, impassioned, and entrepreneurial education leaders. From its inception as Wendy Kopp’s senior thesis project at Princeton more than two decades ago, TFA has sought to bring more teaching talent to some of the nation’s most disadvantaged communities and create a corps of change agents like Rhee, Feinberg, Levin, and Johnston. How well has TFA fared on that second score? Here, in a new line of research, we seek to answer that question."

My Response? I find it really interesting to see evidence of the other side of TFA's mission. I feel lucky to be entering this program!

5. Facebook Questions for Secretary Duncan "Secretary Duncan answers a couple of Facebook questions for the week of February 4, 2011"

My Response? I like what Secretary Duncan has to say about changes that need to be made in our education system. I also like the new US Education Dashboard.

Happy Reading! 

Friday, February 4, 2011


This week has been all about mentoring. Instead of the habitual cringe upon hearing the word, I have started to think of it differently. One would think after being a PLC last year and a PL the year before, mentoring would be something more natural for me. It isn't. I suck at it. But, I am getting better...well at least I think I am. At the very least I have a better understanding of what a mentoring relationship should be like.

Why? Because it is mentoring-mania in my life!

(1) My mentor teacher for student teaching: I could not think of a more perfect student teaching placement than I have right now. My mentor teacher is a major part of this. She is AMAZING! She is an excellent teacher, role model, and mentor (in addition to being a wife, mom, coach, friend etc. in the rest of her life)  From day one she has given me everything I needed, but still gives me the chance to try things, to make mistakes, and the freedom I need in the classroom to really learn from my student teaching experience. We have a really good relationship and I have a feeling she might not be able to get rid of me so easily!

(2) TFA: Teach For America has a very strong mentoring structure. I have been welcomed and reached out to so many people I cannot even keep them straight. I had the opportunity to talk to a current Nashville Corps Member who was able to share with me her experiences in the program. I learned a lot from talking to her. She was nice enough to make herself available via phone or email at anytime and even offered me a spot on her apartment flood should I choose to come visit Nashville in the future!

(3) Relay: This past week we selected our new event-chairs-in-training. The three committee members selected are individuals we feel have the passion, dedication, and ability to be future leaders of CAC and Relay. The current event chairs really want to make the ECITs (yay for a new abbreviation in my life) feel welcome and understand what our roles are all about. We have decided to partner up with each ECIT and act as a mentor to them. I might have already scared mine off with excessive emailing... In all seriousness, I really am working hard to make this process happen. This year more than ever before, I can see how important it is. I think it is because of my coming up way too quickly graduation and move that I want to make sure to pass on what I have done so that future leadership can learn from my mistakes and build off of my successes.

Also, CAT through ACS's newly formed East-Central Division has created a mentoring program that links their team members with collegiate Relays. One of my co-chairs is a CAT member and mentor and one of the former XU chairs just reached out to us as a mentor. I love having new ideas and support through this program. Even one quick email has helped spark new ideas and brought back some missing Relay motivation in my life.

Welcome to Mentor-mania. I am sure you will be hearing more about all of these people in the next few months!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Its SPRING! and other weather related fun

H: "Mrs. Baumann! Miss Prinzo! I know spring is coming...the window is hot when you touch it!"

I sure hope they're right!


L: "Do I have to wear my coat?"
Miss Prinzo: "Yes, it is freezing outside! Do you remember how cold it was this morning?"
L: "But the sun is out now!"

Can you tell it has been a very gray, cloudy, gross winter?

During our synonyms review:

Miss Prinzo: What are some synonyms of beautiful? ((gets words like pretty, gorgeous, handsome))'
T: "HOT!"