Thursday, February 21, 2008

The one where Tammy rambles incessantly about her job

     I don't know if it is like this in other jobs, but it is exhausting to be the best teacher you can be.  Most of you know that after years of teaching English, I started teaching Economics when I moved to Texas.

     I didn't plan to teach Economics, it was just the only job I could find.  Turns out, that was the luckiest break of my life (besides my cute husband, of course).

     I love teaching Economics.  I teach only seniors, it is a one semester class, it is not tested on any standardized test, it is required to graduate, and it is immediately applicable to the lives of every one of my students.  Plus, NO ESSAYS!

    Anyway, last year was my learning year.  I had a steep learning curve, because I had to teach regular and AP Econ.  Plus, I was super sick for a lot of that time.  This year has been my time to really experiment and have fun with the subject.  We started a new semester about four weeks ago and in that time we have:
  • Conducted a trading game to illustrate the point that through free trade everyone benefits.
  • Created link and smile factories to make our own PPF graphs
  • Simulated a small economy where business and households bought and sold resources in order to better understand the circular flow model.  Businesses won if they had the most $, households won if they had the most stuff.
  • Held a donut auction to learn about Demand
  • Used Playdough to create various products and learn about Supply
  • Created a Candy Price Index to understand how the CPI is made
  • Used Playdough to learn about GDP
  • Plus a bunch of smaller, mini-activities
     Before you go thinking that I am the Greenspan of HS economics, I should say that I didn't invent any of the above activities, I just spent many hours finding and implementing them.  I've also been really focused on having a high energy level in class, which basically involves me putting on a song and dance show about half the time. ("Now class, which way does the demand line shift when demand decreases?" Off key singing "To the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left.  No Junior, I'm not having a seizure, that's just my ultra cool dance moves")

     The thing is, it is so easy to assign book work, definitions and worksheets, but trying to have at least one fun activity planned for every day of school is exhausting.  I feel like I am running from 8:30-3:45 every day.  Yet, even as I complain about feeling so tired, I love feeling like I am really doing my best and making an impact on my students.

     Of course, I still have students who think that Economics is the most confusing and boring subject in the world, but I know that I have reached at least a few of them. 

     So this brings me to tonight.  I am soooo tired.  I just want to go to dinner at the Thompson's (thanks Camille!), watch LOST, and go to bed.  My question is, since I've been such a good girl lately, would it be so bad to assign some bookwork and take a break tomorrow?  Or do I need to do the right thing and conduct a simulated Silver Market so we can see how prices are set at equilibrium?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Three Wonderful Years

1,577,846.3 minutes
94,670,777.9 seconds
Already a lifetime of memories
Yet just a moment of the eternities
Three years since
A first date
A first kiss
Two souls touched,
and knew
they belonged together.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Tommy Boy!

The games we play

      Games anyone? 
If you know anything about us, you probably know that we love games, board games, video games, mind games.. oh wait, scratch the last one.  This is a picture of our game shelf in the garage.

Some of our favorite games are 
Settlers of Catan
Apples to Apples
Scrabble (my favorite because I always win)
Risk (Spencer's favorite because he always wins)

Games we don't have but hope to eventually buy
Uno Attack
Knights and Cities of Catan
What are your favorite games, and can we come to your house and play them? 
No, seriously, invite us over to play games!  We are really fun, I promise!  And I promise that if I am totally kicking your trash in a game, I will get a few questions wrong on purpose, not so that you will actually win, but at least you won't be totally trounced by my superior game playing skills!

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Our special place!
Where price is no limit..
and entertainment abounds!

Seriously?  Why do we always end up in Walmart on Saturday night?  And why do we always spend too much money there?  Is it an addiction?  Or are we finally becoming true Texans?