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Dec 05 2013

Before Break

In a whirlwind, the month of November was over.  With October ending on such a high note (We got ENGAGED on October 25!), November was jam-packed and gone as quickly as those 60% off big screen TVs on Black Friday. With back-to-back IEP meeting on several days, PDs that seemed to never end, Progress Monitoring,…

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Oct 24 2013

So Over October.

October is usually my favorite month of the year.  Think about it: Pumpkin flavored everything is everywhere, Octoberfests, College Football gets serious, Pink all around for breast cancer awareness, apples, pumpkins, crunchy colorful LEAVES, the weather… October is wonderful. Outside the walls of Room 306. This month at school was, let’s just say, one that…

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Sep 26 2013

“The Bar”

No, I am not referring to the excruciating exam law students have to pass upon graduation… Nor am I referring to a restaurant or location that holds a license to administer adult beverages to thirsty young professionals, though sometimes that is the type of place I would like to be after particularly challenging weeks in…

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Sep 05 2013

A War Worth Fighting?

I think it is safe to say that the 2013-2014 learning year is off to a successful start! We are adjusting to our new schedules (mine being a bit crazy, but really awesome at the same time), and getting back into the swing of school.  We have some exciting Community Based Learning Projects I have…

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Aug 18 2013

Year 2

  As we get ready to embark on our 190-some day journey, another round of Mastery Mann-tastic adventures, it’s time for me to reflect, set some goals, and pray. While I take some deep breaths and relax from a week of Proffessional Developments, school updates, schedule dilemmas, and brief moments of classroom set-up, I decided…

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Aug 09 2013

Payless Mom, Just Pause.

You know that Payless Shoes commercial? The one with the mom, house full of kids, summer fun going on all around her?  The one where at the end, empty house, she sits down on the couch, sighs, and says, “Hear that? …That’s the sound of September.” This commercial:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6MQNfrEDmM I cannot stand this commercial.  For…

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Jul 02 2013

Donors Choice? Choose Us!

I’ll make this short and sweet: We need supplies! Donors… Choose us! http://www.donorschoose.org/ms.schwamburger I have taken time out of my “oh-so-busy” summer schedule to create our classroom’s Donors Choose site! If you are unfamiliar with the awesomeness that is “Donors Choose”, here is a quick synopsis: “DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy…

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Jun 26 2013

We Did It! Time for Nothing.

One week ago, I dismissed my boys for the last time this school year. We did it!  The 2012-2013 year is done.  It’s in the books!  Desks and closets are filled and closed for the summer.  Hooray! I can only imagine what my boys are doing already.. “I’m bored.”  One week into summer and their…

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Jun 11 2013

Worst End of School Year Teacher Ever

For about a month now I have been on a slow decline into that blessed, peaceful, state of “Summer.”  After my final IEP meeting of the year, squaring away all of my boys’ summer school plans, one last round of progress monitoring, reading assessments, and data reporting, my brain has concluded that it is just…

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May 29 2013

Labor Day Stress-Memorial Day Bliss

As I prepared to return to school on Monday night following a weekend of cook-outs, lawn games, sales, and an extra day of sleeping in, I thought back to our first 3-day weekend this school year,  Labor Day. What has changed since September?  Why is it better? How do I know its better? How have…

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May 09 2013

“School Mom” Mode

This year’s April showers not only brought the budding of May flowers, but also many other awesome joys! First let’s admire the natural beauty of Spring… Pause and “smell” the… flowers: And now onto the highlights of an Awesome April: From successfully proctoring the PSSA to a group of 22 nervous 3rd graders, as well…

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Feb 28 2013


The Pennsylvania Department of Education Mastery Charter Mann Special Education Audit Week, in a Nut Shell: -Stressful-like your life, your work, and your students are under a microscope-interviews, observations, clarifying questions… -Negative-let me just give you this scene: The woman in charge of the audit (the State DOE employee) leaves the administrative/Special Education Team’s Mid-Audit “Feedback Meeting”…

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February has been a trying month, at best.  In the past few weeks, I have found myself wondering if I will be able to get out of bed in the morning due to exhaustion, and along with that I have been trying anything and everything just hoping for a snow day.. But February just keeps…

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Jan 21 2013

What are you doing for others?

Today, is the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. A man I have come to admire for his strong faith, just beliefs, and brilliant boldness. His ideas on education, and education equality, are ones I find I can easily agree with. Not only because they are right and just, but because I know where Dr.…

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Jan 09 2013

Happy Middle!

Happy New Year!  Welcome 2013! As the rest of the world celebrates the start of a new year, with fresh starts, new goals, and bigger plans, we teachers are nearing a yearly milestone as well… The Middle! While I may have participated in ringing in 2013 with the rest of the working world, the quick…

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Dec 18 2012

More than Words and Numbers

A Loving Parent “Dear Teacher, I am sending you my most precious possession today, Trusting in your care what to do and say, Be gentle and loving and encourage him too, I’m trusting in you to know what to do, Show him things and let him draw, So he’ll remember the things he saw, Let…

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Nov 27 2012

Said, Did, Feel…

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou I know they forget, or simply do not hear, over 80% of what I say in a day… And I hope they forget at least 50% of the…

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Nov 08 2012

November News

November has only just begun, and it is already proving to be an eventful time of the year in our classroom.  From regrouping and refocusing after Hurricane Sandy caused us to close for two days, to the Halloween Candy “Hangovers,” the Election craze, and now… a Nor’Easter and… new students. As of today, we have…

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Oct 26 2012

Losing Sight of “Normal?”

Let’s just start with a few things a visitor may have seen and heard in our classroom today: 1.  Me, smiling and hugging a student (or really, squeezing him to get him to stay in one place for 5 seconds), and half-telling, half-singing to him, “I love you. But sometimes… You. make. me. Bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.”…

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Everyday, I experience a variety of emotions, a roller coaster of feelings, and about 20,000 thoughts per minute.  Within this wild ride of daily classroom leading, more often than not, at any given moment, I am experiencing 2 or more conflicting emotions at once. For example, when a student is “singing” (humming odd noises and…

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Oct 10 2012

“Sweat the Small Stuff”

At Mastery, we have many mottos and mantras, but one of the all encompassing, everyday values we abide by as a “Master-ific” way of life: “Sweat the Small Stuff.” Now, in terms of Mastery’s vision of what it means to “Sweat the Small Stuff,” it may appear that we are being “strict,” “rigid,” and “controlling”…

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Oct 02 2012

Just an “Ordinary” Day…

Today marks the start of our 6th week of school here at Mann, and I could not help but think, “Holy cow! We’ve been at this for 6 weeks already?! Do we have anything to show for it…?” Today seemed especially “ordinary,” “normal,” and even “average.”  So, naturally, I started to think back over the…

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Sep 17 2012

Confessions; 5 Years in the Making

On this beautiful Fall Monday (that I am enjoying off thanks to Rosh Hashanah!), I have been thinking back to that first Fall I spent on the East Coast.  At this point, five years later, I can say I have fallen in love with my current surroundings and circumstances. However, I have a confession to make:  During…

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Sep 15 2012

Be the Calm in the Storm

You may think you’ve seen ADHD in action, but you have no idea. When a child, physically, mentally, and emotionally, has no control due to the neurological functioning of his brain… When he cannot sit, or stand, or walk even, without throwing his arms up, or grabbing anything within reach, because he felt the urge…

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Sep 07 2012

Just When I Thought…

Before I say anything about this week, let me just show you how we finished last week: The “Academic Athletes” of Room #306 “I Am” Poems Let me just say: “We were first!”  Last Friday, my boys “performed” their “I Am” Poems, that they worked on all week.  It was the FIRST week of instruction…

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Dare to Teach with Love… Never cease to Learn.

Greater Philadelphia
Elementary School
Special Education

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