Classroom Crisis

In honor of our recent class discussion on classroom management I decided to delve into the topic of crisis in the classroom. I also managed to luck out and have this be a question in Jim Burke’s “Letters to a New Teacher.”

It is never easy to deal with a crisis in the classroom. Whether it be a rowdy student, a sick student, a student dealing with emotional issues, or even a community crisis. The heartbreaking death of Trinity McDonald, a Southeast High School Senior, has struck me as one of these community crisis’s. You cannot predict any crisis or any behavior, but as we discussed, you can have a plan.

“You realize at such times that you must be the one to be strong, to convey faith that such things will be fine.” (Burke, 121)

“Will be fine” is such a hard concept to try and use as comfort to our students. But that’s what we have to do. We have to be the comfort our students need as well as the support they need to move on. There is no plan for a crisis such as this other than going beyond our “job description” and being there as a caring, loving human for our “kids.”

“The point that I am trying to make, but am not doing so well, is that our work involves so much more than the report cards I turned in yesterday or the scores on the state testes we discussed for two hours this morning.” (Burke, 122)

This statement is so compelling to me because this is why I want to teach. I don’t want to be the moderator who repeats what a student can learn from a textbook. I want to be their support. Their support to learn, to achieve, to move on, and to believe that in all the darkness there is light.

During my High School years we experienced several deaths that heavily impacted the community of our school. One of the girls was actually a role model in my life. Her death struck the student body and diminished our morale. It especially hit hard to the track team. As students and athletes we were at an all time low; there was no light in this moment of darkness. However, I specifically remember our teachers and coaches never letting our sorrow and mourning block the opportunity of a future. They recognized that this was a hometown tragedy. They mourned themselves. But they did not allow that mourning to control us and destroy us. They kept spirits alive for the sake of Whitney and encouraged us to smile for her rather than cry; to run harder rather than slump.

Out of all crisis comes an opportunity for hope. We have to be that hope for our students whether it be a hometown tragedy, emotional struggle, or simply disruptive antics.


Freezing Frenzy

So, basically, these are supposed to be the best years of our lives. And, basically, I can’t argue with that. I have met incredible people, befriended some wild rascals, developed a closer relationship with my parents, and discovered what it means to be independent. All while being a “good” student and focusing on the future. But with these peachy, delightful, adventurous, and thrilling times comes some not so pleasant features.

Being a college student means you’re broke. It means a ramen noodle diet, sandpaper toilet paper, Sahara desert night sweats, and igloo style living. I have to admit, I’ve casually and cooperatively dealt with many of these conditions, but I’ve also been to my breaking point.

The current Antarctic temps and skating rink sidewalks have prompted me to write a complaint blog; which is what you all have gotten yourself into by this third paragraph. Turn back now or forever hold your peace.

Today I discovered that there is no proper way to avoid falling on your ass, back, side, elbow, and face while walking from one area to another on ice. I also discovered that “my hand is too frozen to write” is not a legitimate excuse to avoid an in-class essay. And last but not least, putting ice cubes in a glass of water inside my house will only result in the entire glass freezing.

Needless to say, I hate cold. It does not build character. The only thing it builds is snowmen and ice caps. I don’t know about you, but those aren’t on my “need to live” list.

I understand that there are precautions I can take to limit my frozen fingers and shivering seizures. But so far there has been no amount of hot chocolate, blankets, leg warmers, and or space heaters to keep my spirits higher than the outside temperature.
Why do we as Nebraskans do this to ourselves? Not even birds put up with this bologna (frozen bologna at that!)
And how did this blog go from talking about college to cold to bologna?

I’m sorry if you have stuck with this post for so long, I am ending on a rather short note due to my fingers lacking movement and turning slightly purple. I’m moving to the equator.

Social Justice Lesson

Hey ya’ll, Miss Highfill (soon to not be Miss) requested the poem I read and the one I created for the Social Justice Lesson that Reba and I taught. I figured I would save myself some time and effort (because I’m slowly becoming incredibly unmotivated) and post it to my blog for you all to use.

Social Justice and Writing Workshop

Have students take out Writer’s Notebook or black sheet of paper.
Ask them write down anything they like, want to mention, or find similar in their life.

Raised by Women
Kelly Norman Ellis

I was raised by
Chitterling eating
Vegetarian cooking
Cornbread so good you want to lay
down and die baking
“Go on baby, get yo’self a plate”
Kind of Women.

Some thick haired
Angela Davis afro styling
“Girl, lay back
and let me scratch yo head”
Sorta Women.

Some big legged
High yellow, mocha brown
Hip shaking
Miniskirt wearing
Hip huggers hugging
Daring debutantes
“I know I look good”
Type of Women.

Some tea sipping
White glove wearing
Got married too soon
in just the nick of time
“Better say yes ma’am to me”
Type of sisters.

Some fingerpopping
Boogaloo dancing
Say it loud
I’m black and I’m proud
James Brown listening
“Go on girl shake that thing”
Kind of Sisters.

Some face slapping
Hands on hips
“Don’t mess with me,
Pack your bags and
get the hell out of my house”
Sorta women

Some PhD toten
Poetry writing
Portrait painting
“I’ll see you in court”
World traveling
Stand back, I’m creating
Type of queens
I was raised by women

Share what they wrote.
Do the same with my piece.

Home Grown (Mariah Busch)

I was raised by honkey tonk
get your boots on
the sun comes up
and we work ’til dawn
kind of livin’

I was raised by prayers comes first
covered in dirt
you can’t leave the table ’til the plates clean
kind of livin’

The eggs come brown
the fields grow yellow
the tractors painted green
kind of livin’

Do your best
work for the rest
don’t settle for less
work through a mess
kind of livin’

I was raised by best friends
don’t chase the hens
be nice to your brother
you’ll grow up to be your mother
kind of livin’

Times heals all
Patience is a virtue
Life is a privilege
Kind of livin’


Ask students to share their opinions, praises, or similarities
Give students a chance to write their own draft.
Have students gather and sit in a circle.
Share their own drafts one by one-while they share have them listen and write down any praises, similarities, experiences that triggered their own personal memory.
Share what they wrote with each other.

1) create a classroom community of different lifestyles
2)recognize how differences also have similarities
3)create a comfortable environment which students can share

Social Networking: In Honor of Hunger Games

Hey guys! So I’m not sure if anyone else is as excited as I am….but there is less than a MONTH (that’s 29 days) UNTIL CATCHING FIRE COMES OUT IN THEATRES!!!! And guess where we will be? Boston. How many times do you get to go to the movies in Boston and see Catching Fire? Once. We have to go (or I might cry).

Anyways, I have been working on a cross-curricular unit for my Reading 430 class and was given the task of a Social Networking Assignment. My chosen book is none other than “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. I am in LOVE with this book and plan to use it in my classroom someday so I base a lot of my projects around it. Hope you enjoy!


Districts Divided Assignment

1. Students will be divided into groups to represent the different districts like that in Suzanne Collins, “The Hunger Games.”

2. Within each district the students will develop a government and be given these questions to answer.
How did you determine what type of government your District will adapt?
What is your District’s name?
Was there a designated leader before a voting process?
What type of precautions will you take to prevent an outside attack?
If you feel threatened by another district, how will you react?
What type of benefits are given to citizens, if any?

3. Students will create a basic list of rules that their District is to abide by.

4. Students will create a blog on “” with the title of their District.

5. Each student will be required to post on this blog twice a week. Each blog should aim for a minimum of 200 words. Posts may include but are not limited to:
Personal wants and needs that are fulfilled/unfulfilled by the government.
Fears within their District.
Power struggles.
Every day life (activities, meals, duties, hardships).
Reaction to other citizens (classmates) posts.

6. After the first post, students will explore the other District’s posts and comment on at least two outside District posts.

7. A brief 300-450 word reflection paper will be assigned at the conclusion of this Unit.

8. This activity is meant to compare and contrast individual perceptions of an ideal or imaginary government while interacting productively with others.

Rat Race

I tend to do a lot of daydreaming when I travel. This past trip to Spearfish, SD was no exception.

I’m 22 years young, right? So what is my hurry to get through life and on to the next “phase?” To be honest, there isn’t.

I should be graduating in May 2014 but instead I took an alternate, postponed route that will set my graduation date a year back to May 2015. I constantly get asked “Why would you want to do that?” “Aren’t you supposed to be student teaching?” “You’ve been in college a while now, shouldn’t you be graduating?” No.

I’ve realized that not only myself, but everyone, seems to be in a constant battle with time, balance, and dates. Everything is a constant race; a “Rat Race.” Yet, there is no finish line. You’re always either  ahead or behind the game whether it be with school, money, friendships, body image, or signficant others (you can take me out of that last category).

So what is the purpose of this race we subconsciously indulge ourselves in? Is there really a meaning to “getting ahead” when ultimately the cycle of the battle will make us “fall behind?”

Some could argue it’s our personal form of entertainment, of living, of existing. It’s what we do as humans-we battle life until we have to battle death.  I could argue that the inconsistency is a strange thrill. You never know what’s going to happen next, you could win the lottery or end up sleeping on the floor of your best friend’s grandpa’s girlfriend’s floor (don’t ask). 

My biggest struggle is security. As much as I would love to “life live on the edge,” I have to be in some type of control of “what comes next.” I’m a planner. But I’m also one of the most indecisive people you may ever meet. I am a contradiction; a battle.

I am Mariah Busch, 22 years young, taking my time with life, and enjoying the hell out of the unpredictable…with the exception of a little (lotta) planning. Happy racing.



First things first, I insist that Dr. Ellington sport this lovely attire next Wednesday for our “Question Session.” I do believe green and purple would be very complimentary colors for your skin and hair! You can think about it…


So I developed a few questions….

1) What is the answer when you don’t know the answer?! Say a students asks you “What does the fox say?” Are all unknown answers as easy as showing them a”storybook sensation” on youtube?

2) How do you handle a situation in which rumors are being spread about you as a professional? What if those rumors are from your students? From fellow teachers?


3) Approximately how much should you expect to spend out of pocket for your classroom and students?


4) On a scale of 1 to The Hunger Games, how does an interview for a teaching position play out?


Just a Thank You.

It’s hard for me to believe that I’m already on midterm break of my senior year (minus the fact that I will be a “super senior”-go me). These past 8 weeks in Methods have been an absolute blessing and refreshment. I am in a class full of strong, intelligent, and creative young women (I seriously mean this, ladies).

I want to first take this opportunity to recognize how far we have come since week numero uno. Can anyone say “STRESSED”?! Question: How many of you still have the same fears that we started with? I know I don’t. I’m more comfortable with not being in control, with not knowing what to expect, and with not knowing all the answers. I hope this is the same for all of you too! Teaching my “lesson” last week with the lovely Miss Reba significantly helped with these fears. Thank you all for participating and for sharing your lives. I feel so much closer to all of you…just through a writing exercise. I can’t wait to use this with my students. If anyone needs material for the assignment feel free to ask!

I wanted to keep this blog short and sweet in honor of midterm break. I would by lying too if I said I wasn’t seriously lacking any motivation; I’m human.

I hope you all are relaxing your busy brains and enjoying some down time, although we all know “down time” doesn’t exist with our OCD and control freak lifestyles 🙂

Don’t forget today is Columbus Day! Oh…or that we GO TO BOSTON IN 37 DAYS!