Five Things I Learned Working With Teens

Five Things I Learned Working With Teens

100th day (1).pngHello and happy Saturday. The time has come for me to sit down and reflect upon my findings as a high school teacher, especially after having taught young kids before and being put in a situation in which I really had no choice but to take a job I wasn’t sure I could tackle. Here are five things I learned while working with teens. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Teens want attention from the teacher

If you’ve taught younger kids, then you for sure have been struck by and avalanche while sitting down by your desk minding your own business. You know, little kids wanting to hug you or touch your hair or tell you how much they love you. Well, teenagers won’t do that for sure, but they’ll do things to grab your attention, just like little kids do. I got kids complimenting my makeup and wardrobe, or asking me whether I’d heard this song or this artist. I had kids around my desk, just making conversation or asking random questions. And once I was by my desk and they had to fill out some pages from their workbook, and I noticed they were forming a circle around my desk. They weren’t talking, just doing what I’d asked them to do, but they were around me, just like little kids.

2. Teens like little kid stuff (sometimes)

I’m not telling you to become a kindergarten teacher with them because they’ll probably think you’re ridiculous, but there are things I used to do with my babies that worked with teens as well. I’ve told you about some already, like the rewards and candy I gave them, or the contests we used to have in class. Even the happy face system is something I doubted would work, but it did. Find which movies they liked when they were younger and play them. They’ll love it.

3. Teaching high school is not for everyone

I’ve said some of the good, so now let’s transition to some of the bad, okay? This is something that really shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it sort of did, at least to me. I always thought that I would be great teaching any grade or level, but that my preference were younger kids. I realized that it wasn’t just a matter of preference, but of skill and attitude. There are some skills high school teachers need to have and that I don’t, but besides that, I honestly don’t really like teenagers that much and I know some people do. My heart wasn’t in it, but I think in other circumstances I’d still hate it. Teaching high school isn’t for me.

4. Teens are manipulative

Over the course of three months I had students cry to me about grades, talking to my boss about situations they deemed “unfair” before talking to me about them, I had students speak in Spanish to me during the English class even though I repeatedly told them to speak in English as a sign of respect. I had students lie to me about assignments they hadn’t handed in when they were supposed to, and all sorts of situations that I’d never had to deal with. I’m not saying all teenagers are like this and I’m not saying they act this way all the time, but sometimes they’re ready to spot a naive soul, maybe a young inexperienced teacher, like they thought I was, to get an easy grade in a subject.

5. They’re not all going to like you 

I think it’s easy being liked by young kids. I think it’s easy enjoying the classes you teach them, and I think that was a big shock for me, if not the biggest. I do think if students like you they’ll enjoy more the classes and they’ll learn more efficiently, so I make it a priority to become the teacher they like because of the content of my classes and the way I deliver my lessons, but also because of the kind of person I try to be. There were students that didn’t like me, though, and in a way I just settled with that fact and didn’t give it much thought after.

What are some other things you believe I missed in this post? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

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NetGalley Reads: The French Impressionist

NetGalley Reads: The French Impressionist

NETFLIX TALK_.pngHello and happy Friday. I’m super distracted this morning, but that needs to change right now because today I bring you a NetGalley rant. NetGalley in a way is like online dating. There are these books that you wouldn’t be too impressed about based on the cover and description, but then you read and you’re absolutely amazed. And there are this shiny pretty covers that are super promising but that don’t amount to anything. That being said, I’m always happy to have access to free books and to be able to share my thoughts on them with you.

I read The French Impressionist by Rebecca Bischoff between October 14th and October 19th, 2019 and gave it one star. The basic premise of this book, and what we find out on the very first page is that the main character has lied so that she could travel to France during the summer. She’s staying with this family she refers to as “her new family” and as the first chapters progress we are told that she is actually running away from her home in the States and that, although she has somehow tricked a bunch of people to believe she’s only going to spend the summer abroad, her plan is to stay in France forever.

At first, I thought we would have some sort of magic realism thrown into the plot because the main character, whose name is Rosemary, is staying with a family of artists and in her room, there’s this mural that sometimes lights up. It’s not magical realism, but more of the beginnings of a mystery plot that sadly isn’t well developed. I think this is one of those stories that had a lot of potential but the author just made all the wrong choices.

We find out that Rosemary has set up this whole plan to escape her house because her mother is extremely controlling, to the point where, at the age of fifteen, Rosemary has never been around guys her age. Although I liked that plotline and the whole idea of her plan to be free, it was hard to believe that we were dealing with a fifteen-year-old. I think she could’ve been eighteen and the story would’ve worked much better.

I’m inclined to believe this is a debut novel considering some mistakes the author made. For example, we were told what the main character was going through, but it wasn’t like we were experiencing it with her. The main character has some sort of speech pathology, and her diagnosis isn’t even specified until much later in the book, which was odd, but also could have been that the author added this fact to make the story interesting and mentioned a speech pathology after a quick Wikipedia search. Besides that, given her condition, Rosemary cannot pronounce her name properly. We are told this, but we are never told how she pronounces her name or why is her pronunciation incorrect. By the way the whole “communication disorder” was handled, I don’t think this novel is own voices, so I cannot speak about the representation in this aspect.

I thought this book was plain bad and I was going to give it two stars, but then the main character decides she will lie about her mom’s boyfriend abusing her so that she can stay in France forever, and we all know that’s the kind of thing I can’t accept. I don’t even understand how a platform like NetGalley would promote a book with this kind of plot. It is plain wrong and it sends a horrible message to all readers, especially those within the young adult age range. Additionally, the main character’s best friend has cerebral palsy and the way Rosemary talks about her is just disgusting, making fun of her friend’s disabilities. Seriously NetGalley, you can do better.

Do you have any recommendations for stories based on big shady schemes? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

YESvember 2019 Thankful Thursday Week 2

YESvember 2019 Thankful Thursday Week 2

 

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Hello and happy Thursday. Try to say the title of this post three times as fast as you can. Okay, now that you’ve warmed up, let’s remember five things that made me happy in YESvember.

 

November 6th, 2017

#1663: Advancing on my trashy mommy porn book. 

Hello, my name is Camila and I like erotica. I’m pretty sure that around this time I was devouring the Calendar Girl series by Audrey Carlan, which I really enjoyed. Also, saying that reading mommy porn is an understatement, we all know that I was looking for another adjective that also starts with h and ends with y. Here are some links if you want to know my in-depth thoughts on this series: [x] [x][x][x]. Enjoy!

November 7th, 2017

#1668: End-of-the-year massages. 

I’m seriously trying to remember this day but I can’t. I seriously have no idea what I was talking about, and I’m not even sure if I meant to write “massages” or “messages.” Either way, I was happy about them and that’s all that matters, right?

November 8th, 2017

#1673: Having my desk decorated for my birthday. 

Last week I told you that my birthday is on November 4th, which in 2017 was a Saturday, if I’m not mistaken. When I got to school the following Monday, my desk was full of balloons and party decorations, and there was a cupcake that one of my co-workers had brought me. I still have that picture somewhere because it made me super happy to feel so loved and appreciated by my colleagues.

November 9th, 2017

#1679: Getting out of a lunch date I don’t want to attend. 

This person whom I was supposed to meet for lunch on November 9th, I’m not sure if I’m really sorry because, in all honesty, I don’t remember what this was about. Now that I’m more aware of my anxiety, I realize that I probably wasn’t just being lazy since social gatherings can be really triggering at times.

November 10th, 2017

#1684: Creating and uploading a new resource in Spanish. 

Even though this blog is mostly in English, and even though I teach English, that’s not my first language. Spanish is my first language, and I feel proud when I can share things in Spanish with the world. This resource I’m talking about is a book study, so I also find it really cool to spread the word about Colombian authors and give them the visibility and recognition they deserve.

What is something that has made you happy this week? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Thursday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

Updated Wish List

Updated Wish List

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Hello and happy Wednesday. Last week I brought you my updated TBR list, so it’s only fair that today I share my Wish List. Let’s get started, shall we?

Unlike the TBR list, I don’t own any of the books in my Wish List, but I want to get them. This list is way shorter than my TBR list as well, and thanks to Kindle and Book Outlet, it is easier to make it even shorter. If you want to see the books I want to get, you can click the following link: Miss Camilas Wish List.

I like to keep a wish list to control my impulse buying because it gives me an idea of the books to buy. I think if I didn’t have one, I would just go crazy and not have any logic behind the books I get. It is also a nice tool to have when shopping online, or even in stores. Besides this wish list, I have one on Amazon called “Books to Buy” and one on Book Outlet, and I try to keep them all updated to avoid buying the same book twice.

If you download this list, you’re free to use it any way you want. You can print it or keep the digital copy. I encourage you to click the links on the book titles, especially if there are books that you didn’t know about and you’re intrigued. You can also add or remove any titles and basically manage this list however you feel like.

Is there any book you have unknowingly bought more than once? Tell me all about it in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Princess Bubblegum 2.0

Princess Bubblegum 2.0

Hello and happy Monday. We all know that I like to play around with makeup and that I only draw my limit at fake eyelashes, but that, when it comes to color, I like a lot of it. Today I bring you the newest version of a look I like to call Bubblegum Princess since it is just that: an explosion of pink. These are the steps I followed to achieve the look:

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Primer
  2. Foundation
  3. Concealer
  4. Eyebrows
  5. Powder
  6. Matte brown (crease)
  7. Fuschia (center of the lid and bottom lash line)
  1. Magenta (outer corner)
  2. Pink eyeliner (lower lash line)
  3. Mascara
  4. Contour
  5. Pink blush
  6. Pink highlighter
  7. Pink liquid lipstick
  8. Baby pink lip gloss (center of the lid)
  9. Dewy setting spray

If you had to choose one color to do a look with, what would it be? Also, what would you name the look? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Happy Monday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

April and May 2019 Ipsy Glam Bag Haul

April and May 2019 Ipsy Glam Bag Haul

Hello and happy Sunday. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been slowly falling out of love with Ipsy. I will tell you more about it in another post, but sadly, I feel that now that it’s a bigger, more established brand, it has become so commercial that the personalized aspect of it is gone and everybody is basically getting the same products regardless of what they bought. Maybe my taste in makeup has changed, or I’m just not as excited to get the stuff I used to. Anyway, here’s the breakdown of the glam bags I got in April and May of 2019.

April 2019

 

Huangjisoo Broccoli Plumping Mask and Red Fruits Brightening Mask 

Size: I got the actual masks, so they’re the full-sized product.

Price: Each pack of 5 is $30. This means that each individual mask is $6.

*I feel like clarifying that I got two packs of individual masks, so I only got two masks.

Buy? Yes/No? Why? I like masks and I’ve come to like sheet masks even more. I appreciate the fact that I was sent two because I shared one with my mom, but honestly, do you really think I’ll spend $6 on a single sheet mask? If so, you don’t know me.

Nomad Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Kreuzberg 

Size: I’m not sure if this is the size of the shadow in the palette (0.05 oz or 1.5g) or the size of an eyeshadow single (0.08oz or 2.2g).

Price: The single eyeshadows are $12 each, however, Kreuzberg is not available. It is available in a palette that has 15 shadows and is $37.

Buy? Yes/No? Why? I wouldn’t buy that eyeshadow for several reasons. The first one is that the color is this minty green that I honestly have worn like once or twice. It is not a shade I’m drawn towards. Besides that, I think the price points are kind of shady. Why is an eyeshadow palette so cheap compared to separate shadows? The difference in size and weight is not that big, is it?

Purlisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer 

*I didn’t get this in my Glam Bag. I exchanged it for points, and they sent it to me along with the Glam Bag products. I thought the clarification was in order. 

Size: I got the only size available in the online store, which is 1.7oz or 50mL. I’d say it’s a travel-size product but it seems to be sold as a full-size.

Price: $45

Buy? Yes/No? Why? Would I spend $45 buying a product I’m sure is sold as a full-size even though it is travel-size? Not in a million years. Don’t get me wrong, this moisturizer is amazing and I’m sure some people will find the price justifiable given its benefits. I’m not one of those people, though. I think this is straight-up overpriced and I’m glad I got it in exchange for points and technically didn’t have to spend anything on it.

The Balm Creamy Lip Stain in Namaste

Size: I got a sample-size version (1.7 mL or 0.057 fl oz). The full-size version is 6.5 mL or 0.22 fl oz.

Price: The full-size product is $14.

Buy? Yes/No? Why? I have many lip products, and I have many lip products that are way cheaper and better quality than this “lip stain.” It looks creamy, but it has the sensation of vaseline on your lips, and it never dries. Can you imagine trying to live your best life with magenta smeared on your lips not knowing when and where it’ll transfer? Lip stains were cute five or six years ago, but they’re not an original or inventive product. I won’t waste my money and I hope you don’t either.

Tarte Base Tape Primer 

Size: I got a 10mL or 0.33 fl oz sample. The full-size product is 30mL or 1.014 fl oz.

Price: $30

Buy? Yes/No? Why? Okay, here’s the moment when you’ll think something’s wrong with me because I would consider buying this if I actually had the money. You know I go through many different products at the same time, but I’ve used my mini sample for the past five months and I ran out of it a couple of days ago. What I’m saying is that this product lasts, which means I’d ultimately be saving money with it. Besides, I love the smell and the feel of it on my face. The texture is a bit too liquid but other than that, it’s great.

Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara

Size: I got the sample-size version. The full size is 0.46 fl oz or 13.5 mL.

Price: $24

Buy? Yes/No? Why? I would not buy this mascara. I think mascara is one of those products you should never make a big investment on because it literally dries out after six months or even less. I think you should have many different cheap mascaras, and $24 is not cheap. Besides, I’ve worn this one twice and I’ve hated how it looks on my eyelashes. It makes them look long and lanky, like spider legs, and I’m just not about that life. Additionally, this is a male-owned brand and I’d like to support more women in the business.

May 2019

Oryza Nude Shimmer and Contour Eyeshadow

Size: I got the full-size product (0.025kg).

Price: $19.82

Buy? Yes/No? Why? Are they serious with that price point? No wonder why they had to include their eyeshadow palette in a subscription service because I don’t think they’ve sold any. Don’t get me wrong, I adore this palette, but I wouldn’t pay more than $8 for it. It has four shades, and out of those, only one is a matte. It’s a great gift for someone who’s learning or for a person who really likes nudes, but I wouldn’t spend almost $20 on it. Besides, when I researched the brand owner, I got really shady information. According to what I found, it’s a male-owned brand, but now I’m not even sure if that information is accurate. Please don’t come for me if it isn’t.

Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen in RoseGlow

Size: I got an eyeliner pencil, so I got the full-size product.

Price:  $14.91

Buy? Yes/No? Why? Again, what is wrong with brands and their absurd prices? This is a gorgeous eyeliner pencil, but it is just that: a pencil that I have to sharpen in order for it to work. I’m not paying what I would pay to go have lunch with my mom for a pencil eyeliner. It is just not worth it.

Goldfaden MD Vital Boost Even Skintone Daily Moisturizer 

Size: I got a 0.5 fl oz or 15 ml tube, which is actually available for sale.

Price: $25

Buy? Yes/No? Why? No, clearly. This is a male-owned brand, and we all know I’m steering clear from those because I want to support more women in the industry. I can’t understand how someone would spend $25 on a sample-size tube. Honestly, I can’t even talk about its quality because I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m almost certain that even if it is absolutely amazing, I wouldn’t consider buying it.

Papa Recipe Eggplant Clearing 5.5 Cleansing Foam 

Size: The sample size I got was 15 mL. The full-size product is 120mL.

Price: $12.74

Buy? Yes/No? Why? This would be a hard maybe. This brand is male-owned, so I’d rather try one of its female-owned alternatives. Besides that, I did feel that the scent was a bit too chemically, and I’m not particularly sensitive to those smells, so I don’t know how much I’d enjoy this on a daily basis. That being said, I do appreciate foam cleansers because I think they’re the most effective, and for what we’re getting the price is pretty alright.

Bare Minerals Dew Mist Setting Spray

Size: I got a 10mL sample size. The travel size is 30mL and the full-size is 100mL.

Price: $12 for the travel size and $28 for the full-size.

Buy? Yes/No? Why? This was just okay for me, so my answer doesn’t hold as much passion as with other products. I think the price is a bit up there but not too extreme, and if this were a product I really loved, I’d go for the full-size product because it’s clearly a better deal. Bare Minerals is all for natural looks, in my opinion, and that’s just not me.

Now, as always, I’d like you to tell me which product you’d definitely buy and which is a hard pass and why.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

Working on Pronunciation

Working on Pronunciation

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Hello and happy Saturday. Today I bring you a post that especially my ESL teachers will appreciate because it’s about English pronunciation. Now, I always worked on pronunciation with my younger kids, and that was almost an implicit part of the lessons. I didn’t really have to “plan” for a way to work on pronunciation with them. When I worked with high school, I realized that pronunciation wasn’t taken into account, as if to say that students already had a somewhat high level of English, so they spoke correctly. I found out otherwise and so when a British guy came to help me out with classes once a week, I decided to take advantage of him being a native to focus on pronunciation. Yes, I know I’ve written that word like 297 times already.

I started off class by having the other teacher read the poem The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité out loud. This is a very long poem, so he selected fifteen stanzas to read. Because I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to read the poem myself -there are words I genuinely don’t know how to pronounce because I’d never come across them before- I would’ve played a video of someone else reading the poem, had my co-teacher been absent.  We purposely avoided to mention the title and the author of the poem to the students so that they wouldn’t look it up online. You’ll see in a minute why this was important.

While the teacher read the poem, my students were allowed to take notes, especially on words they didn’t understand, terms that were new to them, or maybe something  they weren’t sure how to spell. After the poem, the kids asked the other teacher about these notes they’d taken and he clarified their doubts.

After the poem was read and understood, I had my students pair up. I gave each pair a small package that sort of looked like a puzzle. It was indeed a stanza, which I’d written and cut the words apart so that the kids could put together again. That’s why I didn’t want them to know the name or the author of the poem, so that they would really think about what made sense to them instead of looking up the correct order online. While the kids worked, my co-teacher and I walked around monitoring what they were doing and answering questions.

I think this was a fun way for students to work on English pronunciation that would actually have them use their brains instead of repeating sentences or words from a list. How would you practice pronunciation in your class? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila