I Burnt Out Three Weeks into the New Year, After 18 Months

On the fourth night, I was rubbing my head with both hands, watching myself crying in the bathroom mirror, asking myself, “What the fuck is going on?” I had no idea what I was crying about. A few minutes before, I was watching TV, trying to relax after the workday.

Continue reading “I Burnt Out Three Weeks into the New Year, After 18 Months”

The daily cycle of teaching online

It was a moment of calm frustration for me this morning as I was explaining to my students what it’s like to teach through Zoom, to talk to a video of myself talking. I probably made some quip about how good looking I am but that it’s not enough to keep me engaged. I likely said something about my failed attempt at becoming a YouTuber and how this was my comeuppance. I hope that I said something about me missing seeing their faces. I wish I remembered more of what I said this afternoon to my students as I was explaining what some of my frustrations are with teaching online.

Continue reading “The daily cycle of teaching online”

A Silent Summer

A few weeks ago, I started making a list of things that I want to do this summer. The list reads like every other incomplete list from every previous summer: go to the museum; read; write; work on Letters’ Lounge; go fishing; go to the gym. Everything I want to do this summer is something that I’ve wanted to do every other summer. At the end of every summer, the list is always incomplete. Continue reading “A Silent Summer”

I remember how to do this

5 am. My alarm goes off at 5 am. By 7:00, I had better be no more than ten minutes away from leaving for work. If I get to work by 7:45, I’m pushing it. Officially, I have to be at work by 8:30 and in class by 8:50. 45-65 minutes isn’t enough to get through every conversation, photocopy, washroom visit, and email that I need to before my day begins. Continue reading “I remember how to do this”


I’ve washed my hands at least a dozen times in the six hours since this happened. I sincerely hope that the tie-dye t-shirts turn out. There are still four more to finish tomorrow.

This happened a couple of weeks ago while planting seeds. I wish I could explain myself.

Every(body) Student Just Wants to be Seen

One thing that really gets me right pissed is insolence. When teaching, students who willfully ignore me drive me up the fucking wall. They love it; I can only imagine how amusing I look when I get angry.

Another thing that really gets me is when students start to believe that they are stupid. It happens more often than we realize, and it’s rare that students will open up about it. The other day, some students I was working with opened up to me about it. Continue reading “Every(body) Student Just Wants to be Seen”

Thoughts About My Teaching Career, So Far

I’ve been thinking about what it means for me to pursue a teaching career.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m not one of the luckiest ones, but I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been very fortunate to have other teachers and school administrators enjoy working with me and having me in their schools. A lot of people – in and out of schools – have been very supportive of my teaching career, and it would be ignorant of me to assume that I’m the one who is making all of this happen. Continue reading “Thoughts About My Teaching Career, So Far”

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, except, in this case, if that name is “Al”

I’ve never really had a nickname that’s stuck. In elementary school, there was a kid named Gurtej who kept calling me “Al”. I hate being called “Al”. Isn’t the name somewhat anachronistic? I have nothing against the name, in fact, I attach a certain affection to it, but it’s not my bloody name. My name is, just, Aly. Three letters, two syllables, and spelt with a “y”.  Continue reading “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, except, in this case, if that name is “Al””

A Survey for Mr. G. Tutors

Hey folks, today, I’m going to ask you for a favour: can you please complete this survey?

The survey is to help me get some information from you so that I can put together a functional, relevant, and informative tutoring website. The idea is to create a knowledge and resource base built on the real learning needs of today’s students and their parents/guardians.

The survey shouldn’t take more than about five minutes to fill in, and I’ll be grateful evermore.

Thank you very much!