Tag Archives: school

Standardization: Education’s antonym

So proud to have been this young man’s teacher! Nice work, Josiah.

Standardization: Education’s antonym.

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Back to School

Enormous arctic vortex

Seemed you’d never go away

Now our break is through

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The Answer to the Question

If you read my Haiku this week, you already know that I’ve been tired.  Sickness seems to be going around our house.  Gwen missed school last Tuesday with tummy issues.  I started up last Wednesday evening and felt ill the whole next day.   Yesterday Dylan stayed home from school (to his great displeasure since it was Hungry Howie’s Pizza Day in the cafeteria and he’d been waiting all month for its arrival) because in his own words, “I was barfing.”  He seems much better today but was down and out for at least 24 hours.

I haven’t been quite right since last week.  I’ve been tired and intermittently hot and cold.  Tuesday my elbows, shoulders and knees started to hurt.  Wednesday night the muscles in my back hurt so much that I proclaimed, “I think I’m dying.”   My husband  just shook his head at me.   When I put my socks on yesterday, I had to sit down because I couldn’t get my knees to bend far enough to reach my feet. 

My first thought was that perhaps I had given myself botulism poisoning.  It’s rare, but you can get it from improperly canned goods.  I thought maybe a jar of salsa I ate caused the stomach issues last week followed by the aching joints this week.  I was certain that my limbs were slowly seizing up and that complete paralysis would be next.  Fortunately, my canning methods were fine and I do not have botulism.  What I do have, it seems, is Fifth Disease

I work in a school.  Cooties are all around me.  I actually do a pretty good job most of the time at warding off the cooties.  I am a diligent hand-washer and when I see the kids cough, sneeze or (ick) pick their noses, I send them to wash their hands.  My assistant, Ann, does a wonderful job of keeping the shelves and materials wiped down.  Despite constant cootie combat, occasionally I lose. 

Yesterday the signature lacy-rash appeared on my arms.  My feet started itching incessantly and my torso started to itch and rash up.   This morning my hands and feet are swollen and when I woke up my right arm felt as if it were asleep despite the fact that I had not been sleeping on it.  So, the good news is, I am not dying.  I do not have botulism.  I do not have to quit canning for fear of killing my friends and family.  The bad news is that I have managed to get a childhood disease that ordinarily is a mild illness with few symptoms and end up with the worst-case-scenario.  At least I’ll live.  🙂

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Why I Teach

Do you ever have one of those days that makes you think, “This is why I come to work.”?  For me, today was that day. 

I gave a huge group lesson first thing this morning and the kids all paid attention.  And were interested in the lesson.   After that they finished their journals and I started a few kids on various math activities before sitting with three different kids to give them a lesson and then watched while they really enjoyed grammar.  The kids were even quiet and working all morning. 

One of my students has been struggling with reading.  We sat down and read today.  Over the past few weeks, everything just clicked.  It is the most rewarding feeling.

 Despite budget cuts and politics, long days of meetings and people saying things like, “Those who can’t do, teach”, my job rocks.  Today was just another reminder.

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Conferences~ a Haiku

this day a reprieve
from twelve-hour days if only
until the morning

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Time

How come we never have enough of it??  This week I have Parent-Teacher conferences.  I realize they are important, but boy are they exhausting.

I know other people work 12 hour days all the time.  But, 12 hour days when you are “on” with kids for seven hours and have to be aware of what is going on in every corner of the room and give meaningful lessons all day before composing yourself and sitting down with parents to provide input on the development of their children is stressful. (Wow!  That was a big sentence.  Someday, when I am not so tired, I will edit it for grammar.)   By the end of the week I am toast.  Plus, somehow this managed to be the week that the brochure for the Family Wisdom Conference is due to the printer~ and I am in charge of that!  My timing is impeccable, no?

Fear not dear readers.  Just because I will be almost entirely unavailable this week does not mean that you shall go without a new post.  I will let you in on a little secret.  Blogs are magic.  No, really.  You can type up posts on the weekend when you have time and schedule them to arrive whenever you like.  This is top-secret stuff.  I really shouldn’t be telling you this.  I think I could cause the internet to collapse by sharing this information. 

 But, back to the point.  I have already written some posts for this week.  And, saved them in cyberspace.  So, sometime this week, new posts will magically appear.  I could be at work.  Or sleeping.  Or even in the shower and, pop!  Up will go a blog post.  Do you see the lengths I go to?  All this just to share my incessant gibberish endless wisdom.  So, check back. 

You’re welcome.

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The Planet of Blog

So, I’ve been trying to think of a way to motivate my students to write.  And, beyond writing, to start to care about their editing.  Because, let’s be honest, most 6-9 year olds won’t edit their own work without a bit of gentle prodding someone making them.

Why do any of us write?  There are lots of reasons.  I’m not sure about you, but I write at work because I have to.   Newsletters must be written, E-mails composed, presentations drafted.  Each type of writing is different and as adults, we get that.  Each of us has a writing voice and it changes (hopefully) depending on our audience.  This writing, my blogging, is different.  I blog because I feel the need on some deeper level to share a part of myself.  If nobody ever looked, would I keep writing?  Maybe.  But it sure feels nice when I check my counter and can see that people have stopped by to see what I have to say.

So, if people reading my writing motivates me to write, what could that do for my students?  Let me tell you, it’s done a lot.  The Planet of Blog has been up for two whole days.  It already has five posts and a draft in process, and there has been a line at the laptops to try and type stories.  At sharing, I pull the blog up and project it for the kids to see.  The kids that posted that day get to read the stories they wrote to the rest of the class and I read the comments to the kids.  They LOVE to read the comments.  

The best part is that the kids feel such a sense of ownership.  They suggested and voted on the name and the tagline.  They voted on the appearance and theme.  I’m not sure we’ll stick with our current theme because the kids really like to type in colored fonts and most of the colors don’t look so great on the dark background we ended up with.  Plus, I’m not sure I really like them using the same theme I am. 

Right now, we’re not doing a ton of editing, but when we read the posts aloud, the kids notice the things that they’ve forgotten; they’re realizing the importance of reading your work before you share it with the world.  I think that awareness will help them develop better editing skills.  If nothing else, I hope that it helps them find their voice.

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