a girl and her boy

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Tag Archives: education

I feel good! Wa-hoo!

I did not anticipate my Internet access cutting out for several days when I decided to blog every day. Oy! Whelp, we’ll just go on from here.

I’ve been feeling better lately. Much better.

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This is why I do what I do.

You know I can always get a smile out of you!

You know I can always get a smile out of you! Image from mactastic on flickr.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

— Leo Buscaglia

[Teachers], teach your children to express themselves. Teach them to be in touch with their emotions, to speak honestly to people, and to maintain integrity and stick by their principles in all they do. This is perhaps the highest morality you can instill.

— Jeffrey Bryant (b.1965); author

I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time – just one, one, one. So you begin. I began – I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up forty-two thousand….The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the same thing in your church, your community. Just begin – one, one, one.

—Mother Teresa (1910-1997), founder of the Missionaries of Charity

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
—E. E. Cummings (1894-1962); poet, essayist, painter, playwright

I seek to employ these words in every way I can in my classroom. I got into education for the kids, to be a positive force in their lives which are all too often filled with demons and monsters.

May we all live these words and make life wonderful!

(Mactastic’s Flickr Stream)

Scheduled Events

After going through bouts of feast and famine, I’ve decided to make a schedule so I have something very specific to post about on each day. The topics come from all the stuff I want to post about but never get motivated enough to follow through with. Here’s the line-up:

  • Sunday – running/training updates
  • Monday – Reviews (Etsy, green products, green habits, or anything like it)
  • Tuesday – Reading progress and comments
  • Wednesday – Knitting Works in Progress/Finished Objects
  • Thursday – Rave and Rage
  • Friday – Teaching Notes (reflections, learning experiences, etc)
  • Saturday – Slice of Life and Creative Writing

Now, this isn’t to say that I’m only going to post on those topics on those days, I just want to have a defined focus so I have more motivation to gather my thoughts in an organized fashion. Stay tuned later today for a reading update!

Sockotta Socks

I had been in quite a funk up until today with blogging. Sorry, dear readers, for so little content this month. I’ll be better, promise! I have so much to say that sometimes it’s more a matter of choosing bits and pieces instead of trying to think of something to write about.

Anyhow, here is the current sock! Enjoy the eye candy. I have to spend the rest of the night (and week) grading to wrap up quarter three and planning to start quarter four.

Gathering Momentum

I’ve been focused in on teaching the last several days, as I should be since it’s my job and I’ve been out sick or on vacation the last month. Knitting has taken a backseat to lesson planning, next year’s curriculum design, grading, advising, and all those other aspects that require me to put in close to 60 hours each week, on light weeks.

However, I have been knitting diligently when I can. I bring my second fancy sock to school each day and put on a few rows after I eat my lunch. I’m lucky to have a 40 minute lunch! I eat in about 10-15 minutes (yogurt and granola) and then sit there with my colleagues and knit. It’s a great way to lower my stress and gather clarity.

Clarity is one thing in short supply for me lately. I have these ideas for how to teach something and the minute I sit down to try and capture it in a lesson or a unit, it’s gone. I’m grasping at clouds. My creative writing is the same. I’ve simply been maintaining the habit by journaling each day and blogging frequently.

Could this be a bad case of winter blues? It seems like most of the people I know or the blogs I read express a loss of drive, of purpose, of the umph to get up and do the simple things we need to do each day to keep life going smoothly.

I also haven’t run in, oh, about 5 weeks. I don’t think I’ll be running that March 16th race after all. Maybe a race in April? I’ll get back on the treadmill tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow:  snow day number nine? It just may be.

Reflections on Teaching

Today was the first day back to class after break, and after winter carnival, and after being out for two weeks with the flu then bronchitis. We’re four weeks into the third quarter and it’s just starting for me.

Some things I’m proud of:

  • I let students know that I am a learner, too, and that we’re all here to learn from each other.
  • I respect all of my students, and not just the well-mannered, easy to love students.
  • I have a quick turn around time with student work.

Some things I need to work on:

  • Implementing what I know to be effective practices every day. Right now, I’m struggling to balance the expectations with what I know to be good pedagogy.
  • Balancing personal and professional time. Right now, it’s mostly professional.
  • Teaching my students how to be respectful in the classroom. I haven’t been consistent on this point.
  • Spend more time doing professional development as that is where I get my energy to keep at it.
  • Research the lessons a little deeper to gain further insight into the topic. I had a student ask me a question today and I had no idea what the answer was. Luckily, I was honest and told her I didn’t know the answer, but I answered with my best educated opinion, and offered an opportunity for bonus points through some research.

WIP: Allan's Fancy Socks

Look at all that progress! It went from this:

…to the first picture in just a day’s worth of off and on knitting! It has given me the hope that I can, indeed, finish it this weekend! Imagine that. 🙂

I made all this progress because today was Winter Carnival at school. We had a snow day Wednesday, and Thursday we were home due to power outages, and then Friday, grand wonderful Friday before February vacation, was Winter Carnival. The kids were off the wall all day, but then, it is a day of fun and games designed for them for this purpose. I signed up to conduct one event, ping pong, and I was free all day long to knit! I sat on the stage while the kiddos played four corner volleyball, ran relays, ate cream pies, and did all sorts of shenanigans. Personally, I think that Winter Carnival is a waste of time and energy because the only students that participate are the student council members and the athletes. Everyone else just wanders the halls and causes trouble. I’d rather have … a regular day of school. To top it off, Winter Carnival lasts for a whole week at my school. A whole week of after school activities and distractions. Nearly all the teachers at my school feel t his way but dear ol’ WC is likely to stay for a while to come.