October 2005 Archives

As happens to all new teachers periodically, I’m having a formal observation this week in my English 9 class. My principal, Mrs. Stratton, will enter the class, sit silently to the side, and note everything I do, say, or indicate with a motion or facial expression. The students will begin the class quietly, a little nervously, until they realize her presence has nothing to do with them. Then they’ll be their normal easily-distracted-bored-by-learning-trying-to-find-their-place-ninth-grade students. I really like this class, and sometimes we have a discussion that surprises me. But I hope I don’t get any surprises next ...


I am 47 years old, and only a second year teacher. I began my high school teaching career after 30 years of other jobs. I don’t know as much about teaching high school as those teachers who completed a four year college program, but I know a whole lot of other stuff. All that other stuff adds up to a lot of knowledge to apply to the classroom. What specifically can I offer as an older but inexperienced teacher? I know what matters in life. I know that relationships and knowledge are much more important that possessions and position. ...


You know my niece and nephew lived in New Orleans, two young adults just beginning their post-college professional lives. I appreciate your good thoughts and prayers, and I’ve let Nick and Michelle know of them. I am sharing their story because individual stories shape cultural history. The story of Hurricane Katrina is now part of the history of our country and its people. As many New Orleanians are doing, Nick and Michelle finally got to go home to see what’s there. Michelle wrote, “Nick and I went to New Orleans this past weekend to retrieve some things out ...


Saturday morning, and I am celebrating with a second cup of coffee. Saturday brings the chance to get up and actually see the sun rise! What glory it brings. Usually by now I’m looking at sixteen students ages 14-18, all “eager” to learn parts of speech at 7:30 am. If I’m lucky the sleepy ones had a caffeinated drink for breakfast. If I’m really lucky the overly-energetic kids have had their medication and not a caffeinated drink. I’m thinking about parents this morning. I have several I need to contact. It is, I think, one ...


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