Friday, November 20, 2009

Beware of the Dog!

Conferences. Well, Spot, we made it through another set of 48, minus a few. It's been quite the week for chatting. Early dismissal days, power teaching...twenty-three minutes of what's-the-point-periods, if you know what I mean. I can't say that to the other pups, I just get so frustrated by the constant array of interruptions/seams in the process of learning. When I'm fired-up to teach...I just want to keep going. But...

Accountability and communication is where it's at. I know that, Spot. Your mama and your papa too, just wanna keep themselves in the loop! We have interim reports, AR reports, conferences too...and report cards. THEN we can teach--well, no! Then, we'll be staring at the holidays, and we all know what happens to those puppy brains then.

We had a great conference yesterday, with your friend, Peaceful Petie's parents. What a great doggie! He's not perfect, but he works hard and looks out for other doggies in our cluster. He's got that little spiky thing going on with his hair, and he pays attention all the time, Spot...not like you, that's for sure. (Just kidding!) But Petie...gosh darn it! He sure knows how to earn it. And you know what? Now I get why.

Petie's parents don't push him. They honor him. They encourage him...and they set the greatest priorities for him. They actually said the word CHARACTER and they weren't being corny. They said grades are secondary, character-building comes first. Kindness and caring are their family's primary value. And when we were done chatting, Spot? They jumped up and thanked us...and then thanked us again. When we got to the door...yup, one more thanks for the road. And today...when I looked at Petie? I was thankful to them! Fired me up all over again! Well, Spot! You may have the weekend off, but watch out on Monday...we'll have those sweet fifty minute periods back for two whole days! You're all mine!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Taste of Reading in Grade Six

Caught ya today, Spot.
Yup, YOU: the guy that came into my room kicking and screaming...saying all kinds of stuff like, "I don't like school." Or, "I don't like reading. And YOU can't make me!"
Well, you didn't say it--out loud, but I heard it.

Here's how it happened, Spot. And this is what I LOVE about teaching, honestly! It all started with that interview, you know when I asked you how much you read each day and you flashed that little silent! Well, no wonder you hated reading! You didn't have a plan, you didn't have a time and no one was keeping an eye on you. And then it started to started reading each day, writing it down and next you started to speak up too! I mean, bark it up really, in class each day. All the other pups' heads whipped around! They'd never heard your voice before! And you know what? What came out of your mouth was so darn even surprised yourself! And now, Spot?
I've seen've even started reading books just for fun...that aren't assigned. All you needed all along was a boost, a little confidence and the taste of a good book! I'm proud of you Spot! Darn proud!

Monday, November 2, 2009

When the Teacher Takes a Seat

Hard to imagine, Spot, but I am one wiggily woman. Sit still?
Not me. You know my M.O., right? Move and manage. Keep everybody thinking, large and in charge. Yup. I am a little teeny bit of a control freak.

Well, tomorrow it's my turn to put my proverbial butt in the chair. (Sorry, that was probably not a very professional word, right?) We've lost all our inservice days, so this is it!

And you know what, makes me want to run out and redesign the whole set-up. Sit? Well...nobody sits anymore. We're all active and interactive. We're on the net, reading a little, moving a lot and discussing everything under the sun. We like to compare and contrast, understand our work in the light of what others are doing. Make real-life connections and then come back and share our findings. That's 21st century learning!

But guess what, Spot? I'll bet my eyeball that's not going to be how it's done. We'll sit in our chairs and listen, fight for focus and try our hardest to take something away that we can use in our classrooms the next day. Learning needs to be immediate and useful. One thing's for sure, I'll miss you tomorrow, Spot. Can you just climb a tree, read a book and sleep a little later than usual for me? (I just might be the one with the head on my desk at school!)