About Me

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I'm married to the most wonderful man in the world, and I have a beautiful stepson that I love with all my heart.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A bit of a rant...

Yesterday the hubby and I went to my classroom to try and get ready for the new school year. The first day of school is Thursday, August 7th. I am so excited to start a new school year; I missed my students terribly while I was sick last year.

The last month that I was finally allowed to come back to school I spent most of my time dealing with the students and didn't pay much attention to the state of my classroom. When I came back yesterday to get things in order, it made me sad to see the way some student treated my room while I was gone. What has happened to respect for other people's property?

There were wads of gum on the ceiling, faces drawn on the photos of my bulletin boards, pencils stuck in the ceiling, etc. The most heartbreaking aspect, though, was the fact that students had stolen from me. I had posters of Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, The Beatles, and Bob Marley on my walls at the beginning of the year; at the end of the year, they were nowhere to be found.

I am not blaming all of my students; the majority of them were smart, sweet, courteous and wonderful. It saddens me that there was a small, selfish, unthinking faction that did not care who they hurt, but just wanted to satisfy their own selfish wants and needs.

It may have been a form of "punishment" for me because I had substitutes in the room most of the year. I would love to find the culprits and explain to them that it was never my intention to become ill and almost die--twice--and that I would much rather have been in the classroom with them.

I'm replacing the posters, and hopefully my being there all year will keep it from happening again. Problem is, the damage has already been done.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some of my favorite quotes about teaching...

As anyone who knows me knows, one of the biggest passions in my life is my work. Over time, I have found quotes about teaching, and decided since it was getting close to the new school year, I would post them here. I start with a quote of my own.

"Just because I have the big desk doesn't mean I have all the answers." - Charlotte Ann Wooden-Hillis

"Good teachers are those who know how little they know. Bad teachers are
those who think they know more than they don't know." - R. Verdi

"Awaken people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not
overload them. Put there just a spark." - Anatole France

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence
stops." - Henry Brooks Adams

"A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary." -
Thomas Carruthers

" A teacher who is attempting to teach, without inspiring the pupil
with a desire to learn, is hammering on a cold iron." - Horace Mann

"Education costs money, but then so does ignorance." - Sir Claus Moser

"Education...is a painful, continual and difficult work to be done in
kindness, by watching, by warning,... by praise, but above all -- by
example." - John Ruskin

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." -
Malcolm Forbes

"Education should turn out the pupil with something he knows well and
something he can do well." - Alfred North Whitehead

"Getting things done is not always what is most important. There is value
in allowing others to learn, even if the task is not accomplished as quickly,
efficiently or effectively." - R.D. Clyde

"Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of
right answers." - Josef Albers

"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think." -

"If the child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must
teach in the way the child learns" - Rita Dunn

"If what you're doing isn't working, try something else!" - NLP adage

"I may have said the same thing before... but my explanation, I am sure,
will always be different." - Oscar Wilde

"I put the relation of a fine teacher to a student just below the
relation of a mother to a son." - Thomas Wolfe

"It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot,
irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to
question it." - J. Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative
expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is
demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they
know it just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers" -
Richard Bach

"Men learn while they teach." - Lucius A. Seneca

"No matter how good teaching may be, each student must take the
responsibility for his own education." - John Carolus S. J.

"People's behavior makes sense if you think about it in terms of
their goals, needs, and motives." - Thomas Mann

"Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its values only to its
scarcity." - Samuel Johnson

"Spoonfeeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of
the spoon" - E. M. Forster

"Teachers should guide without dictating, and participate without
dominating." - C.B. Neblette

"Teach your children by what you are, not just by what you say" - Jane
Revell & Susan Norman

"The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to
learn." - Cicero

"The basic idea behind teaching is to teach people what they need to
know." - Carl Rogers

"The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and
inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself." - Edward

"The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in
themselves." - Joseph Campbell

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be
ignited." - Plutarch

"There are no difficult students - just students who don't want to do it
your way" - Jane Revell & Susan Norman

" The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house
of his wisdom
but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind." - Kahlil Gibran

"To define is to destroy, to suggest is to create." - Stephane

"To me the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching." -
George Bernard Shaw

"To teach is to learn twice." - Joseph Joubert

"Try to present at least three options. One is no choice at
all. Two creates a dilemma. With three you begin to have real choice
and flexibility" - Jane Revell & Susan Norman

"We think too much about effective methods of teaching and not enough
about effective methods of learning." - John Carolus S. J.

"What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not
knowledge in pursuit of the child." - George Bernard Shaw

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." - John Cotton Dana

"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it
within himself." - Galielo

My greatest wish is to be able to tell each and every student I've had how much they mean to me, and how much they have taught me. Teaching is one of the greatest blessings of my life, and even when it is stressful, scary and frenetic I love every second of it. Here's to a new school year, and to a long life of learning for us all.

Take care,


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Timeless Summer Songs...

I love music of all kinds--everything from ambient to zydeco (ha! found an a-z for that one!). I was lamenting the fact that most of the music I grew up on is now played on the "oldies" channels when I decided to take a more positive spin on things and list the songs that remind me of summer that I could listen to over and over. So here goes, folks--by the way, I started to link them to sound clips, but I'm not great at that stuff, so if you're interested enough, you'll find them:

1. "Summer Breeze"--Seals and Crofts--To me, one of the most perfectly crafted pop songs ever, period. Sweet melody, with lyrics that celebrate the joys of a simple life--a nice little house and the one you love.

2. "Fire and Rain"--James Taylor--One of the classic vocal performances of all-time, and a song that makes you feel mellow, sad, nostalgic, and content all at once.

3. "Pictures of You"--The Cure--A beautiful song that means something to anyone who has ever loved and lost, which would be all of us.

4. "Sultans of Swing"--Dire Straits--Mark Knopfler's guitar at its best, with lyrics and music that paint a picture of life as a working-class band.

5. "Baker Street"--Gerry Rafferty--Without a doubt, the single greatest sax performance in a pop song ever.

6. "American Pie"--Don McClean--You've heard it, you secretly know the words, you secretly love it. Sing it proudly.

7. "Can't Find My Way Home"--Blind Faith--Smooth and heartbreaking, this is a song that brings rock'n'roll to a spiritual level.

8. "Side"--Travis--Cross the faith and optimism of U2 with the style of Radiohead and you have Travis. This song explores the concepts of mortality, faith, ethics, and envy in a little over three amazing minutes.

9. "Dear Prudence"--The Beatles--One of the band's best songs, in that it combines the romanticism of the early work with the artistry of the later work. Breezy, sweet, and beautiful with a darn good beat.

10. "She Drives Me Crazy"--Fine Young Cannibals--Roland Gift and Co. take the simplest (and most perplexing) of feelings and summed them up in a song that is still easy to dance to after all these years. Oh, and it's a great driving song.

Now, this list is my opinion, and by no means complete. If anyone has any contributions, please comment.

Take care, all

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Shots from the 5th Parade...

Here's my Greg and me on our porch; our little guy took the photo--not bad, huh?

Speaking of the little guy, here he is with his daddy.... =)

Here's our front porch...I love our little house. It makes me proud when people stop and admire our herbs and flowers on the porch.
Here's the parade route to the left of our house, and here's the route to the right of our house. We had a great view of everything this year!

There were a lot of cool entries in the parade this year, but my favorite were these guys:

There was a man there with these brown sheep, and he brought his partner, a black and white sheepdog:

He did a great job keeping the sheep in line--I finally got a shot of him at work:

Here's one of the antique fire engines that were in the parade... here's a shot of an even older one.

I saw several students and former students today--it was great. See this bull?

As he rolled past my porch, I heard him bellow, "C-Woo!" (my nickname) Turns out, Cody Walker (a student from two years ago) was the "innards" of the bull!!

In addition to current and former students, I met a big group of future students from the Morrison community--

The majority of the parade consisted of classic cars and trucks--here are some shots:

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The 4th on the 5th...

Hello Everyone,

Happy 4th on the 5th! While we still observed the Independence Day holiday yesterday here in Warren County, Tennessee, we moved the majority of the festivities to today. The reason? This is the year we also celebrate Warren County's Bicentennial. There are many activities scheduled for today, including a parade that will be going right down my street! We are pretty jazzed about that, needless to say. I'll post photos from the parade as soon as I can.

I've spent the morning watering/feeding plants and hanging out with my (step)son while Greg is working. The garden is going fairly well--we have tons of cucumbers right now, and the tomatoes are coming along nicely.

Greg has decided that the best way to celebrate the nation's independence is with some sushi for lunch--sounds good to me.

Tonight there's fireworks--I'm anxious to try the settings on my camera.

Take care all,