Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's Goals 2008

I have been thinking about the beginning of a new year. I tend to think about last year and what I accomplished. I also think about what I am going to accomplish this year. I have read a few other posts about resolutions and/or goals. Jen at A Teacher's Life wrote about her goals. I have also been motivated by HipWriterMama. She mentions the word goals and shares with us her thirty day challenge. I would like to participate but I am not sure what to do.

Here is a list of a few things I would like to accomplish this year:
1. Memorize all the Presidents and Vice Presidents
I would like to know when they lived, interesting things about them and what they are remembered for. I have to say that I know many of them but never had to memorize them all. At the time (10th grade History) I was very glad I did not have to do it but now I wish I had learned them much earlier. To begin I purchased The Everything American Presidents Book by Martin Kelly and Melissa Kelly.
2. Acquire Books Differently
I am planning on taking advantage of the library before purchasing a book. I have to admit that I buy books sometimes that I would not keep on my shelf. I would also like to check at Half-Price Books before buying books at the full price. I have been using it to supply Nancy Drew books to my niece. She reads them in a few days. I pay around 3 dollars a book instead of 9. It is even better than half price and I only buy them if they are in good shape. I am always looking for suggestions of good books.
3. Improve My Blog
I am going to work on making my blog better. I recently purchased Clear Blogging by Bob Walsh which I have begun to read through. A few things I am going to do is tag my posts, put more links in my posts, and write more comments on others blogs which Bob suggests. I am also going to add a Blog Roll, which he may suggest but I m not that far into the book yet.
4. Read 6 books on Education
I have to finish Enriching the Brain by Eric Jensen. (I don't know if I will count this one because I am about half-way through it.) I am planning on reading Teaching Outside of the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains by LouAnne Johnson and Understanding By Design by Grant P. Wiggins and Jay McTighe, and Creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing Assessment and Instruction by Vicki Spandel. I have a few more on my shelf, but am always looking for suggestions.
5. Read books about Worldview and Christian Thinking

I have several. This journey started a few years ago when I took the PEERS Test by Daniel J. Smithwick and while I don't agree with all the views of the Nehemiah Institute. It was a great beginning. I also read Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason In The Life Of The Soul by J.P. Moreland. I enjoyed it so much that I bought several copies and gave them away. It also has a great book list in the back and I have bought a few of those books. I have to admit I did not get very far on these books because I was reading books for grad. school instead. Now that I am done I have time to go back to them.
6. Get in Shape and Take off a few Pounds
I have started working out before the year ended. I have a great friend who encourages me. We have been running together. I have to admit that I have not really done anything over break and I have to think a little more on my plan of attack.
7. Organize, Organize, Organize
My organization initiative includes: closet, desk, books, teaching stuff, etc.... Right now because I don't have my own classroom my 10 or so years of accumulated teaching materials is in my basement. Picture in your mind about 10 bins of books and many bins of other stuff. Any helpful suggestions?
8. Start Another Blog
I would like to start another blog so that this one stays relevant to teaching. I would include topics that surround a few of my other goals.

I have some thinking about how I am going to accomplish these. I am currently thinking about committing a day of the week to go over my goals and check my progress. I heard Dr. Rosenfeld mention something called Healthy Monday on FoxNews this morning. I am going to come up with some kind of plan that works for all my goals that is similar to this. I think it is going to be a Saturday morning thing for me because I can think about my progress over the last week and refocus myself on my goals for the next week.

I may add a few more goals to this list. What are your goals or resolutions for the New Year? Do you have any plans or ways to accomplish your goals?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Young Adult Fiction

I have been reading a lot of young adult fiction lately. I have gotten many recommendations while I have been subbing. I have been purchasing quite a few books as well. I need to start checking them out from the library instead. One goal of mine for the new year will be to go to the library more. It should be easy because I have a beautiful one in the city that I live in. I am always looking for good book suggestions, so if you have any please share.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Long-Term Subbing

I get to do two long-term subs after the new year. One will start in January and is in a three-year old Pre-K classroom two days a week. I will be subbing for other places on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The awesome thing about this position is that I also get to coach cheerleading. I have coached for 5 years but this year I decided not to. It was too difficult to be coaching in the north metro and mostly subbing in the south metro. I have missed coaching so this will be a great fix. So this sub job is like the best of both worlds, I love cheerleaders and three-year olds. I taught 3-year olds for seven years. I have already subbed a little in the class so I am familiar with the students and know all their names already. I have also attended practice a few times and the squad is amazing this year. They are young squad but they are very hard workers and have made so much progress already.

The other is later in the spring. It is for a sixth grade class. I am really looking forward to it. I will be teaching mainly teaching Social Studies and English. I have really enjoyed subbing for sixth grade at one of the local intermediate schools. I think it will be a great adventure. This is partly the reason I have been reading so many young adult books. (Other than the fact that they are enjoyable.) I am also going to re-read Teaching Outside of the Box by LouAnne Johnson, which is a fabulous book. If you have any other suggestions on how to prepare please fill me in.

Peter and the Starcatchers

I enjoyed this book. I thought it was suspenseful and intriguing. I also liked that fact that it wasn't so predictable. I always wondered how Peter had come to be immortal and able to fly. It was a great explanation of that. It is a great read for males and females.

Recent Read

I read this book yesterday. I love getting books for gifts for Christmas because I have time to read them.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

I enjoyed this book. I found that I identify in many ways with the main character. I also like how the author stressed that fact that things are do not always have the explanations that we contrive. I also enjoyed the fact that the heroine was a female. I am not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination. However, I do believe that stories like this are important. It is a great read for girls.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Current Reads

I am currently enjoying:

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

I am also still reading Enriching the Brain by Eric Jensen.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thank You Very Much!

At this time of the year, I like to think about all the people I am thankful for in my life. In this post I am going to reflect on my teachers.

My first grade teacher - She was a wonderful woman who had me tested for learning disabilities. The results indicated that I had dyslexia. Because it was caught so early, I caught up fairly quickly and I am an avid reader today.

Mrs. Soltow (second grade) - You were one of my favorites! Thank you for being you!

Mr. Watson (elementary art) - Thank you for helping me to love creating things even though it didn't come naturally!

Mrs. Stark (LD) - Thank you so much for helping to learn to read!

Ms. Fedora (fourth grade) - Thank you so much for recognizing me after all those years and helping me find my way on the first day I subbed!

My Sixth Grade Language Arts Teacher - Thank you for helping me tune out noises and focus on my work!

My Seventh Grade Industrial Arts Teacher - Thank you for letting me back into class after I had the spindle sander bouncing on the floor, a board flying across the room and almost passing out! I never should have talked that boy into turning on for me after you told us we had to turn it on for ourselves.

My Library Media Specialists - Thank you for putting up with my many visits and helping me find fabulous books to read.

Ms. Beasley, Mr. Wolfe, Mr. Lapoint, and Mr. Ferris - Thank you for putting up with me as a junior high student! (Enough said.)

My High School Teachers - Thank you for teaching me all you did and encouraging me to go on!

My College Professors - Thank you for making college a good experience!

Jalon - Thank you for seeing the gifts in me and asking me to teach for you! Thank you for training me to be a great classroom manager and helping me to be led to know what to do in my classroom! Thank you for helping me to learn how to pray for my students! Thank you for being an example of what I wanted to be and am working towards being still!

My Grad. School Professors - Thank you for instructing me and helping me to see what makes teachers be a success!

Marcia - Thank you for helping make student teaching a success and being there for me when I needed you!

Ms. Campbell - Thank you for encouraging me in so many ways! Thank you for helping me overcome my fear of teaching math! I am enjoying it more and more everyday!

Thank you all for being examples of teachers that I want to emulate!


I thank VWB at A Library By Any Other Name for this fun personality test.

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Carnival of Education

Check out this week's Carnival of Education. It is being hosted by Colossus of Rhodey.

The Power of Words

I believe words can build up or tear down. They are so powerful.

Just think about the words we remember? I was called Tweety when I was in first grade because I was short and some other children referred to themselves as Sylvester. I remember that Kevin said that he couldn't believe I made the cheerleading squad when we were in eighth grade. I just happened to be walking not to far behind him as we were getting on the bus. I also remember a teacher telling me that my handwriting was bad. I don't remember exactly what she said. I had given up trying because my effort didn't seem to get me anywhere. (My finger was also bandaged up because I had broken the tip of bone off on my ring finger and cut it open really bad.) I also had a student today very upset over one word that another student had said to him. I think it was disqualified. I don't think the context for the word was quite right but the meaning was sure there. He was in tears.

I just think that I need to remember this especially in the classroom.

Writer's Notebook Wednesday

I can often be found writing in the kitchen at the counter while listening to music. Lately, I have been listening to holiday tunes or the latest Lifehouse CD. My tools include my computer or one of my journals. I have a journal for devotions and one that I use for everything else. The latter journal contains lists, notes, thoughts and ideas from books. If I am doing journal writing I typically have a Pilot G-2 pen in my hand. I have begun to write more since I have started blogging. I have to say that in the past few years most of the writing I have done has been for school. It feels good to be writing for reasons other than completing an assignment. I am often inspired by a book I am reading or an experience in school.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Book Thief

I have been thinking about words since finishing The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. What a triumph when Liesel learns to read and she discovers the power of words. It is amazing how words change things. How they can sway a nation.

Perhaps the book hits home with me because learning to read was not an easy feat. I had an intuitive mother and an amazing first grade teacher. Unfortunately, I don't remember her name but I believe that there was divine intervention when I was placed in her class. They had me tested for learning disabilities and I was diagnosed with dyslexia. I learned to read and became the booklover that I am today.

I am going to have to blog more on the power of words and my teachers past and present.

Tomorrow Is a New Day!

I have to say this is easy for me because I am currently subbing. I subbed for sixth grade today. This is my second time doing that grade level. I enjoyed it more the first time. I tend to do much better with my homeroom class then for classes that switch into my room. I am unsure of the reason. Perhaps it is because I tend to start the day successfully and if I began a new class that way it would be good. I also find that is more challenging to get to know students when you are with them for shorter amounts of time. I will have to ponder this some more...

I also find that I have a very difficult time with students who are constantly telling others what to do or telling me that a student is not following the directions. At the same time, I do believe that students should be able to talk to another student who is bothering them. In fact, I would rather have them work it out then having to involve me if possible. I do tell students to try and work it out. I also tell them to, "Be responsible for yourself." I would be curious to see how others deal with this.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Current Reads

I am currently enjoying:

Eric Jensen's Enriching the Brain

Markus Zusak's The Book Thief

Things I Have Learned Along the Way About Classroom Management

Joel, who blogs at So You Want To Teach?, has gotten me thinking about classroom management with his post today.

He mentioned being proactive. I agree with that! Be aware of what is going on in your classroom and deal with potential problems before they grow. Sometimes just letting a student know you are aware of what is going on the student will make a choice to change it. I think this is where "the look" comes into play.

Another key is routine, routine, routine. Thank you, Harry Wong for laying it out so easily for us. If you teach the routines early on and then stick to them. It is easy just to say, "Excuse me that is not how we do things around here." Usually, a student just needed that little reminder. Sometimes though, it would be a great opportunity to review and practice the routine. I would many times find myself having to do that in January.

Empower students with a choice instead of telling them to do something. This is something that I have recently gotten a lot better at. If I am unsure that a student is aware of what he is supposed to be doing I will simply ask. If they don't know, then I will explain. If they are aware, I will simply say then you have a choice to make. I continue on with, "If you choose not to follow the directions, I am going to ......" Usually, this will correct the problem. Most often I just have to say, "What are you supposed to be doing right now?"

Don't take it personally! Sometimes a student is just out to see how you react. Deal with the situation in a calm manner. Often, a soft answer that is firm will turn the situation around.

Separate the behavior from the child. Sometimes there are very viable reasons that a child is behaving in the this manner. Other times there is no apparent reason whatsoever and it will be a waste of precious time if you try. Some students are very tender and get upset when they are given consequences. This is a good time to explain that I am not mad at them but the consequence is the result of a choice they made. I remind them why they were given a consequence. Often, the consequence follows an unheeded warning. I also let them know that even I make mistakes sometimes and I don't expect them to be perfect.

Document almost everything! I learned this as a PreK teacher. Anedoctal notes are your friend. This helps if the behavior becomes a pattern and has to be looked at more closely. It also helps if a parent has a question about it. It is good to have an easy system set up in advance and to get in the habit of using it. I have to think about what this looks like for an elementary classroom. I think it will look different depending on what level you teach. This will also assist in making good instructional decisions for your students.

Tomorrow is a new day! Remember we all have those days every once in awhile. This is a good time to go home and leave your work at school. (I recently read a blog that compared it to closing a book, putting it on the shelf, and going home for the day. I will try to find it and link it to here.)

Two books that have really helped me are: The First Days of School by Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong and Teaching Outside of the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains by LouAnne Johnson. Harry and Rosemary's book was very good for setting up routines and getting your year started. LouAnne's was a very enjoyable read.

As far as not smiling, I don't think I could do it. It would be very unnatural and ingenuine of me. Students are very intuitive and can spot a fake from far away. I do agree in the thought behind that statement. It is necessary to be firm. Some days I will say it is easier to be positive and happy than others. On those days I decide to have a good day for myself and I attempt remember not to take things personally. After those days are over I remember tomorrow is a new day.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sixth Grade Environmentalists

A day not to long ago I was subbing at one of my favorite schools. I like most schools but I love this one! I have been in the building three times and had a great experience each time. It is a school made up of all the fifth and sixth graders in the community. There are five K-4 schools that feed it. It has four or five different houses. The houses are housed in an atrium with fifth grade on one floor and sixth grade on the other. They remind me of smaller schools within a larger one. In my opinion this mix of students is great. I think it helps the students not grow up so quickly. (They already grow up so fast.)

On this particular day I was subbing for sixth grade. I have to admit I was extremely nervous. One of the reasons was not the fact that many of them are taller than me. I had done fifth grade and it was a breeze. So, why not try it? If the day doesn't go well, I don't have to go back. Besides, I like a challenge. Well, they were wonderful, fabulous, respectful students. We talked books and I got some good suggestions that I have written down somewhere. I got to teach science, math, and language arts. I enjoyed the day thoroughly.

At one point in the afternoon, an incident happened that made me nervous. I was supervising a study hall. I was mostly helping with math and watching the students interact. I even let them write on the white board and before I knew it half of the class was up there writing. As I was watching them interact, I discovered a note being passed around. I think they thought they were being so covert but it was completely obvious to me. This caused a tug of war going on in my head. Do I want to read it or not? I was wary of what it may say. After it got about half way around the room my curiosity was so strong I had to read it. So I bravely confiscated it and read it. It said: NO MORE HOMEWORK.....Save the Trees. I had to keep myself from chuckling because I was so relieved. I did not want to embarrass the author. I was curious if the which was more important: no homework or the trees.

I located the author and talked to him. It was a great opportunity to talk about how teachers enjoy hearing the opinions of their students. He also mentioned that he was thinking of starting a petition. My response was that should wait until tomorrow. He did not want me to tell his teacher about the note. I didn't. I just mentioned in the notes that I thought she had some budding environmentalists in her class and perhaps she should ask them about that.

A few things that I was reminded of this day were:
1. Being brave pays dividends.
2. Sometimes what you think may be a challenge turns out to be a wonderful and memorable experience but you won't know if you are not willing to try.
3. Believe the best. It is often not as bad as you think. Besides worrying about how bad it could be doesn't help you with dealing with the matter if it does turn out to be bad.
4. Smiling and saying, "Good Morning, I am glad you are here" will go a long way to show you care.
5. It is great fun to talk books with students in a casual manner. I just asked, "What are you reading?" The responses I got were marvelous.
6. Giving students a voice can be powerful.

How will I give my students a voice in my classroom? How will I remember always to believe the best?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

SMART Boards are so cool!

I have been having a blast subbing the last few days in the class I am working in. I am learning so much. I think I mentioned that I get to use the SMART Board in the class I am in.

Yesterday, we did a lesson on adjectives. I wrote two basic sentences and showed what a difference a few details can make in a sentence. We talked about how they can make the picture in your mind so much clearer. Then I had some pictures up and we described them. I found a picture of a double-decker bus on there. We talked about the picture they see when a bus is mentioned and then we added adjectives. Then I did the French flag. I also found pictures of three different houses. (They happened to be the homes of the three little pigs.) We were going to write a sentence about one of the houses so that it was evident which house we were talking about. The SMART Board is so cool because it was a quick and easy lesson to prep for. Any time I have seen it used in a classroom the students are very engaged!

Tomorrow is my last day in the classroom I am in. I will miss the class. They are a sweet bunch of students!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Magnetic Poetry.....Shakespeare Edition

One day recently I was goofing around with magnetic poetry and came up with this:

Never question discontent or by mischance allow it perilous lordship upon you nor let it deceive and tempt you to yield to a trifle and loathsome existence; you must measure and quench it with thy dreaming and bid farewell to your idle life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Four Days in a Row

I am so excited I get to be in one place for four days. I get to teach second grade. Today was the first. It went fairly well. I got to use the SMART board a little. I haven't shared my intense desire to have a SMART board yet. They are so wonderful. I am looking forward to getting to use it some more this week.

Monday, December 3, 2007

To Hideout or Not to Hideout

Today is Monday. As a sub, I get those lovely 5am calls. I was pondering shutting the alarm and my ringer off and promptly pulling the covers back over my head. Just then the phone rang. It was timely. I accepted a job to teach 3rd grade. I instantly got up and decided to be the morning person I am. I think the coffee with hazelnut creamer may have helped minutely. I typically like to know where I am going and what I am doing before I go to sleep and most often that is the case. I have had days that I got up, started getting ready and never received a call. I will admit I have had days I have pulled the covers over my head and gone back to sleep but today was not one of them.

I am glad I got up and taught 3rd grade. The morning was wondrous. The students came in and got to work right away. Math went really well. (I will have to write about overcoming my teaching math phobia.) Language Arts went fabulous. They were working on rough drafts. I unfortunately did not get the chance to read any, but I did get to help one student get started. Sometimes getting started can be the most difficult part. Then I got to read part of Squids Will Be Squids by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. The most amazing part of the day was handwriting. They were all extremely focused and very methodically writing. I should have taken a picture. Then came social studies and it just wasn't the same. (Now, you may think that perhaps they were sitting too long. I will tell you that they had P.E. in between handwriting and social studies.)

Of course, I was bummed because I love social studies. I wasn't doing things exactly the same as usual. We had six pages in the textbook to cover and a worksheet to complete. The topic was immigration, schooling, the Great Migration, sports and assimilating. Assimilating wasn't the term used but that was one of the subjects. I did my best to have lively discussion and not just read from the book. I even had them get up and move around a little. It is a little more difficult because it wasn't my classroom and the options are not the same. I could have jigsawed it or found some pictures to look at.

All in all.......I am glad I went. It seems like subbing gets a little easier each time I do it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let it Snow....

We don't really have a choice but sometimes I wish we did. I had planned on doing some shopping today. I got to two places. The nice thing is I actually finished shopping for half of my nieces and nephews. There are eight. (I love them all very much. By the way the girls rule the roost because there are 10 of us in comparison to the 5 boys in the family. This count includes the adults.) I made some really fun purchases. I got Wedgits for my 6 year old nephew. I also got the softer version for my one year old niece. I love toys that can be used for creating and building. I bought some Playmobile 123 sets for my 2 year old nephew. (They are much less expensive than the sets for older children and I had a $5 dollar off coupon.) I got the book The Treasure Tree for my 3 year old niece to complete her gift. It is one of my favorite books to read aloud. I get to do voices for the characters and the main idea is great!

As for the rest of the day, I have been reading and discovering blogs by educators. I have even commented on a few. After my discovery of Google Reader yesterday, I had subscribed to many blogs. Today, I subscribed and unsubscribed to a few more.

While reading the blogs, I was reminded of a few things I thought would be worthy to take note of. One is I need to read more! (Thank you, Ruth and aredden ) The funny thing is that as I was talking to a friend yesterday I began to feel convicted about my TV time lately. I have been watching it way too much. Ruth also reminded me of the importance of writing, which I have begun to more of since I have started blogging. Another blogger, reminded me to take risks as an educator. She also reminded me how amazing it can be when students collaborate and work with one another. (Thanks, Jen.) I also learned more about things I can do as a beginner. (Thanks, futura.) I have been reminded of quite a few other things.

Earlier in the week I learned about while reading a blog and I spent practically a whole night adding my bookmarks to it. It was a timely discovery. I have not really been using my bookmarks because I had too many and I have wanted to reorganize them. I haven't even finished putting them in. Perhaps I will work on that later.

I am am off to play some spades and read a book. I think I am going to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Friday, November 30, 2007

HEY, Library Lady..........

Today, I enjoyed the thrill of getting to be a librarian for the day. I have had several people mention to me that I would be good at it. I do love books, which is an interesting comment for a former dyslexic child. I did not have the easiest time learning to read but when I did I read everything I could get my hands on. I loved the library as a child and I think the poor librarian probably knew me better than she wanted to. I know I could do it and do it well. But I am sure I would miss the regular classroom too much.

I had a fabulous day in the library! I got to talk books, re-shelve books, discuss an author visit, talk about the internet and get an idea of what students are reading. A day all about books is a wonderful day indeed!

Here are a few books that the students shared with me:

The only one I have read personally is A Wrinkle in Time. I loved it when I read it. I put Princess Academy and Bella at Midnight on here because they looked good. Follow My Leader was recommended by a 5th grader. He said that it was his second time reading it. Any book a student will read twice is worth reading, in my opinion. The Invention of Hugo Cabret looks interesting. I read a few reviews on Shefari about it. They mentioned that it was thick but a fairly quick and easy read. Freddy and the Ignormus was also recommended by a 5th grader. She described the books as mystery books where all the characters are animals.

I loved my day as a librarian and no one even called me the Library Lady.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Prepping for A Substitute

I got to be in the classroom of a well-prepared teacher today. (If you refer to my Out of Body Exerience?, you will see that I didn't understand much of what was said in the classroom but that is another story.) Her sub folder included a pull-out schedule, a class list, a list of groups, an exit map, a schedule, a list of routines, and a set of emergency sub plans. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had everything I needed and a few things I just might need.

The pull-out schedule is a very nice piece because I have been in classrooms where students come and go. I trust the students. However, I would just feel more comfortable knowing where they are and when to expect them back.

The list of routines was remarkable. The routines included: arrival, end of the day/dismissal, fire and tornado drills, going to and from lunch, Morning Meeting, how to get the student's attention, student responsibilities, and the bathroom/fountain routine. Knowing the classroom routines in a class I am subbing in immensely simplifies my day. I know I will not do everything the same as the teacher but I like to try and keep the day as similar as possible.

The Emergency Sub Plans were great too. They gave several suggestions for what to do for Language Arts and Math. There were several options which can be nice to have because the day doesn't always match the plan. The plan also included the specials schedule.

There is also some student information that would be helpful to be aware of. I know that it is important to be confidential about many things. I will just give you one example. I had a fourth grade student who got a bloody nose at recess. I discovered upon picking up the class up for lunch that she hadn't eaten yet. So I explained that she could stay in the lunch room and eat or bring her lunch back up to the room. As I was explaining this to her I was told that she is probably not understanding me which would explain why she was in tears. She had already been through having to change her clothes in the nurses office. It would have been helpful for me to know that she didn't speak much English. Although, perhaps that is something that is confidential. It is just one particular that would have been helpful to know that day.

Any other suggestions would be great!

Out of Body Experience?

I have wondered what it would be like to be in a place where I didn't understand much of what was being said. I know that this is an everyday reality for some students in classrooms all over the world. Today, I spent the day at a French Immersion school. It was an experience. I have taught at a Spanish Immersion school and that was nothing like this afternoon. This morning I was in a Kindergarten room, which was fine. I had a great time teaching Math and the assistant teacher taught the other lessons. Not to mention the students talked to each other in English. The afternoon was a whole different ball game. It is not that it was a bad day. We did not even have any mild disasters. It was just that from the time I walked into the room I barely understood a word that was said. Not to worry they had an assistant from France that taught them for the afternoon.

My experience is hard to describe. I sat and watched the clock for most of the time. I thoroughly studied the sub folder. (I will share more about that later because I learned some great things.) I walked around the room and tried to read all the great signs that she had posted. I looked all through the Math curriculum. It was in English. I reread an article I had in my bag. I did most of this with a headache. I spent less than 3 hours in the class and I was almost bored out of my mind. I have never had a out of body experience nor do I really believe in them. But I am almost certain that I would have experienced one had I spent a little more time in that classroom today.

I wonder what those students feel like that don't understand much of what is going on in their classrooms all day everyday. After, a few hours I was stir crazy. I probably would have started climbing the walls and wondering why classrooms don't have chandeliers. It wouldn't have been a pretty sight. Not to mention I probably wouldn't get invited back as a sub and I could cross that district off the list of hopeful future homes. (Because don't we all live at school?) Well, I can say I got a taste of it today. Now I just have to paste it into my mind and remember it when I have students who experience it on an everyday basis. I will have to ponder how not to forget. If any of you have any ideas, please enlighten me.

This makes me think of the importance of keeping students engaged......I will have to ponder on that at a later date.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Creation of this Blog

Hello all,
I am going to begin. I would like you to know that I have been thinking about this for quite some time. I am a teacher who loves to teach. I am currently subbing which has been interesting. It wouldn't be my first choice but I am learning lots. I intend to share different thoughts about teaching and am hoping I will get feedback from others. The topics on the blog will probably be quite random because I am quite random. They will be good none the less.
Ms. Mize