Posts In Category Pastimes
A decade ago, I didn’t know what blogging was. Now I teach it.
According to Penny Kittle, students need to see teachers engaged in the same activities as they in order for the students to believe that the work being done is not busywork for students. By watching the teacher struggle in her writing the student learns to emulate the adult model.
Sn now I’m writing blogs — several of them. I have professional blogs (this one and my NING blog). I have personal blogs (GoodReads and Dailymile). I have social media blogs (GoodReads and Pinterest). I have blogs which overlap (GoodReads and Pinterest).
It really does get easier with practice. It’s downheartening when it appears no one is reading the blog but I have to remind myself that I’m not writing for others. I’m writing to keep myself going. It’s become a form of venting and stress control. When I look at this page in particular, I remind myself why I continue to teach when it appears that the world has turned against me, education, and teaching.
I am now at the point where I am writing ahead of time. I write blog postings before I publish them so that I have a few polished pieces I need to “fill up my calendar.”
On the front page of my blog is a calendar widget. It reflects the blogs I have written. My goal is to have a post for each day of the week each month. In other words, my goal is to have a Monday blog post for August, a Sunday blog post for August, a Tuesday blog post for August, etc. That’s a minimum of seven blog posts each month for each of my WordPress blogs. (I have other goals for my other blogs.)
With these goals in mind, I’m inspired to pay attention to blog post opportunities. I listen to teens talking in the hallways. I reflect on the trainings I’m required to attend. I pay attention to my students, especially when they think I’m not listening. Kate DiCamillo believes that writers write what they see; I’m inclined to agree.
My writing inspires me. I hope their writing will inspire my students.
Summer does not mean the learning is over for teachers. I catch up on my personal reading, professional reading, and professional trainings during the summer. This review of I’ve Read It, But I Just Don’t Get It is an example of how I spend my summers.
My district sent me this book because I work with struggling readers. I’d planned to take it home for the summer but it ended up in the wrong box. It took me a while to find it again so I’ll probably spend some time re-reading.
It’s a good book, filled with anecdotes. The strategies tend to be general but I like the way the anecdotes deal with both struggling readers and “successful” readers. After all, don’t we all become struggling readers when we read a topic we are unfamiliar with?
I would recommend reading this short book in small doses, perhaps a chapter a day. That provides more time to digest and ponder what is being read. I wouldn’t recommend breezing through it (a true temptation due to the brevity of the book).
2012 marks the entry of the United States into the World Book Night giveaway. On April 23rd, books were given away around the world to encourage literacy.
Publishers from around the world donated bestsellers. Suppliers provided the givers with the books. Givers passed out books to passersby and strangers.
After looking for this title for years, I finally understand what the title means: Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman. This is my review written for Goodreads.
I have found a book to add to my collection of inspiration-to-stay-a-teacher-media; I found it just in time.
Even though the book was originally published five years before I was born, teaching really hasn’t changed that much. No surprise. Students haven’t changed either.
I recognize entirely too much of the jargon. I recognize entirely too many of the statistics. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I also recognize the lesson she learned that I have to relearn: the students know when the teacher cares. The students are starving for love and affection. For too many of the students, they have no source available. They need to know someone cares.
As a teacher, it’s safer and easier not to care. The students are only going to break our hearts and disappoint us, we tell ourselves. Isn’t that the risk we decided to take when we entered the profession?
I’m glad I bought the book. I’m glad I got the book with library binding. I have the feeling I’ll be reading this teaching classic often.
- “Damn,” he whispered. page 106
- “You don’t give a damn about anybody but yourself, do you?” page 104
- “What the hell were you doing in it?” page 104
- “What the hell happened?” page 102
Oddly enough, the 6th grade class didn’t have any issues because, as one student put it, “We know what’s going on, you know?” The 8th grade class, though, was reluctant to read these lines aloud in class.