Tuesday, August 31, 2010

a joke

from jokesaboutteachers.net

"Jill," a teacher reprimanded the teenager in the hall, "do you mind telling me whose class you're cutting this time?"

"Like," the young teen replied, "uh, see, okay, like it's like I really don't like think like that's really important, y'know, like because I'm y'know, like I don't get anything out of it."

"It's English class, isn't it?" replied the smiling teacher.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

an encouraging thought

"We are the great explainers."
~ Yvonne Mains
Yvonne is a colleague of ours at Bark River Harris Schools, in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  She spoke these words when I was feeling down about whether the world would soon need flesh-n-blood teachers, what with so much distance- and programmed-learning available.  It cheered me up, actually, and still does, whenever I think, "You know, these kids could read/view/practice all this stuff themselves."  But then the rejoinder comes to mind, thanks to Yvonne:

"They could . . . but we are the great explainers."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

how to get things done

Here's an interesting philosophical post about how acceptance of how things are can help you to get things done.

I would add three more suggestions.

1. Start.

2. If it's a cleaning task, handle each item only once.

3. Take five.  E.g., grade five essays, then take a break.  Do five more, etc.

You can do it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Does it matter what you do?

Author unknown, loosely based on an essay in The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Let the world know about one of your teachers.

Leave a comment below to "name names," but in a good sense: acknowledging a teacher or two and what they taught you, whether purposefully or "merely" by example.

Then let them know there is a shout-out about them for all the world to see. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Who are you?

What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.
~ Karl Menninger

We have five weeks left until school begins again, here in Michigan. Perhaps less where you are?

Well -- keep rejuvenating and attending to your be-ing. Become who you are. Those who will be your students are waiting in the wings; you will affect many of them for the better, just as you have done before.

"Believe in yourself!" Here's how . . .

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. 
~ Norman Vincent Peale

As school approaches I start to get nervous. Still, after 20 successful years. 

Dr. Peale advises us above to believe in ourselves. Often you'll hear speakers (maybe even me or you!) say that to kids: "Just believe in yourself."  But usually we believe in something we have evidence of. If I've actually been successful at getting on base lately, I'm much more likely to believe in myself as a baseball player, right?

So rather than just mindlessly saying, "I believe in my abilities," I think I'll do a little self-imposed cognitive therapy; take a moment, and reflect on some of the evidence that I am competent: student achievement, kind words students have said about life in my classroom, good evaluations from administrators I trust.  All this helps me believe in myself and have faith in my abilities.

May it be so also with you,

The Teacher Encourager