Third Quarter Recap

 

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October is almost over and I just realized I didn’t write a third quarter recap at the end of September. So, for what it’s worth, here are the highlights of my third quarter:

  • We kept our daughter’s dog, Poca, for over a month while she was in Columbia, South America. Things started out well, but after the second fight, in which Loretta received a puncture wound, we kept the two dogs separate. It was fine, though, as each one got special attention.
  • I went to McAlister’s Deli for the first time. The Orange Cranberry Club was delish!
  • Joined Grace Covenant Baptist Church and began making new friends
  • Subbed in some new schools. including McAdory Middle, McAdory High, Pleasant Grove High, West Elementary, Hueytown Middle, Oak Mountain Middle, Helena Middle, Helena High
  • Attended a few Saturday Write Club meetings at the Hoover Library
  • Went on five hikes
  • Took lots of pictures around Bham
  • Went to Jacksonville and squeezed in a lot of visits. Got to see my  cousin Paula for the first time in over 15 years
  • Spent a morning at Jacksonville Beach
  • Started the Kindred Spirit Book Club  – it’s online, so if you are interested, leave me a comment or email me.
  • Started Round Two of the Capture the ‘Ham Small Group/Photo Group3q2

And now to finish the year well!

 

Adventures in Subbing #3

photo- pixabay

“…but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don’t; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film teacher. That’s not social to me at all. “ – Clarisse, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Clarisse is the student we all wish to have in our classrooms. She is bright and curious. She wants to ask questions. She wants to be social in that she wants to talk of things of substance. How many students, like Clarisse, are stuck in classes where the teachers run facts and information by the students, but don’t explain or discuss the ideas? How many sit for hours under “film teachers”?

Sometimes being a sub is like being the fly on the wall. I see things that make me cringe. Yes, sometimes there are facts that just need to be memorized, like addition and multiplication facts. And, yes, films can be very enlightening and can add understanding to a lesson, but they should not replace the lesson. However, sitting for hours and having answers thrown out – bing-bing-bing- is an all too common occurrence in many classrooms.

I don’t know what the answer is. I was not a perfect teacher, but I can’t imagine the guilt I’d feel if all day every day I “ran the answers” at the students without explanation and guidance.. That’s not teaching.

Adventures in Subbing #1

I’m nearing the end of my second year of substitute teaching here in Alabama and I’ve come to look at it as more than just a job. When  I was a full-time teacher, I had so much on my plate and so much on my mind that many days I was too exhausted to think much past the next set of papers I had to grade. Now I’m looking at things from a little different perspective.

Some days I just sit and don’t do much more than take roll and pass out an assignment. Other days might be jammed packed with instruction and discipline. The variety is usually enjoyable. I have learned to be an observer and I try to make connections with students when I can.

From time to time I’ll be sharing my thoughts, observances, and tidbits from the classroom.

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photo- pixabay

“A circle was ugly without you.” -from Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty

 

Being on the outside of a circle, looking in, is a lonely place to be. I’ve felt that way over the years, but fortunately not too often. It hurts, no matter how old you are. But, the middle school years are the hardest. If you aren’t in a circle, your outsideness really shows.

Today I saw a pretty young girl sitting all alone in a room full of kids who were talking to each other and laughing while they sat together. I didn’t know her or her story, but I wondered. Did she choose to sit alone? Did she just not have a friend in this particular class, but when the bell rang would she meet up with her BFF as she headed for her next class? I sure hoped so. That’s what I wished for. I wish everyone had a BFF waiting somewhere for them. A person who was interested, a person who cared. But, I know that isn’t always the case. So, all the more reason to be kind. And to remember how ugly that circle can be when you are on the outside.

 

Out of the Mouth of Babes – A Journey

Photo by Tina Phillips. Photo by Tina Philips

This month Alabama Women Bloggers has challenged its members to write about their blogging journeys.

The first blog I ever started had the Out of the Mouth of Babes in my url.  It was a Blogger/Blogspot  blog that now I can’t figure out how to access. I’ve tried all kinds of things to no avail. I hope one day I can figure it out and get my content back. If anyone out there has any helpful hints, please let me know.  Persistence paid off – I’m in!!!

Anyway, I started that blog when I was still teaching fulltime, using funny stuff culled from my students and some of my own poetry and personal essays. Now I’m a substitute teacher and I still find lots of gems in the classroom. I have two current blogs – this one which is B’ham focused, and another, Not In This Soup Alone, which is more personal.

Being in the classroom, especially as a substitute teacher, can be a real source of entertainment. Such as when students have to write sentences using their vocabulary words. In the spring I had fun reading some of the sentences created for the words floundered, laden, and remote. Laugh along with me…

The remote school is in the middle of the road.

I picture a one-room schoolhouse plopped down in the middle of a road in the middle of nowhere.

The woman floundered after getting tazed.

I believe I would flounder a bit if I was tazed, wouldn’t you?

The camel was floundered.

I wonder if the camel was also tazed? I think perhaps he was laden down with something illegal and thus he was tazed and floundered.

This is a laden place.

This was a dark coffeehouse full of beatniks quoting heavy poetry.

I’m sure when school resumes in August I’ll have more to share, so stay tuned. 🙂

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