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Showing posts with label teacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teacher. Show all posts

Saturday, April 26, 2014

#AtoZ : W for Winning

"We're going to the tournament to have fun. 
The way you have fun is you win!"
                                             ~Richard Bute    
Memphis Futbol Club Soccer Coach


Every year our city celebrates Memphis in May where we honor a country and teach students about a foreign land. This year the country of honor is Panama. I attended a teacher's conference and presented my students with interesting facts about Panama so that they could enter the Memphis in May writer's contest. Not to brag, but I typically have a winner of this contest each year. This year, I was blessed with two winners! 

Second Prize went to Lauren for her story about painting the golden altar in Panama black to keep
pirate Captain Henry Morgan from stealing it from the church. Her story was rich with historic detail and smoothly written; however, other than giving her the background information, I can't take credit for her writing ability. She entered my class a few months ago, so I have not had a lot of time to develop her writing.

Santiago, my first place winner, came to my class close to the beginning of the year and was not the writer he is now, so I'll take credit for his success. His early writing was cluttered with boring "be" verbs that he has learned to replace with his rich vocabulary. This is a kid who reads constantly, and as a result, his vocabulary is better than that of most adults. He has also learned to use multiple senses in his writing and strong descriptive nouns. I am kicking myself for not saving his early work because it would be a great artifact for my professional development evaluation. 

Here is the first paragraph from his winning entry. It's hard to believe that this was written by a fifth grader.


The Hunt

     Crawling close to the ground, I stalked my prey. I got as close as I could. Then I lunged and with a quick snap of my jaws, the bird was dead. It tasted as sweet as the juice that came from a monkey's meat. I padded my way back to my home, a rocky overhang curtained with leaves; my prize hanging from my mouth. As I sprinted my way back home, my spotted coat blended in the shadows caused by the leafy canopy. The sweet fragrance of the star-shaped flowers wafted around me. The meaty taste of prey filled my hunger. I was home.

We enter contests for fun, but it is most fun to win!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

#AtoZ: P is for Paddling

A Mississippi mother sued because her twelve-year-old son was paddled at school for disrespect. After sighting a small bruise on her poor baby's buttocks, she wanted justice for "child abuse." Here's a link: Mid South Mother Seeks Answers.

Lisa McDonald, the student's mother
If my child had gotten paddled for misbehavior, I'd be livid too . . .  at my kid. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a bible-toting-spare-the-rod southerner. In fact, I've raised three good kids without spanking any of them, butt (I mean but), if my child was so disrespectful that an adult had to hit him with a board, I wouldn't broadcast my poor parenting on the news.

Maybe someone needed to beat him. In fact, I bet his underpaid teacher was the abused person. Plus, the article never told exactly what the kid did. He could have taught a kid from a foreign country how to speak English. I've seen middle schoolers do that. 

"See the PE teacher. His name is Mr. Butt Face." 

Or maybe the juvenile delinquent blew up a toilet, spilled oil on the floor, or put stink bugs in the cafeteria. The shoddy news reporters left out the best part of the story. 

What do you think the kid did to get paddled in Mississippi?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

#GBE2: Decisions

State Champions, 2004
I've made a lot of decisions ranging from life changing ideas to what kind of soup to order. Deciding on soups doesn't change lives, like other choices. For example, I skipped my senior year of high school and have wondered how my life would be different had I stuck around another year. Classmates told me our class bonded that last year and actually won a football game. Our high school team never won a game in the three years I was there.

Partners in Crime: Me (left), Rhonda (right)
Had I not gone to college a year early, I probably would not have met Rhonda at Laugh Quotes. She was my roommate and is still a great friend. Our sophomore year, she joined a sorority that didn't want me because I wore hiking boots to rush. Maybe if I'd stuck around high school to bond with the popular girls, I might have learned not to dress like a freak and have become Rhonda's sister.

I made another important decision as a college student. After changing my major each semester, I had an argument with a professor who said, "You're going to be a teacher."

"I am not." I stood face to face with him and snorted my independence.

"You're going to be a teacher," he said. "I know a teacher when I see one."

"I'm going to the school of Journalism to major in advertising."

"Go on, but you'll be back."

I ended up getting my degree in Speech Pathology/Audiology. Today, I'm a teacher.

Beale Street, Memphis, TN
Yes, I decided to become a teacher, which probably wouldn't have made a difference had I attended college a year later.  But, had I not graduated early, would I still have met my husband? I'm not sure. Although I met him after college, I might not have been settled enough a year later to have known where to go to meet someone like him. That means, I wouldn't be living in Memphis nor have three beautiful kids. (I could have had three ugly ones instead). When my husband purposed to me, he gave me a compound sentence, "Will you marry me and live in Memphis?"

If that ain't love, nothing is.

Now the big decision. Do I post this now or wait until after Christmas? 
I think I'll wait.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Silly Sunday: Pole Dancer?

If you saw a kid draw this, what would you think?
We've all heard that the truth is stranger than fiction.

Here is a picture that a little girl drew at school and the note that her mother sent to the teacher in an effort to explain that things are not as they appear.

Yeah, right lady. We know what you do. ;)

Dear Mrs. Jones,
     I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Smith

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