The Post

Watching The Post tonight, I was reminded of the importance of our first amendment rights and protecting the rights of the press to freely report true, unbiased information to the “governed not the  governors.”

As a teacher, this same freedom must be protected, but it is also our responsibility to share information that is true and unbiased as well. This is hard to do but important. The danger of doing so may also sometimes conflict with parents’ truths.

As the world becomes more diverse, those whose views are less open may push back, building walls, closing doors. But shutting out what we don’t or refuse to understand acts as a censor to the realities of  life.

As a teacher of a diverse population it is my belief that it is my duty to share the diversity of my students with that of the world.  Doing so means giving opportunities for them through the printed word. My class library shares books that match the makeup of my students and others different from them in culture, race, ethnicity, gender, and ideas. It is their’s to explore and hopefully learn from. All through the printed word. All because of our first amendment rights.

 

 

 

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That’s a Wrap!

I recently wrote about taking a chance and jumping in feet first to give my students an opportunity to create newscasts for the final assessment of our unit on the Amazon rain forest. I was nervous and hesitant to let them go, not having much experience with iMovie.

They were ecstatic to have the chance to do something different and had no qualms about using iPads and iPhones to record skits that they wrote and created, costumes and all!

After days of taping, editing, adding backgrounds, and finalizing, their newscasts are done.

Tomorrow is a half day before we begin our spring break. We will spend the first hour sharing each group’s newscast. I am excited for them to share their videos. No matter the outcomes, they all learned something new, as did I, right along with them.

What started as a scary experience for me – relinquishing some control is difficult- became one of the best experiences I have had with my students. I’m so glad I took the plunge!

And that’s a wrap!

The Uninvited

I enter, unannounced and unwelcome.

I do not belong here.

I hide where no one can see me

doing damage and altering the surrounding environment.

Days. Weeks. Months pass as I continue my work unnoticed by the outside world.

How long do I have?

I work feverishly, stealthily building my strength as I steal it from my surroundings.

One day they will find me.

My days might be numbered.

In the meantime, I keep stealing, keep damaging, keep growing my strength.

Just in case.

I am cancer.

 

 

 

A Pip for the Pope

I just saw the newsclip of Pope Francis and the little girl who grabbed his zucchetto from his head as he leaned over to give her a kiss. What a precious moment between a humble man of great power and a little girl being-well-a little girl.

I’m sure her father, who moved her towards the pope for a smooch was beside himself. But Pope Francis handled it with humor and grace.

What a wonderful moment!

 

Book Club

I just returned home from book club. It is one of my favorite pleasures. Spending an hour or so discussing the virtues of the latest read is always interesting. 

But really, the biggest pleasure is meeting with my lady friends and sharing anecdotes of family, jobs, current events , etc. Once a month we drink tea, share a sweet, and just enjoy each other’s company.

What a great way to experience a book!

Color-coding

One of my favorite strategies when teaching a piece of writing is to have students color-code the areas we are focusing on when they think they are ready to write their final draft. By highlighting or underlining in colored pencil, they are able to visually check their writing. Content that is missing is more likely to be noticed than if I give them a checklist. Often with a checklist, they will check things off, never really making sure their writing is complete. By color-coding, they can’t color-code what isn’t there. And it can be done on the final copy too, if you only want to score for specific content.