Posted tagged ‘Teachers’

Behind the Scene Superheroes

October 1, 2020

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, each day is a challenge for numerous reasons. As a retired educator and grandparent to three active girls, I worry about the education of our young children.

How often have we heard that too much screen time is not healthy for our children? Quality versus quantity does make a difference, but how much should a five-year-old be exposed to the screen in a remote school versus an in-school learning situation? What about socialization?

Parents have a huge job – working, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, and creating a healthy family environment. With the arrival of the pandemic, a new job has been added to the family dynamics – teaching. Along came the need for remote learning workspaces, guidance to keep young children on task, and help with completing assigned work. Because of social distancing on buses, some parents now have to get their kids to and from school on in-school days.

At-home Projects
Workspaces
Lunches
Backpacks and Masks
Drop Off/Pick Up

I’ve seen my daughter and son-in-law stressed not only with work but also by the new rules for my twin granddaughters’ kindergarten in the hybrid learning situation. I’ve seen my youngest granddaughter thrilled to go back to preschool only to have it closed until further notice because a teacher was exposed to COVID-19. I’ve seen the endless emails that pop up daily that parents must read and follow.

My twin granddaughters are in two different kindergarten classrooms. That means double emails Other parents with children in different schools have different rules and different starting times. The list is endless. It takes a superhero to handle it all!

Our superheroes are parents, extended family, and teachers who have families of their own to deal with. I want to applaud all those who strive to help children to be the best they can be – especially during this pandemic. All is not well with the world right now, but with hope, our superheroes will make the world a better place for our children!

Postscript:

Please don’t ask me how my granddaughters and I fared on the first day of remote learning. I think I flunked kindergarten!

Be gone COVID-19! Let the school doors open and stay open – full time.

Banned Books Week

September 28, 2015

Banned Books Week is happening now – September 27th through October 3rd. How many of the books listed below have you read? Speak up for the freedom to read, and thank librarians, teachers, and others in their efforts to make all books available for anyone to read, learn from, and enjoy.

1. Harry Potter(series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

Salute to Teachers and Books

May 7, 2015

The love of books was instilled in me by my parents. They were avid readers, and they made the public library a regular part of my life. Books have always put a smile on my face – especially my collection of children’s books.

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As a former teacher/librarian, it was important for me to introduce my students not only to new ideas, but also to a variety of book genres. One of my favorite times of the day was when we gathered together for a read aloud. Finding just the right book to keep students asking for more was an exciting challenge. Thought provoking books resulted in some incredible teaching moments and discussions.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and Children’s Book Week. I am reminded of all the hard-working teachers and talented authors and illustrators who have made a difference in my life and continue to make a difference in the lives of our children.

Reading opens up a world of new ideas and understanding. Children need ready access to books so they can discover the magic of words and pictures. Let them take wing and fly to places they’ve never been before.

Kudos to teachers and to those who create wonderful books for all to enjoy.

Looking for some good picture books? Check these out.

SLJ’s Top 100 Picture Books    http://tinyurl.com/qbsgket

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” ~ Alexandra K. Trenfor

The End

June 6, 2013

The end is here. It really isn’t the end because the end always leads back to the beginning.

Take the school year. It has ended. The school library is on hiatus for the summer. Pleasant memories passed through my mind as I wished each of my students a happily ever after vacation.

Preparing for the end of the school year takes time. I plan for the upcoming year, order supplies, inventory books, and weed out books that are tired and worn. When I’m finished with all my tasks, I turn out the lights, give a sigh of relief, and go off into the summer sunset with books in hand to read until the new year begins. So you see the end always leads to a beginning.

This experience reminds me of the picture book, The End, written by David La Rochelle and illustrated by Richard Egielski. It’s a cause and effect story – or if you’re doing it backwards maybe it an effect and cause story. Does that make any sense? Maybe not, but that is my school library story. It begins at the end of the year and ends at the beginning of the new school year and continues on a never-ending and beginning reel.

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The End

Written by Cathy Ogren and not illustrated by Cathy Ogren

The children went off to enjoy the warm summer days, but wherever they went they carried their favorite book and read happily ever after.

They read happily ever after because …

The librarian stepped forward and gave the students books of humor, adventure, mystery, and fantasy because …

No matter what magic the teachers did, the children were bored because …

By the end of the year, the teachers were tired because …

Each morning the students dashed through the school doors with high energy and exhausted the teachers because …

Parents told their children to “Go forth and challenge your teacher, and your teacher will challenge you!” because …

Everyone knows the job of a teacher is to keep students motivated and stimulated, which is not always easy because …

Students learn in a variety of ways because …

Variety is the spice of life because …

The librarian knew what would spice up a child’s life, and she knew by the end of the school year, the teachers would need a well-deserved rest because …

Once upon a time a resourceful school librarian endeavored to teach her students to love reading and books.

*******

To all the wonderful teachers in the world:  Enjoy your quiet moments and look forward to exciting years filled with new challenges!

Teaching the Wild Things

April 13, 2012

Wednesday afternoon was worthless. A group of sixth graders was outside the library door, practicing a skit for their class. It was like a scene from Where the Wild Things Are. The wild rumpus began as soon as their teacher left to help another group. I stepped into the hall and said, “Be still!” I reminded them there were others around them working and to use their inside voices. The quiet lasted a total of 45 seconds before the rumpus gained steam again. To say the least, they were annoying me.

I was ready to roar my terrible roar, but instead, I used my teacher self-control and let it go. That’s when I picked up a book another teacher had given me to read. I know I should have been processing new library books, but at the time, 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny:  Life Lessons from Teaching written by Phillip Done looked like a much better choice. The very first line mentioned two of my favorite children’s books. With that, I was hooked.

The book pushed my calm down, enjoy, and laugh buttons. My foul mood dissipated as I read one funny passage after another. The book is about what students and teachers do and say. It’s a compilation of all the wacky and unexpected things that happen in the daily life of a school teacher.

So if you’ve ever heard these phrases from your students, “What did I do?” and “It’s not fair,” or if you’ve ever found yourself repeating, “Keep your hands to yourself” and “Eyes and ears open,” this book is for you. It will tickle your funny bone and warm your heart. It will make you realize how worthwhile your teaching career is – even on those occasional bad days.

“Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.” ~Haim G. Ginott

Hug a teacher today!

A Hunting We Will Go

September 3, 2010

“Words are often seen hunting for an idea, but ideas are never seen hunting for words.” — Josh Billings

Before school began this year, our principal arranged a special daylong retreat for new and returning staff. It was a chance for us to bond and create a solid school family. Our destination was a hunting lodge in the country. Say it isn’t so!

We met at the crack of dawn at school and carpooled to the wilderness. Through dense fog, winding roads, and detours, we finally made it to our destination.  

Ah, wilderness!

Since the only hunting I’m accustomed to is hunting for my keys when I misplace them, a trip to the lodge was an eye-opening experience.

Oh, deer!

From the moment we walked into the lodge, prying eyes followed us. Every room sported animal heads mounted on walls or displayed on tables. (I guess that’s why they call it a hunting lodge.) My creativity was sparked. As I saw it, the lodge offered something special for all of us teachers.

  For those of us hunting for coffee, there was the Caribou Coffee Room.

 

For those artistic teachers, there was the Georgia O’Keeffe Room.

 

For the seasoned teachers who wished to meditate with their eyes closed, there was the Old Goat’s Room.

 

And for the newbies, there was the Oh, Deer Oh, Deer, I Have So Much to Do Yet Room.

The retreat was a success – animal heads and all. Our school family returned from the hunting lodge rejuvenated.

We’ve been in school for three days – three very long and warm days. I’m ready to retreat to the wilderness and to the Old Goat’s Room to do some serious meditating!

Hunt for this:  We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (Margaret K. McElderry; Anv edition (September 8, 2009)


Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Navigating the second half of my life

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Children's Writer

VIVIAN KIRKFIELD - Writer for Children

Picture Books Help Kids Soar

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