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J.Elaine
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Book Study
Old 08-31-2006, 07:36 PM
  #1

We had the first session of our book study this morning. The conversation was lively (to say the least) since several of us having very differing philosophies about teaching reading. I said all the things that were on my heart and felt better for having spoken up. Sometimes I just sit back and stew about things, gripe about things to my friends, and get myself all in a lather when I should just speak up right on the spot. Now, will anything I said make one bit of difference? Who knows, but at least I know I tried. It makes it easier to speak my mind when I'm fighting for what I think's right for kids.

When I got to my classroom after the meeting, I was feeling a little defeated because I just feel our school is heading in the wrong direction in literacy instruction. But . . . my students were waiting patiently by the door because they knew we had to say our "good morning" greetings to one another before going into the room!!!!!! Here it is the 2nd full week of school, and my little sweethearts know just what to do. I'm serious when I say I was touched by their behavior. Then . . . a little girl handed me a card that said, "Happy Labor Day. You are the best teacher." I thought I'd just break down and cry. About that time another little girl handed me an envelope that I thought might be her book order. When I opened it, I found a wonderful little paragraph she'd written to tell me all the reasons she was happy about being in my classroom!!!! I just couldn't believe I could be so blessed!!!!
You know I say it often, but I never get tired of reminding myself how fortunate I am to have the awesome opportunity to teach.

More later . . .
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JKB
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The Happiness File.......
Old 08-31-2006, 11:16 PM
  #2

How sweet and touching it was to hear about your little girls' card and paragraph! When I get those..........guess what I do with them.....

I have a file in my desk called my "happiness file". I have kept literally stacks of such notes, cards, etc. from my students throughout the 14 years I have been teaching. It is right there.....handy........and when I get overwhelmed or feel frustrated.....I just open it up and read through a few......and once again I am reminded of how blessed I am to have this profession! The happiness file is not my own original idea.......it was suggested by a college professor that I had years ago........and I loved the idea. Now, I love having it!

Cheers for you to speak out!! It is hard to do sometimes, but I have been in that same position and I have spoken up when I felt strongly. We are going to be doing some construction on our building next year. The original architect wanted to take away our playground and put in a parking lot, when we have a parking lot that has lots of room for expansion. I listened to him for a long time, and finally spoke out.........explained that teachers first think of doing what is right for kids.....and taking away a playground for a parking lot is NOT right for kids, when there are more logical solutions! (My co-teachers applauded! Nice to know I was NOT alone!) Guess what........we won..........the present parking lot is going to be extended in the space we have available.....and the playground stays intact! (oh.....and the architect was terminated after doing a poor job on the first 2 schools revamped in our district! We have 6 more to go........mine is the last on the list, because it is the newest.)

Get some sleep...........~smile~........ .nothing will drain your energies more than the job that you are devoted to and love!

JKB
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J.Elaine
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Applause!!!!
Old 09-04-2006, 09:49 AM
  #3

Wow! You must have felt wonderful when your co-workers applauded you for your courage to speak out! I'm also amazed that you "won" in your battle. In our district, I'm sad to say, that many things come to us all tied up nicely as "done deals" before we even know about them. Sometimes efforts are made by the higher-ups to make us feel like we are part of decisions that we actually have no control over or say in. Of course, it's not always that way. When I begin to complain to friends who teach in other districts, I realize I have so much to be thankful for in my own district. So then, I decide to shut my mouth and count my blessings!!!! Which is just what I'm going to do right now.

Now, let's see, shutting my mouth should prove to be an interesting experiment!!!!
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JKB
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Yes.......indeed......it was very gratifying
Old 09-04-2006, 12:44 PM
  #4

Hi J. Elaine!

Yes........indeed....it was very gratifying to have my friends applaud. It was just one of those cases where I sat and listened to the proposal about putting the parking lot where the playground was......and I thought.....and I thought.....and nobody was saying anything.....until finally, my thoughts came flowing out of me! After the meeting....many of my friends said that I stated exactly what they were thinking, too.

It just so happened that the Superintendent of our District was present at the meeting, too. At first, I wondered if I was really overstepping my boundaries, speaking out like I did. However, after the meeting, she told me she was glad that I presented my thoughts in a logical and rational manner. The best part was.....SHE agreed with us, too!

Until next time.........JKB
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