• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in teacher-student relationships

Posted by on in General

red thread

Doris and Carl Malone sat at their usual table in The Forgotten Crumb enjoying the performances of slightly inebriated patrons searching for their fifteen minutes of fame at the karaoke microphone. The couple had met here nearly twenty-eight years before, fallen in love, and married on the very stage that was now a platform for a middle-aged woman trying her best to sound like Barbra Streisand. She was followed by a young construction worker channeling his inner Barry Manilow and then by an elderly couple singing “I Got You Babe,” expertly and comedically nailing the mannerisms of Sonny and Cher.

Doris relaxed, enjoying the music, but enjoying her time with the love of her life more so. When Carl impulsively rose and moved toward the stage though, she gasped and blushed. This was something she would never consider doing in public despite the fact that she was in front of a demanding crowd of third graders every Monday through Friday. Carl, on the other hand, had no inhibitions, and moved confidently toward the microphone.

With the first few notes of “Song Sung Blue,” Doris felt happy tears rolling down her cheeks. Our song, she mused. Better even than Neil Diamond himself.

“Song sung blue, weeping like a willow,
Song sung blue, sleeping on my pillow...”

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in General

hand turkey

Twenty-one paper turkeys (looking suspiciously like twenty-one first grade hands) flocked together on the window at the entrance of Mrs. Dodd's classroom. The finger-feathers on each glistened in colors never intended by nature but ever so vivid in the giant 64 crayon box with the sharpener on back - colors like "magenta," "Caribbean green," "periwinkle," "salmon," "carnation pink," and "robin egg blue." Each bird’s thumb-head was complete with wattle, giant smile and soulful human-like eyes. Some were even adorned with necklaces and baseball caps.

As I entered the classroom, I was immediately surrounded by my adoring six-year-old fans each clamoring to give me a hug, each eager to share his or her work with me. Mrs. Dodd, accustomed to my daily walk-throughs, endured this interruption with immense grace. I love first graders, but I certainly do not have the courage to spend six hours a day locked in a room with a flock of them.

This particular group of kids was one of my favorites to visit during my morning tour of campus. The students beamed as I listened to them read their journals aloud to me. They delighted in “teaching” me how to add problems on their little white boards. And they laughed as I sat on the floor with them in their reading circle and waved my hand impatiently when Mrs. Dodd asked a question. They even composed a "stop in your tracks - just relax" song especially for me which they willingly sang upon request on days when I needed it most.

Thanksgiving week marks the beginning of the holiday season, the beginning of "hyper-energy mode" for children of all ages who can barely contain their excitement. The three day school week helps to ease teachers and students alike into this stressful time and provides a little motivation for getting the work at hand accomplished.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

Here’s a recent conversation between my wife and me:

Danielle: “Don, it’s freezing outside, wear a coat.’ 

Me:   It’s not that cold. 

Danielle: It's windy? Do you know how strong the wind is? Don, the wind is blowing 50 miles an hour.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in General

 principals office

Stocky kindergartener Leonard was sent to my office on the fourth day of school for hitting another little boy and for refusing to do his work. He was to return several more times that first month of school for similar transgressions. Visits with his mother were somewhat encouraging - and behavior problems subsided - but only temporarily. Before long, the little boy was back in the office lobby waiting for the assistant principal to intervene again.

Free-spirited eighth grader Tony was also a frequent flyer for similar reasons. Couldn't work quietly. Wouldn't keep his hands to himself. Disrupted and distracted in every one of his classes. Tony was a likeable kid - a little goofy, but relatively harmless. After the first month of school, I was a little tired of his presence in my office.

One afternoon, both boys found themselves sitting in my office at the same time. Tony had been sailing paper airplanes across his math classroom. Leonard had been urinating on the outside wall of the kindergarten building. "I told the playground aide I had to go to the bathroom," he explained, "and she said, 'Then just go,' so I did!"        

Tony raised his right hand and little Leonard high-fived him. Too tired to reprimand the older boy, I turned my attention to the kindergartener and asked, "After you went, did you wash your hands?"

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in General

race car

Valerie stood in my doorway and quietly tapped. "Here's the file you asked for, Mr. Ramsey," she said. "New boy, Gonzalo Pomelo, eighth grade, Mrs. Duarte's homeroom."

I took the file and thanked my secretary. As I opened to the first page, she added, "By the way, he's here in the lobby waiting to see you."

"Really?" I sighed, slapping my forehead. "He just started this morning!"   Valerie quietly waited for me to tell her what to do with the child waiting for discipline. I exhaled. "Give me a sec," I uttered finally. "I just want to take a look at Mr. Pomelo's file. I'll come get him in a minute."

Quickly, I scanned the first few pages before me. Eighth grade. Last attended school in New Mexico. Parents divorced. Dad given full custody. Son sent to Arizona to live with grandparents temporarily until Dad could sell the Albuquerque home.

...
Last modified on