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'Twas the Half Day Before Winter Break...

Posted by on in School Culture
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+++Read the first part like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the middle like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,
and the end like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas+++

Every teacher down in Teacherville, liked always teaching the same way,
but the kids, who lived in Teacherville – well, they wanted them to change.
Some teachers hated change – the whole school season. Now, please don’t ask why; no one quite knows the reason.
It could be, perhaps, that their shoes were too tight. Or it could be that their heads weren’t screwed on just right.
But I think that if there was one thing that they would be willing to shout, is that they are waiting for someone to reach out.

Twas the half-day before winter break and all through the school

The movies were playing, it was the half-day rule.

The gold stars were hung by the doors with care,

The chart was suppose to show, the students who cared.

The children were nestled all stuck in their chairs,

While visions of change brought their teacher much fear.

One teacher walked around, awoke students with a snap,

Trying to prevent them from taking a long winter nap.

When out in the hallway there arose such a clatter,

The teacher sprang to door to see what was the matter.

It was the class next door, that gave her alarm,

And she tore open the door and threw up her arms.

The faces she saw, smiled, giggled and glowed too,

In stark contrast to the classroom that she always knew.

When, what to her wondering eyes should appear,

She saw a miniature laptop, there were eight tiny Acers,

With little tiny students, so lively and quick,

She knew in a moment it must be a trick.

Six groups working hard, none of the topics were the same,

And as she paused returning to her class, she realized her video and worksheets were lame;

“Now, Davis! now Jenny,! now, Trin and Billy!

Stop what you’re doing Kenya, Nicole and Willy!

Tear up those papers! Turn off the TV!

Now! throw it away! throw it away, and destroy the D-V-D!”

Right then the teacher decided, to get off her kids backs,

But she was met with an obstacle, the mighty SBACs.

She then walked up, to the front, of the room that she led,

A room full of 504s, and six kids in special ed.

And then, in a twinkling, she heard a kid say,

So what are we doing, what will we do today.

As she took a deep breath, and wondered what to do with a frown,

When from the class next door came five little kids with a bound.

They were dressed all in costumes from their head to their feet,

And behind them their teacher appeared and looked at her kids in their seats,

A bundle of computers and cameras he had flung on his cart,

And the teacher just stopped and looked at Mr. Bart.

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His cute little students were active and learning,

And his test scores were soaring and he did not look worried;

The movie his kids were making needed a few actors more,

And so he decided to ask for help from the teacher next door;

She thought he had happy kids and a room full of laughter,

But clearly the kids needed more discipline to sit like hers were.

They did strange techy things, not like she did,

And he smiled as he approached her and surprised her with what he said.

“We need extras for our movies that we are going to publish on the web.”

She spoke not a word, she simply shook her head yes,

And then that old Mr. Bart came in and took care of the rest,

Laying a finger up into the air,

He added her kids into his groups with care;

They sprang from their seats like tiny little missiles,

And worked in groups until they heard the teacher’s whistle.

The kids then filmed and acted out their plays written on civil rights

And she sat back and watched and said “Now this is a beautiful site.”

And what happened then...?
Well in Teacherville they say,
That the teacher’s will to change
Grew three sizes that day.
And the minute her heart relaxed and did not feel so tight,
She knew that changing her class was the thing that was right.
After she threw out the worksheets! She could now clearly see...
That her students will be who you are,
Not who you want them to be.

During this holiday season give the gift of collaboration to your colleagues...
Ask them to participate in a big or small way,
They might be ready, ready to say yes today.
Because sometimes when people get stuck and just want to shout,
All they need is a helping hand...
Just one person, that would be you, to just to reach out.

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Paul taught middle school social studies for 26 years, and is currently trying to reinvent himself as an alternative high school social studies teacher. Since writing a bio about yourself is hard, he asked a student to finish it and this is what she wrote:)
Paul Bogush is a remarkable man. His teaching methods are fun and unique, and he makes every class enjoyable. His energetic mood is infectious, and you can’t help but smile around him. He is very genuine, and is not strict or boring like other teachers. Everything he says is always stuck in your mind, because he delivers everything with boldness and confidence. He’s an all around incredible person, and makes learning ten times more fun than any other class. He will be dearly missed by not just me, but most of his students when we leave next year.

PS please send help, we weren’t very good listeners in homeroom this week so he has us in lock down every afternoon for a week.
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Guest Thursday, 19 April 2018