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General

Voices from the BAM Radio Community sharing their thoughts, insights and teaching strategies.

Posted by on in General

 dimes

My college education was earned one dime at a time.  

I was fortunate to be able to attend the university on an academic scholarship supplemented with a government grant.  In turn, this was supplemented by my father’s paycheck already stretched to support a family of seven kids.  This allowed me to stay at home and use the family car to travel to and from school.  Free breakfast and dinner were also part of the package.  

Although I never asked, I know things must have been rough for my parents as they raised their many offspring.  I am sure, as the days built toward the next paycheck, they were living on their own mere handful of dimes as well.

College was so different in the late seventies and early eighties - certainly nothing like it is today.  There were no computers, so all papers had to be constructed on old-school typewriters.  These had no “delete” buttons, only messy correction fluid and correction tape.  To cut, copy and paste, one literally had to yank out the working draft and start all over.  Adding footnotes and page numbers was a nightmare as the typist needed to estimate the amount of space needed at the bottom of the page and continue carefully with the body of the text.  Messing up resulted in yanking the paper again from the roller and perhaps saying a few choice words in doing so.

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Tagged in: Change

Posted by on in General

Grace.jpg

I have a front row seat to one of the greatest shows on Earth. You see I get to watch the teachers in my building work magic everyday. Many get to school before I have even finished my breakfast and some do not leave until I am tucking my children in for bed. Their dedication is amazing and spending time with them each day is an honor.

This is why when I hear folks blame teachers for low test scores, poor behavior or low motivation I cringe. I can't begin to imagine how teachers could do anymore. And so the next place to blame is the home. Parents and guardians are very easy targets because they are not us. Why would we blame ourselves when we know that we are doing all that we possibly can?

A child comes in without their homework. Their parents must not take their education seriously.

A child misbehaves in class. Their parents must not teach them right from wrong.

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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?"

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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.

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Posted by on in General

waiting.jpg

Oh my gosh.

I could taste it.

They have the best ice cream in the world and soon I was going to be tearing into a couple scoops of it. It is one of my favorite things to do when I go the beach. I do often end up with a headache, because of the amount of sugar that I ingest. But it is worth it every time.

It was that time of the day when my energy level drops and so I was craving something sweet.We were at the beach with some good friends of ours and this was going to be a good time. We drove separately because between the two families, there were ten of us.

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