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13 thoughts on “Ramble”

  1. My pastor wrote the following:
    Beatitudes for Educators
    By Donald Shoemaker, Senior Pastor
    Grace Community Church of Seal Beach, California
    (Reprinted from the Long Beach Press-Telegram, October 2, 2007)
    My congregation has many people who serve in the field of education one way or another. I honor them for their character and the quality and skill of their work. These are people to whom we may confidently entrust the precious lives of our children for wisdom and instruction.
    Each September we set aside time during Sunday services to recognize and pray for these people. This year, as we prayed for them, I read the “Beatitudes” of Jesus (Matthew 5:1-12) to the congregation with a special application to educators that I prepared. Truly these people are models of the “salt” and “light” Jesus calls us all to be in our world. Here are these “Beatitudes.”
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
    So, blessed are you…when your frustration level is so high and your human resources so low that you realize you must turn to God for renewed strength.
    “Blessed are those who mourn.”
    So, blessed are you…when your heart is broken over how cruel people can be to other people and over how little children can become innocent victims of violence, even to the shedding of blood. Blessed are you when you grieve over the children who come to school with the deck already stacked against them because their house is not a home and they have no real role models or incentives for being good.
    “Blessed are the gentle.”
    So, blessed are you…when you turn the other cheek, walk the second mile and continue to work with patience in a situation, even when it seems just about impossible.
    “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
    So, blessed are you…when your frustration over the lack of learned values, moral standards and discipline make you want to chuck it all, but you stay committed to your education task as a calling from God and you don’t forget the importance of your own moral nourishment.
    “Blessed are the merciful.”
    So, blessed are you…when you reach out your hand to a child desperately needing love and care and concern and assistance, who may not find it from anyone other than you.
    “Blessed are the pure in heart.”
    So, blessed are you…when you maintain your moral standards in the face of temptations to cut ethical corners and when others see you take your stand on principle, no matter the cost to you.
    “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
    So, blessed are you…when you intervene in the cause of peace, even at personal risk, and help children who don’t like each other to learn at least how to live civilly with each other and to practice the “Golden Rule.”
    “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.”
    So, blessed are you…if you are ever belittled or have to put your reputation or career on the line and pay a price for following the best values.
    In all this God is well pleased with all you do and, in the end, that’s what really counts.

  2. And with that we start another week of this hard but vibrant and intellectually challenging work. Thank you Robert. I’m not going to allow many if any new articles until next weekend. We have been a bit intense lately. Let’s not forget the major thread here right now – what Diane has done to alter/improve our vision on the Impersonal Skills rubric. We need to work through that. Anybody familiar with both rubrics how can we blend them? That is my key question this month. So much good will come out of it if we get the right document. jGR is already the right document but Diane upped the ante a bit. Need to follow that one. Sabrina’s video was a major addition to our collection as well. She has qualities that are hard to do but we can learn a lot about pacing and lightheartedness and a ton of other stuff by watching those videos more than just once. Remember that, while the world of teaching is going all to grey, where each teacher in depressing fashion teaches the same thing in each class as the others in the building, we are just the opposite, with free reign to teach according to our own wishes in full color and not in all grey, so Sabrina teaches as per her own personality and I teach my way and everybody gets to be whom they are. Wall Zoo thread is huge and thank you Charlotte. I am glad it is being tested for the fall to add to CWB and OWI. That is a big deal! The bi-weekly schedule and the addition of the cubes/blocks/templates modules that we have developed here to add to the existing Three Steps of TPRS is incredibly fascinating to me – it means that the future in the form of TCI instruction has arrived. How to work in imtranslator and other technology into what we do is ongoing and very important as well. The question of forced output isn’t going away anytime soon. I feel a softening of the hard line stance that I have carried for twelve years about the Silent Period. I think that, again, CI and CI in Schools are two different things and we can’t equate them fully. How people learn languages is not at all the same thing as how people learn languages in the artificial and sometimes hellish impersonal environments of schools. Carol Gaab gave us a shot in the arm on RT. So lots going on right now. But we need to slow down a bit. Too many new articles appear before we can absorb the previous ones. So I’ll work on that. I hope somebody comes up with a combo jdGR. My attention now is all on RT. This week I will do a script that Sabrina wrote, she wants me to test it, and I am going to focus on writing as well, like a lot of us this sring (notice I said ‘this spring’? – it’s springtime for us in our careers!), enjoying (notice I said ‘enjoying’ – because with CI teaching is fun!) that link from mb that I posted earlier today –
    Just thinking of all of this is not overwhelming. I know we will work through these ideas together. It’s like we are camping and are going to sleep now talking excitedly in the dark about all the fun things we’re going to do tomorrow in summer camp. I can tell you, this is quite a difference in feel for a Sunday nite from before when I hated teaching bc I lacked a method that could take me zooming around the skies with the kids like I do now. I can’t wait to see how Sabrina’s script works for me – I think it was the script of her video actually – and I can’t wait to see how my kids write from the prompts mb sent in that link. Excited about teaching after 36 years, and in the middle of February. Hmmm. I’m certainly not in Kansas, or in South Carolina, which is my Kansas, anymore!

  3. Thanks for the reposted Ramble. When I’ve had a bad day I can’t read such things, but after an okay week that I survived, it’s calming to read this. And to remind myself I can’t do and be everything. I’m not in control of students minds!

  4. I am having a hard day. I know, it is SUNDAY. But I got an email this afternoon from a parent that made me sad and upset and I am searching for ideas to respond to it, and I stumbled on this, and I feel like crying because yeah, teaching is hard work and it is soul-baring work, and people who feel a need to criticize us are maybe not devoting their lives to this kind of soulful work.

    1. Thanks Ben! I know that, and I know I am doing good work. It is just so hard not to react emotionally and personally when I pour so much of myself and my heart and soul into my work. It’s the curse of being an engaged, alive, ever-growing professional like we all are in this group.

  5. Tina, I got the same letter (I imagine) last Tuesday. Delivered to me IN THE MIDDLE OF CLASS. I feel your pain. It is hard work to remember that this is not about us.
    My colleague advised me not to respond to the particular accusations, but to ask for a meeting with the parent, the student and the admin. I don’t know if this helps your situation, but that is what I did. I still have not heard back re: meeting, but…???
    And on a personal level, I sent out an SOS to some close friends asking for energy, reiki, positive thoughts, etc. (I hardly ever reach out in that way but I was so desperate, and it was 2am and I couldn’t sleep). It helped a lot to get support from my peeps and I felt a shift and made it through the next few days.
    Know that we are all with you and above all take care of yourself. I can’t emphasize this enough. Self-care is paramount.

  6. Jen, I really appreciate your support. Just knowing I could reach out to colleagues I have never even met but to whom I feel this heart-level connection is huge for me right now. Thank you so much for your kind words. And or reminding me to take care of myself. I love teaching and I am so passionate about this work that I get carried away! This is the season of thanksgiving and I am so thankful and honored to have you and the rest of these awesome virtual colleagues in my life. I love the internet because so many of my friends are in it. 🙂

  7. Tina this is an AWESOME group of colleagues – in every sense of the word “colleague”….we’ve also become such a FAMILY! I met Jen on this blog – and I am very happy to say that I was one of her small group of friends that she entrusted to ask for help from at 2am last week! (Ironically, I was awake too, and responded immediately! — we’re all in this together in some shape or form! 🙂 )
    So….Any time you need a shoulder to lean on — let us know! A bunch of us on here (whoever happens to be online at the time and has the leftover energy that day) will be there to help!!! I never would have survived – OR gotten my new job!!!! – without the strength and accumulated shared knowledge of this group.
    And we all have Ben to thank for this — he is a great Captain of this CI Ship!!! He is leading us well! Thank you Ben!

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