Although This Isn't That Sort Of Blog...

I am not the person who wishes an RIP to celebrities. First of all, dead people don't read this blog (or at least they never comment). Secondly, I've thought this through and I'm pretty sure that the deceased aren't concious of a resting state.

That said, I will nonetheless note the death of Larry "Bud" Melman actor Calvert DeForest. I note this for a few reasons...

  1. He is fifty years older than me to the day.
  2. Mister Larry's Toast on a Stick was the funniest thing my twelve year old self had ever heard (Yep, I was five foot seven and laughed at Toast on a Stick. I think it goes without saying that puberty was an ugly,ugly time for the Educat.)
  3. The last lines of the news article I read:

"At his request, there will be no funeral service for DeForest, who left no survivors."

So even if this is a dippy little blog, he should be remembered.

*snort* Toast on a Stick...


Well, it’s been a while. Increasing your class size by 50% makes for a very buys year, it turns out. Go figure. Anyhoo, I’m back for a few. Spring Break is around the corner and I couldn’t be more pleased. After Break it is a 9-week push until summer. Wow!!

I’ll write more about my year at another time. Right now, I need a little help with a student situation. One of my young students is about twice the size of all the others. He is gentle, caring, always involved in class discussions and terribly enthusiastic. On one field trip to a park he said, “Ms. Teacher, we are so luck to be out on this beautiful day. Thanks for taking us here.” What a dream. The problem is, he allows himself to be a total pushover.

Big Fella was told by another kid to run laps around the yard, so guess what he did? He ran. He will not say anything to his friends to put them in their place. He just goes home and cries about it. Mom wants to help him develop the tools he needs to standup for himself. I have suggested things like being honest about his feelings and telling is friends things like, “that makes me feel bad”, “if you are my friend, why would you say that to me?” or “I would never try to make you feel bad, like that”. These have not been implemented.

My question to all of you in cyberspace: How do you get a pushover to standup for himself? Keep in mind he is one of the youngest, as well as largest, in my class. He is teased about his physical appearance, including the fact that he suffers from plumbers butt almost all the time. We’ve tried belts and gentle reminders to no avail. His shape simply does not support pants well a this stage.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’ve been wracking my brain and searching the Internet for a week or better now. I’m at a loss. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all!

Get Friends Like This

Because you'll need it on a funny week when Robespierre wears white patent shoes with silver tips to school. You'll need her to send you links like this.

If you need a second to worship after seeing that, it's fine. I'll wait.

And then, when you have a particularly crazy midterm-exam-day-before-Spring-Break starts, one of those days when the noise of a girl fight bleeds onto the morning announcements and a child throws a fit in the hall during tests yelling, "I don't wanna take a test, I wanna ride a train!!", you'll need her to call and vent. She'll be the friend to put it into perspective.

"Yeah, I get it. We had the health fair yesterday and guess what they gave


"Lube and whistles."

These are the friends you'll need.

Musical Tourette's

If I have learned one thing in 13 years of teaching, it is that Gloria Estefan is correct.

Eventually, the rhythm is, in fact, going to get you.

Witness a class I have right now. Sometimes, I allow the impromptu waving of hands and sharp head turns while I am teaching. Sometimes, I can't handle it and wonder if perhaps I should get a spoon for the mouths of my students so that they don't swallow their tongues mid convulsion. I don't wonder this out loud, mind you, I just wonder.

Then, when they are left to work on their own, the impromptu jig is accompanied by music. Yesterday, the song of choice seemed only to have one phrase, "Where'd you get that hat!?". So we're silently typing away at narrative essays when the silence is broken by the song du jour...

"Where'd you get that hat!?"

...and it's funny. Somehow, this is hilarious (to everyone but me). I smile good naturedly and calmly ask that we keep quiet so that we can concentrate on our writing.

"But Ms Educat, It's a song!!"

Oooohhhh. So your outburst is justified if it can somehow be tied to music?

I like to let my mind wander and think of song lines that might just spring unannounced from my mouth. I like to think it might be some 1980's alternative music or perhaps show tunes...

What do you think?

The Pain You Feel Is The Ignorance Leaving Your Body

It's a painful week in English II.

We're kicking off every class with our Daily Grammar and there's all sorts of new difficulty in the week's sentence

Wally was eager to prove that his dog Blue was different than the other hunting dogs.

If you're keeping track, there are predicate adjectives afoot! Infinitive phrases lurk!! Beware the verbals, kids!!!

We're doing it. I love this grammar program, but we're covering more grammar in a week than these kids are used to seeing in a whole year and it hurts.

After that, we are working through the narrative essay.

I've never taught with such resistance. Oh! How the children groan! How their eyes roll back in their heads as they moan that they'll never use this! I smile and breathe deep and persist.

So I've gone to sports metaphors. It's funny to hear me resort to this if you know me at all. I have never played a sport, I've actually spent a great deal of effort avoiding such activity. I am spectacularly unathletic. Still, I go on with references to "mental toughness" and urging them not to run away from the pain. We speak so often of eating the elephant one bite at a time that my kids wonder how elephant meat actually tastes (anyone know, by the way?).

Looking for help, I call upon my most resistant student. He's also a football player and is presently swept up in the anticipation of next season.

"Robespierre" (no, his name isn't Robespierre, but isn't it funny to think
about it?) "Robespierre, you all talk about this in football, don't you?

"Yeah...yeah!" says Robespierre, finally catching on. "Coach says that the
game is 70% mental and 40% physical!"

Sure, kid, I'll take it.

Worn Out

Today was incredibly tiring. Benchmark scores are rolling in and I'm starting to realize just how much work I have ahead of me. Sure, I'm teaching grammar, but does that mean that my students will be able to choose the best editing choice on a multiple choice test? I have that feeling of too much dividing of my time. Eigh. It's time to start teaching testing.

Eigh. That's tiring. That alone would wear me out. Add this alongside the other fatigue.

  • One kid asks if "I can bring The Little Rascals so we can watch it and correct they speech".
  • I overhear a conversation hashing out who is pregnant. I am hurt to hear that one of the girls is in another class of mine. The girl telling the story is saddened to, but not for the same reason. "Man. All her tattoos are gonna stretch out real bad."

It's nap time.