We had no idea how big a half a bushel was at the U-Pick Orchard.
Things I have made/am/will be making this week:
Apple hash and Italian Sausage
Apple and sausage stuffing
Baked apple slices
You know, the first thing I thought when we had the full bag was, “This would be so great if I had a classroom. They’d have so many snacks. I could do this all through the fall and there’d be one more chance to make sure they’re not hungry and getting healthy food.”
Then I recalled that I don’t have a class, or even kids. I also don’t know anyone with a classroom of their own, and we’ve already got a supply for the homeless teens at the center I’m writing grants for (someone who works there has an avidly apple-picking husband).
So I’m fobbing them off on EVERYONE ELSE in the form of everything I can fit them into.
“Tell us a story,” my first hour class demands one day.
I smile. “We have to get our work done,” I remind them. “Let’s get through the PowerPoint and do the worksheets. Then we can see if we have time for a story.”
“Tell us more about the odd jobs you worked before subbing,” they say. “Tell us a travel story.”
“Do your work,” I counter. “We’ll see if we have time.”
Today we don’t have time for a story. But one of my students stops by my desk after the bell rings. ”When is our real teacher coming back?” she wants to know.
“I don’t know,” I tell her patiently. After hearing this question several times an hour every day for a month, it is amazing to me how many times kids can ask the same question and expect a different answer.
“Because I’m not learning anything in here,” she says point-blank. “So my mom wants to move me to a free hour if our teacher’s not coming back.”
At first that stings. A lot. “Okay,” I say. “I’m sorry you feel that way. But I don’t have any more information about when your teacher is coming back.”
But then I realize it’s not a fair criticism. According to the quiz scores, my most objective measure, I am teaching, and the kids are learning, at approximately the same pace they would with the regular teacher. Just a whiny kid, I tell myself, with a parent who isn’t bothering to question her.
You could have the best lesson plans in the world. You could be the most amiable, charismatic teacher on the face of the planet. You could know everything about your students, from the way they learn best to all their friends’ names to the words of the song they listen to on the ride to school.
But learning is a two-way street. And if a student doesn’t want to learn, you’re not going to make them.
You can supply them with materials to learn, and give them guidance and support. You can even make them want to learn, if you’re enthusiastic and engaging and know how to catch their attention and make what might seem like mundane things amazing — or bring the awe back to the things that textbooks and lectures have made mundane.
But nothing you do can make a student learn. And if that student does not want to learn, they won’t. Learning is a relationship that at the bare minimum requires not necessarily the teacher, but the student first and foremost. (I hear some people bawking, but think: if a student was submerged in nature with nothing but their senses, they would eventually learn that night is dark and dark can be cold. Students CAN learn on their own; it doesn’t mean that teachers aren’t necessary.)
Everything else points to the fact that you are teaching, and these students are learning. What’s more, they want to learn from you because for many of them, you’ve restored the classroom to the safe place it’s supposed to be. A certified veteran teacher who has been there the whole year might have a student who says they aren’t learning anything and wants to transfer classes just as well as you might.
that I don’t think everyone has to “come out” in order to be happy. If you’re safe and accepted regardless and you’re just a private person, I don’t see anything wrong with being quiet for the right reasons.
If it’s because you’d be in danger, in whatever kind of danger that would be, then I…
Very well said. I completely agree with you. This is something that a certain active member from the club disagrees with, and is constantly stating how we must “get him/her to admit he/she is gay.” It drives me nuts. Especially because this person also feels that ppl that are LGBTQ should also tell their families and stop hiding if friends know. Ridiculous. What if they feel in danger, what if coming out isn’t safe? Pushing and being mean to people if they don’t come out is just ridiculous.
The “safe space” principle is incredibly important to a group like the GSA. So if you need to, I’d recommend emphasizing subtly — just with a line in the midst of the usual safe space speech — that people are welcome and accepted at all levels of “outness”, that any level is ok, and that it’s about what is safe and healthy for that individual person (and of course their partner, but it would be their partner’s choice as to whether or not they were comfortable being in a closeted relationship).
Harvey Milk insisted that people who are gay need to be out so that others will take into account that there are people they know and love who might be negatively affected by anti-LGBTQ legislation and activities. But that is something that, while I understand, I also have some contention with. Milk spoke as a politician — I speak as a teacher and youth worker, concerned more with the well-being of the individual than as the well-being of the group over a long period of time. Yes, for change to occur, there needs to be some level of visibility — but that doesn’t mean that someone needs to sacrifice a healthy life in order to supposedly live one.
I would almost suggest having a real group discussion about this topic, something moderated and safe. But it seems like there are some adamant views that might get out of hand. If you can find someone to come in and lead that sort of discussion in a way that could bring people to even a consensus to agree to disagree in a way that didn’t leave anyone feeling alienated, it could be beneficial to everyone — but without that moderation aspect, that planned direction, I worry that it could also be disastrous.
But I know you. You’re a strong, capable, intelligent leader, and you’re going to do right by everyone in that group, regardless of differences in opinion within the group, by whatever means you choose.
Did someone hit the Easy button for me on this one?
(They may not all be specifically education, but nearly all of them are education-related, and those that aren’t directly grantable to teachers or institutions are still relevant to someone around this tag.)
No matter how much it weighs on you on a daily basis,
you don’t truly realize how much you are always thinking about everything you do, how much you might have to hide yourself (in the context of, say, GLBT teachers) from your own community, how careful you are to be a good role model when everyone is looking…
when you’re not teaching.
I mean. Really. My supervisor must think I’m insane, because I cannot fathom the idea of having a personal life that I don’t have to be afraid of.
…although part of that is my location, actually. It’s small enough that whatever you do is going to be common knowledge at one point or another. The teachers here can have same-sex partners and go out with those same-sex partners and it’s okay. And that unnerves me. Freedom is nerve-wrecking.
Exhilarating. And mind-blowing. And nerve-wrecking.
The Open Society Youth Initiative’s Great Debates program is offering funding to “projects designed to develop, enhance, and support higher education debate programs and help students realize a vision of global public policy engagement.”
What does that mean for you?
have a debate team or organization in your college, or university that needs funding for training, for travel, or to host a tournament or public debate, or
want to start a debate team or organization where there currently is none,
$50,000 is up for grabs.
For high school teachers, while you might not be able to get a grant from Open Society Foundations to start or pep up your debate team, but a search on the site for “high school” noted some youth forums and conferences that could be of interest.
In general, their education and youth page looks like a good potential resource for thoughts on the subject in general. I would take a look.
Many of you may have found me through my recent grants posts, which will continue.
Just to let you know, I’m originally a future teacher/counselor and a youth worker in after school programs. Because of budget cuts and a poor job market, I’m currently doing behind-the-scenes work writing grants for area nonprofits in Western Massachusetts. I also did/do some LGBTQ education and advocacy work, and psychology research, which show up on this blog occasionally, and art/writing/comicking, which does not, though if you’re interested I can redirect you to where that WILL show up.
So feel free to ask me any number of questions about any number of things, and once the craziness dies down of a new place and a new job and finding perfect grants two days before the entire things are due, I will be posting some education articles.
I have a handful of Special Education and Technology related grants that are on a rolling deadline. I just want you all to know I’m listening. But because they’re on a rolling deadline, and because we have two here at work due by Friday, they won’t get out there right away. They’re not a matter of links — they showed up in a database and I have to track down the information. I’m thinking next week.
So you know, though, the latest goldmine we hit was something called “GrantWatch.” It organizes grants according to your state of residence/use, all you have to do is change the url to “yourstate.grantwatch.com” (so, for us, massachusetts.grantwatch.com), though it does include national grants in state sections. You can also view it by purpose and ignore location entirely.
A week’s worth of access is $15.
For $15, we at my office are going on the biggest saving-and-printing binge this town has ever seen. And it is thus far potentially paying off in spades.
Generally going to post at the beginning of the month, but since we're halfway through September, jump on these while you can if you can crunch the time.
NOTE: Always check the guidelines. Some of these might be restricted to certain geographical areas. Some might have to go through a non-profit, so you might have to buddy up as a school or a teacher, though most of what I post here will be accessible to schools.
Nominate an outstanding K-6 teacher (yourself included) for a chance at a $10,000 classroom grant — 7-12 teachers get a chance come Winter.
From the site:
GOOD and University of Phoenix are proud to announce the launch of The Great American Teach-Off, a nationwide competition to celebrate teachers who are making a positive impact in America’s classrooms.
Here’s how it works: Click here to nominate an outstanding teacher for kindergarten through sixth grade*—it can be one you’ve had, your child’s, or even yourself—by September 16. We’ll select the finalists based on how he or she makes a positive difference for students; how creativity and innovation is fostered in the classroom; and what impact he or she has made on the greater school community.
“GenerationOn Make Your Mark Week (formerly Kids Care Week) is celebrated during the third week of October, this year October 16-22, 2011. The week inspires and mobilizes youth to use their energy, ingenuity and compassion to “make their mark on the world” through hands-on service to help others in their local and global communities. During the week, young people focus on issues that matter most to them by doing small acts or service projects that add up to making a big difference. Make Your Mark Week ends on Make a Difference Day, the largest national day of service.
Thanks to our founding partner, Hasbro, generationOn will award 200 mini-grants in the amount of $250 each to support service projects that enable youth to “make their mark” on one of the following issues: Animals, the Environment, Homelessness, Hunger and Literacy. We’re looking for projects that engage youth and other community members in creative solutions that make a positive impact on the Make Your Mark Week issues in local and global communities.”
Deadline September 30th: P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education Grant
For teachers integrating the arts into instruction, $1000
From the site:
The P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education has grants available up to $1,000 to be awarded in 2011 to educators who need assistance to further their program goals.
Applications may be made for a grant up to $1,000 to support a new or evolving program that integrates the arts into educational programming. The purpose is to aid and support teachers who wish to establish an effective learning tool using the arts in teaching children who learn differently.
Deadline September 30th: Let’s Play! Playground Construction Grants
$15,000 construction grants to schools, communities, and organizations with a community ready to build a playground but lacking funds to do it.
From the site:
Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! are excited to offer $15,000 Let’s Play Playground Construction Grants to qualifying organizations using the KaBOOM!community-buildmodel. Grantees will plan their project, and share best practices and challenges through the KaBOOM! website.
Bridges a funding gap: Amount variable depending on needs, must match some percentage of funds; quarterly deadlines (so don’t panic if you miss this one).
From the site:
Classics for Kids Foundation aims to bridge the funding gap and enhance school music programs by providing matching grants for beautiful new stringed instruments.
If your school or non-profit organization believes in the role of fine instruments in your program, and can show evidence of need and commitment to raising matching funds, you are a strong candidate for the Classics for Kids matching grant program.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Please let me know if you apply so I know what to keep posting. And if you GET one of these? Drop me a line and I’ll send you a congratulations card!
One of the regulars in my store is a teacher, of primary school, I think. She told me the other day about a problem with a parent who she said was "slanderizing" her. I wanted to ask "Were they saying you can't speak proper English? Because that's not slander, that's true." I also wanted to ask her how they were turning her into slander, because I didn't know you could do that to a person. English, by the way, is her first language.
I’m torn on this. On the one hand, I want to say that we hold teachers to a much higher standard once we know they’re teachers, especially when it comes to things like speaking properly, and that it’s a little unfair.
On the other, well…depending on what they teach, they really ought to be able to speak the language properly.
And on top of that, if I heard any person on the street say that, I would probably cringe too.
So either way that’s pretty darned bad, but I don’t think it’s bad because she’s a teacher, I think it’s just bad because…it’s bad.
ON A SIMILAR NOTE, apparently “slanderize” is a word that’s come into fashion as a fairly common misuse of “slander,” which I did not know until I looked it up, so it may well be that one might hear it on the news from a politician or some such and think it’s a credible source.
Also, on a similar note, the first grade teacher I was paired with in my last student teaching sequence admitted freely that she was a terrible speller and relied on spellcheck constantly.
As I go through all these grant databases and things, I can’t help but stumble upon ones that are meant for educators and schools.
If I stumble upon anything particularly useful or brilliant, would anyone be interested in seeing them posted here as they come up? I can’t write them for you, but even just finding the right ones can be a pain in the you-know-what, and I can at least direct you to something that could be beneficial to your classroom, school, or program.
(For example, I stumbled upon one collection today that was for putting playgrounds in New England schools, and another collection for “learning promoting play, creativity, and exploring.”)
If you’re interested, if you could respond with your state, your grade level, and what sorts of things you might need funds for (whether it be school supplies, technology, playgrounds, afterschool programs, extended learning programs, what have you) and I’ll try my best to do a weekly feature or biweekly, as the grants pop up, to highlight your possibilities.
This is not to say we are currently applying for grants. We’re just looking up every grant that’s been outlined for us in an excel sheet, plugging in missing data, and making complete records that we can go back and refer to later when we DO need to apply to any one of them.
So far the supervisor - who is a very nice guy but whose work style is very different than anything I’m used to and whose meetings are trademarked by his going off on long vaguely off-topic tangents - has had us tweak it multiple times. Sometimes it’s small things like “can this part come first” or “this piece of information would be better represented like this.” Some of them are a matter of logic and efficiency and some are…
Well, some are just because that’s the way he likes them done. Even though he is not the only one using the database. We are also using it. We are trying to set it up so that anyone working on grants for the org in the future can use it.
Today was full of those kinds of tweaks.
Instead of putting the federal department making the grant under “Grant Entity” he wants us to put the title exactly as he wrote it — meaning a collection of letters that abbreviate both the department and the title of the grant, which no one understands but him and which thus have little usefulness. (US DHHS SO, anyone? If you’re in the field you might guess what most of that is, but people coming to the position generally aren’t.)
Then he told us after we had more than fifty grants already listed (either he hadn’t thought of it before, or hadn’t noticed that the field wasn’t there) that we needed another part on each grant where we list the previous grantees as listed on the 990, to give us a good idea as to whether our org could get a grant from that organization or program of what have you.
Today we have gone through some of the same exact grant records, tweaking and rewriting and adding and reformatting, up to four times. It’s starting to feel a little bit like being Sisyphus.
We would like to get to something more productive, but meetings with programs under the org to do needs assessments have been delayed or less productive for a number of reasons, one being that when we introduced ourselves to the directors of these programs (this is in the same small organization that we’re all working in, folks) were never told that we were going to be here to help them.
Running jokes between my two fellow capacity builders and I have focused a lot around resigning, job-searching, and a number of other outs, though it is highly unlikely that any of us will do so because we’ve committed ourselves to this year.
No matter how I spin this so far, two weeks into this position and we’ve all tentatively checked out, though I am desperately waiting for a feeling of purpose or accomplishment while I work toward whatever the supervisor tells us is the goal. The actual goals of our assignments were slightly misrepresented, not in a malicious way, and in the grand scheme of things what we’re actually doing is sort of supporting those original goals in a roundabout way…but just enough to make me feel aggravated and misled.
The federal program we’re working through has a policy to keep its members at 110% of the poverty line, so the things I might otherwise indulge in once or twice a month to keep me sane aren’t even feasible right now, though I’m doing my best to pick up on anything that’s essentially free and might help. As if the work they have us doing isn’t stressful enough.
I remember working with students while at the poverty line. Some people might think that an office-side job must be easier than that, but I would gladly switch with anyone right now on the direct-service side, and let them keep their terms (two months less on assignment but a thousand dollars more in the annual stipend AND the ability to pursue additional outside employment/funds) and stick with mine, if I could just be doing something that tangibly helps someone.
This whole position is like beating one’s head against a wall.
(And by the by…we’re not working to make social change in areas that need the change the most, like the city we’re based in where the general attitude toward youth is that they need to congregate on someone else’s block it doesn’t matter if their only places to go have all been taken away from them in the past two years because the town didn’t want those either, or where a local elected official claimed to know what the ‘outsider’-feeling of being a homeless youth must be like because he once couldn’t get into a high-end establishment.
We’re not focused on changing any of that in our own backyard. We’re also not working to bridge gaps and make partnerships with organizations who haven’t yet embraced a Positive Youth Development model, like encouraging and finding funding for otherwise less than supportive schools to run an afterschool program that has proven results. I have actually been actively discouraged from anything that might have a risk of not working, and have been warned of the ‘attitude’ in some places where I won’t be automatically trusted. No, we’re going to organizations who think like us and seeing what they need.
Which is also great and much needed and makes sense, but not when one is surrounded by this detrimentally hostile environment and just ignores it.)
My biggest fear right now is that all these amazing opportunities I’m only just now finding — positions in afterschool programs that weren’t available before, sure-fire subbing jobs in areas that are in desperate need of them, etc. — are not going to be there when I get out. It will be like having left a place with little opportunity just to watch all the opportunities in another pass me by.
Just got an e-mail saying I need to keep my kids in my room- and entertain them- during my prep tomorrow.
I don’t have time to pull anything crazy, and they cannot sit and read in silence for an hour… Any good time filler activities you can think of?
Also: Now I need to finish my lessons for next week tonight since I won’t get that time tomorrow. Thanks, guys.
Logic games are great for entertaining the students AND helping their critical thinking skills. They want to puzzle it out before their classmates, and/or prove to themselves and you how smart they are.
Split them up into groups and give them each some logic puzzles or riddles to try and solve. It’s worked for students grades 1 through 6, for me and my teachers.
The quizzes have come back, graded. “When is our teacher coming back?” the kids ask, as usual, as I pass them out.
Today, I actually have an update. “I’ll be here till at least next Tuesday,” I tell them.
“Or till the end of the year,” they reply.
But when they see their quiz scores,…
Reblogging because the reply space was too small.
Firstly, you are not failing your kids. You are giving them stability. The fact that you’re calling them “your kids” is a perfect example about that. And you care enough about this to seek their advice, and the community’s. Another huge indicator that you are not failing anyone.
Math is a difficult subject, often fairly abstract or complex. On top of that, I tend to see it as the worst-treated in terms of how much a teacher is expected to successfully cover with their students in a small amount of time. Some things take more time and practice to sink in, and this is especially true of math concepts. Even worse than that — if one concept isn’t getting through, because of the nature of the subject, you can’t move on to the next topic successfully.
Some of my sixth graders a couple of years ago still had trouble with multiplication. When we got to work involving common denominators, even if they understood the process, they didn’t have the right answers. Then, there were students who didn’t understand the process at all, and the cooperating teacher was rushing. So, when we moved onto the next topic, which built onto what we’d just “finished,” at least half of the class was completely lost.
Look at the quizzes and see where and with what specifically the students are having trouble. Is it a process issue? Is it a matter of attention? Could they be using a different method to get the answer? Could they be organizing their work better? This was a huge issue in algebra — students weren’t writing out the whole problem at each new step, and missed whole chunks of work that would have changed the answer. Have the students look too. Right now you’re feeling very guilty, but they have responsibility in this too — make them take a little accountability by having them all look over these quizzes and see if they can pinpoint what THEY had trouble with.
And, if you can, cover the material again, at least one day more. The worst thing I’ve ever seen a teacher do, especially in math, is push through. That would be a disservice to the students. If you can’t cover it again even for a day, maybe you can have meetings with the students sometime during the day to look at what was difficult for them.
I don’t know what resources you have at your school, or what kind of time you have, or…etc etc.
Oh! And if you give another survey of your students…be specific. If you ask what you could be doing better in the classroom they’re going to tell you that you could be playing movies and buying them lunch. But if you ask, “What about ___ was most difficult,” or “Is there anything in the material you’re having trouble understanding,” something directed, it might net some more useful answers.
There are some amazing deals right now on notebooks — ten cents each up to a certain amount (multiple trips mayhaps?) for poly cover one-subjects, and twenty cents each for plain one-subject wide-ruled spiral notebooks. That latter doesn’t have a limit that I saw.
Two customers ahead of me was a woman grinning fit to split her face and carrying away a cardboard packing box filled with multi-colored plastic supply cases. I knew she had to be some kind of teacher, and it made me smile.
“I’m not interested in college. I just want to be a wife and mother. My needs are simple.”—
What do you SAY to that? She’s 16 years old!
EDIT to add: Some of your responses were hilarious and valid. What I did tell her was, “Hey, that’s great, but you need to have a plan B.”
But all day long, I thought “Should I have shook her while saying that?” (KIDDING.)
I would ask why she feels that way. Some people have very distinct reasons for these decisions, while others not so much. When I was in high school, a senior in my College English class had similar aspirations. She had been through a terribly abusive home life and through foster homes, and managed to continue to make her way through her education even though some of the subjects gave her difficulty. She was considering going to technical school for cosmetology if she found the funding — but she said outright that she didn’t necessarily want to, that it was something she felt was expected her.
What she really wanted was to be in a stable loving relationship, and to have children, and to give her children better home lives than she had.
I know that we need to encourage the best for our students. But I think we also have to respect and validate the choices some make — if they are for the right reasons — not to choose what we consider to be the best path for everyone.
I get the feeling this is going to make me very unpopular — and I DO think that at least an AA is something every student should look into, if nothing else but to acquire skills that will help them in their adult lives.
But it all depends on the reasons for their choice.
Want your students to take water conservation seriously? Show them what life is like with significantly less of it.
Disclaimer: As for any activity that’s meant to give students an appreciation for something they have, it’s meant to be used in circumstances where students do in fact have that thing to take for granted. Don’t do a faux water restriction activity with students who are regularly affected by droughts or water restrictions — neither they nor their parents will likely appreciate as a learning tool a difficulty that they already go through and know plenty about.
This morning marks just short of a week on tight water restrictions in my new town of residence in Western Mass. Irene knocked out the water pumps here, there were some concerns about sanitation after sewage was flooded out from the nearby city and washed into one of the local major rivers, there was word of a boil order…luckily, one of the two wells for the town are operating again, storage tanks are refilling, and soon the water restrictions will likely be called off.
My flatmate and I already had two bulk packs of bottled water, which we had purchased before Irene hit, thinking it was just going to be a matter of a power outage that many of the town’s residents were prepping for like any other extended family-bonding opportunity, flashlights and boardgames and prepared no-heat no-chill food at the ready. We’ve used it to drink, fill the cat’s dish, and in one case boil a pot of pasta (when there was no more food in the house that wouldn’t require more dishes that we’ve been trying not to wash). I haven’t done laundry since I came back from evacuation, though today I’m going into the “city” (to a NYer, more akin to a major town than a city), which is not under water restrictions, and spending a few hours at the laundromat. We have a few plants that need watering, so I filled up an empty plastic bottle at work (city) and have been using that. Let’s not even talk about showers — though I never thought shower tactics would be the information I would take away from an article I read years ago about life in arctic research stations.
Is everyone taking these water restrictions so seriously? It depends. A few of the restaurants in town shut down for a few days because it so dented their ability to operate. The little coffee shop has a long list of things they cannot serve or do because of the water they take to prep or clean, and the bathroom is restricted to customers only. Some families have cut back their baths, some are only doing laundry when absolutely necessary or doing it out of town. Some might not be doing any of this at all. (I know Colleen has been nearly pulling her hair out over some occasions of excessive and unnecessary laundry-doing near her.)
But let me tell you — I have never had such a cause to reassess my usage of what was once, to me, a very basic and overlooked element in my life. And I have a feeling that if your students needed to try this even for a few days, they would take water conservation more seriously, maybe even pay more attention to lessons on the water table or news stories about droughts and water shortages.
It’s important to note that this could happen for any number of reasons, even in places we don’t expect. Natural disasters, chemical spills, heat waves, water contamination…I’ve heard the opinion that if one does not live in a drought-laden area there is no need to worry about water supply. To this end, a mock water restriction activity might fall best after a lesson on the water table (even a brief overview, if science is not the subject at hand but is important to understand, say, a global studies issue) and during or before lessons on water conservation.
There are a number of ways to try an activity like this, but I would recommend getting parents involved if possible. If it’s for a larger unit, or in response to a major event, one could even try getting a whole grade level or school involved — depending on the grade. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for young students; for a first or second grader this might be extreme. But middle school, high school, upper elementary, college? It depends on your students.
Have your students sign a pledge that they will try their best to stick to this activity on their own time. Some elements of the activity might include:
keeping a log for a day/week prior to water restrictions of when they use water and approximately how much (or for how long, i.e. a running faucet)
keeping a log during their water restrictions of when they use water and approximately how much (or how long), both for comparison and for accountability
in-class or at-home journal opportunities to reflect on the experience
How long should it last? A day? Three days? A week? Again, that’s up to the impact you want it to have on your students and the time you’re willing to spend on the material.
What do you do with the experience when it’s over? Talk about why students might actually find themselves without the luxury of all that water, whether it be a plausible situation in their own home town or a matter of time and place. Talk about people and places in the news that are living without water — most in worse conditions than we could experience even under strict mandatory water restrictions or boil orders. Talk about what made students the most uncomfortable about not having access to the water they usually use — but ask them if they noticed any water they’ve been using that they could cut back. (Did they used to leave the water running while they were brushing their teeth, washing their face, pumping soap to wash their hands?)
Most of all, don’t just let it go once it’s over — make the experience count for something. Check on their water use now and again via conversation, or do another water log later in the year so students can see if they’ve changed their water usage. Students can have a great role as leaders here if you ask them, simply, “What should we do with this experience,” or “What can we do about water conservation.” They might make a poster list of things they can do to conserve water, sign a pledge, or start a school-wide educational campaign. They might turn it into service-learning and raise money for drought-stricken areas. (People pledge money as students try to be “homeless” for a day in school gyms, or fast for world hunger — a water restriction activity might be used in a similar way.)
Again, this is something that would require some level of parental involvement, at least notification, and a certain level of honesty from your students. And it will not necessarily be pleasant. But if they’re up for the challenge, I highly recommend it — if only to give them a new appreciation for one of the things that many of them may well take for granted.
And our training at work has been interrupted sporadically by jumping feet-first into disaster relief effort organization.
Which means I won’t quite be making posts yet.
But there is material to work with. And there are lessons to write up. And now there is an internet connection.
My present position (I say, because currently this is the case but presently I can’t be sure) doesn’t seem like it will be providing me with much of anything that’s going to be relevant for a while, and I can’t post about my actual organization experience by name anywhere that also expounds upon politics, etc., so personal blog and educational blog are both right out. I’m considering, then, adding another blog where I’ll actually be able to log my experiences as part of my current position. Thoughts?
I’m going to be doing good things here…but I can already tell you that I’m going to miss direct service every moment of it, and that I’m going to be applying to MA programs as soon as the applications are available.
The huge pile of trash in front of that house is the library’s children’s collection.
This kind of stuff just kills me. Books were an indescribably huge part of my childhood, containing worlds and friends I could retreat to during rough times when friends and stability were scarce. They…
I’m two hundred miles away from most of my children’s books, but I have a copy of Fox in Socks and just enough change to send it in the mail. Maybe you could make this a classroom activity with your students — go through your classroom library, of the books that you own and can thus make such decisions about, and have the students vote on which book to send to this library. See if they can choose one they don’t think any other class will send, their favorite and most unique book.
If every teacher on Tumblr sends one book from their classroom, I imagine that it will be a good start to rebuilding and strengthening this collection.