Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today I taught a reading lesson to my 6th graders about a man during Hitler's time and the
Holocaust, titled
Passage to Freedom. Quite a remarkable story about a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of lives.

Behind this story lies a theme that was so fitting for today.


What a great opportunity I had to talk to my students about courage and the significance of this day. As we talked about September 11, 2001 I was reminded of the horror, the sadness, and the fear. I was reminded also of courage.

  • The courage of the firefighters and police officers who gave their lives trying to save others.
  • The courage of those passengers who went down in a Pennsylvania field.
  • The courage of the families and friends of those inside the World Trade Center and the airplanes.

I remember being in highschool on this day. I remember being scared. Watching the television for weeks, feeding off the news converage, searching for hope. I remember feeling torn apart yet united.

Today, as we discussed courage in school, I remembered all of these things and I felt proud to be an American. I came home and watched some videos, read some blogs and felt motivated to share my feelings.

I will always remember this day and the people who lost their lives.

I will remember the courage.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Teaching 101

It's been awhile.

Update: I have spent the last 7 school days student teaching in a 6th grade classroom, where I will remain until the middle of October.

A few tips (basically for myself).

#1 Spend some time in the principal's office. Seriously--Let's just say the principal and I have become friends. A very long and involved story goes along with this--and actually this is a good thing. Believe it or not-that was my first time in a principal's office!

#2 Make sure you don't laugh outloud while observing when a student makes a comment that you think is clever and hilarious, but is not so to the teacher. Awkward.

#3 Before you accept a 6th grade teaching position, find out if there is a height test required. If so--move on. I think I have noticed the few missing inches more than the students, but still.

#4 Remember that there is more to learning then testing. Weird isn't it? I know... this news is ground breaking. Below you will find my favorite clip (so far) on standardized testing.

Quite the catchy tune don't you think?
(I think this song should be sung to every kid at home and school.)

Which brings me to...

#5 Remember and remind kids that acutally learning and feeling good about oneself is far more important than filling in the correct bubbles on a test.

This has been my edition of "Teaching 101."