Category Archives: Education

Our Best!

best I always think of September and the autumn months in general, as a time for new beginnings. Of course, it is time for students and teachers on all levels to return to the classroom.  Most students do not realize that teachers and faculty members feel anxious too.  They also get butterflies in their stomachs and experience high levels of anxiety the night before meeting their new students.

They worry and wonder things like, “Can I do it?  Will this turn out to be a successful year?  Will my students be cooperative?  Will they be challenging?  Or will they become a unit and forge full steam ahead?”  I saw a news clip that talked about the stress that students feel before returning to school.  But guess what?  So do the parents and the teachers.

All are hopeful for a good outcome for all involved. So, yes, we teachers are prepared for the children’s occasional  meltdowns and they do come with speed and continuity during that first week of school.  We are armed with plenty of boxes of tissues and hugs to soothe the waters.

But the hidden truth is that we educators have our private parties of uncertainty as well.   The famed Erma Bombeck said in essence, “Now that I have it all together, I forgot where I put it.”  After we have unpacked the boxes, taken down the chairs, thrown out the old furniture and taped down the new name tags, we may feel a sense of readiness.

But then, it dawns on us that we have not prepared what we will teach.  So, we sit down and plan lessons and try to fill up the lapses in time and space to create order and discipline.  Then, we may think that we are ready, but them oops, we still forgot something that is major in this venture.

We think and ask, “What about these new personalities that are about to enter our clean, neat and organized space?  Who are they?”  That is when we may sing like Aretha Franklin and “Say a Little Prayer.” Or, we may take Julie Andrews’ lead from The Sound of Music as she blessed the Captain’s children by name to call out each one’s goodness.

Then, we silently bless each little person now in our charge and hope that after our time together, they will leave us as a more knowledgeable and whole person.  As I said to a fellow educator, “We can only give them the best of us.”

Lynn M.                   September 1, 2018

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Staying in the Know!

Spanish in 100 DaysEach summer, I take on a project that is new, eclectic and memorable.  Summers are very special to those of us who live in the chilly Midwest.  We have to make the most of this all too brief season.  Outside of getting out to soak up some sun, it’s a great time to learn something new! 

This year I have chosen to learn or shall I say become proficient in speaking Spanish.  Educators that cannot speak Spanish are beginning to feel the effects as our school districts make way for its new little ducklings.  That would be the Spanish-speaking children who in turn need bilingual educators.

In an effort to stay on the cutting edge, I have enrolled in a Spanish class again.  A few years back, I took a two-day workshop called Spanish for Educators. Thank goodness, I kept my detailed notes and teaching tools.  I also pulled out my Spanish-English Dictionary along with a book called Spanish in 100 Days that I had packed away.  I am pooling my former efforts along with the new teaching program because it is truly time to take this venture seriously.

I took French at many different points in my life, but I still cannot converse in French. C’est dommage.  But now as I am writing and learning Spanish words, voila!  It all makes sense because I understand feminine and masculine nouns, pronouns and articles from my years of studying French.

As in life, each experience prepares us for the next thing coming down the pike.  Both are Romantic languages.  Yet, I feel a little guilty when I sound out an s as I pronounce Spanish words because in French, that is a huge no-no!

During this uninterrupted stretch in my life, I plan to hunker down and focus.  When I see my young Spanish-speaking students in the fall, I will be able to say more than hola or adois.  Hopefully, I will feel confident enough to use what I have learned and try to converse with them.  Oh, the joys of staying the know!

Lynn M.                                                           June 16, 2018