Saturday, July 26, 2008

July Notes

I have been puzzled at the week-long quiet at Oh!Pinion where my blogging friend, S.W. Anderson, posts political commentary from a thoughtful, calm, progressive, patriotic viewpoint. I have missed it. And I have wondered if there might be a health issue or family emergency that had kept him away from the blogosphere. Also the usual well-organized, easy-to-read look of his blog had vanished, which gave me hope it was merely a technical issue. Today he has gotten the site back up (sort-of) and explained that a combination of family business trips and technical issues had silenced Oh!Pinion temporarily. I wish him good fortune in the outcome of his family matters and in overcoming the technical issues at Oh!Pinion!

Learning in the Great Outdoors

Life has intervened and it has been just impossible to get the time to put together our environmental education carnival in July. I will post a combined July-August edition ASAP. If you would like to host the carnival for one of the remaining months of this year, please let me know. I can empathize with S.W.'s technical woes. I have still not figured out why I can no longer update the Learning in the Great Outdoors home site (as well as my other iWeb sites). Is there a relationship between the problem and the fact that the last posting was on April Fool's Day? I hope to make progress on the iWeb sites this week.

2008-2009 School Year
I began my 29th year of teaching -- there was an 11 year break in the 80s and 90s -- with planning days yesterday and the day before. "Meet the Teacher" night will be Thursday and my 24 students will be in their desks brimming with potential next Friday morning. Here we go again! It is always an exciting and hopeful week as I face those 24 scrubbed-faced nine- and ten-year-olds holding clean slates and great optimism. One of the great advantages of the teaching profession is that fresh start we get each August.

This year I have a student teacher with me already. She is a lovely and enthusiastic young woman who will help me fulltime through the first week. Then she will assist several hours each week through the first semester, fulltime again for a few weeks after Christmas, then parttime again through most of the rest of the school year. I expect that schedule to be an improvement in the student teaching program: she will have a more complete notion of a school year. She will be better prepared for setting up her classroom when she begins her first year as a teacher the next fall. When she begins her "in earnest" teaching after Christmas she and the children will already know each other well. There will be a wedding for her in October -- that may distract her a bit. :-)

I have been remarkably lucky with the student teachers who have been assigned to me over the years. With one exception (about thirty years ago) they have all been very enthusiastic, caring, and competent.

Posting on the Limb

Given the demands of the first few of weeks of school and some added commitments on my shoulders right now, I may not post quite so regularly for the next little while. Please stay tuned.

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