*Names and identifying details have been altered to protect the innocent people who could sue me.

October 31, 2012

Rules for Survival

Great Moments in Writing: Why Read Stories?

"Imagine a world where there were no stories, tales, books?  That would be terrible!  One of the greatest authors in ancient history, Homer, would just be a guy named Homer.  Heck, we wouldn't even have religions especially Christianity without the Bible.  So, why read stories? Because the world wouldn't be nearly as advanced as it is today.  Life would pretty much stink."

"Do you want a life?  Well then, you should read stories."

"Some of the reasons to read stories are to learn things, to have adventures, and because books teach lessons.  So the next time your teacher assigns a book, think of what you can get out of it instead of just pouting."

"Why do we read stories?  Don't just say because your teacher made you, because it's more than that."

"In the end the question 'Why read stories' was to inform you on things you never knew about and to also entertain you with stories you like to read, and to teach you new things like vocabulary.  I really understand the question 'why read stories' now that I wrote a whole essay on the question."

"For centuries now, people have written stories.  Just because they've been written though, doesn't mean people have to read them."

"We read stories for a few reasons.  One is to learn about things and/or learn from other people's mistakes and if we didn't do this when we read stories we would be really stupid and do very dumb things.  Another reason we read stories is to use and build our immense imagination and if this didn't occur while we read stories we wouldn't have invented many things because we wouldn't have imagined them.  Lastly, we read stories to entertain ourselves in English class because it is sometimes very boring.  You should read stories or you'll be a dumb non-educated person."

*all excerpts edited for clarity, but only as absolutely needed.  I swear.

October 28, 2012

Great Moments in Teaching History (September edition)

Questionnaire: What one thing would you change about the world?
8th grader: I'd be able to get anything I want for free! Oh, and treat cancer.

Student's Short Story: “But then it hit me. It hit me as if it were a speedy wind smacking you straight in the face. It hit me as if it were an unexpected tornado, or earthquake, or whatever metaphor you like that symbolizes my brain hatching an idea.”

(One day, on a field trip ...)
Student: Look, Ms Gettlin, I caught a fish!
me: John, put that back in the pond!
Student: But Ms Gettlin ...
Student: See, I didn't hurt it, it's swimming away!
(Student 2: That's not swimming, that's floating upside down.)
me: John, what was that rule about not going in the water?
Student: I didn't go in the water!
me: John ... you were holding a fish.
Student: I d
idn't go in the water!

me: Are your hands wet?
Student: I didn't go in the water!
me: Are your hands wet?
Student: Yeah ... oh.

TGP (teacher growth percentile)

Ways I know I have grown as a teacher since last year, example #1:

Student: How do you get your hair to do that, Ms Liles?
Last year's answer: Um, I put it into two braids, and thenI loop them on top of my head, and then secure it in place.
This year's answer: Bobby pins.

Example #2:
Student: What's the fourth stage of a plot chart?
(Exposition, Conflict Introduced, Rising Action ...)
Last year's answer: Climax.
This year's answer: Climactic Moment.

Example #3:
Student: Don't worry Ms Gettlin, I'll marry you.
Last year's response: Um ... I ... ok, well, thank you, I guess, but ... see, I um ... well, ok.
This year's response: Thank you, but that would be illegal