I felt badly deserting my basketball team in mid season but working out schedules made it difficult to do otherwise. I missed their last couple of games but they continued on with the PE teacher and help from the grade seven girls. One of my true surprises in life has been discovering that I really enjoy coaching teams. I am not particularly athletic and have never even ever really played basketball. When I started teaching at my previous school I said I would help the girls' soccer coach with her team. As an adult I had played one summer on a women's team. It actually was an experience I quite enjoyed. We even won a trophy (I assure you not due to my brilliant playing). Anyway Bonnie encouraged me to help and then I helped with basketball and soon I actually would coach my own teams. Now I often borrowed grade seven boys to help demonstrate various skills and being a large school we sometimes had some quite talented players and did fairly well. But more importantly girls who often didn't get to participate in community teams were able to have a good time and learn some skills.
It's always also most fun to teach kids what they are most motivated to learn. And you get to see kids in a totally different context. I often enjoyed being able to cheer on one of my problematic boys as he played well in a game.
I returned late Wednesday night. When I woke up Thursday morning I had two choices-to go to school to at least work with the grade ones until recess or start in on unpacking, doing laundry and cleaning up my house. I decided to go to school and walked in on the first graders writing a letter to me in response ot the postcard I had sent from St Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Of course the hyper boys were up giving me hugs as soon as they realized I had arrived.
I planned to leave after recess but I was there until lunch time because this is a class that can easily keep two adults very busy. One little boy was upset over something that had happened at recess and two peer helpers came in with him to explain to his teacher. Shin Mei told me how well the junior girls had done (despite losing their last two games) and how they had helped coach them.
Can you tell why I love to go to my old school?
I really wish the government and public would appreciate the hard work that teachers do! Many teachers have just finished report cards which used to take me more than two weekends to complete (try writing report cards after teaching all day). I also don't miss having to plan lessons when I was sick and going to many meetings nor the helpless feeling of maybe going on strike to try to get a decent contract with a government that doesn't show any real appreciation of your work or has even been judged in court to not honour a past contract. Sigh...
Monday, February 3, 2014
|uncluttered view in my attic...|
I am going away soon for a couple of weeks so that this inspired me to get to work on cleaning out the filing cabinet. It started Saturday afternoon and continued Sunday afternoon. And now there is a lot less in the filing cabinet but the other files are still in those cardboard boxes.
There is a feeling of liberation as you put work from the past into the recycling. And a freedom of getting rid of articles you never read and now feel no need to read. You let go of materials for workshops you never plan to give again. You let go of materials that might have been good if you wanted to write a research article but know that time has past.
You find teaching reports, letters of reference, letters of commendation...I make sure I keep at least one copy. It is always nice to read nice comments about your ability to do your work (the most amusing is when someone has said I am organized?!)
There is the divorce decree, the house ownership papers, the record of insurance claims, ten years of income tax records, the cat's medical history and the car's.
You find things that you vaguely knew were there. I read the essay I wrote about Stanstead County when I was in grade eight and the letter that the newspaper editor of the local paper wrote to me when my principal/teacher sent it to him. There is the little history of my hometown that four of my fellow students also later wrote that was published as a small book. Now that was kind of a remarkable teacher.
I find writing that I did in a couple of intensive writing courses I did summers long ago. As I read over one piece I am reminded of a kindness long ago by someone with whom I have recently reconnected.
There are the letters I wrote to my ex-husband when I went to Japan, China, and Hong Kong with a friend now dead...There is the journal I kept on my trip to Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. No time to read today but definitely later.
I find family history material from both sides of my family.
As I get rid of some "stuff" I begin planning to maybe revisit this writing, write it up, maybe share, maybe even do a bit more research.
It's kind of mentally exhausting doing this kind of "work" and not sure why I chose a sunny afternoon to do it though it was pleasant in my attic office workroom. And I really hadn't spent much time at home this week.
The problem with filing cabinets is you can't really see into them and it's easy to keep them closed and somewhat forgotten until there is an emergency of some sort. I had two full sized four drawer ones in my classroom now reduced to those three cardboard boxes and now there actually is one empty drawer available in the attic. With computers you really probably don't technically need physical filing cabinets but for now I do and hopefully open them more often...
Posted by meredyth kezar at 8:03 AM
Friday, January 24, 2014
|At my house this morning|
When I left my house it was promising to be a beautiful day. All was clear and the sky was turning blue (the sun hadn't been up very long). I had heard fog horns and could see the cloud over the water as I drove down Cambie Street but I was still surprised when I saw how totally foggy it was at Kits Point. You couldn't see the mountains or the oil tankers or the buildings of the West End, and you certainly couldn't see Stanley Park. I could barely see in front of me. It looked like the perfect setting for a horror movie. I was thinking no wonder they film TV shows like Supernatural in this city.
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, led my students to write some great stories. For anyone not familiar with this book, it is a collection of powerful drawings with short beginning lines, apparently delivered to Chris Van Alsburg by a writer and illustrator, Harris Burdick, who never returns for his manuscript but Van Alsburg eventually publishes as he noticed children visiting him liked to write stories from the pictures.
|back home into the sunshine...|
Posted by meredyth kezar at 9:09 PM