First Monday of September, but no work.
Last weekend (unofficially) of summer and then:
back to work or school, cooler weather.
For me, always a student or teacher,
the real New Year’s Day. Without champagne.
Summer is the off season for schools,
but the learning continues in its ways
We teach, and then we are gone.
What more can we do but plant
a few seeds and hope for rain.
Hush of the library as a child.
Reverent hush in a place of worship.
Once, but no more, in a school.
Some say the hush descends, but here,
this cathedral of the forest, it ascends.
Duplicating by stencil – poor man’s printing press
and onetime servant of teachers forcing ink
onto paper, not unlike the duplicating students.
And the purple ghost spirit duplicator process
with its freshly pressed fluid toxic headiness.
— Albert Einstein
I agree with the kid.
Feeling a bit nostalgic tonight. You can criticize Facebook for many things, but birthday wishes from former students via Facebook actually have an impact on me.
I was reminded of “Schoolsville” by Billy Collins. I do feel like the mayor sometimes (of Ronksville and Schoolsville) where the population does age but never really graduates. I know my earliest students are only 7 years younger than me, but when they were 15 and I was 22, we were a world apart. Now, not so much.
Glancing over my shoulder at the past,
I realize the number of students I have taught
is enough to populate a small town.
I can see it nestled in a paper landscape,
chalk dust flurrying down in winter,
nights dark as a blackboard.
The population ages but never graduates.
On hot afternoons they sweat the final in the park
and when it’s cold they shiver around stoves
reading disorganized essays out loud.
A bell rings on the hour and everybody zigzags
into the streets with their books.
I forgot all their last names first and their
first names last in alphabetical order.
But the boy who always had his hand up
is an alderman and owns the haberdashery.
The girl who signed her papers in lipstick
leans against the drugstore, smoking,
brushing her hair like a machine.
Their grades are sewn into their clothes
like references to Hawthorne.
The A’s stroll along with other A’s.
The D’s honk whenever they pass another D.
All the creative-writing students recline
on the courthouse lawn and play the lute.
Wherever they go, they form a big circle.
Needless to say, I am the mayor.
I live in the white colonial at Maple and Main.
I rarely leave the house. The car deflates
in the driveway. Vines twirl around the porch swing.
Once in a while a student knocks on the door
with a term paper fifteen years late
or a question about Yeats or double-spacing.
And sometimes one will appear in a windowpane
to watch me lecturing the wallpaper,
quizzing the chandelier, reprimanding the air.
from Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems
Here’s a old childhood game (from a 1956 book) that teachers never use in the classroom any more. Poor Pussy
Back to school is stressful for teachers too.
back to school is stressful
Diana Rhoten on Sparking Student Interests with Informal Learning and Interest-Bsed Learning - Not new ideas but new in their use of technology. (Big Thinkers Series) (by edutopia)
Wrong Answers: make Prezis, start blogs, create Wordles, publish Animotos, design flipcharts, produce videos, post to Edmodo, use whiteboard, develop apps
Right Answers: raise awareness, start conversations, find answers (to THEIR questions), join partners, change minds, make a difference, take action, drive change
Technology is a TOOL, NOT an outcome