February 2009
Vol 6 No 2

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.2 February 2009

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn
Why Self-Discipline Is Overrated: The (Troubling) Theory and Practice of Control from Within
To inquire into what underlies the idea of self-discipline is to uncover serious misconceptions about motivation and personality, controversial assumptions about human nature, and disturbing implications regarding how things are arranged in a classroom or a society.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
To Be an Effective Teacher
Simply Copy and Paste

»Do You Have a Student Teacher?Hal Portner
»Test-taking Skills Made EasySue Gruber
»Teaching Children Refusal SkillsLeah Davies
»How to Be ConsistentMarvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»What Side of the Box are YOU On?Kioni Carter
»Global Travel GuruJosette Bonafino

»Teacher Study Groups: Taking the “Risk” out of “At-Risk”Bill Page
»Can Anyone Learn to Draw?Tim Newlin
»The Heart of Mathematical ThinkingLaura Candler
»Finding Free Art Materials in Your CommunityMarilyn J. Brackney
»The Downside of Good Test ScoresAlan Haskvitz
»February 2009 Writing PromptsJames Wayne
»In The Middle School (poem)James Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing IVHank Kellner
»Teacher Performance AssessmentPanamalai R. Guruprasad
»How To Help Victims Of Bullying: Advice For Parents & EducatorsKathy Noll
»Unwilling Student Meets Unwavering Teacher Lauren Romano
»Notes from The JungleJohn Price
»Lead the Class - Teachers as Leaders John Sweeting
»Opposing Views of a Post-Racial SocietyRoland Laird
»Who Really Needs Four Years of Math and Science? Steve A. Davidson

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring QuotesBarb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily CommemorationRon Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Carol Goodrow’s “Healthy-Ever-After” Children’s Books
»Printable Worksheets & Teaching Aids
»Memo to the New Secretary of Education and
John Stossel: American students are NOT stupid
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: February 2009
»All of the Presidents in Under 2 Minutes!, Needle Sized Art, I Am a Teacher!, How It’s Made: Copy paper, and If My Nose Was Runnin’ Money
»Live on Teachers.Net: February 2009
»T-Netters Share Favorite Recipes
»Technology in the Art Classroom
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Alfie Kohn, Sue Gruber, Kioni Carter, Marvin Marshall, , Marjan Glavac, , Hal Portner, Leah Davies, Barbara Pressman, Tim Newlin, Bill Page, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Josette Bonafino, Marilyn J. Brackney, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Panamalai R. Guruprasad, Alan Haskvitz, Kathy Noll, Lauren Romano, John Price, John Sweeting, Laura Candler, Roland Laird, Steve A. Davidson, and YENDOR.

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Teachers.Net Community

Warm up with white chicken chili and old family recipes for cornbread, chocolate gravy, and two skillet meals, shared by T-Netters on the Teachers Chatboard. Bon Appétit!

Teachers.Net Community
New Feature in the Gazette
February 1, 2009

Creamy White Chicken Chili
Posted by Vir Ü

4 large chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth (low sodium)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cans Great Northern beans with juice
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
¼ c. butter

Boil onion in broth until tender.
Add cream of chicken soup; stir until well-blended.
Add other ingredients.
Simmer 15-20 minutes.
I add variations to this such as pintos.
I also use less ranch dressing since it is so salty.

Georgia Cornbread
Posted by Vir Ü

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour * (see below for instructions for making your own self-rising flour)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups pecans, chopped very fine


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. Stir together sugar, brown sugar, eggs and oil in a medium bowl until smooth.
    Stir in flour and vanilla.
    Add pecans and stir until evenly mixed.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Make your own self-rising flour

For 1 cup self-rising flour use:

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    a pinch of salt.

Chocolate Gravy Recipe (served over biscuits)
Posted by Jack/AR

Mom's Chocolate Gravy

2 heaping TBS all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 TBS cocoa
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter or margarine

Combine dry ingredients. In a large saucepan whisk in the milk. Mix well and heat slowly over a medium heat..stirring frequently as it will scorch easily. When thickened, add vanilla and butter. Stir. Serve over biscuits. Makes about 2 cups!

Grandpa Goff's Polenta
Posted by Jack/AR

This recipe doesn't sound like any polenta recipe I have ever seen but I grew up on this stuff!

Grandpa Goff's Polenta

1 Rabbit, Squirrel or Chicken (or pieces equal to one chicken)
1 or 2 onions, sliced
1 green pepper
2 cans tomatoes
1 can water
Salt and pepper to taste
Cornbread (or a Jiffy Cornbread mixed and ready)

Roll your rabbit, squirrel or chicken in a plate of flour, salt and pepper. Coat evenly. Fry in a large cast-iron skillet until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Slice onion and pepper and cook until transparent. Add the chicken back on top of the onions and peppers. Cover with tomatoes and water and cover the pan. Let it simmer until it has thickened.

Serve over hot cornbread.

(I have made this for my family and cooked the cornbread on top of the skillet in the oven until the cornbread is done instead of letting it simmer on top of the stove.)

I never knew I was eating rabbit or squirrel when I was a kid! I thought we had some puny chickens!

Dad's Skillet
Posted by Jack/AR

My dad always had a gigantic garden. He fed us with it and most of the widowed women in my hometown in the 1960s!

This was his specialty when the garden started producing!

Jack's Skillet

2 or 3 green tomatoes (sliced)
1 zucchini (sliced)
1 yellow squash (sliced)
1 cup okra (sliced)
1 jalapeno (sliced)
1 onion (sliced)

In a gallon Zip Lock bag, paper sack or bag, put 1/2 cornmeal, salt and pepper.

Add vegetables and shake it to coat well. Put enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom. Add vegetables to the hot skillet, turn heat down to medium and fry until done.

Turn it often until it is done so as not to burn.

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