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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
JANUARY 2001
Volume 2 Number 1

COVER STORY
This month Harry Wong sings the praises of the intrepid, forever under-appreciated classroom teacher.
COLUMNS
Effective Teaching by Harry Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
Alfie Kohn Article
Jan Fisher Column
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
BCL Classroom by Kim Tracy
ARTICLES
Handle with Care
Parents' Eyeview
30 Years After Man Stepped On the Moon
Advanced Educational Technology
Attention Deficit Disorder
Benefits of the Sight Impaired in Your Class
Musical Plays for Timid Teachers
NBPTS: Portfolio Thoughts
Sources for Cheap Books
Interview: Nancy Salsman
Cardboard Houses to Curricular Concepts
New Teacher Induction Workshop
REGULAR FEATURES
Web News & Events
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Letters to the Editor
New in the Lesson Bank
Humor from the Classroom
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Gazette Back Issues
Gazette Home Delivery:


Poem of Hope...
Dear Teacher Friends, Here is a poem that I send out each year to give us hope. I wish you a joyful New Year. Love, Bobbi Fisher

I heard a bird sing
    In the dark of December
A magical thing
    And sweet to remember.
"We are nearer to Spring
    Than we were in September,"
I heard a bird sing
    In the dark of December.

by Oliver Herford


Teachers.Net Humor Chatboard...
Teachers, yuk it up at the Teachers.Net Humor Chatboard. Contribute your favorite anecdote or joke and put a smile on the face of someone you'll never meet! The Classroom Humor Chatboard is updated regularly by contributions from teachers everywhere - submit your post today! Classroom Humor Chatbord.


Teacher Social Chatboard...
Teachers, let down your hair on the new Teachers.Net Social Chatboard. Tell a joke, set up a meeting, ask for someone's thoughts or prayers, or just vent or brag about what's new in your life. Bookmark the Teachers.Net Social Chatboard and contribute often.



 
HUMOR FROM THE CLASSROOM...
Here at Teachers.Net we realize that laughter is the best medicine, and we've got your prescription filled! Visit our Classroom Humor Chatboard and combat classroom stress by enjoying the smiles that make teaching so rewarding.

© John P. Wood for Learning Laffs  

YENDOR'S TOP TEN RESOLUTIONS FOR 2001
by YENDOR (yendor@teachers.net)

10. Don't use up all my lunch tickets for the week on Monday.

 9. If I forget to put on pants before leaving for school, just go back home and get some.

 8. Stop teaching that the South really won the War Between the States.

 7. Stop referring to faculty meetings as "totally useless pieces of crap that do nothing but waste what little time I have left on earth."

 6. Cut silent reading time down from four hours per day to twenty minutes.

 5. Stop telling the kids that the lunchroom cookies MAY be spoiled and that I need to test them first.

 4. Quit showing Letterman's monologue as "educational tv."

 3. Call certified subs from now on. No more hiring the janitor for $1.50 per hour.

 2. Quit driving the principal's car everytime he leaves his keys in it.

 1. Stop grading the kids by their age, height, and weight.


ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL
by Goose/TX (goose@teachers.net)

At the beginning of each year, I pass out questionnaires to my students concerning the school atmosphere. I donít require them to include their names on the papers in an attempt to discover what they really think about school and teachers. After many years of reading their responses, I have discovered that by far the main complaint is the amount of homework the students encounter, but there are always a few entertaining remarks.

This year a student ironically stated that he didnít like school because he had to "learn new things." Another student replied, "Teachers don't have fun at all. They all have this mean look on their face all day." Obviously, this student hasnít observed our Tootsie Roll fights in the teachersí lounge or our end of the year water gun fight.

Two replies concerning what the students didnít like about teachers went from one extreme to the other. One student replied "everything" while another wrote "nothing." I am still not sure about the latter response. Possibly, the student was one who didnít understand that two negatives create a positive and was thinking, "I donít like nothing about teachers," or maybe he was actually thinking, " Thereís nothing about teachers that I donít like," but thatís not natural.

While we were discussing the classís responses, a student asked me why some teachers say the same things over and over. Without hesitation I replied that some students ask the same questions over and over. Another student commented that the teachers shouldn't be allowed to do anything which the students weren't allowed to do. I replied that I would go along with that rule as long as the students weren't allowed to do anything that the teachers weren't allowed to do. I think that my reply actually caused their brains to engage in contemplation because there was a momentary silence following my reply.

Eventually, we reverted to the age-old situation of the students commenting, "Thatís no fair" and my agreeing with them, which always confuses them. At this point, I normally explain how taxes work and what their purpose is. When I explain to them that they will eventually be supporting those who are in prison, the discussion fizzles out, and we can continue with the "education process," which unknowingly to the students has been going on all along. I believe that this scenario supports my theory on education which is this: to educate fourteen-year-olds, a person must trick them in to thinking that they are in control of a situation when actually they are being controlled by the situation. I suppose that this would fall under the heading of " Those who know not what they know not, know not."


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© John P. Wood for Learning Laffs  

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