November 2008
Vol 5 No 11

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.11 November 2008

Cover Story by Kioni Carter
A Reflection of Me:
Why My Students Disrespected Me

Kioni shares her experiences with the “bottom class" and reveals the trials and triumphs of inspiring them to become the "top class"!

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
A School That Achieves Greatness

»Words—Are We Teaching the Right Ones?Cheryl Sigmon
»What, Me Worry?Sue Gruber
»20 Ideas for Teaching Citizenship to ChildrenLeah Davies
»On “The Coattails of Affinities”Todd R. Nelson
»People Do Better When They Feel GoodMarvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman

»$8 a Gallon Creates Jobs in Denmark
»Thoughts about Gratitude
»Labels Are For the Jelly Jar
»Cheating and the 'Net Generation
»November 2008 Writing Prompts
»The Economy, The Great Depression, Money Matters – Lessons & Resources
»Using Photography To Inspire Writing

»A printable story, The Turkey and the Pumpkin
»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration for November 2008
»School Photographs for November 2008
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: November 2008
»Video Bytes: Guided Reading FAQ; Tour of Solar System; Wikis; How We Elect and More
»Live on Teachers.Net: November 2008
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers
»If you were given a magic wand...


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 Kioni Carter

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Kioni Carter, Marvin Marshall, Cheryl Sigmon, Marjan Glavac, Todd R. Nelson, , Leah Davies, Barbara Pressman, Tim Newlin, Bill Page, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, , Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, , and YENDOR.

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Sue Gruber

Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers
Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

What, Me Worry?
It seems there's no end to the challenges and worries we face these days, so let's look at some of the things about teaching that belong in the "plus" column of life's ledger.
by Sue Gruber, M.A.
Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers
Regular contributor to the Gazette
November 1, 2008

I LOVE MY JOB!!! It’s a good thing I love my job, I just checked the status of my retirement account. The way things are looking with our crazy economy, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to retire!

Positive person that I am, I decided to focus on how lucky I am to get to be a teacher for the rest of my life! Who wants to retire anyway? What would I do with all that time? More importantly, what would I do with all my teacher stuff?! What would it be like to shop at the end of summer and not throw a single back-to-school item in my cart? The more I think about it, the more I realize that I love being a teacher!

Here are the things I love about teaching:

Teaching is rewarding! We really do make a difference in the lives of the children we teach. Is there anything better than notes from parents telling you how much they’ve seen their children learn and grow with your guidance? Or, have you had students come back years later and tell you that you were their favorite teacher? It’s humbling! It can also be shocking! One of my former fourth grade students is now a substitute teacher. How is it possible that the shy, nine year old girl that I taught is now a strong, confident thirty year old woman? Of course when you start your teaching career at age eleven like I did, these things are bound to happen! (I love it when Amy subs at my school. She’s a great teacher and I’m so proud of her! It’s funny, no matter how hard she tries; she just can’t bring herself to call me by my first name!)

Teaching keeps you young! Think about all of the things that your non-teacher friends are totally out of the loop on. Chances are you are an expert in these areas:

  • superhero and action figure identification
  • the plots of hot kid movies and books
  • the lifecycles of obscure insects
  • trendy children’s names and the variety of ways to spell the trendy children’s names

There’s never a dull moment… especially in kindergarten! No two days are ever alike. You can’t make stuff up that’s as funny as some of the things kids say at times. We’ve been learning about farms in kindergarten. A very spontaneous and lively discussion broke out among the children about the anatomically correct names for certain bovine body parts. Sammi told everyone that the milk comes from the “otters.” Bella began producing theories about how the milk gets from the cows to the otters in the ocean. Meanwhile, Jack corrected her and reported that they are really called “gutters,” not “otters.”

Teachers are celebrities! Really! Have you ever been spotted by one of your students when you’re at the grocery store or at a restaurant? Note the star struck looks of awe on their faces. There are two fairly standard reactions by students when they run into their teachers:

  1. The student screams and comes hurtling towards you at full speed demanding to know why you aren’t at school. Never mind that it’s a Saturday! (There’s definitely a Murphy’s Law aspect when it comes to running into your students at the grocery store. You will always be in a disheveled state AND you will have a cart full of embarrassing items, i.e. wine, People Magazine and maxi-pads!)
  2. They are rendered 100% speechless. They blush, hide behind their parent and are unable to make eye contact with you. Of course this is the same kid who just hours earlier was downright sassy and wouldn’t stop talking.

I’m one of those annoyingly upbeat types. You know the type of person I mean—the one who believes that everything is wonderful and there’s always a bright side. I tend to think that things usually do have a way of working out for the best. I have to admit that my positive outlook has been rattled lately. Turn on the news or pick up a newspaper and it’s nothing but scary economic forecasts, grim environmental predictions, strained foreign relations and political shenanigans.

During these uncertain times, I’m truly thankful that everyday I get to forget about the rest of the world and focus on children and learning! Take a minute and think about all that’s right and good in the world of your classroom! Here’s to a wonderful November!

Sue Gruber
Barbara Gruber Online Courses for Teachers

Copyright 2008: Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers

» More Gazette articles...

About Sue Gruber...

Sue Gruber, M.A.
Barbara Gruber Online Courses for Teachers

Sue Gruber taught the upper grades for years. In a moment of wild abandon, she decided to take the plunge and teach the grade she feared most—kindergarten! Sue just wrapped up her eleventh year in kindergarten and loves it. Who knows, the next grade level change might be to sixth grade!

Sue Gruber and Barbara Gruber, a mother-daughter writing team, have created dozens of products for Frank Schaffer Publications, Scholastic, The Education Center and other publishers. Barbara is a former teacher who was employed by Frank Schaffer Publications from l980 to l996. She developed and presented curriculum seminars nationwide for K-6 teachers.

Sue and Barbara launched Barbara Gruber Online Courses for Teachers in 2002. They personally write each course with today’s students and busy teachers in mind. Teachers can do coursework completely on their own, or, if they wish, interact on line with others. They can earn one, two or three semester units from University of the Pacific. Barbara and Sue provide practical strategies and ideas that can be put into action immediately without creating more work for teachers. Barbara and Sue have created exactly what teachers are looking for—teacher-friendly courses at affordable prices. You can find out about their courses at

Sue teaches full time, manages Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers and loves writing for the Teachers.Net Gazette. She lives in Sonoma County with her husband and son. Barbara consults for Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers; however, she has “retired” from the business. Retirement for Barbara means she’s busier than ever in Healdsburg, California on a 25-acre working farm called Healdsburg Country Gardens. She and her husband are grape growers for local wineries, have three guest houses for visitors and host wine country weddings.

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