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Volume 2 Number 6

Harry & Rosemary Wong explain how a good university can help you master your classroom from day one. Read this month's cover story and be in control from the moment your students enter your classroom....
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Busy Educator's Monthly 5
Around the Block With...
Back to School
The Unsinkable Sub
Diary of a Second Year Teacher
Find Online Degree Programs
Role Model For Visually Impaired
Readerís Theater
2001 Fall CUE Conference
Magical Mystery Tourists
Teaching Reading after Elementary School
High Stakes Testing
From Curiosity To Concept
6 Traits: Tactile/Kinesthetic Manipulatives
Review: Gifts of All Children
Poem: Our Children - Their Future
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Humor from the Classroom
Letters to the Editor
New in the Lesson Bank
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Gazette Home Delivery:

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© John P. Wood for Learning Laffs  


10. Begin every sentence with "According to my starship commander....."

 9. After the principal makes an announcement, grab a hankie and wipe your eyes. Say to them, "THAT'S A LEADER FOR YOU!!!!!!! THAT'S A REAL LEADER!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

 8. Tell them that the answers to the next test will all be on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire tonight.

 7. Every hour or so, go to the window and look up and mutter to yourself, "I KNOW they're out there somewhere.....drat them!!!!!!!!!"

 6. Assign the same homework four nights in a row.

 5. Wear a motorcycle helmet to school everyday, but make sure they know you drive a car.

 4. Keep a copy of Tattoo Illustrated on your desk.

 3. Build a pigpen in the corner, and tell the kids, "we are going to raise a little piggie this schoolyear, and around May he should be big enough to eat!!"

 2. During free reading time everyday, play AC/DC's BACK IN BLACK at full volume.

 1. When teaching out of the health book, wear protective goggles to "protect yourself" from the chapter on diseases.

A Round Peg Squared
by Goose/TX (

Back-to-school sales, searing hot dry weather, and returning to work are what come to my mind when I think of August. I have yet to find many positive characteristics about August except for a very well-behaved student that I once had whose name was August.

One situation about the month of August that has always caused me a bit of consternation is why there aren't any back-to-work sales after holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. During August, every time I hear a back-to-school sale advertised on the radio or television, I am reminded that my vacation is nearing its end. I really don't appreciate being constantly reminded of this fact, and I doubt that the students appreciate it either. I think that in fairness to students and teachers there should back-to-work sales so that the rest of the work force can be constantly reminded that their vacations are nearing their end.

I don't mean to imply that I detest teaching or that all students dislike attending school. However, I believe that it is human nature to derive a considerably more intense amount of pleasure from participating in activities of our own choice rather than activities that are forced upon us. It is this belief that causes me to cringe when I hear back-to-school sales advertised

The whole back-to-school regime is somewhat of a mind altering experience. The superintendents will be attempting to motivate the principals. The principals will be attempting to motivate the teachers. The teachers will be attempting to motivate the students. The buck stops at the teachers. The superintendent, principals, and teachers are all receiving a monetary compensation for their efforts, but in the students minds, all they receive are homework and tests. Now I wonder, who has the most difficult task, and who gets paid the least of these three levels of educators?

I believe that the students and the teachers are at the butt end of this system and are being equally challenged. What a strange scenario! We are in the same situation, yet often we have many problems working together. How do I, a fifty-one year old man, convince twelve, thirteen, and fourteen year olds that I am actually trying to help them? I'm sure that they are thinking that the old gray-haired man at the front of the class has no idea about what goes on in their minds.

So what goes on in their minds? It's very simply complicated: who said what about whom, who's going with whom, who's mad at whom, who's going to sit by whom in the cafeteria and on the bus, and who's going to sit with whom at the game. And of course, one of the most important issues in the middle school is what to wear to school.

Now, since I know what goes on in the middle school students' minds, I can surely teach them how to use a balance scale and the difference between mass and volume. It's simply a matter of placing a round peg in a square hole. One of them is an optical illusion; I just have to figure out which one is and convince it that the other is not what it appears to be.

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© John P. Wood for Learning Laffs