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Volume 3 Number 9

U.S.Coast Guard AVDET 157 welcomes the opportunity during deployment to the South Pole to communicate with classrooms across the United States. Throughout the voyage, aviation personnel will correspond with schools that are interested in Operation Deep Freeze...
Teachers.Net Teams with U.S. Coast Guard Operation Deep Freeze from The Editor, Kathleen Carpenter
Homework as an Issue in American Politics by Etta Kralovec & John Buell
Preparing for the One Year Anniversary by David J. Schonfeld, MD
The Anniversary of September 11th: Teachers' Guide for Talking to Your Students from the National Center For Children Exposed To Violence
Books About September 11, 2001 by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor
Privacy in a Technological Age by Dr. Rob Reilly
Relational Discipline by Bill Page
Teachers Are Individuals Too by Bill Page
Veteran Educators Share Tips for New Teachers Compiled by Jerry Taylor
Learning Centers - 3 Helpful Threads from the NEW Learning Centers Chatboard
Bits and Pieces - Various Small Articles by The Teachers.Net Community
  • For School Administrators and Teachers:
    A Book and Planting Activity for Beginning the School Year
  • Ideas for Open House
  • Breaking the Ice in 7th Grade
  • Book Recommendation
  • Favorite Kid Quotes
  • Uses for Old Business Cards
  • What Makes a Truly Great Principal? A chatboard survey initiated by "TLC"
    A Word Wall Story by Louise/2/Albuquerque
    Teaching Gayle To Read (Part 7) by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
    Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters by JoAnn Deak
    Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 3 - Music by Janet Farquhar
    Emphasis On Testing Leads To Sacrifices In Other Areas by Alfie Kohn
    Pension Loophole Exploited by Allen Pusey - The Dallas Morning News
    Focus on After-School Time for Violence Prevention from: ERIC Clearinghouse
    Beyond Books: Making the Most of Today's Library Resources by Cindy Rogers
    Master Teachers Have Healthy Self-Esteems by Glenn Dietzel
    Distance Learning and Disabled Students by Jeff Redding
    September Columns
    September Regular Features
    September Informational Items
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About Janet Farquhar...
    Janet Farquhar has been in education most of her life and has written since she was able to put words together. Her teaching career began in a one room, rural school in Colorado, teaching sixteen pupils in seven grades. After her experience there, she returned to school to earn a degree in Christian education and spent the rest of her professional life directing the education and youth programs in a parish, later aiding her husband, an Episcopal priest, with similar programs in parishes and at a diocesan level. They have four children and one grandson all living nearby in the San Francisco Bay area.

    Now retired, she writes every day. She has published one book about her experiences as a rural schoolteacher, titled Taught to the Tune. She is now polishing a second book about her experiences as a clergy wife, mother and helpmeet to her husband.

    Janet also assists with art work with children who have lost a loved one.

    Taught to the Tune
    by Janet Farquhar

    $18.67 from
    More information

    Teacher Feature...

    Dear Old Golden Rule Days

    by Janet Farquhar

    Chapter 3 - Music

    Eric's father talking about warming his son's behind reminded me of Hilda's insistence that thrashing was the only way to deal with my bad boy, Sam. She never mentioned this after the trial, in fact was pleased with the way it solved the discipline problem. I wondered how many parents thought corporal punishment was the way to go. I recalled the words of the song, "School days, school days, dear old golden rule days. Reading and writing and 'rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hickory stick." I thought taught to the tune, period, was the way to go and thought I should practice the folk songs I had figured out the chords to from my Burl Ives records. I was not sure of my musical ability.

    One day when I arrived home from school, Hilda came from milking in the barn and set the bucket on the snow-covered ground. She wore a heavy sweater over her dress and apron and smiled at me with affection. Her breath was coming out of her mouth in a mist. "Things are going smoothly now. Why don't you have music for the children?"

    "I'm not really qualified. I can't read music and don't play the piano."

    She chuckled. "You play the guitar, don't you?"

    I had played a short piece for her daughter, Gretchin, a few days previously and admitted this was so. "But I'm not very good. My sense of timing isn't the best, my voice is thin and I don't know if the children could hear me. Besides, I don't have time to practice."

    Hilda waved my objections aside. "Music will relax them and help them with their studies. It doesn't have to be professional. They will love to sing."

    "Do you really think so?"

    Hilda knew so and insisted on the children having music. So I let some of the grading go and began to practice. The Sow Song had simple only two simple chords and few chord changes. When it felt ready, I took my guitar to school it its case. The children stopped their game of dodge ball, gathered round me, walking backwards in front of me, or frontwards beside me or behind me. "What's that?" "Are we going to sing?" "It's a guitar, I bet."

    Patty, my Soux second grader, was pulling my skirt, giggling and begging me to tell them what it was. Her stepbrother, a frail fourth grader in Levi jacket and jeans and a straw cowboy hat, pointed at the case and asked, "What's that for?" He was as pale as Patty was dark - my paleface and my Indian.

    "It has invisible strings that attach to your hands and feet," I told him. "With it I can make you do anything I want. It's for making puppets of all of you."

    "Aw, no it ain't. There's no suck of a thing."

    "Don't be too sure, Tommy," I replied.

    Cocking his head he eyed me with a sideways glance as though unsure. "Aw, there ain't either."

    "Isn't either," I corrected.

    I was having so much fun keeping them guessing that I laid the case on the stage and did not open it. "Please, Miss Farquhar," begged pigtailed Peggy, "tell us what it is."

    "You'll find out when the time comes," I told her.

    "Come on," said George, tossing his ball in the air and catching it. "She's not going to tell us now."

    They all scampered outside after him to finish their game of dodge ball.

    After I rang the bell and the children were all seated, I sat on the front of my desk with my guitar in my lap. They broke into applause and exclamations of "I told you so," "I knew it was a guitar," or simply, "Hooray!"

    "I'm going to play a song for you," I said. "It's about a sow. You all know what a sow is." They knew. I told them this sow was different from the sows they were familiar with. I played The Sow Song through as they listened and giggled or laughed out loud at the silly verses. The refrain was, "The sow took the measles and died in the spring." The song listed the different things made by the farmer from his sow, silk from its hair, a thimble from its nose, and a saddle from its hide. The words rousing the loudest laughter were, "What do you think that I made of her feet? The very best pickles that you ever did eat!" The song ended with the statement that from the pig's tail, the farmer made a whip.

    Patty burst into a bad case of the giggles. "I love that song!"

    I had them repeat each line, then we sang it all the way through. It was apparently all right for cowboys to sing, if not to paint, because Tommy sang lustily along with everyone else. As the last chord died, they all jabbered at once, asking me to play another. I told them it was time for math. Reluctantly, they bobbed their heads down and removed their math books, but once started, they showed more enthusiasm for arithmetic than they ever had before. Teaching to the tune, not only of music, but painting and drama as well, was the way to go, I was surer than ever.

    Chapter 1 - First Test

    Chapter 2 - Creative Activities

    To learn more about Janet's book, Taught to the Tune, click on: