Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Educators”

I’m Whoopin’ cuz I’m Shmoopin’

Shmoop - We Speak Student

Well, Andy Warhol might not count this as my fifteen minutes of fame, but it’ll do. Last year I filled out a survey about how I use Shmoop in the classroom and sent it off. Little did I expect my blitherings to be noticed, yet they did. I have been informed I am among the ranks of other Shmooping Teachers. While there is no prize, it’s kind of a kick to be hanging out at Shmoop. You can check it out here.

The Ruing of Breaking

rue 1 (r)

v. ruedru·ingrues

To feel regret, remorse, or sorrow for.

To feel regret, remorse, or sorrow.
It never fails.  About the time I begin to feel *normal* I go back to work.  For those of you who are not teachers I may not get much sympathy–after all, most of the world does not get large chunks of time off scattered throughout the year like educator types do.  Skip this post then.  I really don’t want to read comments about whatever am I complaining about getting almost two weeks off for Christmas Break.  This post is more about coping with the deprogramming I go through while on break.  I definitely feel regret, remorse, and/or sorrow; I rue.
Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t rue my choice of career.  I love teaching.  Some days I even like it (old joke).  What I rue is how intensely I view my career.  I don’t stop thinking school during my break and I am constantly forming  lesson plans, looking up new sites, checking mail (answering questions from students–yes, I will write you a reference letter), and refining old units as I create new ones. That creative energy, that inertia of teaching doesn’t just quietly wait for me in the classroom; it follows me home and won’t let me enjoy reading a book without marking a passage to share with students, I can’t read the newspaper without clipping out an article that underscores a lesson recently covered, and I’m unable to work on my writing because of all those teacherly cobwebs covering up my creativity.
Until today.  Today I woke up and felt like teaching is a distant memory, a fond reminiscence, something I once did.  Today I really got the urge to write, write, write.  New ideas, a resurgence of purpose, a desire to edit and revise and investigate new publishing opportunities.  Aah, then there is the crashing reality of it being Friday and knowing I return to the classroom on Monday, meaning writing will once again take a nestled backseat to my day, that is f I have time and energy after grading papers and configuring another day’s set of lessons.
Today is today.  Monday is Monday.  I shall not rue my break, only embrace the fact it gives me glimmer of what retirement might be like.
P.S. I found this documentary at the library: American Teacher. Wow! What an eye-opener.
To all teachers out there: January is that much closer to June. Hang in there!

Have You Thanked a Teacher Today?

I know I am banging my own drum since I am a teacher.  Yet, I want to recognize how teachers have affected my own life, and if you stop and give it some thought, somewhere along the way a teacher made a difference in your life.  If you can read, write, add, subtract, multiply, and point out where Taiwan is on the map, you more than likely can thank a teacher for that ability.

NOTE: Teachers aren’t only found in the classroom.  Parents are teachers.  Siblings are teachers.  Community leaders like those who invest their time in Scouts and 4H are teachers.  I see teachers as those individuals who impart a skill, a value, an idea to others. I’ve had some amazing teachers along the way, and because learning is something that is a life long adventure I know I will have many other teachers in my life.  Sometimes I even learn something  from my students.

So–have you thanked a teacher today?

Looking to be inspired or be reminded of teachers and their impact upon our lives?  Consider one these books (Barnes and Noble images):

Teacher Man: A Memoir  The Best Teacher Ever (Little Critter Series) Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writers Teachers Helen and Teacher: The Story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy

Happy Pages,


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