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Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

The Examined Life@ #thinkaboutit

In Uncategorized on March 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

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This quote from Operation Yes! is thought provoking in context and out. How do you fix gravity? Both physical and emotional? Hmmm…What would Socrates say?

Well, this blog is posting at an embarrassingly late date, but better late than never (I guess!).  For a while, at the end of each school year, I used to keep a list of what my students taught me. Why? Because I believe that we are all here to teach each other something, and like Socrates, I believe “the unexamined life is not worth living.” So, for what it’s worth, here are some reflections on the 2012-2013 school year.

Small Reading Group for Seminar

Reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn together wasn’t nearly as boring as any of us thought it would be. We ended up having amazingly digressive (extremely digressive!) conversations that sprang from Francie Nolan’s old-fashioned coming-of-age story. I also discovered that multi-media reader response journals done on Wikispaces were really helpful, interesting, unique, and allowed students to pick out great quotes from the text while focusing on key themes. Thanks to you all for keeping an open mind and trying something different with that assignment.

Special Shout-outs:

Isadora: Brazilians speak Portugese not Spanish! Your chocolate is better. You are amazingly organized and speak and write in English so well. Thanks for keeping us all on track.

Chloe, Sophie, and Isadora working on our road rage door for homecoming.

Chloe, Sophie, and Isadora working on our road rage door for homecoming.

Winifer: Immigrant narratives still exist even when people don’t really know or have never thought of themselves as an immigrant. We are all immigrants. JAMA!

Emily: Persist. Persist. Persist. You always quietly get it done.

Chloe: Guys are still the same (Drake!). Yes, that was a digression! J

Publications:

The writing for The Wave is better than it has ever been (Thank you, Carolyn!) and I am wondering if it isn’t partially because I was less of a micro-manager and more willing to let go of my own archaic ideas about reporting. Journalism has changed. Technology has changed the way reporters report. Chaos is necessary for creativity. Order is also necessary, but not in the beginning stages of a process. What do you think?

Special Shout-outs:

Mayank: Prompt, productive, and putting money in the bank. I wish I was as efficient.

Carolyn:  I should say yes more than I say no to a student’s creative suggestions, or as my friend Alex says, “Say yes three times!” My “bad” for saying no so many times. Thanks for your HOURS of hard work on The Wave. McFlurries on me.

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Maddy: Your detail and thought regarding the cover wore me out, girl! But it paid off in the end. Thanks for being so confident and obstinate when needed!

Chris: Thank you for rounding up the guys in the class and helping them strive for something other than hanging out. I appreciate your leadership.

Vern: You know, you are the bomb when it comes to getting it done and making others get it done. You are gifted, in this way. Vern for president, 2032.

Sydney: Your “Step Club” story should be entered in one of the bazillion journalism contests that are out there. It is excellent. Thanks for listening.

English I

Chin up, ole' pal! Avery and Nicole are class clowns and cause much merriment.

Chin up, ole’ pal! Avery and Nicole are class clowns and cause much merriment.

Well, hmmmm…this class is interesting. What have I learned from you all? I guess what I have re-learned is that a classroom always has a vast array of learners lots of different learning styles. Your class definitely falls into that category! However, maybe that is what makes you so interesting to teach—all those differences. You are theatrical, collaborative, and amazingly open to anything I throw your way.

Thank you for that! Let’s keep it rolling.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, Ethan. Hashtag: whatevs

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, Ethan. Hashtag: whatevs

English II

Honors students after our brief book talk at Latte Litchfield.

Honors students after our brief book talk at Latte Litchfield.

Where to begin? I learned a LOT from you guys this semester. It was a bit painful to be honest, but I guess honesty always is a bit brutal. I learned that you guys  felt rather mystified by my check-mark grading system, that you hate annotating but will begrudgingly admit that it sort of works, that you do care about your learning and want to get the most and the best out of your education, and that you are sweeties when push comes to shove. Thanks for my birthday cake. It was delish.

Sixth Grade English:

Secret Santa party.

Secret Santa party.

What a vocal, interesting, studious group you are! Love starting the day with you. My favorite moments with you thus far have been watching you write and share timed writings, your Greek & Latin root “rap” videos, and our discussions about Operation Yes and the whole “problems are multi-dimensional” thing.

Drama Club:

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I was so proud of Macbeth. I truly don’t care that we didn’t win. I think we all had a blast putting that play together and performing it. You all chose something incredibly difficult and unique and made it happen. I am following your lead from now on. I love the collaborative aspect of “coaching” drama. Sunshine! Prune.

Special Shout Outs:

Chloe & Stells: Thanks for not fighting over who got to play Lady M.

Chris: You get my award for Best Beginning Actor. Now you can call yourself an award winning poet, speaker, writer, and actor. Not too shabby!

And just in general, costumes matter. A lot.

 

 

Looking ahead , I am excited about:

Literary meet (Okay, so that’s already over and kudos to you Avery McMillen. I have known that you were born for public speaking from that moment in first grade when you planted your shiny Mary Janes firmly on the floor and let it roll!)

Coffeehouse

National Poetry Month

Teaching Their Eyes Were Watching God, Locomotion, poetry, and Twelfth Night (sword fighting!) (It was fun. Now make me a sandwich!)

Trip to Pear Fryar’s Topiary Garden with the 10th Grade (Will it or will it not happen?)

Script Frenzy

The spring edition of The Wave

Prom

Friends of the Waccamaw Library Poetry Contest (I am thinking that Trinity, Lauren, Sophie and Joey all have a really good chance!)

And whatever else comes our way.

Here’s to continuing our learning journey. What have you learned so far?

Mrs. Lewis

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