Friday, September 23, 2016

Balanced Calendar, Unbalanced Life!

Greetings BET’s!

Well, we are about eight weeks into the semester and I am ready for a break.  This “balanced” calendar thing really has me bamboozled.  It is September 22, and we are eight weeks in!  Are you kidding me????
Ahhhh!  Making me lose my hair!

Oh well, at least we are not alone.  Many of the schools in our area joined this effort to simplify schedules for various reasons.  I’m sure it does simplify some things.  One thing I am sure it does not, would be the lack of a summer respite.  Many of you I’m sure are saying, “Eight weeks off isn’t enough?”   Coming from the outside and now looking out from the inside, I understand your comment.  For the world of people out there who are not in the teaching profession, let me break down my summer for you.

So, school ended on June 3rd for us, but we had to make a day so we came back in the next Monday.  Now, I get my grades in promptly, so I was pretty much done for the year at that point.  I spent a day or two getting my room cleaned up and organized, and then I left for “summer” break.  I spent a week or two enjoying my family and traveling a bit, not really anything too exciting.

Now before we left for break, I had new computers added to my classroom.  I would be teaching the same software, but a newer version…five years newer, so there were some rather big changes. So, around June 29th, I was back in the classroom, working up about thirty projects that my students complete during a semester.  I have to create them using the new version of software, so I know that what I am asking of the students, can actually be done by the students.

I also picked up a new course that I would be teaching so I needed to get some ideas together for how that would look in the classroom.  That didn’t go too well, as I am on my third different text, eight weeks in.  But, nonetheless, I did spend the better part of two weeks of my summer break, creating new material and lessons.

I also am the leader of the Freshmen Orientation program that we have here, so I had been working on the scheduling of that for those first two weeks as well.  We had our first training day for Mentors on the 13th of July.  After that, I was in and out of my classroom daily until August 1st, when we started back.

Don’t get me wrong…I am not trying to be the patron saint of hard working teachers. I know we get the extra three day in the fall and the extra week of spring break.  Frankly, I found one week of spring break a good enough time to recharge and I really can’t afford to vacation for two weeks anyway.  I am just pointing out, that while this calendar may look balanced to some, I find it to be something that tends to make me lose my balance more often than not. 

Conceptually, it may look good.  But do we really need to keep the kids in the classroom from August 1st to June 1st?  And who says this is where it ends.  Soon we may find ourselves starting school in Mid-July and ending in mid-June.  Twenty years ago, who thought we would be looking at the schedule we are today?  Just my two cents.

Remember, if you like what you are reading, don’t forget to follow me on Networked Blogs, or Google Plus, or subscribe on the top right, and recommend posts at the bottom of each post using Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook etc.  Thanks again for reading!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Our New YouTube Channel

Greetings to you all, my BETs!

Today is a special little post.  I won't do this for every video we publish, but I thought I would do so today, to ask for your help in spreading the word.

My son and I decided to put together a Vlog on YouTube.  We have been kicking this around for some time, but finally started putting it on video this summer.  Now, at long last, we have published our first video.  Please take a look and if you like what you see, share and subscribe and help us spread the word!

Thanks again for all of your support with this!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Don't Be A Dummy! June 1-7 National CPR/AED Awareness Week!

Greeting to you all, my fellow BET’s!

Well, it’s that time of year again…or, at least it was back in June when I missed it.  Time to raise awareness of and renew your CPR/AED certification!  Funny how I don’t have this observance day memorized, yet I can tell you at the drop of a hat when National Pizza Day is…February 9th, if you are wondering.

Now because I am an employee of a school system, I have to be certified by the American Red Cross in CPR/AED to continue my employment and to be licensed as an educator by the state. (Just renewed mine this month!) But even if you aren’t required to do so, it is a great idea.  According to the American Red Cross, approximately 92,000 are saved by CPR each year!  Why not be prepared if you are ever in a situation where you might be needed to perform this on a person in peril?

Training is offered by the American Red Cross and you can find classes in your area by visiting their website,  The training can cost anywhere from nothing to around a hundred dollars.  Training is also offered by private individuals, so you might ask around the area where you live.  You might find a group of people of like mind that are willing to set up a training just for your small group, which might be more cost effective.

So, don’t be a dummy!  Get trained and spread the word.  Someone’s life may depend on it!

Remember, if you like what you are reading, don’t forget to follow me on Google Plus, or subscribe on the top right, and recommend posts at the bottom using Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook etc.  Thanks again for reading!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Put Me In Coach...I'm Ready To Play!

Greetings my fellow BET’s!

Let me start off by saying that, I am not a coach.  Now technically, I am a coach, as I am coaching the middle and high school co-ed Cross Country teams here at Culver Community.  Let me reiterate; I am not a coach.

To make things worse…I am not a runner.  For those of you who know me, you know this to be true.  If you have seen me in the last decade, you know that a man of my frame (read big and heavy), probably should not be tempting fate in this way.  So, two strikes against me, right off the bat. (sports pun intended)

When I was in Junior High, I ran cross country as a seventh grader.  I did this because the cross country coach was also the basketball coach.  He told us that if we ran a season of cross country, we would automatically make the basketball team.  Seeing as how I was really bad at basketball but I was a huge basketball fan, I decided to give it a go.  To say I was successful at cross country wouldn’t be fair to the term success, or for that matter the words cross or country, in any order.  But, I stuck it out, showed up for practice every day, ran all the meets, and embarrassed myself fully.

Success as an athlete, by no means.  Success from the standpoint of achieving what I set out to do…ABSOLUTELY.  And my coach was good on his word as well.  I made the basketball team.  I rode the bench for the entire season, seeing action in only three games, but I was on the team.

So, do I have what it takes to be a coach?  I may not know strategy.  I may not have a great game plan.  What I do have though, is the experience in what it takes to be a good teammate and the determination to achieve what I set out to achieve.  And I always have “Run Faster” in my little bag of tricks!

I am not a coach.  But heck, I wasn’t a teacher three years ago, and look at me now!

Remember, if you like what you are reading, don’t forget to follow me on Networked Blogs, or Google Plus, or subscribe on the top right, and recommend posts at the bottom using Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook etc.  Thanks again for reading!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer-Back to School!

Greetings to you, my fellow BETs!

Today is the last day of summer vacation for me.  Every year, I struggle to understand the way the summer progresses.  It goes fast and it goes slow.  It seems like it will last forever, and then it is gone in the blink of an eye.   As I reflect on these last eight weeks, I can’t help but consider a few very important thoughts.  Like, where did my summer go?! And, why do we have to go back so early?!

Firstly, my summer went exactly where I thought it would go…away.  During the first few weeks, it seems like the summer will last forever.  In the midst of vacation and general loafing, I would stop in to the school, and haphazardly work on some things for the fall.  Going into early July, my frequent visits to the school lessened, and my anticipation for the fall semester grew.  I went in to school yesterday to do some fine tuning to my plans for the fall, and realized that I had made very few plans, and that I had spent most of my time during those visits cleaning and getting my room reorganized.  It smells really nice!

Secondly, we have to return to school so early because…er…um…okay, I don’t know why we have to return to school so early!  When I was growing up, the earliest I ever remember school starting was about August 23rd or so.  I even remember when we didn’t have to return until after Labor Day!  That’s not the part that is so frustrating.  The frustrating part for me is how we were able to start so late, and still not have to go to school into June.  How does this make any sense?  How does this disparity work out to better education for our kids?  It must be the new math!  I was never good at math.

So, I sit here in my recliner typing and watching golf, wondering where exactly my summer went.  I really don’t think I will ever figure this out.  What I do know, is that although I am wishing there were just a few more days left to not wake up to an alarm, I am equaling excited for what this new school year will bring.  I have missed the kids this summer and I look forward to their stories of conquest and ease, and their general sense of awe in navigating a new stage of the teenage journey.  Just to be a part of that is worth heading back to school in the midst of summer.  And just think; Fall Break is a mere 79 days away!

Remember, if you like what you are reading, don’t forget to follow me on Networked Blogs, or Google Plus, or subscribe on the top right, and recommend posts at the bottom using Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook etc.  Thanks again for reading!