Sunday, December 4, 2011

Is Anyone Up? I sure hope not...

I recently learned about a blood-boiling blog. The blog developer, Hunter Moore, scours Facebook for revealing pictures and then posts them on his blog with commentary. He also accepts pictures that are sent to him. He has made it easy for pedophiles or stalkers to find people via Facebook. I heard an interview with Moore on NPR today. Moore declared that he finds his job to be fun and that will continue to do it. He makes money off of displaying other people's private lives. His site's website traffic estimates about $162,463! It also ranks third on Google's page-rank.When asked by the interviewer, Moore said he wouldn't display pictures of his mom or sister, because that would be gross. Yet, it's okay to put up pictures of other people's mothers or sisters? The interviewer was so disgusted that he had to stop the interview with a cold, "We are done." I hope that this guy's blog gets shut down soon! Check out the following sites where this and more information can be found:

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I always tell my students that cheating does nothing to help them succeed. I understand the temptation to take the easy road, but how has the easy road ever led to a self-satisfying and successful position? I suppose there are exceptions, but how does a cheater ever feel confident about themselves? I remember cheating once on a math test in 2nd grade because I was scared I wouldn't do well, but I always felt so guilty and ashamed about it. I felt as though I was a pretender, a fake, and a liar. Cheating on that test pointed out my lack of confidence, my inability to ask for help, my fear of failure, and would mean admitting that I didn't understand. In trying to save myself, I doomed myself. In cheating, the only one I cheated was myself.
I now understand that making mistakes and getting answers wrong is the best way to learn and move forward in understanding. Mistakes and imperfections are human and help arouse humility. I once heard the quote, "Nobody is perfect, and who wants to be nobody?" Test scores, mistakes, and faults don't present a photograph of who we truly are, but rather it is the effort, the humility, and the character that creates us. We must be willing to accept our faults and our weaknesses in order to grow from them and become strong.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thoughts on Tired Teachers

Today I came back to school after being sick yesterday and checked for the notes from the substitute teacher. Upon arriving to my classroom this morning, I was puzzled to find desks rearranged and facing away from the whiteboard. Students I had deliberately moved away from each other had merged their desks together. Furthermore, all the teacher edition books were moved to a remote place of the classroom, and there was a chair in the front of the class (which I later discovered he had posted most of the day). I finally found his notes scribbled on my lesson plan saying that my class was "interesting and fun." End note. Really? Certainly they are an interesting group who likes to have fun, but they need definite structure and routine or they become wild. Throughout the day, I had to catch up everything from yesterday since apparently nothing had been done; the test was not given, the homework was not assigned, the classwork was not finished. Yet, I had a lot of drawings presented to me today. What on Earth did this guy do all day? To top that off, I had to deal with a group of unruly children who had grown quite accustomed to drawing all day and earning candy bars from the substitute, who had brought full-sized Butterfingers and other candy to give them. By the end of the day, I was worn out and exhausted. I started to feel despairing, but then remembered the importance of people who care enough to truly teach and parent.

Later, I went to find out who this guy was, and discovered that he had been teaching in the district for quite some time prior to his retirement, and that he now substitutes for teachers. I was horrified. If a teacher is tired and jaded, then they should not be teaching anymore. I think few people understand all that teachers must do. We are not babysitters. We teach the curriculum, deal with different personalities/disorders/attitudes/parents/etc., we constantly assess and report our assessments to the students, school, parents, school district, and state.  We have to be psychologists, therapists, social behaviorists, parents, teachers, friends, providers, and anything else that children need. We hear our names so often that we get tired of them. We hear so many complaints that we have created generic remarks to them. We rarely get to sit or have a decent amount of silence. We are so completely drained of energy at the end of the day that it is hard to live our own lives, let alone guide the lives of others.

Don't get me wrong. I love teaching and I know all my coworkers do as well. It is the most amazing and centering job that a person can have. I just worry about those people who have the wrong idea and who have become so worn down or jaded that they don't care anymore. The point is that we have to care! We have to spend the time, give of ourselves, and work hard to ensure the future generations are allowed to grow into the people that will carry the world forward. If you want an easy job, then don't teach. Education is what our world needs more than ever, and babysitters are great for keeping kids busy when parents or teachers are not around to further their development. The teachers and the parents are the ones who truly hold the torch to a better future as long as they are aware of the importance of their roles. Children need good role models, knowledge and understanding, and skills that will serve them throughout their lives. They don't need to be bribed for their acceptance. They don't need inconsistent or low expectations. They need structure, values, wisdom, and work ethic. Here is a shout out to all the teachers, parents, and any other people who understand the importance of raising responsible, respectful, and safe children. You are under-appreciated, under-paid, and exhausted, but you are the guardians of mankind's future. You are rare gems; a priceless gift to the world. Thank you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Remembering The Shores

She stands barefoot in the sand, quiet and still, her back to the world, wind in her hair. The sun sinks in the distance, the thirsty sea drinks in its light, the land bathes in its warmth. The gulls cry out, dance through the air, swoop in delight. Ginger streaks color the sky, fading to purple and finally deep blue, as sun-kissed clouds blush with fervor, fighting the closure, the approach of the night. The water incandescent, stained by such change, radiate sublime color, give life to the sea. The waves of endless motion roll and crash, somersault and glide, mere whispers of power, of force beyond might. The white foam etches the shore, a timid approach, quick spreading webs concealing the dark glassy surface, but luminous depths. The moon breaks its eerie smile across the now emerald sky, the sea and the sky joined into one. The warmth on the sand withdraws far beneath, leaving the earth damp and chill. Footprints that once failed to imprint now leave their mark, paths through the dark, only to be erased by thin sheets of sea stretching to shore. Now deserted, quiet and calm, the ocean sings, the heartbeat of the earth heard ever clear in its steady rushing and sucking, the life of the deep brushing the land.