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Important Endings

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Tonight was the last night of our student teacher seminar.  We met once a week every Tuesday night for the past three months while they were student teaching. The seminars were virtual and synchronous with most students choosing to use webcams.  As such, we were able to share laughs and tears . . .

. . . see each others’ homes and children . . .

. . . and even enjoy one student’s new baby boy.

A sense of community was built.


I have blogged before about the importance of beginnings in Beginning the School Year: It’s About Connections Not Content.  I also believe in the importance of endings, that it should be a celebration of community and providing inspiration for the future.  As such, the student teachers were asked to bring virtual treats to share during our last seminar.  These treats could take the form of an inspirational quote, video, picture, thought or final wishes.  What follows are some of the treats shared.

Videos Shared

I started off the seminar by sharing Jeremy K. Macdonald’s Soiree of Slides at the Instructional Technology Strategies Conference  . . . a beautiful five minutes. Read more at Becoming an Unteacher: Do the Unexpected

Student watching the video . . .

There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. …

Teachers have one of the greatest responsibilities and because of that, one of the greatest gifts.

– Abraham Lincoln

Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around a friend ; no hands to hold the ones you love; no fingers to experience touch ; no way to lift or carry things. How much more difficult would life be if you were living without arms and hands? Or what about legs? Imagine if instead of no arms, you had no legs. No ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand. Now put both of those scenarios together… no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that affect your everyday life?

The underlying point of this video is behavior and the discouraging factors dealing with our present-day behavioral situation.

A short video based on the Starfish story, with an inspirational message for all teachers to “Never give up”.

Quotes and Passages Shared

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. – Lily Tomlin

A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations. – Patricia Neal

Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. –  Eleanor Roosevelt

What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand. – Chinese Proverb

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go… – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

To teach is to touch lives forever. –  Anonymous

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. – John Dewey

A teacher affects eternity; he or she can never tell where his or her influence stops. – Henry B. Adams

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater. – Gail Godwin

The people best qualified to run the world are to busy teaching school.

Nine tenths of education is encouragement. – Anatole Frank

I Am a Teacher – by Phillip Done

I read Charlotte’s Web and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every year, and every year when Charlie finds the golden ticket and Charlotte dies, I cry.

I take slivers out of fingers and bad sports out of steal the bacon.  I know when a child has gum in his mouth even when he is not chewing.  I have sung “Happy Birthday” 657 times.

I hand over scissors with the handles up. My copies of The Velveteen Rabbit and Treasure Island are falling apart.  I can listen to one child talk about his birthday party and another talk about her sleepover and another talk about getting his stomach pumped last night – all at the same time.

I fix staplers that won’t staple and zippers that won’t zip, and I poke pins in the orange caps of glue bottles that will not pour.  I had out papers and pencils and stickers and envelopes for newly pulled teeth.  I know the difference between Austria and Australia.

I plan lessons while shaving, showering, driving, eating, and sleeping.  I plan lessons five minutes before the bell rings.  I know what time it is when the big hand is on the twelve and the little hand is on the nine.  I say the r in library.  I do not say the w in sword.

I put on Band-Aids and winter coats and school plays.  I know they will not understand the difference between your and you’re.  I know they will write to when it should be too.  I say “Cover your mouth,” after they have coughed on me.

I am a teacher.


Books Shared

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

March 28, 2012 at 3:08 am

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