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Showing posts from May, 2010

Almost The End

The End Is Near.

I remember seeing cartoons of a man with long hair and a beard, dressed in a monk's habit with a rope belt and sandals, holding a stick with a sign on it that said just that - The End Is Near or Repent! The End Is Near. I am sitting in my office on this Saturday morning after the MBC&S graduation breakfast as I type these words, and I am clean-shaven, my hair is still short from last week's trip to my sister-in-law's hair salon, and I am wearing new black shoes, a white oxford shirt, and the paints from the black suit I bought last night - my first black suit in all my 48 years on this earth and my first suit in about ten years. I don't fit the image of the scruffy, sign toting hermit, but I am here to proclaim that the End is near. After this Memorial Day weekend, there will be seven more days with the students here at GGCA, and two of those will be half-days.

Between now and the End there will be the high school graduation where thirteen of GGCA…

One Day Closer

So, what's new? If Solomon is to be believed, nothing, nothing at all. But what have I been doing?

Well, I have been working on the rocks in my jar lately. Are you mystified by this statement? If you read one of my older blogs, this will make better sense.

I attended a two-day conference on curriculum mapping to learn how to get started committing our K through 12 curriculum to an online document that will enable us to see any gaps and redundancies in our present curriculum. I think we have even found the web-based program we will use to do this, and I plan to send someone to a conference this summer to learn how to use it. That may not mean much to you, but it gives me a few tingles of excitement.

It feels good to accomplish something, doesn't it? I am a linear kind of guy, meaning that I like to know what has to be done and go down the list and check off items as they are completed. I like to put together Ikea furniture, if that gives you a better idea of what I am trying to sa…

Failing to Learn

I never thought about teaching so much when I was starting out as a teacher. I just did it, or I thought I did. There were times when I thought I was a good teacher doing the right things the right way, but other times I felt I a pretty crummy teacher, because nothing seemed to be going right for me. My first year of teaching was filled with self-condemnation.

At the end of a long day, I would pour out my woes to the English teacher and she would speak light into my darkness and give me hope that tomorrow things would get better. She did not let me quit. She pointed out my mistakes, but she pointed out my successes too. Day after day, I came to school as the high school math and history teacher and did my best, which wasn't much, but was better than nothing, and I probably failed more than I succeeded. I know her words of encouragement kept me going.

I think the fact that I had moved all the way to Baltimore, Maryland from Portland, Maine also played into my "try, try again&quo…

GGCA Rocks

Pastor Lange likes to use the analogy of a jar, some rocks, some sand, and some water to illustrate how to prioritize. If someone wants all of the elements to fit into the jar, the rocks must go in first - the sand and water will fill the remainder of the space. The task is to identify the rocks - the big things that must be done - and make sure they are given priority over the smaller details which will manage to find their place in the grand scheme of things.

I was reminded of this analogy a couple of days ago and it challenged me to think about what are the rocks in the GGCA school improvement plan. I have identified two big rocks that I hope to focus upon in the coming years: literacy and guaranteed, viable curriculum.

Literacy is not just the ability to read, write, and speak, but the ability to listen, think, and discern. This world needs Christian believers who can communicate, who are understanding, knowledgeable, and compassionate, and who can stand for Truth. The world system …

Dare to raise a Daniel!

I returned Wednesday evening from the International Reading Association conference in Chicago, Illinois. I flew to Chicago last Saturday afternoon and arrived on a very cloudy day - the tops of the skyscrapers were hidden in gray, fuzzy clouds, the kind you see in creepy movies on dark and stormy nights. The next morning I began an eight hour session on Fostering Engagement Through New and Traditional Literacies. The next three days were filled with workshop sessions about reading and books and books and reading. I enjoyed learning new things and meeting some interesting people, but it was not so much fun being away from everyone and having connection only by phone conversation once a day. Still, I did manage to meet some believers at the convention.

One gentlemen was an older fellow that I had seen around dressed in yellow from head to toe. I thought he was some eccentric teacher, but ti turned out that he was the author, Mike Thaler, who has been writing books for children these part…