Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why do I teach and coach

Now that I have figured out that I am non-existant in the world of blogging I will just write what I want and if people see it so be it.

Why do I teach and coach?  I used to love it, now because of all the other things added into my day I don't feel like I am teaching anymore.  Tech support, trainings, bureaucracy, repairs, stupid questions, etc... take away from me helping my students.  I have 2 strong memories that keep me going on those bad days.

Early on while teaching first grade I had a student who was a foster child who was so far behind and he acted out to get out of work.  It took a while to calm him down but after about 4 months he was on level and acting right.  About 2 weeks after winning student of the month I receive a note from the office.  He has moved with another foster family and is no longer a student in my room.  I cried for about 5 minutes because he was gone and I didn't get to say goodbye.  About 4 days later he came back in to pick up some stuff with the new foster family.  He ran up to me gave me big hug and said he didn't want to go and that he liked my room.  That touched my heart.

While coaching track and field I encountered a young man who marched to the beat of his own drummer.  He was 16 when I got him.  He did chaw and had issues with authority and family.  His father was over in Iraq during the first engagement and he came home sometime in April.  He came out to a practice to see his son for the first time in over a year and all he said to me was "If he gives you any problems you have my permission to beat the shit out of him".  It was a wake up call to me and after that I gave him a little extra attention and emotional support.  In his Sr year, wearing football cleats, he came in top 10 in Javelin and the pride showed in his face.  After he graduated he was diagnosed as bi-polar and had to take meds.  We remained friends for years until one day his sister called me and said that he had been found dead in his closet.  He went off his meds and some of the demons that had haunted him before came back.  I was sad and went to the viewing. I stood in line for an hour catching up with friends and former athletes till I finally got to the family.  I walk up to his mother and she starts to bawl.  She said "You were the only person who saw the true Eddie and gave him a chance to be himself and grow".  I found out later that was the only time she cried all day.  It moves, and scares me, that I can make such an impact into another persons life.

These are the reasons I keep going when it gets bad, like it is now.  I know I can't help everyone, but I know that I do help some people and that is what keeps me going.

I know this is rambling and not well written but this is what I needed today to get through the day.  Sometimes, you have to put yourself first.


Where does it go?  I have 100's of things I  want to do and no time to do them.  I have so many repairs I need to try to do to my lab.   I have to upgrade about 90 computers in the building. I have to go through my links on twitter to see how I can use them to educate my student and myself.  Oh, I also have to take care of my Mother in Law in hospital, my Fiancee who is sick, coach and do all the other things I want and need to do.  If you have built a time machine, may I please borrow it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


When do I get time to teach instead of doing others work?
When do I get to teach without people walking in my room and just assuming i can stop to do everything for them?
When get I get all the equipment I need to do my job right?
When can people learn that computers is a class and not a place to shove their kids during their preps?
When will I learn to say no to people?
When will teachers know they need to have a basic understanding of computers to survive and not rely on me or others to do work?
When will I be able to do all the things I need without asking for aid or assistance for tasks?
When will my repairs take place that I put in for weeks ago?
When will people realize elementary school is as important if not more than High School?
When will the stress be replaced by happiness?
When will I get all my lesson plans done when I have to help a teacher find her email for the 23rd time this school year?
When will I stop complaining and just move on?
When will the phone stop ringing?
When will I ever feel like I belong in this job?
When will I find time to try out all the things I have learned through my PLN and be able to use them in class?
When will be as smart I pretend to be and as together as people think I am?
When will I put myself first instead of putting other teachers first?
When will I see the smiles as often as I used to see them when teaching first grade?
When will I know?

Monday, September 28, 2009


I was part of the first generation of computers in school.  I learned basic and logo on apple IIC's in elementary school  Now today there are computers everywhere.  I have never been afraid of technology and computers because as a youth I was raised on them.  Some of my older peers are terrified of the technology, waxing philosophic of the years of mimeograph machine.  I taught first grade for 6 years before become the tech teacher and when I was there my one grade partner was in her early 60's and probably the greatest teacher with whom I have ever worked with.  She used her computer for basic paint and Appleworks.  After the first year where I showed her the possibilities of online lesson plans, grade books, research, etc...  She is now doing almost everything online and asking questions.  The reason she was able to do this is because she saw the possibilities and was not afraid.  I try to demystify as much as I can and try to show the possibilities without being a used car salesman and pushing technology down their throats.  Not understanding technology cna make it seem like voodoo but at one point TV, radio, cars, etc...  where scary and now they are just commonplace.  Once people realize this the fear should dissipate.

Technology is a great gift, it is a gift that takes work to understand.

The adventure begins

At the start of my 2nd year as a computer teacher in Philadelphia I finally felt like I started to understand what I was doing with technology and the internet.  That was until a great teacher in my district got me into her ning and into twitter.  This opened up a whole new world to me.  I was fairly comfortable with the internet and thought I knew plenty, but I was wrong.  There were so many educators out there sharing links and information and I immediately became intrigued to see what else was there. The plethora of sites got my attention and I started to bookmark pages for later and send some to a wiki for my fellow educators to use.  I figured the next logical step is to start a blog to share what I learn, to discuss topics of interest to me and educators and to strengthen my writing and presenting skills.

Please send me critiques, critisms, complements, and anything else that will make this blog, and myself, better.