Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2nd Annual Charity Basketball Game

We recently held our second annual charity basketball game. This is a great evening of fun with a great cause. Our 8th grade girl basketball team plays the 8th grade cheerleaders. Our 8th grade boys basketball team work after school learning the cheers and are our cheerleaders for the game. Our dance line does a special routine with a combination of wrestlers, football players, and 7th grade basketball players. Last year, our students raised $5,000.00 for a middle school in Louisiana that was affected by Katrina. This year, we have several teachers at our high school fighting breast cancer so we are making a donation of over $7,200.00 to a local breast cancer charity. It is an amazing night with lots of teenagers showing how great they really are!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Memories of Great Teachers

It's been a while since my last post because of my grandmother's death a little over a week ago. Attending visitations and the funeral really made me reflect on what a wonderful woman she was and the legacy she left behind after a long life as a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and teacher. Through the week, I heard many people talk about both her and my grandfather and the impact they had on the lives of students as teachers and coach. Here is what I heard from former students and from my family:
  • They taught us how to live a moral, Christ-like life.
  • They taught us how to serve others.
  • They taught us to work hard.
  • They taught us to persevere.
  • They taught us to love others--despite our differences.
  • They taught us to value books.
  • They taught us to never stop learning.
  • They taught us that you don't have to be mean to be in control.
  • They taught us to earn students' respect--you can't just demand it because of a job title.
  • They taught us to remember the sacrifices of others.
  • They taught us to be selfless instead of selfish.
  • They taught us to have high expectations of ourselves and others.
  • They taught us to begin and end each day with prayer and to pray for loved ones by name.
  • They taught us to make the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in even when we don't understand why we are in it.
  • They taught us to look for the bright side of things.
  • They taught us the value of sitting down at a table and eating together.
  • They taught us to value education.
  • They taught us the joy in taking care of loved ones.

I pray that when I die, my family, friends, and former students can say at least some of what was said this past week of my grandparents...

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Friday, February 2, 2007

Change from Mr. Sherman's Blog

I am still learning blogging etiquette so I am breaking it by copying and pasting this in my blog, please let me know. I take time to read several blogs and read Mr. Sherman's Blog fairly regulary http://blog109.org/communities/dsherman/default.aspx. When I pulled it up this morning, I loved what I read...

Change Is Hard...
Change was hard … for my parents, who grew up with a big, floor-standing radio as the only electronic entertainment in their lives. They still reminisce about the “good old days” when they would stare at the radio and listen to shows like
“The Shadow,” “The Lone Ranger,” and “The Jack Benny Program.”
Change was hard… when they finally bought their first television set, and they complained that “you no longer needed to use your imagination” when you watched TV.
Change was hard… for my dad to finally succumb to years of constant pressure from me and my sisters to buy a color TV set when the black and white set worked perfectly well. “What do you need color for when you are watching on a little screen?"
Change was hard… for me when my friend, Steve, who worked in a record store, first told me that the music publishers would stop making vinyl records in the next few months. I was in shock and disbelief. I knew that CD technology was the new fad, but records would always be the best way to listen to music, right? There was a special feeling when you physically placed the needle down on the record and hit the blank spot between songs on the very first try. I remember spending hours reading the album covers and liner notes as I wore out my old records.
Change was hard… when I finally purchased my first CD player (an old
Denon machine) and my first CD (Talking Heads, “Naked” 1988 release). I was blown away by the clarity of the sound and the ease in which I could call up a song. “You mean you can actually shuffle the songs and listen to them in a different order than they were burned onto the disc? Cool.” But, I had such a hard time reading the little print on the 5 X 5 inch sheet of paper that came inside the case. And placing the disc on the little tray that slid out of the machine was fun at first, but it was just not the same as carefully placing the phonograph needle down on the record.
Change WILL be hard… for me when the next wave of innovations takes over. I experienced a brief flash-forward into the future as I was driving to work the other day. I heard the morning DJ (Lin Brehmer) on my favorite radio station (
WXRT in Chicago) talking about the future of the entertainment industry. He predicted that within the next five to ten years, all of our music, movies, videos, even books, newspapers, and magazines will be available via internet downloads. I know we already are able to access these media from the internet. What Lin Brehmer was referring to was that the internet will be the ONLY way to purchase our favorite media. No more CDs, DVDs, books, magazines, or newspapers for sale. No more opening that shrink wrap (does anyone else have trouble opening a new CD package besides me?) to get to the new disc and liner notes (small as they may be). No more ink on my fingers from the sports section of the Chicago Tribune.
Well, this digital immigrant is having a hard time wrapping his brain around this change. My kids, on the other hand, have stopped asking for music on CDs as birthday and holiday gifts. Instead, they ask for
iTunes gift cards. For them, this is not change; this is the way it is supposed to be. They truly are digital natives. They want the music on their iPods fast and easy. No need to get a ride to the store to spend hours looking through the stacks to find the best new music or an old greatest hits compilation that you did not know existed. Does that bring back memories?
Change will be hard… but I will adjust."

I wonder, how are schools going to keep up with these changes? We can't keep doing things the way we have always done them!

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