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 What are we teaching in our schools 
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I'm enjoying Ender's Game (compared to the other readings this semester); I've been able to get into this book and enjoy the majority of it. Of the many things that have stuck out to me, I have noted one below-
Ender says to Alai "They don't want to teach me everything. I wanted to learn what it was like to have a friend."

I wonder how many of our students feel this way. They just want to come to school and feel stability, consistency, companionship, love... and all we do is cram them with junk that probably doesn't matter to their future.

We can't be it all...but, I think we do have to make sure these characteristics are core of our classroom.

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Erika M. Nelson


Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:07 pm
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Erika, I also remember this quote sticking out in my mind when I read it. It made me feel sorry for Ender. You really see the way that he is longing for companionship and just as he is feeling close to Alai, realizes that too is being taken from him. Ender's deep feelings of always feeling picked on, resented, or a misfit in society seem to peek through in this moment. These emotions are deeply rooted in the lack of his relationship with his brother, being picked on by the bullies, and now in his new setting.

How true this is for students in our classroom. Many of them come into our rooms with deeply rooted burdens that stem from their home-life into peer interactions and their learning. If a child is made to feel they don't belong, how will they ever make connections from lessons to everyday life?

Teachers must model this daily, these things must be the foundations in our rooms because in many homes they are missing.

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Jessica Denninger


Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:07 pm
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I feel that so many times we are teaching and don't have time to stop and talk with our students. With me moving grade levels this year, that has been a big adjustment that I have had to make. I feel like the demands are so intense, that I don't have time to teach about friendships and how to interact with others or even about manners. My students love to talk to me and question things but so often, I feel that I must cut them off because we won't get the curriculum covered for that day. I feel like if I don't get the math lesson taught because we were talking about other things such as social skills, I would have to answer for that.


Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:19 pm
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Jennifer
I know how you feel. I moved grade levels this year also but, I have some of my students from last year. I feel like we do not have time to answer everyday questions that students ask us because we are so drilled that we have to get all core subjects fully taught. In our school for some students it is there safe haven. They know what the day is going to be like, they are going to get two hot meals, love, and support. When they leave school they do not always know where they are going to stay or if they are going to get a hot meal. Some students just need to talk sometimes and we do not feel like we can give them that chance. [/list]

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Adrienne Coles Ledbetter


Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:38 pm
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I agree that we as teachers must be there and give all those things to our students howver with all the testing and infomation that teachers are forced to teach it becocmes hard. However I feel I am at an advantage because I am in preschool. Yes there are things that I have to teach and have my children learn but I do get to sit and talk to my children, hold them when they are crying or sad, and talk to them when they need someone. I feel that my children feel more loved then some other children since we get this time in our classroom where other teachers do not have time for this.


Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:26 pm
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I agree with you girls. There are so many things we have to teach our students that have nothing to do with the scos. My school has duty free lunch for all teachers; however, most of us eat with our kids everyday. It's one of the few times of the day I can just sit and listen to their questions. It's also a great way to discuss manners and things that some of them don't learn at home.

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Samantha Harris


Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:29 am
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You know my best school memories include the ones with the teachers who made connections with and made sure they knew what I was interested. And as a teacher I try to make sure that my students know that I have an interest in their lives too...By making an effort in understanding them I am teaching how to connect not only with their teachers but why it is important to connect with others as well...


Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:15 pm
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I agree with you all. It's all about the relevance of what we teacher. If kids can't see how or where it relates to them, then they don't internalize what we try to teach them. In those cases, students just memorize for the sake of the tests we give them. It goes back to the curriculum that we have to teach. There is no depth to it. Now it's more important than ever that we teach them social skills in addition to academic content. I believe the biggest reason that more and more of my sixth graders are social inmature directly relates to the lack of interaction between our students at a personal level. Technology, the wonders of email and chat rooms have allowed students to disconnect with their peers and not develop those personal relationships that help them grow.

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Tara Gilleland


Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:12 pm
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I agree with you Tara. My own niece gets so involved with texting on her phone, we hardly ever talk to her. I just wish the whole texting idea never emerged. Don't get me wrong I send my share of texts, but I don't stay on it all the time. We need to show our students that there is a wide open world out there for them to enjoy. They cannot experience that on a computer or texting on a phone.

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~Raye Lynn


Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:25 pm
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We as teachers have to MAKE time to address non-tested, scos material in our classroom. I'll never forget the day we had a lock-down at our school in September. My first graders had been outside and were terrified by the time they got back to me in the classroom. We completely ignored our Phonics for the day and instead discussed why we might've had a lockdown(we didn't know at hte time) and how we can handle being scared. That turned into what makes us happy and we were all smiling by the end of the long discussion. Just the other day, instead of first grade phonics, i took the class into hte computer lab to look up a radar to show the kids the impact from Huricane Ida. We then foundsome actual videos of the storm and the kids loved seeing these.

Even though these days put us behind a day in phonics, I didn't care. I made some wonderful connections with my kids and taught them about things that will help them later in life and I loved every minute of it!

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Melissa Ervin


Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:13 pm
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These comments remind me of something that happened my first year teaching. I had an extremely difficult student from a horrible home. He wrote about what he learned that year in his EC class. He wrote that he learned to be nice, make friends, and to follow directions. I have kept this comment for 12 years in my Bad Day folder. That is the folder I look at on bad days to remember why I do this difficult job. With the push for standardized testing, I wonder if my current students would answer the same way.

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Natalie Burris


Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:02 pm
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I think that some of my students have such mixed up lives that they really don't know what friendship is and then when they come to school we don't really have time for them to learn social skills. We tell them how they should act, but we don't really have time for them to practice those social skills.

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mimi rollins


Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:45 pm
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I enjoy eating lunch with my students most of the time too Sam (expect ofcoarse on Corn or soup days..haha). Teaching kindergarten has taught me the importance of teaching manners and certain dining procedures. I use lunch as a time to teach them how they should eat at a table. Many of them don't have set dining rules at home. One kid told me his mom made him eat outside because he was so messy. I have had to work with him on how to hold a fork,use a napkin, and cleaning up.
When I'm not opening ketchup or milk or cleaning up spills, I enjoy bonding with my students. They really open up at lunch. They need that time to talk with friends and even to share their stories with us. During the day there isn't time to hear their stories because we must remain on task and teaching, so they enjoy getting to talk with me at lunch. I have some kids that always try and sit at my table to talk with me- they seek that attention.

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Melissa Crotts

"We are the music makers. And we are the dreamers of the dreams." Willy Wonka


Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:17 pm
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