Tag Archives: teaching

Creative students!


I’ve been away from blogging because I’ve been on the road hunting set pieces and costumes for the one act play at school!  I’m so tired “I could spit” as Ouiser says in Steel Magnolias.

Preacher, John, was the first to identify the play, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams in which Amanda said the line, “Where was Moses when the lights went out?”  during a dinner party.  Then, Grace also identified it!

Some days teaching makes me laugh out loud.  Last Friday, one of the juniors presented me with a note.  It was a ransom note for his favorite cap.  It went something like this.  “If you ever want your cap back, you will go into science class and tell the teacher that you love his hair style and that you want to wear yours just like his.  Then, you will ask to go to the bathroom, and you will take money with you.  While on your way to the restroom, you will sneak over to the chip machine and buy some chips, make that Fritos, and put them underneath the snack machine.  When, the chips are there, they will then be replaced  by your cap.”

The student wanted to know whose handwriting it might be.  I didn’t know, but I was wishing that the writer would spend half that much effort writing his/her English essays.

A few minutes after the class got quiet and all were working diligently,  the same student blurted out,  “My cap’s been missing for three days!”

The whole class erupted into laughter.

Now,  don’t ever try to tell this teacher that kids are not creative!


Teaching, Researching, and Libraries


Every Monday I was planning to write about teaching and teaching tips.  hmmmmm  I had planned to include one of my student’s weave poems today, but I forgot to ask him permission.  Last Friday, I went to Wal-Mart and bought art supplies (with my own money, of course), and today we began the attempt to make our poems look “cute”, “nice”, “good”, “artistic”, ….well, to look like they would be worthy of entering the San Saba County Youth Fair which begins this Thursday.  The 10th and 11th graders really got in the spirit of decorating the poems.  Some of the students are going to save their decorated poems as Valentine gifts for their moms or dads; others will save them for a Mother’s Day present.  I’m really pleased with the result. I hope to have a photo for you in the near future.

I also graded sources that the seniors have found for their research papers.  I’m actually quite proud of their research.  They’ve done a decent job.  When our Region XV Service Center told us that they could no longer afford the Ebsco Data Base we used to find all of our articles online, I panicked last year.  What to do?  Having been a county librarian, I was familiar with the library network and set to work to get all of my students a library card from the Tom Green County Library in San Angelo, Texas.  We got that accomplished during the first semester.  Now, each student is able to get on a laptop and use the online resources of that library which is a two hour drive from us.  Sometimes, I think technology is just the greatest invention ever!  Our school is so small that our reference section is near to none although we have the best librarian ever!  Mrs. Gossett has created a comfy, cozy learning area and has used all of her creativity to raise funds to have adequate books for grades K-12.  Anything that a person requests, Mrs. Gossett finds a way to get it.  More on our wonderful library in another entry.  Stay tuned!

Exciting Teaching News


Okay, this blogging thingy is more work than I thought!  I’ve really fallen behind as I got busier and busier at school this week. I did want to share with the world my big news at school.  An assignment for my junior English class was to enter the Central Texas Telephone Cooperative’s essay contest.  The contest includes around 15 schools.  The first place prize is a free trip to Washington, D.C. in the summer with 100 other students.  The prize even includes spending money.  The other places receive cash or savings bonds.  Tomorrow morning, a CTTC representative will be at our school to announce to my junior English class the winners, and the tiny school of Richland Springs has won 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places!!!!!  Woo!  Hoo!!!  I am so, so, so excited.  I can’t wait to find out WHO has won!

Our “weave” poems are coming along, slowly but nicely.  The juniors and the sophomores are both creating weave poems in our English classes.  We hope to enter some of them in the county youth fair.

Finally, our contest play, the One Act Play, is coming together.  We  are doing Steel Magnolias, and I’m enjoying the 6 young actresses so much!  They are fun and funny!

A Tip for English teachers


Perhaps one day a week,  say Mondays, I’ll write about a teaching tip that I have picked up through the years.  One tip that has kept me enjoying teaching is to always keep trying something new and different.  This year I was determined to teach myself and one of my classes how to blog.  We are just getting it going, but both blogs are up and running. The blogs are fun and exciting.  TAKS test review they are not!

Today, I received some information from a much younger teaching friend about teaching a form of poetry called a lullaby poem.  I had seen her talk about this idea several years ago, but I couldn’t remember exactly how the process worked.  The student thinks of a lullaby, song, nursery rhyme, saying or something that he/she can remember someone singing or saying to him in his very early childhood.  The song could be something like the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  The student writes that down and numbers the lines with even numbers only.  The student then writes in prose a description of the person who sang it and the circumstances.  After underlining phrases that stand out in the prose, the phrases are numbered with odd numbers.

The two are then combined to create a poem.  The lines are written in numerical order; thus, alternating the song and the prose  creates a poem.  The project makes a great gift for a mother or grandmother or father.  I’m very excited about trying this tomorrow with some of my classes.  Maybe I’ll share one with you if I can get permission!

First Blog from Richland Springs High School


Today, the junior English class at RSHS in central Texas finally got their blog, which will be the first blog presented from Richland Springs High School, up and running.  I’m so proud of the juniors.  They developed the site, wrote some articles, published a few articles, and managed to get excited about blogging.  They did a fantastic job for a first effort.  They actually took some photos of the two signs which proclaim our football team as 5-time, Division I, State 6-man football Champions, but we never could get them onto our blog during our seemingly very short class period. We will try again next week.  You can visit our school blog at:  https://www.rscoyotepride.wordpress.com.

Last night I was most disappointed when theatre auditions for The Corn Is Green fell apart when we didn’t have enough young men show.  This morning I made the executive decision to start all over.  Now, we are planning to cast Steel Magnolias next Monday.  I think the boys have “Six-Man State Champions Hangover”.  They are still very tired from the many hours and days of preparation it takes to win a state championship.  The boys started practicing a year ago this spring, and they started practicing seriously last August.  They have been running, jumping, lifting, drawing, darting around, and kicking every day for many months.  They know how much hard work it takes to be successful.  Their coaches have worked nonstop and into the wee hours of the morning and on weekends.  Coaches Burkhart, Rogers, and Brand are to be commended on understanding what it takes to have a state championship team and being willing to give those necessary hours.  Those men are like a machine.  They churn out victory after victory after victory.  If you ever wanted to know how to teach, you should just go watch these guys in action.  If you’ve never played 6-man football before, that does not matter to these guys.  They will teach you, show you, help you.  They take young men who have no clue about the game and the effort it takes to be a winner, and they turn those young men into winners and confident youngsters who feel like they can conquer the world.  We are blessed to have coaches of this caliber in a town with a new population sign that reads:  336.

It’s only 5:13 here, but the sun is already low in the sky and the shadows are long.  A pair of cardinals are perched upon the water trough(my former bathtub while living in the original cabin)  just out the back door.  Mike, our cat, is patiently waiting by the back door and peering in the plate glass window and hoping that soon his supper will be delivered.  On that note, I guess I should begin to consider what we will have for supper out here at the Mountain Pasture.

RSHS Juniors begin to blog


Today, at Richland Springs High School, the junior English class finally got their blog set up.  It will be located at http://www. rscoyotepride.wordpress.com.  We barely got it all set up before the class was over, but most everyone was working diligently.  Two of the boys made short posts.  Hopefully, tomorrow, everyone will be able to view their blogging. Please help us spread the word about our blog.

As I write today, I am waiting for the One Act Play auditions to begin.  I must hurry and get over to the cafetorium, yes, that is correct, the cafetorium.  It is a new work that was coined when small schools could not afford both a cafeteria and an auditorium, so they combined the two.  We have a very nice stage, but the audience seating is on a flat floor where tables are set up each day for breakfast and lunch.  When the cafeteria ladies are working, it’s very difficult to hear.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day here in Central Texas.  I hope everyone is having a spectacular day.  I’m off to play auditions.

Until tomorrow……..

Richland Springs High School bloggers


Today, I discussed blogging with my students in our little rural school.  None of the students had ever read a blog!  Isn’t that amazing?  Many of them had never even heard the word.  Some of them were interested, especially the 11th graders.  They asked many questions, probably in order to prolong getting to the main lesson of reviewing some skills that will be tested on the state exam.  As the questions flowed, as well as the discussion, we decided to create a school blog which the students will write.  We are hoping to call our blog:  coyotepride.  I can’t wait to get them started blogging.  It should be a pleasure to be able to blog and not write in their spiral journals for a while.  I am so hoping that they will like blogging.  The problem is that the wordpress site must first have the block taken off of it.  Then, we must be able to have the use of 13 computers since we have 13 juniors in our class.  We actually have 13 laptops, but one of the teachers needs to borrow one for her computer class that period!  Oh, the woes of teaching in a small school.  How cool would it be to have 15 laptops in my classroom that no one would be allowed to borrow, not to mention ones that would boot up quickly and work dependably.

Also, going on today is much drama about the competition One Act Play.  Choosing a play is always so difficult.  Then, finding enough students to perform the play is a problem in this small school.  Most of our older students have to work to help out at home, so they leave school at noon and go to jobs.  Life is complicated even for children.  After much adieu, I think we shall work toward casting The Corn is Green by Emlyn Williams.

The good and exciting news today is that my college roommate’s son, Cory Reinisch, has recorded his first CD.  Yippee!!!  so proud of Cory and for his parents.  The Brady, Tx. radio station will be playing some of Cory’s music and interviewing Cory today.  His band is called Guns of Navarone.  It can be checked out on Youtube.