Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Wanting Everything

In Wants and needs from Seth Godin's Blog by Seth Godin shares,

“You’re unlikely to get everything you want. That’s a good thing, because wants are part of what define us.”

Sometimes when we want something bad enough, we work harder to achieve it. My parents always felt that if I didn’t work hard for something, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much.

I saw this when I went to college and some of my classmates were given anything they wanted by their parents. One of them wrecked his new sports car and his parents got him a new one. He cut classes and spent a lot of time partying but not much time studying. By the end of the first year, he left with poor grades and terrible work habits.

Since I had to work hard and pay my own way as an out of state student at a private college, I was careful in making sure that every dollar was well spent. I didn’t cut any classes and I studied hard because I didn’t want to have to pay to retake the class. I worked towards a goal because I wanted to be a teacher. When I achieved my goal of teaching, I appreciated my hard work and I could feel proud of how much I achieved in order to get here.

I inherited my sister’s old car after she passed away. I took care of it because it was up to me to pay for care and maintenance for it. No one else was responsible for that. This means I had to take extra care of this car if I wanted to be able to use it. No one was there to give me a new car if this one quit working.

I know that my parents always warned me to “Be careful. You might get what you wish for.” What if I got what I wished for and then I realize that it really wasn’t what I wanted? Or I might get it and not know what to do with it?

I think it is important to teach our students that it is okay to want things and have goals. But we don’t get everything we want. This may be because we don’t have the money at the time or the skills to achieve that goal yet. Over time, our goals may change, and our wants may change.

My students need to learn that they won’t always get what they want but they can work towards that goal. Maybe with patience, they can get what they want and by then their wants will be changed. They may have new wants after they get what they were working towards. It is having these wants that move them forward and keep them from being stagnant. These wants will help them work towards success in their lives.

What want are you working towards getting? Please share. 

Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash

Monday, October 26, 2020


In “That’s not what I meant” from Seth Godin's Blog,  Seth Godin states, 

"Disagreements among people who mean well usually begin with that emotion. Students can be very sensitive to words. Someone may say something that is totally innocent, but it can be taken the wrong way."

During this time of wearing masks, reading facial expressions and hearing tone of voice is especially hard.

Most people use these visual cues to go along with the words in order to understand the intent of the words. This is how we can tell if the speaker is angry, sarcastic serious, or making a joke.

By knowing the intent, we know how to respond.

I am suggesting to many people that are wearing masks that they need to add the intent at the end of what they say so that it can be taken in the right way. Don’t assume that the person you are speaking to can tell what you mean.

If I am going to say something funny, I will ask “Don’t you think that is funny?” or something to indicate that what I said should be taken lightly.

Maybe I will say that I’m going to be sarcastic and then say what I want to say.

If I’m angry, then I need to let the person know that I’m angry before I speak.

I think sometimes if we think of our intent before we speak, we might decide that it would be better not to say anything after all.

During these stressful times, more people can’t seem to help themselves by being more sensitive than normal. When times weren’t so stressful, words and statements didn’t bother them as much as it does now. We need to take in account that people may be more sensitive than we are used to and adjust our habits and ways of communicating.

Has this happened to you? Please share.

Photo by Pavel Anoshin on Unsplash

Friday, October 23, 2020

Stamp Show

This Saturday there will be a Stamp Show hosted by the Cresthaven Stamp Club in West Palm Beach, FL. It takes place at the Barkley Club House, 2605 Barkley Drive on October 24, 2020, from 11- 3 with an auction at noon. 

They hold meetings on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 1pm. If you get a chance to check out their website or come to a meeting, it is well worth your time. 

I think it would be a good time for teachers and students to attend a stamp show. If you don't live near this one, find one in your area and check it out. 

I think it would be a great research project for students. They can write about what they learn or make a brochure on stamp collecting, or make a photo display. 

Students can talk to collectors and find out why they collect stamps and what specific categories of stamps they collect. 

Students can learn how to start collecting and many collectors are more than happy to share their love of stamp collecting. 

Students can find stamps for a specific time in history and learn more about that time from the stamps. 

Students can find stamps on famous people or places. 

Students will learn how to organize their stamps once they collect them. 

Students will learn what supplies and tools they might need. 

Teachers will get ideas for different lessons that they can do by using stamps. 

Photo by Mason B. on Unsplash

Thursday, October 22, 2020


In The Delight Project from Ideas and Thoughts, Dean Shareski shares, 

“So I want to think more about delight and I’m going to challenge myself to a delight project. I’m going to try and share something daily that brings me delight.”

Please check out his description of what delight is and the things that give him delight.

I don’t know how I missed this but he started this project five months ago and I thought it sounded like a wonderful project. I think this would be a great thing to do in the classroom. It seems like it is so much easier to find the negative things in the world or things that annoy us but it is much harder to find things that delight us and give us joy.

I am going to try to keep a journal and write down things each day that delight me and then share some of these things with you.

This would be a great writing project for students to do. Ask them to keep a journal and each day, write at least one thing that delighted them yesterday. Then once a week, have them write about one of the things. What happened that delighted them? Why did it delight them?

Maybe if we start looking at things that delight us and give us joy, we might find more happiness and hope in living each day. We might start smiling more. We might make being happier contagious.

What delights you and gives you joy? Please share. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Scary Stories

 One of my favorite times for creative writing in my classroom was during October and the Halloween season. For some reason, my students were at the peak of creativeness during this time. Monsters and unique situations were all in the land of possibilities. Nothing odd or unusual was off-limits (other than sex, drugs, or illegal activities) in their stories. This was the land of pretending for all ages. 

I usually set the mood off with some scary music. I played some of my favorite old songs especially Monster Mash. 

Sometimes I would give a list of scary story prompts to the students and let them pick one of them. Or they could make up one of their own stories. I had them first picture the scene in their minds and then I had them describe the scene.  I would do the same thing for their characters. Have the student describe them. They can jot down words on the paper or even draw a picture.  Once this was done, I would have them get out a fresh sheet of paper and have them start writing the story. 

I had a little recipe that would help them get started.

  • Write about the setting so the reader can picture what it looks like. Where are the characters? What does the surrounding area look like? What does it feel like? Is it cold or hot? 
  • What are the characters like? Describe them. Are they tall or short? What makes them look scary? What things do they do that scares others? 
  • Then I have them begin the narrative. Tell me what is happening. 
  • How does the story end? What happened? 

Usually, when students follow this recipe, they write very interesting stories. When they are done, I will help them make corrections and write up a display copy to be shown either on a bulletin board, or a newsletter or to parents. They can also draw an illustration of the story to go with it. 

Here are some prompts you can use: 

  • The Monster in the Closet. 
  • My friend, the Monster. 
  • The Scary Monster
  • The Friendly Monster
  • The Scariest Thing that Happened to Me. 
  • One Dark and Spooky Night. 
What other prompts would you add to this list? Please share.