Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My new favorite bird


We have been visited by two Nuthatches on our patio who are now regulars at the feeders.  They have the ability to walk vertically up and down trees and so these guys can just as well hang upside down to get the seed in the golden finch feeder.  We still haven't gotten any golden finches yet but our house finches are common and the chickadees, and juncos too.  I do miss the titmouse that we saw so often last spring but I am sure we will see one again soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lunch Break

I am sitting on my lunch break at work, eating a sandwich comprised of low-sodium turkey, greens, Harvarti cheese, tomatoes, peppers and basil leaves while I am typing.  I can hear the teacher across the hallway getting frustrated with his student on a math lesson involving addition and I am thankful for my current position which allows me the freedom to choose the content of my lessons.  My last class just created fantastic pencil drawing portraits of Thurgood Marshall which we will watercolor next week.  It is not difficult to draw students attention when doing art.  Children have a natural inclination to be imaginative which is often suppressed by outside forces including certain methods of pedagogy as teachers are constrained to force information down students throats in order to meet the demands of a pacing schedule or an upcoming standardized test.  I remember well the weight of knowing that much of my many students educations were determined by me when all other supports in this endeavor where lacking.  I do feel really proud of my eight years of teaching and the hard work and long hours given above and beyond school time to give my students the best education I could provide them.  Most teachers I know work tirelessly like this and are either grouchy about it or still find a way to laugh.  It is hard for any one to imagine the task of responsibility a teacher has when facing 20-30 young minds who are in their hands for more time than most children spend with their parents.  There is a place in heaven for teachers some say, but I like to hope that that place of honor could be also realized here in this country.   

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fridays Clouds

Today I was teaching art in a 1st grade class and had just picked them up from recess.  I said brightly to several of the girl students in front of me how great it is to be alive to see such a beautiful day, with an intense blue sky and a spectacle of giant clouds as large as mountains.  One of the girls said that she was happy to be alive, that she would like to live forever.  Another girl said with a smile that she loves to live but she knows that she will have to die but that she didn't want to die.  I found this to be a very moving statement said by such a little being who has grasped so much in such a short amount of time.