Saturday, August 28, 2010

Colorful Language

August 28th, 2010
I just finished a great book, that was recommended by a new colleague at MBA. I was told it makes a great read aloud, and was not disappointed. Here's a sample of Wendelin Van Draanen's fabulous SWEAR TO HOWDY. "For a second Sissy looked like a possum,
lit up in the road..." and this great image of his father..."I saw him [dad] sitting on my bed, arms crossed, face scrunched together
like an angry cloud." And finally one of my favorite, "Then he got up on his knees, leaned over the rock, and puked his purple guts out. "There's nothing like learning of a great read, that will take your breath away, and leave you wanting more.
Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


August 25th, 2010

Tomorrow I will give my Teacher of the Year acceptance speech, one that I have been writing...and revising for well over a month. The thought of giving this speech before my colleagues has made for a few restless nights. For those of you who are interested,
and could not attend...I was informed that the speech will be on a new video television show that is being created by Peter Stone. The focus of the speech centers around a poem by Canadian song writer and poet Leonard Cohen;
"Ring the bells that still can ring...
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything...
That's how the light gets in."
Being nominated, and named Somers Teacher of the Year, has been a great honor. Of course, one does not accomplish anything within a school setting by themselves. I'd like to thank Principals Riola and Oliver,my friend Pat Clark, who has been a tremendous inspiration while at SES.I believe this award must be shared with my fourth grade team; Carolyn, Lisa, Alicia, Kristen, and Mike. Without your help and support has been appreciated. I'd also like to thank the Somers Education Foundation, Gail DeBortoli's family for their unending desire to keep their daughter's memory alive, and our Parent Teacher Organization...and all the work they do to make great things happen throughout the school year. Working at Somers Elementary School has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my adult life, and I will miss the many friends I have made over the years.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Place to Call Home

August 23rd, 2010
"This is the beginning of a new day..." After eight years teaching third and fourth graders, I have accepted
the opportunity and challenge of working with sixth graders. The change is bittersweet, having to uproot and
leave many friends and colleagues that I have grown so fondly of over the years. I look forward to watching
and hearing of the many interesting activities that take place at the elementary school, and know that Mr.
Mike McDonnell will do an incredible job in 4th grade....where both the students and faculty are so lucky
to have him back in the classroom!

As for 6th grade, and Mabelle B. Avery Middle School, I look forward to helping students make connections with
world literature and understand that good writing is a process that takes time and dedication. My ultimate goal
is to create an atmosphere filled with enthusiasm for Language Arts, one that will hopefully develop life-
long learners and readers. I think sixth grade is a wonderful grade to teach, a year where students
have entered the half-way mark between Kindergarden and 12th grade. With some of the most
difficult years ahead of them academically, I believe sixth grade is where students need to
understand how they learn best, and rid themselves of poor habits.

See you in the classroom.