Tag Archives: teaching

My Corner

15 Nov

A. A. Milne had a House at Pooh Corner.  Loggins and Messina sang about it.

I have my corner.  I think I prefer Pooh’s Corner.  I know I prefer Pooh’s Corner.  But for now, I’m satisfied with my own little corner of the world.  My own corner is for reading, writing, and thinking.  (And like Pooh, there are many times I think I’m a bear of very little brain.)

Leaving 30 years of teaching and accumulated paraphernalia behind was no small task, ask my husband!  I left much of what I had amassed in the hands of other young teachers, some just starting out.  My fiction and non-fiction collections of children’s books (minus some of my absolute favorites and duplicates which I kept for myself) went to two very special teachers and a host of young people they will work with over the next several years.  Assorted rugs, lamps, shelves, chairs, and bookcases were donated as needed to different classrooms.  Boxes and baskets of markers, crayons, highlighters, tape, staples, paint, post-it notes, memo books, spiral notebooks, bulletin board trim, paper bags, paper plates, baggies, stickers, stamp pads, Mailbox magazines, cleaning wipes, and glitter disappeared faster than free cookies!

But, that’s not to say that I cleansed myself of everything.  In the trunk of my car I carried mementos, reference books, stuffed animals/book characters, science and math tools I thought I could use with my grandchildren, and some things I knew I couldn’t live without!  Over the summer, I set up some bookshelves in my husband’s basement office and organized my treasures.  And I use the term ‘organized’ loosely!

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This month in my PiBoIdMo group, we’ve been talking a lot about our writing spaces.  Are you organized/disorganized, quiet/noisy, pen&paper/computer?  Below is a photo of my current work space.  It’s not a fancy office, but I like it.  It’s always quiet.  I keep the TV off and I don’t listen to music, I find noise too distracting for me.  I like to read books, newsletters, online articles… and I like to research there also.  I usually have a drink and my reading glasses within reach.  I use my laptop for everything.  If I lost or broke that I would be lost!  I keep all my files, story ideas, drafts, and finished pieces on my desktop.  The chair is large and comfy and I can put my feet up on the ottoman while I work!

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This is where I work, where I find that I love what I do!

So, I’ll leave you, dear reader, with a wish that you find your own special corner of the world where you can be yourself and find happiness.  As for me, like Loggins and Messina wrote, “I’ve got to get back to the house at Pooh Corner by one.”

Mrs. McBloom, CLEAN UP Your Classroom!

10 Oct

Image   I was browsing through the library today looking for new picture books, and instead got swept up by a 2005 gem!  I sure wish I had seen this before I retired, it would have been a great book to share with my class.   Author, Kelly DiPucchio has a wonderful flair for imagery and silliness.  And illustrator, Guy Francis takes the story and runs with it!

Mrs. McBloom has been teaching since ‘long before that Armstrong fella set his tootsies on the moon’ and in all that time has never cleaned her classroom.  Whenever anyone complained she simply said it was at the top of her to-do list, right above ‘take a fancy-shmancy cruise’.  But now that it’s time for her to retire she realizes that the job is too big for her.  She gives her students a homework assignment to come up with an idea to get the room clean ‘lickety split’.  The last student to present her idea suggested that if everyone in town came in and picked up just one item the room would be clean.  And since ‘nearly every citizen of Up Yonder had been a student of Mrs. McBloom’s at one time or another’ they all pitched in to help.  The things they found in her room ranged from lost library books and eyeglasses to a postcard signed by President Roosevelt and a flag with forty-eight stars.  Mrs. McBloom got a chance to shake hands with all her former students and she ‘bawled like a baby in wet britches’.  The town had a huge yard sale and with the money they raised, they sent Mrs. McBloom on a ‘fancy-schmancy cruise’.  The story ends with the ‘sweet, young Miss Bumblesprout’ announcing to her class in the ‘spiffed-up tidy’ room that they were going to plant pumpkin seeds.    (Can you see where this is going?)

Now if that synopsis doesn’t make you want to run right out and get a copy, you’re either: a) not a teacher (or ever have been)   b) not a kid (or ever have been)  c) too busy teaching to read a great picture book  or d) all of the above.

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