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Presidential Hodgepodge

Whew!  I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already!  These weeks are just flying by!  Our State reading assessment (FCAT), to be administered in April, is coming quicker than I can teach everything I need to teach, so the race is ON!  Fortunately, Joyce’s questions provide me with an excellent excuse to take a deep breath and step away from the lesson planning…if only for a few minutes.

1.  This week marks the beginning of Lent…will you be giving something up or adding anything to your life during this season of the year?

I am not giving up anything for Lent this year.  Two years ago, I gave up TV.  That was huge!  I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been a bit bad about attending church lately.  I’m exhausted by the weekend and use the non-alarm-clock days to catch up on rest.  I must rectify this.

2.  The day before Lent is Shrove Tuesday… tradition states you eat pancakes on this day. In some parts of the world Shrove Tuesday is actually known as ‘pancake day’. How do you like your pancakes? Or don’t you?

How funny that this question pops up today!  Just yesterday, my students were querying me about my vegan diet, and one of the boys asked if I eat pancakes.  I replied that I do not.  In the past, when I did, I preferred them with syrup and that was it.

3.  I’m sure there are many, but what’s one love song you really love?

I’m going with something a little different by posting the following song, which I started singing in church in my early 20’s and taught my Chicky to sing when she was a wee thing.  To this day, when I hear this song, I am taken back to the evenings when I rocked her to sleep at night.  As we rocked, in her room lit only by a night light, I sang, at first, until she was able to talk.  It wasn’t long before she had memorized the words as well.  Her sweet, childlike angel voice singing these words will always live in my memory as one of the most special sounds I’ve ever had the honor of listening to.

4.  What are some things you do to let others know you love them?

I send texts to my kiddos whenever I see something that makes me think of them.  I also post things on their Facebook walls…reminders that I’m thinking of them and love them.  For holidays they spend away at school, I like to prepare surprises, which I mail to them.  They are never far from my thoughts.

5.  Roses…red, pink, or do you prefer another color? Can you recall the last time someone gave you flowers? Given your choice would you like to open the door and see a dozen red roses, a dozen purple tulips, or a dozen pink peonies?

Roses are pretty, I’ll give you that, but quite honestly, I like wildflowers.  My favorite flower, though, is the sunflower.  Though its aroma is nothing like a rose, its bright, sunny beauty is.

6.  President’s Day will be celebrated in America next Monday. Does US Presidential history and trivia interest you?  Many Presidential homes are open to the public and offer guided tours…Monticello (Jefferson’s home), Mount Vernon (Washington’s home), Montpelier (James Madison’s home), Hyde Park (FD Roosevelt’s home) and The White House (home to the sitting President) to name just a few. Of those listed which would you be most interested in touring?  Why?

I love history, including presidential history.  I really enjoy reading biographies and have two at school right now although I can’t say that my students are fighting over the privilege of reading them.  LOL

I’ve visited Monticello and Mount Vernon.  I did not get to visit the White House during that same trip and wouldn’t mind, maybe, if someone else was president.  It would be just my luck to run into him during my tour and be forced to pull out my compare/contrast, problem/solution, and cause/effect graphic organizers to point out some issues I have.  (Can you tell I teach reading strategies?)  No offense to those who like the guy who’s there now.

What I’m trying to say, in my roundabout way is that I would probably enjoy visiting James Madison’s home more than the White House.

7.  Are you good at keeping secrets?

If asked not to repeat something, I don’t.

8.  My Random Thought

Last Friday, I got very frustrated.  Nearly half of the students in my last class were not wearing clothing that followed the dress code.  Sending one person to detention resulted in others complaining about people I’d missed, so I wound up sending two while two other students changed into the shirts that were in their BACKPACKS!


It was a huge disruption in my class and resulted in a lot of anger and resentment.  Honestly, I lay the blame fully on those kids.  We’ve been in school since August.  They know the rules.  The fact that they bring the correct clothing is evidence of that.  I suspect that they leave home with the right clothes and change into something else when they get to school.

To minimize large meltdowns in the future, I created the following form, which my para copied on yellow paper (four of these fit per page).  I deleted my school’s name.  It would be super easy to insert your own.  Click the picture to view a larger version of it.

I like the form because it requires students to take ownership of the infraction.  It will also serve as documentation of repeat offenders.  I’m hoping it persuades kids to follow the rules, even if they don’t like them.

12 Responses

  1. So, so, so glad I don’t have to deal with the ever changing dress codes any more. My daughters Junior and Senior years of high school were a nightmare because of the constantly changing dress codes, especially since they didn’t apply to all. It got ridiculous the things they called about. I got so fed up with it that one day when they said her jeans were in dress code violation, I took her the shortest dress I could find in her closet. It was dress code acceptable and showed wayyyy more skin than the tiny hole below her knee in the jeans. But, I finally proved my point to the Principle just how ridiculous the dress code had gotten.

  2. Oh goodness. Keeping students in line with dress codes is no fun. I would always abide by the rules when I was in school, (outside of school too for that matter) but plenty of my fellow students never could seem to get it through their thick skulls. That form seems like a good idea, hope it works well for you! 🙂

    I love that song! One of my favorites too. 🙂 And Sunflowers are just so cheerful. I don’t think I’ll ever forget standing in the middle of a field of them in South Dakota. Beautiful moment.

  3. I just read an article about a girl in a Utah town that was suspended for having hair color that was auburn instead of her natural brown?!!! I don’t get it…school should be about academics. My opinion. I like that you would prefer wildflowers….that say a lot.

  4. I completely agree with your issue about dress code. There should be no question by now what’s acceptable and what isn’t. I shudder to see what kids are wearing to school when I go to Abby’s h.s. for something. Definitely a good song choice…I’m sure I’ll be singing it all day long!

  5. Good thing I never had a dress code when I was in school however a dress code had to be applied at my place of employment and one woman was sent home for inappropriate shorts and tank top. Very embarassing.

  6. I haven’t heard that song in AGES. We used to sing it all the time in college. I love it acapella, and sung in a round. So beautiful. Now I’m going to be singing it all day in my head!

  7. My eldest, a freshman, just commented last night that his new school has almost no dress code. Seriously, it’s hard enough for our boys to concentrate in school without girls wearing, well, almost nothing! Good for you for sticking to your guns. Our school in FL would have every kid stand and raise their arms above their heads – if the shirts came up above their waist, and if they weren’t wearing a belt, they would be sent to call their parents. A bit extreme, but I’d take that over our lax culture any day!

  8. Oh wow… I havent heard that song in a long time. What a great song. I’ve sang it before in a crowd of thousands… it was so moving!!!!

  9. A reasonable dress code is not that hard to comply with, so I love the idea of placing the accountability squarely on the shoulders of the students who choose to violate it. You’ve got to start somewhere.

  10. I haven’t heard that song in a long time either. I do love the WOW cds…they are normally great collections.

    Dress codes-ahhh…good for you making these high school kids responsible for their decisions.

  11. oh man ;/ I was so annoyed with my schools dress code policy. I went to a new school for sophomore year & it was only my 2nd day & one of the guards cited me because my tank top was smaller than two fingers. I mean come on. But luckly they did not add that to my record but i had to sit in the office for 2 hours and miss important classes.

  12. I love that song. Glad I don’t have to deal with dress codes any more as my kids are grown.

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