Sunday, September 30, 2007

Random notes

A couple of thoughts as we near the end of a beautiful fall weekend...

First off, I want to extend thanks and appreciation to the Attleboro YMCA for once again holding a team building session this past Saturday at Camp Finberg. I have to admit that this was probably my favorite out of all the sessions I have been to thus far. Its pretty neat to have gone through several sessions with the same group and see the cohesiveness and unity really start to come through. The activites we participated in were much more physically demanding than ones we've done in the past and it required the utmost in trust and teamwork. I think just about everybody left Saturday with a nice feeling of accomplishment. And to see Mr. Barth go flying into a briar patch was pretty special also.

I also wanted to pose a question to students about field trips. A senior in one of my psychology classes mentioned to me this past week that he has never been outside the walls of Norton High School in the 3+ years he's been here. Mr. Dewar also mentioned to me that its not uncommon for that to happen. Personally, I think thats a bit of a shame. Having the opportunity to take learning on the road and see it in action can be such a great and memorable experience. Its safe to say that students forget many things they've learned after they graduate high school, but I'd be willing to bet that field trips are not one of them. I can recall with great clarity some of the cool places I got to see while in high school and I think all students should be given that chance. I'm looking into a couple of different trips for some of my students this year.

How do you feel about field trips? What are some of the memorable ones you've been on in your academic career? Where would you like to go before you graduate?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Get involved

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in a "team building" day with some of my fellow teachers from Norton High School. The focus of the session was to build leadership skills as well as to get a chance to become more comfortable with some of the teachers I see on a daily basis but might not necessarily know as well as I should. I think my leadership skills could definitely use a boost so the opportunity was a good one for me personally. The opportunity to get to know other staff members is also great especially for the newer teachers like myself. This was actually the 3rd team building session that I have attended with Norton High School students and staff members in the past year.

Why am I telling you this?

Because it wasn't long ago that I was in high school and I never got involved in these types of activities. When Mr. Dewar interviewed me for a position at Norton High School, I had noted to him that I was eager to get involved in some different activities around school for the simple reason that I never had much of an opportunity to do so when I was at that age. My parents told me well in advance of graduating high school that a good portion of my college education would have to be paid by me. Knowing I wanted to go to college, I got myself a job and worked as many hours as I possibly could and saved as much as I could.

The positive side of that? I was able to go to the college of my choice and I'm proud to say I have no student loans remaining. The negative? Well as I stated earlier, working 40+ hours a week in high school didn't allow me the flexibility to get involved in many after-school activities. Oh sure I did a few things, but not to the degree I would have liked.

It wasn't until after I graduated college where I really looked back and wondered what might have been had I had more opportunities to get involved. The biggest thing I wondered is how many more friendships and relationships could I have forged? Would it have changed my opinions of staff and other students that I already knew? Who knows how it could have changed my life.

Luckily for me, I'm back in the high school environment and I'm going to have the chance to take advantage of some of the many opportunities that come up. I've got a chance for redemption.

My suggestion to you? If you aren't involved in something within the school, DO IT! Its not too late. I would have never guessed that 5 years after graduating high school, I would be thinking back upon the things I didn't do. Don't make the same mistake. There are plenty of opportunities out there. Even if you don't have a ton of time, theres always something you can do to get involved.

Who might just learn something about somebody you thought you already knew. Yourself.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Anybody out there?

Welcome one and all to my official blog. Gotta admit I've never been one to blog...or to even think about blogging. But due to overwhelming demand, here it is. Just kidding. At any rate, I hope to use this blog to occasionally post my thoughts, musings, and maybe even an occasional rant. No, rants. Well...maybe.

In actuality, I'd really like to use this space to interact with my students at Norton High School. I might occasionally put up a reflective topic or question that I'd like an opinion on. Possibly a chance for extra credit? Never can tell. I might occasionally incorporate a homework assignment with this blog.

So before I go, do you have something on your mind? An idea for the sophomore class? Thoughts on any current events? The new high school schedule? Summer reading thoughts? New courses you'd like to see taught at the high school?

Until next time.