Thursday, June 26, 2014

I came from Louisiana with WBT on the brain.

Three days.  Just three days.  It hardly seems possible for ten years to be trumped by three, relatively short days, but that's exactly what happened.  I attended my first WBT workshop. EVER. The first time I was in the real-live-presence of WBT in real life. I had watched some YouTube videos and read some of the ebooks (even a few chapters of Coach B's book), so I thought I knew what I was getting into...BOY WAS I WRONG!  And, I have to admit I have never been so happy to be wrong.  This was no "convention" like I had ever attended.  I was in heaven, for THIS WAS SUMMER DAY CAMP FOR TEACHERS!  

There was an all group time, a small group time, and (like every camp) lunch time.  We had our counselors, our own camp songs (of sorts), camp stories and jokes.  I made lots of new friends.  But the biggest thing is that I cannot get WBT out of my head. I want to do everything to recreate that "camp" feeling for my students! I want them to feel the energy and fun about my subjects that I did about WBT.  I want them to leave my 55 minute class thinking, "Mrs. Benge's class is over already?" I want them to walk out of my class period wanting more...yes, that's it.  I want to leave them wanting more!

It is Thursday morning.  Two short weeks ago, I interviewed for my position.  That Friday I was "officially" offered the job by the district, Saturday I packed for my trip, and Sunday I drove to Pineville, Louisiana.  Monday morning I felt a bit like a fish out of water -- but that soon changed! By Wednesday I was just like any camper...ready to go home, but sad to leave my experience behind.  Just one week ago I returned home. There hasn't been a day since that I haven't thought of a zwoop, eert, big gesture, or scaffolding.  My brain is ON FIRE! I wake up in the middle of the night and my thoughts are in teach-okay phrases! I actually used the word "guff" with my daughter yesterday (and, yes, I then had to explain what it meant). I have applied what I learned as best I can to my parenting...secretly wishing I could go full-tilt on my unsuspecting three. 
There hasn't been a week day since my return that I haven't been in my classroom. Honest engine. Yesterday I was there with my daughter for just shy of 6 hours.  She arranged my 400+ books for the classroom library.
I arranged desks. I made a seating arrangement template. 
And then...then, I wrote out my Five Rules.  
Yes, they are already posted at the front of my room!  Sweet Mama, I'm sick -- I've got WBT Fever!

Power to the Teachers!
Cathy Benge

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What does this make me?

It's summer.  Two of my children are home, the third is at camp. I have post-camp laundry from two, the dregs of my post-trip laundry, and regular, every day laundry ALL piled up.
 Sigh.  Then there are the stacks that continue to creep into my home.
 And I am having to FORCE MYSELF to be responsible and get household things done.  I would prefer to read my WBT book...

So, does avoidance make me an irresponsible ostrich?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

...I'm baaaaaack!

Nearly twelve years ago, I taught two years of fourth grade and nine years of sixth grade.  I loved the interaction with the students, seeing the "ah-ha" moment when they understood a concept. I loved coming up with new ways to teach old tricks.  I loved learning from my students.  I. Loved. Teaching!  Then we began our own family. My husband and I both wanted me to stay home to raise our children--it was a blessing to get to do just that!   

Our three are older and more independent now, and I have been restless at home. I have tutored, dabbled in gardening, worked at a coffee shop and my husband's office. I have learned scrapbooking, knitting and quilting and crochetting.  The past three years I have even substituted PK-12 and have realized the "teacher itch" is still there. This fall I will be back in my own classroom teaching sixth grade English/Language Arts at middle school.  And. I. Am. EXCITED!

I may have gone off the teacher track, but Mrs. Benge is coming back!