You might be a blogger if…

…you take an online blogging course!

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Well, taking the course doesn’t guarantee that you will actually become a frequent blogger, but it will tell you almost everything you ever wanted to know about blogging, and it will certainly help you get started. I am proud to be an alumni of Blogging 101, or the  “BlogWritingCourse,” and you can take the same course, starting October 12!

Blogging 101 is an 8-week, instructor-led course, and it’s only $59.00! What a fantastic deal!

The instructors are fabulous and trust me, learning how to be a blogger in a class with other newbies helps build your confidence, and it’s so much more fun learning and blogging with others who are just like you! You don’t have to spend hours fiddling with the technology and frustrating yourself; just go into the classroom and ask somebody! Quick answers from instructors and helpful support from classmates definitely motivate you to keep going!

I would recommend this course to anyone who is thinking about blogging, who is already blogging but wants to fine-tune their skills, or who really wants to blog, but is scared by the thought of all that technology. At the very least, go visit the site, and after reading about it, then you can decide if taking the course is something that interests you.

Oh, and it is an online course, so if you have not had the experience of taking an online course, then this would be a great place to start! If you are a traditional teacher, thinking about making the move to online teaching, this would be a great first experience. Most online schools want their teachers to have had the experience of being a student in an online class, so they can understand the problems and frustrations faced by their students. Really, taking (and completing) this class is a win-win situation! Not only do you obtain the knowledge to start your own blog, but you also end up with a little something you can add to your resume! Student

What are you waiting for?

The link is over there in the right-hand column of this page…yep, you have to scroll down a little, but you’ll see the gold and black button; just click on it and poof…there you are!

Okay, for those who are too lazy to scroll…here’s another way to get there:

BlogWritingCourse

Enjoy!

Oh, and please come back and tell me about your experience in the class! I need more blogs to add to my personal “blogroll”!

Until next time,

Laugh a little; learn a lot; live long!

Viki

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T-R-E-E-S…that’s how I spell relief!

Every evening, my hubby and I spend a couple hours “looking at trees.” We have a three-seater swing on our patio, so we spend the hours between dinner and twilight relaxing in our swing, watching our dogs play, chatting about our day and looking at our trees. This relaxes me because when I’m outside in God’s playground, I can forget about the stress that screams at me from my computer screen. Yes, there is stress in online teaching. 

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Last summer, I was experiencing an abnormal amount of this stress because the employers at my “bread and butter” job decided to go with an all automated format, so they didn’t need me or any teacher any longer. That revelation brought forth visions of living in our car, cruising to local “hot spots” so I could apply to new “bread and butter” jobs. As it turned out, a very sweet and wise young student suggested that when I feel stressed, I should go “look at trees.” She claimed that this is how she liked to relax–looking at trees always helped calm her jangling nerves. Who knew that such a simple and innocent remedy would soon become life changing?

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One evening, still unsure of our future economic situation, hubby and I decided to take the student’s advice and we ventured out to the swing in the backyard. We discovered the calming and peaceful feeling that comes from “looking at trees.” That evening, we started making plans to pull ourselves out of our financial dilemma.  

Buttercup

Buttercup

 

 

 

After many days, weeks and months of looking at trees, I now have fairly steady income and looking at trees has become a nightly ritual. Our dogs have figured out that we make the journey outside after we eat supper, so as soon as they hear the sound of dishes being cleared, they are at our feet, tails wagging happily, knowing we are going “outside.” Hubby leads the parade, closely followed by Buttercup, then me, then Rosie. At the back door, the girls bound off, running a couple laps around the yard and then taking up their positions for the nightly “patrol.” Rosie jumps up in the swing to take her place beside Mama, and Buttercup keeps vigil at Daddy’s feet.

rosie

Rosie

As we all sit there, swinging and staring at the trees while twilight descends upon us, I am reminded of the first stanza of a poem I chose to deliver in a college Speech class: “The Children’s Hour” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Although the only children still living at home are our dogs, the poem is a nostalgic reminder of our children and grandchildren who live in other states, and whom we miss very much. 

At the end of the day, it’s a welcome relief to share my swing with my incredibly supportive husband and look at God’s beautiful trees. They do help me find peace and calm in this fast-paced, 21st century life.

So, whether you teach online or in a traditional classroom, and even if you’re not a teacher, you can find relief! Try “looking at trees”; it really works!

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Mike and me

Until next time,
Laugh a little; learn a lot; live long!

Viki

P.S. Here is a copy of “The Children’s Hour” (in its entirety), so you don’t have to go look it up. 😉

The Children’s Hour

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

Our grandkids

Our grandchildren

Hello teachers!

Are you a K-12 teacher? Are you contemplating teaching online (but you’re apprehensive, scared, terrified)?  Then you might want to stop here for a bit and find out if online teaching appeals to you. Wait, did you say you are already an online K-12 teacher?  WOO HOO!!

 

WELCOME TO MY WORLD!

 

Look around.  Put your feet up and relax a while. Here, you will learn about necessary skills, time management, and appropriate attire for working online. You can call me your chum, coach, cohort, collaborator, colleague, companion, compeer, comrade, confidante, confrere, counselor, crony…

 

…aw, heck; just call me “friend.” 🙂

 

We’ll have lots to do and say here, but before we get started…you might want to know more about me and why I love online teaching. I promise we’re going to talk about that A LOT, and I’ll give you my first reason a little later in this post.  For now, we’re still in the getting to know each other phase so first things first.  Let’s talk about why a happy classroom teacher would even consider becoming an online teacher. After all, the traditional classroom teacher has security and benefits. The traditional teacher enjoys several paid time off days, plus a week off at Thanksgiving, a couple weeks off for a winter break, a week off for a spring break and three… well, okay…two months off in the summer.

 

So, it’s a fantastic job with good pay and lots of time off, right?

 

<…waiting for the guffaws to die down…>

 

Well, okay, that’s just what recruiters want you to think. 

 

Since I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, I’m going to share with you a fun story that essentially reeks with truth. It’s not subtle, it obviously lays it all right out there on the table for you and explains things better than I ever could, no matter how long I sit here and chew on my pen. (By the way, I used to have a pen addiction, but that’s another story.)

 

This particular message has been circulating through teachers’ email boxes for several years. You’ve probably read it at one time or another, but I’m repeating it here, because I may want to refer to it in the future.  I have no idea who the originator is, or who wrote it. I would very much like to give that person credit and invite them here to talk to us on a regular basis, so if you wrote it, please contact me!

 

Okay, okay, here it is.  Let me set it up for you.  A young, eager, optimistic and newly graduated teacher applicant has just interviewed with an administrator at a public school. After being offered a position and listening to the policies and procedures, the administrator asks the applicant for comments, questions, etc.  Here’s what that young, eager, optimistic applicant replies:    

 

“Let me see if I’ve got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning. Not only that, I’m supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, gang involvement and T-shirt messages.

 

I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for guns or other weapons and raise their self-esteem. I’m to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job.

 

I am to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe and nurturing environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior, offer advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others, and, oh yeah, always make sure that I give the girls in my class 50 percent of my attention.

 

I’m required by my contract to be working on my own time summer and evenings at my own expense toward advance certification and a master’s degree; and after school, I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training to maintain my employment status. If there is a club or extracurricular activity that needs my expertise, I am expected to work on my own time to sponsor, supervise and maybe even raise funds for those extracurricular activities.

 

I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the basics, and to my current administration. I am to incorporate technology into the learning, and monitor all Web sites while building a personal relationship with each student. I am to decide who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school or who is possibly being abused, and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these suspicions.

 

I am to make sure all students pass the state and federally mandated testing and all classes, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis or complete any of the work assigned. Plus, I am expected to make sure that all of the students with handicaps are guaranteed a free and equal education, regardless of their mental or physical handicap. I am to communicate frequently with each student’s parent by letter, phone and grade card. I must ensure that no child will be left behind.

 

I’m to do all of this with just a piece of chalk, one computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a 45 minute more-or-less planning/conference time and a big smile, all on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many states.” 

 

The applicant sighs heavily and asks, “Is that all?”  

The administrator shrugs.  

The applicant looks straight into the administrator’s eyes and says, 

“And you expect me NOT TO PRAY?”
 

So, reason #1 why I love teaching online: I get to pray anytime I want.

 

If you’re a K-12 online teacher, what’s your #1 reason for teaching online?

 

If you’re a K-12 traditional teacher, what’s the #1 reason stopping you from teaching online?

 

Until next time: laugh a little; learn a lot; live long!