Archive for the ‘Classroom’ Category

Good stuff. Well, mostly.

[click and scroll to see the entire pic]

As many of you know I’ve decided to run for the Paint Valley Board of Education. As of a few days ago my petition was approved and I’ll be on the ballot. There are four people running for two open positions. The incumbents are Justin Immell and Deric Newland, who were both appointed, and they are being challenged by Blake Lloyd and myself, Dave Shoemaker.

I’m running because I care about our community. I care about our school. I care about our kids. I have a deep love for Paint Valley, and I’ve had it for the large majority of my life. I attended school in the Paint Valley district from 1st Grade until the day I graduated high school. I came back and taught in grades 5 through 8 from 1990 until 2013, coached varsity basketball from 1988 to 1996, then was asked to return and coached again from 2012 to 2018. I am the all-time winningest coach in Paint Valley basketball history, and I’m extremely proud of that. In addition, I served as the high school Athletic Director from 1996 until 2007 and was involved in the renovation of our facilities. I’ve also been a substitute teacher in the district from 2013 to the present. All-in-all I’ve been involved in education as a teacher/coach/athletic director/substitute for over 35-years, and 28 of those years have been spent serving the Paint Valley District proudly.

Much of my family has been involved in education, many at Paint Valley. My late mother Kathryn and my late sister Karen taught there, and my late friend and brother-in-law Don “Jigger” Anderson was a beloved principal at our school for 17-years. I was heavily influenced by all of them. I have several relatives who are educators too – Army, Mike, Todd, Josh, Angie, Linda, Rex, Deb, Lori, Terry, Cindy, Laura, and a few I’m sure I’m forgetting. Many of those I mentioned taught at Paint Valley, and countless former students and players of mine have chosen education as a profession  Many are administrators.

I’ve taught and coached thousands of Paint Valley students and athletes. I developed close relationships with many of them and have maintained many to this day. I still have close relationships with many on the teaching staff at Paint Valley as well as some of the administrators and support staffs. I know, appreciate and understand our district’s needs, and I understand how to open lines of communication between the school and community.

As a Paint Valley School Board member I believe communication between the school and community is crucial. Transparency, openness and honesty should be priorities. Community involvement and input is key. After all, it’s your school. A school board member shouldn’t have personal priorities or agendas, nor should they have axes to grind. They shouldn’t micro-manage or try and make decisions they’re not qualified to make. They should let the professionals do their jobs, becoming involved only when the welfare of our students and staff are in question.

And they should always, without fail, exhibit a dedicated commitment to the Paint Valley students, parents, teaching staff, support staff and community.

I care deeply for Paint Valley. To me, the right to be a school board member in a district I love is something I would consider an honor.

And that, members of the Paint Valley community, is why I’m running.

Listen, I have a soft spot for the 80s. Why, you ask? Because I started teaching in 1984 and I swear to God everyone in my Junior High classes dressed like Molly Ringwald, Ferris Bueller or Cyndi Lauper. Big hair, spandex, leg warmers, ripped jeans (yes, they existed in the 80s), neon colors, mullets, side ponytails, cut-off sweatshirts, cool hats on the girls, sweat pants rolled up to the knees, skinny ties, they were all on exhibit in the hallowed halls of Greenfield Middle School. It was glorious, man.

With that in mind I came up with the ultimate 1980s trivia quiz, designed specifically for those students I personally taught.*

*I use the term “taught” loosely.

Let us begin. Answers will be revealed in due time, so chillax.

  1. What alternative band did the students of Greenfield Middle School learn about long before they hit it big in the early 90s?
  2. What was the name of Punky Brewster’s dog?
  3. What was the name of the oldest child on The Cosby Show?
  4. What was Jolt?
  5. What popular toy did E.T. use as part of his makeshift communicator to “phone home” with?
  6. Who starred in “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’d Dead”?
  7. What was the name of He-Man’s home planet?
  8. What was Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign all about?
  9. Who hosted Star Search?
  10. Name all five Breakfast Club characters.
  11. Who was Balki and where was he from?
  12. What was Jem?
  13. Name 5 singers who performed on the song “We Are the World”.
  14. Who was Teddy Ruxpin?
  15. What was Melmac?
  16. What kind of animal was Bubbles?
  17. What happened to a space shuttle called Challenger?
  18. What was the Noid?
  19. Who was Samantha’s crush in Sixteen Candles”?
  20. What was the name of the pirate ship the gang discovers in The Goonies?
  21. Who was the main villain in Thundercats?
  22. What singer made a video with a cartoon cat?
  23. What was the video game Oregon Trail all about?
  24. Who was Mac Tonight?
  25. Which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was “cool but rude”?
  26. In which movie did a character wear a t-shirt that read “what are looking at dicknose”?
  27. What do you have to fight for your right to do?
  28. In what show was Alex P. Keaton the main character?
  29. What TV show was based in southern Florida and featured Crockett and Tubbs?
  30. Describe a scrunchie.
  31. ‘Where’s the beef?” was a slogan for what fast food chain?
  32. Who sang “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”?
  33. What was a Boom Box?
  34. Who said, “Follow my nose”?
  35. Who was John Hughes?
  36. What do the initials NKOTB stand for?
  37. Who was Martha Quinn?
  38. What was the green goop on Nickelodeon called?
  39. Who were “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock, B. A. Baracus, John “Hannibal” Smith and Templeton “Faceman” Peck?
  40. Neil Patrick Harris played genius who became a doctor at 16. What was his name?

So, how many do you think you got right?

Bonus 80s video! Fun fact: My guy Steve Forbert plays Cyndi’s boyfriend in this video. Awesome.

 

 – A mother from South Carolina was arrested after entering an elementary school without permission where she says she was just trying to confront her son’s bullies. 

The interaction soon got emotional, and according to a police report as well as the Greenville County School District, Jamie Rathburn was seen yelling at a group of kids and a teacher. 

Brotherton said there had been several isolated incidents between Rathburn’s son and fellow classmates but she said it was nothing that would constitute bullying, which she defines as repeated behavior by a specific individual or specific group of people.   

“Maybe in her mind she was going there to confront a bully or a couple of children, but in not knowing who those were and choosing to yell at dozens of innocent kids, there is nothing appropriate about yelling at other people’s children’s in a school setting after you’ve snuck in illegally,” Brotherton said. 

According to Brotherton, some of the specific incidents involved another classmate making faces or telling Rathburn’s son that his haircut was “silly.” 

She says that these incidents continued to occur over the course of the school year and eventually became violent, saying that he was thrown off a ladder slide by his neck and even hit with a computer.  

Rathburn has since sincerely apologized for her behavior but says she was just fed up with how her son was being treated. 

“Anyone who chooses by their own admission to illegally sneak into a school building, yell at a hallway full of 8 and 9-year-old children, and curse an elementary school teacher in front of those children is going to get put on a no trespass notice and not be allowed back into the school for the rest of the year,” said Brotherton. 

Kids, let me tell you a rule of childhood that’s as old as time. If you want to shake that nerd image the last thing you want is for mommy to show up at school to fight your fights for you. It’s just a bad look all-around, man. Hey, if I got picked on at school the last thing I’d do would be to run home and tell my parents. Dad would have taken a look at me, slapped me upside the head and told me to man up and take care of it. For the zillionth time, if you’re going to jump in and save your kid from every little bit of adversity how will they ever learn to fend for themselves?

PS- Making faces at someone is considered bullying now? Telling someone their haircut is silly? Where will it all end?

PPS- If I had $5 for every time I was thrown off the slippery slide by my neck I’d be a millionaire today. That’s nothing, man. Barney Hansberry once got the merry-go-round going so fast I flew off, took out three 1st Graders, hit a basketball pole and lost the feeling on the right side of my body for 15-minutes. Good times. 

My late sister Karen was one of the most amazing teachers I ever knew. She taught elementary school for 30-years and influenced the lives of thousands of students and fellow teachers. With all her experience came a lot of stories, and like me she enjoyed telling (and retelling) them. I was subbing at a local school yesterday, we had a tornado drill, and while standing outside with the students I was reminded of this one. I hope you like it . . .

It was during one of Sis’s early years in education and she was teaching 3rd Grade. Like most young teachers, Sis always attempted to do things the right way and build a good reputation for herself. Almost always, she did.

Almost always.

Not on this day though. You see, she was in front of her class going over something when the alarm went off, indicating a school safety drill was in progress.

Fire drill!

Sis knew the procedure. She immediately grabbed her grade book and whatever else teachers are supposed to take with them and calmly told her class to follow her outside.

Her class was at the end of the hallway, so all they had to do was exit the classroom, make a right, and go straight outside to their proper location, far away from the school and to relative safety. As they were calmly but briskly walking, one of Sis’s students ran from his spot in the line to come up and tug on her sleeve.

Mrs. Anderson! MRS. ANDERSON!”

“Bobby, be quiet! It’s fine! It’s only a drill. Don’t be afraid!”

“But Mrs. Ander . . .”

“Shhhhh! Go back and get in line!”

Bobby did. Reluctantly.

Once they got situated and Sis was going down the line counting heads, Bobby once again spoke up when she got to him.

“Mrs. Ander . . .”

“Bobby! What did I tell you? Everything’s fine! We’ll talk when we get back inside.”

“But . . “

“Shhhhhhh!”

Thankfully everyone was in line and accounted for, and Sis went back to her spot at the head of the line. There was one problem though- where were the other classes?

Did Sis take her class out the wrong door? Should they be on the other side of the school? What was happening? And then . . .

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a kid lean forward and pop his head out of the line towards her. It was Bobby.

“Mrs. Anderson, I think this is a tornado drill.”

Yes, my sister had taken her class outside during a tornado drill, which couldn’t be more opposite of what you should do.

Oops.

Needless to say she then gave her class orders to hustle back in the building, on the double if you will.

Luckily she had an understanding principal and they got a good laugh about it later. She was also lucky that, you know, there wasn’t an actual tornado.

The moral of the story? When one of your students is really trying to tell you something, you should probably listen.

Note- We teased Sis about this for years with lines like, “There might be a fire drill tomorrow. Don’t forget to take your kids and gather around the fuel tanks.” Good times.

Another Sis Story

Posted: February 5, 2019 in Classroom, Humor
Tags:

So I was with some friends the other day and we inevitably started sharing stories about my late sister Karen. Those who were lucky enough to have known her can tell stories about her for days on end due to her uniquely wonderful personality.

Anyway, it occurred to me that I may not have shared a few of these, so here’s one for ya . . .

It was back on September 11th, 2001 and Sis was teaching 3rd grade. As the terrible events of the day unfolded, word began to get around the school about what was happening. Sis turned the TV on and gently explained to her students what seemed to be happening. As many of you recall, at first everyone thought it was an unfortunate accident. Only after the second plane hit did the grim realization sink in. As you might imagine this was a delicate situation for a 3rd grade teacher, but if anyone could allay the fears of a bunch of 9-year old kids during a national tragedy it was my sister.

She gently told her students that they were safe, nothing was going to happen to them, that anyone who wanted to go home would be allowed to do so. All was well. Except not quite . . .

At this point another teacher from down the hall made an appearance. Apparently the realization that terrorists had been involved had just occurred to this lady and she wasn’t handling it well.

For j-u-s-t as Sis had calmed down her class, said teacher came bursting through the door:

“We’re under attack! WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!”

Aaaand the kids totally went back into panic mode. Fortunately Sis had the presence of mind to quickly usher the panicked teacher out the door, get back to her shaken class, and restore order once again.

Hey, some people can handle adversity and some can’t.

Trust me, I know that was an awful day but to hear Sis tell the story was hilarity at its finest. I was in tears. My sister, seeing humor during one of the worst days in human history.

God I miss her.

Thought: Is it OK to tell funny stories about 9/11? It is, right?

Meet Ace Davis, a 10-year-old kid from Lexington, Kentucky who created a science fair project about Tom Brady. While kids in New England might be trying to figure out how to scientifically prove that Brady is the greatest quarterback who ever lived, Ace decided to go in a different direction. He created a science fair project that proves that Brady is a cheater.

Ace sought to prove that Brady was a cheater through science. He wanted to show that deflated footballs gave Brady a competitive advantage. On his poster, he included the results of experiments he did with his mom and sister. Each of them threw footballs of varying inflation, and he measured the distance of each one and calculated the average. He found that the least inflated football traveled the farthest, therefore giving Brady a competitive advantage.

Of course, he included more than that on his poster. He used a Brady Deflategate meme, a picture of Brady crying, and a picture of Brady making a very weird face.

Ace won his Science Fair and is advancing to the Districts. When asked how he thinks he’ll do there he replied, “I’m gonna win that too.” He was then asked what he’d like to say to Brady. Ace’s response?

“Give me some of your money. You don’t deserve it.”

Damn Ace. Hate Brady much?

Anyway, hell yes Ace Davis proved Tom Brady’s a cheater. Ace is out there fighting for truth, justice and the American way. Dude’s the damn superhero we all need right now, and if winning a Science Fair in Lexington, Kentucky isn’t proof that Touchdown Tawmy’s a cheater I don’t know what is. That’s just Science. Literally. The referees and the NFL won’t stand up to Brady, but you know who will? Ace Davis, that’s who, the kid who’s advancing to the Districts with intentions of winning the whole damn thing.

PS- Those quotes from Ace is pure gold. GOLD.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Soddy-Daisy High School’s athletic director Jared Hensley. Listen, I’m about as non-PC as they come, bit this guy is nuts. I was trying my best to believe the guy might be joking, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t sound serious as hell. How in the world would he ever think this is OK to say in 2018? I mean, I’ve known some dumb administrators, but . . . never mind, just watch.

So damn true. Here are 20 teacher memes for your perusal.

[click on a photo and scroll]

A teacher’s life is stressful, man. Also exhilarating. Hey, the highs outweigh the lows but sometimes you have to shake things up a little to keep it fresh, ya know? My students have many a story of my wacky antics. Anywho, check out these photos of some times when teachers went a little overboard. Classic stuff.

Apparently Jerry and Robby have been causing some problems.

This, my friends, is what the kids call a sick burn. Throwing shade if you will. Any way you look at it, I’m pretty sure this kid got an F-.

That’s a little petty. And by petty I mean awesome.

This will remind some of my students of something I did at Twin back in the early 90s.

They got Rick-Rolled!

This is actually a photo of the teacher taped to his window. Diabolical. Also genius.

What would you do?

People kept stealing calculators. It was the only appropriate response, really.

Just a brutal attack on the cesspool of morons at Virginia Western. On a related note, they totally deserved it.

I also had a skeleton in class. When you think about it, everyone has skeletons in class, they’re just covered in skin and stuff. I’ll shut up now.

Classic move by band director’s here. They must teach it at band college or something.

Hardcore teacher here. Dude does NOT bend.

Do not be late or you will suffer the wrath of Professor Schmedlap.

As seen on a teacher’s laptop. Pretty normal folders for most educators.

Bro, you missed the first class? You deserved this. Good luck with the Red Pandas.

This reminds me of a story involving my son, which I shall not recount here. Anyway, enjoy . . .

PIX11 — An online worksheet that was never meant for children has parents at one Virginia middle school furious after a teacher mistakenly passed it out to the class, according to WTVR. A teacher at Carter G. Woodson Middle School assigned the “Family Quiz” worksheet Friday in a Family & Consumer Sciences class, according to parents.

Oh boy. First, let’s take a gander at the worksheet? How bad could it be? I mean really?

Well hell. How bad could it be? I guess the answer is pretty bad. It really took a left turn there on 17 through 20, amirite? And “boy toy” and “trophy wife” really takes it to another level, man. But honestly, who downloads a test and passes it out without, you know, looking it over first? Good God.

PS- Kudos to the kid that took this test. Nailed it.

PPS- Love the family dog at the top of the test. Cool.

Every teacher I know has experienced tough classes, those groups that were a little more difficult than others. One particular year I had a really troublesome group, and to make matters worse I had them the last period of the day. Any teacher will tell you that having a demanding group of kids at the end of the day is never a good combination.

Anyway, one year I had one such group, and when I say they were bad I mean bad. I had to constantly stay on top of them or the class would spiral into total chaos. There were one or two boys in particular that the rest of the class sort of fed off of, and it was just a difficult group to deal with all-around.

The year I had this particular class I was teaching Social Studies, and for the few years prior I’d been a part of our local Junior Achievement program, where local business men or women would come in and teach a class once a week for 8-weeks. They’d be given a lesson plan from the Junior Achievement folks and apply their knowledge and experience in teaching the class. As luck would have it, the Junior Achievement class was assigned to my last period.

Uh-oh.

Whatever poor schmuck was assigned to my class was in for a terrifyingly enlightening experience. Hell, I had some problems with this group and I rarely had problems with any class. There was simply no way this could end well.

Could the situation get any worse? Turns out it could. The businessman assigned to my class turned out to be . . . wait for it . . . my 75-year old retired father.

Dad had been the Purchasing Manager at the Mead Corporation for many years, he’d been asked to take part, and the woman running the program thought it would be nice to assign him to my class.

Oh boy. All I could envision was a bunch of 8th grade heathens running roughshod over my poor father. He’d never taught a day in his life and he’d just been handed the worst group of kids I’d ever had as an educator. I mean, I knew my Mom was a badass teacher, but Dad? I was worried.

As for Dad, I tried to warn him but he just sort of chuckled and shrugged it off. I also mentioned to my class that my father would be their Junior Achievement teacher, and they too sort of chuckled and shrugged it off. Man, did I dread seeing Dad walk through my classroom door on that first day. Poor guy was being fed to the lions and he had no idea.

Well, the day finally arrived and as I let Dad into my classroom the kids were, unsurprisingly, laughing and joking as I introduced him. I raised my voice at them and implored them to settle down. And then, my father began to speak . . .

He spoke quietly as he addressed the class. He never asked them to quiet down, never asked them to please pay attention. Incredibly, one by one the kids stopped talking, and one by one they slowly turned around, watched, and listened. There was something about his bearing, his attitude, that had the class in rapt attention.

And I swear to God he never raised his voice once.

Incredibly, this continued for 8-straight classes. Dad had them in the palm of his hand, man. They respected him simply because of the way he carried himself and the way he treated them. And boy, did I learn a lot from watching him.

Sure, teachers can learn a lot from in-services, education classes, and other resources. But I also think a lot of good teachers are simply born with that ability to relate, and to connect, with students. That first day I learned that my father was one of those people.

And I also learned to never, ever underestimate my Dad.

Back when I was Athletic Director at our school I pulled a pretty good prank, although admittedly it was a prank that was a little on the edge. OK, it may have been over the edge. Here’s how it all went down . . .

For reasons I don’t remember I was over in the elementary building of our school, which is separate from the high school but only about 30-feet away. I probably walked over to shoot the breeze with some little kids, because nothing can cheer me up quicker. Well, except Sparky. Anyway, I turned a corner and saw nearly 20-students standing there in a nice, organized line outside the teacher’s lounge, albeit with no teacher in sight. I soon ascertained that their teacher was in the lounge, presumably using the restroom or possibly hitting up the snack machine, I can’t be certain.

Anyway, I knew the teacher pretty and I knew all her kids, and when I was going down the line knuckle-bumping the shawties it hit me – this is the perfect time to pull a fast one.

I was going to steal her class.

Quickly and with the precision of a master sleuth I explained my diabolical plan to the kidlets – follow me and we’ll pull a great trick on your teacher.

They were in.

Oh, there were a couple new kids looking at me with trepidation, possibly even fear, but even they were overwhelmed by the wave of peer pressure brought on by the majority of little prankster imps.

With a silence that surprised even me, the little dudes followed me like lambs to slaughter. Wait. That’s probably not appropriate. The little dudes followed me like the imminent threat of death. Nah, way too dark. The little dudes followed me like little 3-foot shadows.

Bingo.

I took the class all the way to my office in the high school. We took the back way too, so no other elementary teacher could spot us and narc us out.

Once there we camped out in my office, which really wasn’t built for 18-people plus me but most of them were pint-sized so we made it work. At one point I recall our high school principal walk by, look in the room, shake his head, and continue on his way.

He didn’t want to know.

In the meantime, here’s what went down over in the elementary hallway, as told by the irresponsible teacher who’d lost an entire class of innocent children that day . . .

Upon her exit from the lounge, at first there was confusion. Then, she assumed they’d walked on down to their classroom so she went there. Nothing. It was at this point where confusion slowly began to turn to panic. She jogged to the gym. Nobody. Looked outside on the playground. Empty. Asked a couple teachers if they’d seen anything. Nada. Now she was coming to the grim realization that she had to tell the principal the unthinkable, that she’d lost an entire class of 9-year olds. Then, because I have impeccable timing, her cell phone buzzed . . .

“Hello?”

“Hey, what’s up?”

Oddly and inexplicably, she knew immediately upon the sound of my voice I was somehow responsible for this. How dare her?

“Shoemaker, damn it! Where are my kids! You scared the hell out of me! Bring them back!”

“Why, I have no idea what you’re talking ab . . .”

Nah, I couldn’t do it. I was laughing too hard to continue, not to mention there were 18-munchkins giggling maniacally in the background. Eventually I was convinced to return her class to her, and after taking a couple really hard shots to the sternum all was forgiven. Hey, so the kids missed a few minutes of Science class. The knowledge they gained regarding the Art of the Prank will last them a lifetime.

 

 

 

(Source) — Elementary school students in one Florida school district are going to find a welcome new – but controversial – policy when they return to school for the 2017-18 school year next month: no traditional homework. They are being asked to do one thing to help them academically: Read for 20 minutes a minute a night. Heidi Maier, the new superintendent of the 42,000-student Marion County public school district in Florida, said in an interview that she made the decision based on solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students.

Listen, I don’t claim to know the research but it might surprise you to find out I don’t hate this. I know times have changed, but I never gave out much homework when I taught, and when I did I tried to leave time during class so I could help the students out myself. I think some of you parents will agree that there’s nothing worse than trying to help your kid with something you don’t understand yourself. That’s brutal, man. Back in my early years of teaching I knew teachers who would absolutely bury kids with 2-3 hours of homework every night. Made no sense to me. Anyway, that’s how I feel and I’m sticking to it. So there.

PS- After doing some research on this subject I found that this has been a growing trend in education for awhile now. Once again I was a man ahead of his time.

PPS- I’m also pretty sure I was one of the first to use rock music in the classroom during tests and stuff back in 1985. Now John Hopkins University is publishing articles about it. Boom.

ASHWAUBENON— A student wearing a Star Wars mask and costume prompted an evacuation at Ashwaubenon Middle School Thursday morning, May 4th.

Officials say a concerned parent called police after seeing someone walk into the school with dark clothing and a mask.

“There was no legitimate threat at AMS today. It was a misunderstanding where a student wore a Star Wars costume for “May the Fourth Be With You” day. There was no intent of a threat, but the student will be held accountable,” said Ashwaubenon School District said in a Facebook post.

Number one, what kind of a degenerate anti-American Putin-loving communist assclown snitch doesn’t know who Darth Vader is? And why the hell will the kid be “held accountable”? How is showing up on Star Wars Day as Darth Vader wrong? I mean, how does this school expect to deal with Halloween, man? Seriously though, a kid walks into a middle school dressed as Darth Vader and the entire school is evacuated. Never underestimate the power of the Dark Side, huh?

Just an outstanding effort here by the Collin Walker. Little bro didn’t try to get out of school for a day, he went for the entire WEEK. And not only can he stay home, Mrs.Teague has given her permission for him to play video games. Pure freakin’ genius. And the “I am the teacher!” at the end just topped off the masterpiece. Damn it, if he’d only been better at the grammar and spelling thing I think he might’ve pulled it off. Good effort, Collin Walker. Good effort indeed. You gotta dream big, brother.

Yep. Five years today. Hard to believe, really. After months of meticulous and careful planning, conducting arduous interviews while assembling my crack staff, and clearing a myriad of government regulations, we launched Shoe: Untied on an unsuspecting world.

Since that warm, sparkling Spring Day back in 2012 I’ve posted over 5,300 times and have been viewed by citizens from all over the world. For reasons unbeknownst to me, our humble little site is very popular in Belgium and the Philippines. I know, that makes absolutely no sense to me either.

The site has had as many as 300,000 hits in a single day as we’ve covered sports, politics, education, history, kids, animals, music, entertainment, and God knows what else. We’ve posted original writing, weird, funny and outrageous videos, and we’re 87.3% sure Lebron James himself messaged us to defend himself once.

I’ve received death threats and angry messages from racists, nazis, clowns, midgets, Trump supporters, fans of Peter Cetera, the People of Facebook, and angry mothers of high school bowlers.

The other day somebody made the comment on Facebook (after I’d made fun of something or other) that we, “Shouldn’t judge.” My response? “If I can’t judge I should probably shut down my website.” Honestly, that’s true. A large percentage of my content is making fun of people. Not sure what that says about me, and I may not want to know.

I’ve also received some great response from stuff I’ve written that sort of came straight from the heart, blogs like Remembering Andy, Jigger, Jigger’s Tree, Sara’s Last Wish, Trusting Robbie, A Man called Pop, A Right Cross, With Love, “You Saved Me, You Know“, Losing Tim, and WE ARE PAINT VALLEY.

See, I might just have a heart after all.

Of course, a lot of my writing is an attempt at humor, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Some of my more popular humorous blogs include Regarding Beach MidgetsTop 40 Eternal Musical Questions Answered! Sort of.OSU vs. Michigan and the Road Trip to End All Road TripsDodgeball: A Microcosm of LifeAn Incident at the MallHow a Convict Killed My Relationship, But Probably Saved Me In the Long Run, The All-Time Cartoon Football Team, My Reviews of the VMA Awards, and many more.

Of course, a lot of my writing involves my best friend, a 25-pound bundle of smarts and energy called Sparky. Just type is name into the search box up there to read all about him. Fair warning though – you might be up all night. I’ve written about that pup a lot.

A few of my articles have been picked up by newspapers and national websites, so that’s always cool. One piece, Requiem for a Tradition: The Demise of High School Sports, was linked to on The Big Lead, nationally prominent sports website.

Of course, sprinkled throughout has been funny, interesting or just plain strange videos, new articles with my commentary, and various other weirdness. I’ve had regular features like Cool Animal of the Day, Map of the Day, Incredible Photo of the Day, music videos, and a bunch of other stuff. I read somewhere once that if people visit a website 3-4 times and nothing new has been added they don’t come back, hence the crazy filler stuff.

Honestly though, writing is therapeutic for me. It’s an outlet that, quite frankly, I need. Is there ego involved? Absolutely. I get a thrill out of getting good feedback when I write something that touches somebody enough to make them cry, laugh, or feel something. Hell, I even get a kick out of the people I piss off. You know, except that one insane lady. She actually scared me a little.

All in all, though, the whole thing has been a positive experience. I’ve made a bunch of new friends a few new enemies in the last 5-years, I think more of the former than the latter.

I think.

Will this site make it another 5-years? Who knows. But hey, I’ll give it a shot, and hopefully you’ll hang around with me.

Especially my good friends in Belgium and the Philippines.

Well, honesty is a good quality, right? And hey, it is fried chicken.

Well, hell.

funny-christmas-posts-130-58593d36c3149__700

(NBC)Hamden High School was placed on lockdown and evacuated this hellreadmorning after an altercation was reported and police said a student making “basketball” moves prompted the response. Police said a school employee reported hearing someone walking toward her, then saw a teenage boy raise his fist as if he was going to punch her, so she hurried her pace to get away and alerted coworkers. The school investigated and police said the student was running in the hallway and made believe he was dunking a basketball when the school employee turned around, according to police. Hamden High School students were brought to Hamden Middle School during the lockdown and have been allowed back into their own school.

First off, how can a school be put on lockdown and evacuated at the same time? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Anyway, what we have here is, first, an overreaction from the teacher. Have a little fun for once in your life, Miss Buzzkill. And even if you felt disrespected take the kid to the office and give him an in-school suspension or something. Secondly, it’s an overreaction from the administration. Clearing the building? Really? It’s not like the kid had an uzi or something. He fake-dunked on a teacher. Big whoop. Sadly, this type of reaction is typical of the wussified society we live in.

PS- Can’t wait until Trump fixes this. Maybe after he builds that wall, bans Muslims, throws Hillary in prison, and kills ISIS. January 20th can’t get here too soon.

I’m literally in tears over here.

face-with-tears-of-joy

Can’t fault the logic, man.

creepy-children-drawings-25-57ff847b3697f__700

A Lesson Learned

Posted: September 23, 2016 in Classroom, Life
Tags: ,

Note: I’m going to leave names and locations out of this story, although a lot of you will know who and where I’m talking about. There are no hard feelings regarding any of this, as I was young, hard-headed and stupid in many ways, sort of like I am now minus the young part. In addition, some people may remember what happened differently, and that’s cool. This is simply how I recall what happened.

It was during my third year of teaching when I learned a valuable lesson, a lesson that I’ll explain at the end of this recollection. As I said, I was young at the time, wasn’t particularly involved in teacher unions or anything like that, just excited about teaching and the future I had to look forward to. Anyway, here’s what happened . . .

I was teaching middle school Reading at the time and we had a pretty good thing going at our school. Our principal was a great guy, loved the kids, got along well with his staff, blah-blah-blah. Our high school? Not so much. The principal there was having some problems. I don’t even recall what those problems were, but suffice it to say trouble was afoot.

As administrations sometimes do, they made a decision that made zero sense. They simply decided to switch principals. Yep, their answer was to move the middle school principal to the high school and the high school principal to the middle school. While this decision was great for the high school, we at the middle school were pretty pissed about it.

So, a meeting was called. I’m not even sure who called it, all I remember is walking into a classroom where the entire staff had gathered to discuss this act of egregiousness.  As the teachers in the room were going back-and-forth regarding possible ways to deal with the problem,  I distinctly recall sitting in the back, talking with my buddy Joe about something, probably basketball or politics. At some point during the teacher’s discussion a decision was made to send a representative to talk to our superintendent, let him know how we felt as a staff.

To this day I don’t know how I was chosen to represent our staff, but maybe it was because I was young and idealistic, possibly because I didn’t give a damn, likely because I was naïve enough to think there would be no repercussions.

I should have recognized the foreshadowing of events to come when 4 or 5 of the more vocal teachers pulled me aside after the meeting or early the next morning and whispered something along the lines of, “Hey, you’re not going to mention any names over there, are you?”

Uh, no? But as I mentioned, I was young, idealistic, and evidently a little dumb.

The meeting had been after school, so the next morning I called over to our Superintendent’s Office to schedule an appointment, which was made for noon that day. After eating in my room I headed that way.

As I walked over I passed my aforementioned good friend and fellow coach Joe’s room, where he was sitting at his desk finishing his lunch. I stuck my head in and said, “Hey, I’m heading over for my meeting. Want to walk over with me?” He sort of shrugged, replied, “Sure,” and hopped up to join me. Just providing a little backup, nothing more.

Or so we thought.

We walked into the Supe’s office, sat down, and I expressed the feeling of the staff, being extra careful to not mention anyone by name. I basically just said the middle school staff was happy with the way things were and didn’t agree with the switching of principals. My friend Joe sat there and didn’t say a lot, although he did pitch in with a thought or two along the way.

When I finished I was basically expecting a “Thanks for your input Mr. Shoemaker. I’ll consider the staff’s opinion. Have a nice day.”

What I got instead was, “Well, if you two don’t think you can work with your new principal we can make other arrangements.”

Hold on a sec there, boss. What?

Number one, I was just the spokesperson. Number two, aren’t we all professionals here? Just because I don’t agree with the decision doesn’t mean I won’t continue to do my job the way I always have. What the hell?

At that point things got a little tense, but not out of hand. I sort of vocalized the points I made in the previous paragraph, and my buddy Joe added his 2-cents as well.

So, the meeting ended with some awkward handshakes and terse goodbyes, but I otherwise thought we’d made our point, been unceremoniously rebuked, and sent on our way. I was sort of shocked but otherwise unscathed. End of story.

Wrong.

The next morning I stopped at my mailbox, and in it was a letter informing me I was being transferred to one of our outlying middle schools in the district for the next school year. Stunned, I walk down to my room. Shortly thereafter Joe, the guy who had walked over with me because his room was on my way to the meeting, walks in holding a letter of his own. He was being transferred as well, to our other outlying school.

Nice.

And you know what? Although some parents complained, not one teacher spoke up in our defense.

In the end it turned out fine for me because I spent two wonderful years at the school I’d been transferred to, and I met some outstanding students and families who are friends to this day. Then I moved to Paint Valley where I taught until I retired. Joe only spent one year away before moving back to his original school when a job opened up.

All in all it was quite a learning experience, but my biggest lesson was this:

When things go bad a lot of people will talk big, but when it’s time to go to battle and you’re the one leading the charge, don’t look behind you.

There may not be anybody there.

Weird but honest.

weirdteacher