Captain’s Corner Newsletter #1

The Captain’s Corner
Newsletter # 1 3/22/19

My first years of teaching. (at 46 years old)
This being the first newsletter I would like to say hi and wish you all the best. I plan to put together a newsletter each month and bring you tid-bits of info about reading.
To start out I would like to highlight my beginning teaching years. Those were the most intense and scary years that I can remember. All the new procedures, educational standards, female co-workers and all those wonderful children. You see I was a construction worker doing remodeling for 3 decades.
After I married an elementary school teacher and started have children it seemed like the right thing to do. I had graduated as a secondary teacher, but was required to do the elementary level course work. Being a teacher as well would put me in touch with my family.
I made it through all the hoops and started out in 1st grade. I remember that first day. All the children were sitting wide eyed on the carpet listening to the morning announcements. When the announcements were over and it was my turn I had this major chest pain and couldn’t even talk. It seemed to last forever, but was probably only 20 seconds or so, but it seemed like an eternity. Thank goodness the pain went away and my career began.
I spend my first year in 1st grade and then looped up with my class to 2nd , where I stayed for 8 more years. As a second grade teacher I was full of high hopes to get the children to start writing stories and reading up a storm. To my surprise 2/3’s of my class didn’t even know their letter sounds. I was in new territory and had much to learn.
Luckily the school I was at had gotten a grant to assist the staff to bring the whole schools reading scores up. So, I was immersed in work shop after work shop. Learning an abundance of techniques in the reading process which in time I incorporated into Read A-way.
Home life
During these beginning years teaching I had two sons. One was 6 and the other was 2. My dream as a young man was to be a little league coach for my kids. So, along with my new teaching career I began coaching. T-ball, soccer, and basketball. Year round. I would finish up my teaching day, rush off to pick up my older son, and make it to the field or court. I did this for 4 years with my oldest son, and then 4 years with my youngest son. Also during this time we had bought a 2 stall horse stable on the outskirts of Tucson and I turned it into a very creative household. Teaching, coaching, building. Hard to imagine now, but it’s true.
The students were lined up in the cafeteria for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: “Take only ONE. God is watching.”
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, “Take all you want. God is watching the apples.”

Saying for the month

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Walt Disney
Acronym w/ poem (virtues)




Attentiveness is more than just listening to what others say,
It’s also listening to their words and then feeling the same way.

Without knowing the feelings of the one you’re talking with,
Then to think you’re understanding is truly just a myth.

Like hearing a child’s brave words, then listening to their tone,
Let’s you know the child is stoic, but doesn’t wish to be alone.

The fast pace of our life promotes only listening on the surface,
Which negates communication, which I thought was the purpose.

So, when you listen, focus in. and feel what others feel,
To have attentiveness to others often helps those talking heal.

“attentive as a drumstick before a concert” JC

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