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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Last Dog Day of August

This Friday, August 31st, provided me the perfect opportunity to reflect on several topics I wish to share with my readers.  First, I want to give a shout out to my wife Aimee.  Yesterday was our Ninth Wedding Anniversary and while our life now revolves around raising three children, one 6 year old and twin four year olds, it seems we often lack the time to spend with each other.  It's a common situation I know for couples with young children who are involved and participate in sports and other activities.

I promised Aimee that we will soon celebrate our Anniversary together in a few weeks when things have settled down and our new school year routines have begun.  Also adding a pall over the last two weeks of summer was that my wife was hit in the rear on August 20th as she was returning home from work and as a result she's not in tip top shape.  Hopefully, her recovery will be quick, weeks not months, and after some  Physical Therapy I pray that will be the case.

Also, this last day of August moves the calendar towards Labor Day and for many a return to school.  I am very excited to have my children get off to a solid start at their new school.  We visited the school a few days ago and they had a chance to go inside the building and speak to several of the teachers who were there setting up their rooms.

My children aslo visited my classroom this week as I went in and set up my classroom.  I am a dually certified Elementary Teacher (1-6) as well as a Special Education Certified teacher (1-6) and I will be entering my third year in the profession.   I became a teacher, after working in the business world, in order to make a positive difference in the lives of children. I always had good rapport with children and teens and once I returned to school to earn my Master's degree, there was no turning back, I was hooked. My student teaching experiences only validated my decision to return to school back in 2005 as the correct one.

These last three years I've taught in a self contained classroom at a Special Eduction School where I work with 12 children ranging in age from age 12 to 18.  My students, each with unique backgrounds, are a testament to the character traits of fortitude, resiliency and spirit and it is my honor being their teacher. 

I am excited to rejoin my kids and to continue to facilitate their learning.  This year we will be using the Smartboard, which was installed this summer, across many activities in several content areas.  I would also like to continue to find other creative ways to demonstrate to my kids that the world is bigger than what they see outside.  Last year, I used a web based site called e-pals to have several snail mail correspondences with students from England.  Additionally, a class from India reached out to us this summer so I have to follow that up and involve classes from other parts of the world.

This global connectedness extends to social media such as Twitter.  I have been fortunate to follow several teachers, principals and administrators on Twitter.  There is no lack of ideas or other school related creative platforms discussed using this medium and I have discovered and plan on attempting several exercises gleaned from my Twitter "collaborators" and "facilitators."

I want to thank each and every one of them for sharing on Twitter and for providing the impetus for me to reflect on my own practice and providing me with other great ideas I can employ in my practice.  So educators follow me on Twitter: @SteveKeegan10 and I'll follow back.  Also, Special Educators of Severely and/or Behaviorally Challenged I would love to hear back from you and pick your brains.  Perhaps our classes could collaborate on a project together.

Leave me a line with your e-mail and/Twitter handle in the comments section.

Onward and Upward,

Steve

P.S.  Another shout out today goes out to WFUV radio here in NY at 90.7 FM dial or on internet radio using the Tunein Radio app.  Today they played free form music all from the 1980's.  This was a formative decade for me and I thoroughly enjoyed all the music I heard today.  From new wave bands, to one hit wonders to established artists the music selected today was instantly recognizable and brought me back in time as good music will do.  Here's a video of one of the tunes I heard today.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Farewell Summer: It was over before it began.

Hello again and welcome to my blog.  It's been quite a while since my last post and the calendar has almost reached the unofficial end of summer.  In another week and a half it will be September and Labor Day will be upon us.  My kids will soon be back to school, 1 first grader and 2 kindergarteners here at home, and teachers will be back to work. 

Many teachers, which include 5 members of my family, have been off since the end of June.  As for me, after having the last week off in June, I worked at my school from July 3 through August 10th as part of its extended year program.  I had fun this summer with my students as there were weekly activities structured for them to enjoy as well as swimming twice a week.  Also, very exciting to me, my room received an interactive Smartboard and we began to use it in a variety of ways.

During the start of my school's summer program I was very fortunate to have my children stay with my in-laws during the first part of the program.  My children enjoyed staying with Mama and Papa in Florida and they all returned to NY as much better swimmers. 

My in-laws then brought the children home in mid July and they stayed with us for the last month of summer school.  I want to express to them my thanks and gratitude for their generosity and assistance during their stay with us.  The moments shared with your grandchildren will be ones they will remember forever.

Since school ended on August 10th, I've had almost three weeks to cram in as much activity as I can squeeze in with my family and it's been great having this time with them.  With my girls, we've made tie died t-shirts and with my son we've gone to a Mets game.  My kids are also participating in Pee Wee Football and Cheerleading so that has kept us busy with practices twice a week.  Once school begins it will get even busier around here but I am looking forward to the new school year and my children's continued educational journey.  We also visited their former daycare where we saw many of the staff that watched and worked with my three kids for four years.  The staff in the baby room were amazed at how tall my daughters are.  I remember bringing them there as babies in a double stroller and now they are ready for school. 

This may be my last blogpost for a little while.  I've been posting to my blog since 1/2011 and while I enjoy an occasional opine about some current event or personal story i wish to share, I haven't received as much feedback from the readers (at least enough to engage me and offer any inspiration or debate) as I wished to have, despite my appeals for comments.  The most views I've had to a particular blogpost was to the modified IKEA table I affixed baseball cards to and varnished back in the spring.  I suppose readers liked that activity.

Another factor in any reduced output in blogpost is time.  Once school begins, I will be busy with work (my own and my children's schoolwork).  As a result, the opportunities that  I could get some time to spend on the blog will be few and far between. 

Maybe the overall format of the blog will change.  In this age of Twitter, maybe shorter blogposts would be the answer to the lack of time I have to devote to the blog.

As been said on T.V. "stay tuned."  

Would love to hear from you so drop me a line and/or follow me on Twitter @SteveKeegan10.