Freedom to learn…Life notes…

Fourth of July – Freedom!  I love it!  🙂  Seeing Seaford in laid back and relaxed eyes is amazing, and I have to say, I love Delaware when I do not have to be pressed every minute.  I am so grateful for the people that have surrounded my lives – and influenced my lives – I cam across an article that I will share that to me, epitomizes everything I think education should be – and teachers could use it as a mantra!

Coming from Mexico to the U.S. was a tricky maneuver, rumors of shell shock from the narcotics shoot out at the airport, Terminal 2, has all kind of interesting situations coming back into the states, but WHEW – made it!

Coming into DCA airport, I did have a euphoria of what it would be like one year after I left – I was able to check into the rental car agency, and they Upgraded me for free to a Santa Fe – Waaaay cool!  My first time behind the wheel in ages felt wonderful, awesome, and just, good to be back!

As I crossed Alexandria, VA into Takoma Park, MD, I phoned my cousin who told me to brace for one heck of a storm, and BAM!  Out of nowhere, winds that could move the vehicle, and rains that had large cats and dogs (lol) came!  A tree two different times (not the same one!) came down – in the road, I went past them, around them, you know….for one minute I thought I was in a Flintstone’s care wash with all the trees and nature around me!

Arriving at my cousins, I realized they had no electricity – I did not doubt it after seeing the strength of this storm, welcome home!  🙂  Waking up, I was in a pace to get to the wedding, that is right, Kate Baltz’s wedding on Saturday, June both?  Was I excited?  ARE YOU KIDDING?  YEAH!  I rolled into DO, leaving my delelectrified cousins behind wondering when they would resume electrical power, what a home-coming storm?

I spent the day breaking in my BestBuy credit card getting the new Cannon Rebel camera, with lenses, and coming back to ready myself for the wedding.  All I can say is, THAT might have been the best wedding and event I have ever been to.  From the familiar faces – friends, students, and so many more, to representing the BlueJay Mascot in pictures and the dance floor, to just being a part of someone’s special day, I realized how much the Baltz’s had inspired me as a teacher as well.  Kate had truly been my first mentor for how I could channel all things from my Dad through me to others, and that gift would never leave – I would be forever grateful for this gift given.  I had so much fun, I would never forget the times I had as a part of Drew and Kate’s special day, this truly made coming home a special memory that would be one of the best.

Sunday – BEACH!  I loved getting my tanbark, smelling and tasting the saltwater, and just the smells, sounds an being a beach bum, I LOVE THE BEACH!

Monday – Tuesday I finally arranged little details of the beginnings of selling my household items, getting my truck ready for the road trip of a lifetime, and WEDNESDAY!  Yes!  Today!  Hitting the boardwalk with Tammy and Tuyet, Mom, and family, with Free Hugs shirts, appointments for matching tattoos,  🙂 and a Fourth of July that would rock the house because of the people around me.  Visiting Chapel Branch in the AM brought me to this awesome revelation –

Taking a year off from the Summer 5k’s was a difficult choice, yet, I have received over 15 calls from previous sponsors – vendors that want to be sponsors for the 5k’s we held last year!  WHOA!  When you don’t have 5k’s, and people call, that is kind of….AMAZING!  Looks like next year will be making up for not having 5k’s this year, so anyone interested in being on the mailing list, let me know…but – it gets better.  I had a dream of creating a nature center at Chapel Branch, to allow a running shoe store, center of running/sports activities, as well as a center for classes that bring the resources of the environmental classroom of the “Chapel” to students.  Someone contacted me and expressed an interest in helping sponsor this initiative, in a BIG way.  How exciting is that?  I feel the dream of bringing back students to work in such a project for the summers is exciting, and the possibilities are limitless.  🙂

Which brings me to a memory – one day  few years back,  parent blatantly said to me, “Someone who wants to spend more time with their students then outside the classroom has a major mental problem.”  Hearing this, I realized, I had always been mental, but – this motivated me to show people they were right, I DID have a problem, I cared more for my students that the relationships I could have that would not be as fruitful and rewarding.  No offense, being single – well to the public is a bad thing, but ever since I recruited and have worked alongside some students that have surprised me their selflessness and heart warming giving back, I realized, the time I have invested in them has been worth more time that I would ever entertain in a bar, trying to meet someone in hopes of a “relationship’, and honestly, the dividends back have been ten fold.  So to that parent who motivated me a long time ago, thank you.  Your actual negativity inspired me to dig deep and reward myself in ways I had no idea would occur!

This all came back to me in this article I came across for my studies for the 21st Century, obtaining course credit from the University of California and through NCTE.

Framing the text Using storyboards to engage students with reading

This article also talks about the value of teachers being there as role models outside of the normal curriculum.  In doing so, students become stable, and more appreciative of eduction.  I grew because of this philosophy and it has never steered me wrong.  My comments below about this article are below:

I loved this article in the ways that it was stressed this strategy could be overused.  I think this goes for any strategy, and shows there is a multitude of strategies available to educators that can achieve a states’ assessment goal.    By using storyboarding, personality is added to the assignments, and students understand there is life inside AND outside the classroom.

 I like that this is a subtle approach to art. Many people think using art is dragging out markers and colored pencils, when in reality, art is such a wider range if interpretation for so many mediums, such as film, fiction, and poetry.  This is a testament that technology can be used, but the simple tools such as Powerpoint, often considered antique, have its role when the creativity in a lesson is the true aim, not the technology. 

Overall, I have learned in so many more ways how to turn the jealousy, creativity, and negativity of others into something positive and blossoming.  I learned this from the best teachers around, my students.  🙂



About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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