But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Few Words About Teaching - Poem

A Few Words About Teaching
 By Ms. Landon

The first thing I learned about teaching is that a teacher’s work is never done.
Don’t even think about entering this business, unless teaching is your passion.
My job description includes mentor, encourager, motivator, and instructor.
My mind is always inundated with thoughts of progress, success, and failure.
I am expected to plan engaging lessons and to grade papers all the time.
I must concentrate on every student because no child can be left behind.
My college degree prepared me for the content of my lessons,
But nothing could have prepared me to deal with all my gremlins.
Everyone tells me to keep a straight face. Put your students in their place.
Sit down! Turn around! Pay attention! Do you really want me to send you to detention?
Man challenges, zip ties, y’all and you guys -- working with juniors is always a surprise. 
There are so many distractions and disruptions that occur in my room.
I need a remote, so I can push pause or rewind and then resume.
My door opens on its own. Someone is always calling my phone.
When I go outside to talk, I know my door will be locked.
Someone drew on my board, stole my clicker, and my screen is upside down.
All I can do is fix the problem and convey my disappointment with a frown.
I am nicknamed L-dog, shoved in the hall, and voted home coming queen.
I guess that’s what happens when you look like you are only eighteen.
I remind my students that I am older than I look and younger than I act.
My students just tell me crazy things just to see how I will react.
 I am rendered speechless at least once a day.
It’s a good thing that I am not in this for the pay.
I don’t think my students understand how much I love working here.
Although some days, I wish an easy button would appear.
I HAVE to teach them about vocabulary, reading, writing, and grammar.
And when I challenge them, I am only concerned about their future.
I WANT to teach them the value of hard work, manners, and kindness,
But these are things one cannot teach but one must express.
Every one of my students has a special place in my heart,
And that is the most important lesson I have to impart. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Ankle Saga Continued

When I went to the hospital the next day, the doctor told me that I needed to have emergency surgery. My doctor had a great sense of humor. He told me that he chopped up people for fun, and I knew that I wanted him to do my surgery. I would rather laugh than cry any day of the week. I had to wait eight hours before my surgery because I ate a cheese stick while I was waiting for my x-ray results. Your stomach needs to be completely empty in order for them to administer aesthesia. They put me in a room with a television, and it seemed like every single commercial was about food. This was torture for me. When I went in for surgery, I was starving, but I lost my appetite instantaneously when I noticed all of the knives and saws on the tray next to me.
When I was in the operating room, I was shaking because I was nervous and because the room was freezing cold. The nurse piled blankets on top of me and then proceeded to strap me onto the table. I must have looked terrified because my doctor joked that they had to strap me down in case I decided to run away. The thought of myself hopping on my good foot with an ankle detached on the other made me laugh.
            When I woke up from my surgery, I was in more pain then when I broke it. I stayed in the hospital for the night, and I could probably write another post about that grand adventure. My Dad insisted on sleeping on a chair next to me to make sure I was ok. I was sick (no details worth mentioning here) from the aesthesia, so needless to say, I still could not eat. My ticket out of the hospital was a crutches test. I had to successfully hobble up and down stairs in order to be released from the hospital. This was easier said than done. I was dizzy, nauseous, and not exactly skilled on the crutches. My pain increased significantly when my ankle was not elevated. All of the blood rushed to my foot, and my toes actually turned a dark shade of purple. I almost fell down the stairs, but by the grace of God, I made it home.

            I stayed on the couch downstairs for weeks. Through this experience, I developed a deeper love and appreciation for my family. Believe me. I was not easy to live with. I was very depressed, and they had to do everything for me for two months. They had to serve me food, drive me to class, duck tape a towel and plastic bag around my leg, so I could take a shower…and the list goes on…and on. Because I could not do anything on my own volition, it was a humbling reminder that I cannot do anything on my own.
            My Mom knew that I was feeling useless, so she asked me to decorate my sister’s birthday cake. This is my job usually, but I was so tired. I did not sleep one wink the night before because the pain kept me up. I did, however, take a hearty dose of Percocet, which makes you drowsy. The cake actually was one of my best creations. However, I almost ruined it by passing out, face first into the cake.

            As I mentioned earlier, my injury rendered me completely useless, so I needed lots of assistance. Even after I stopped using my crutches, people still needed to help me get around, and my Dad had to carry me on the beach when we didn’t have the nifty beach mobile.  Walking on sand was out of the question. I thought it would be smooth sailing once I got off of my crutches and got my split removed, but it was still very difficult to walk. I limped because it felt like my ankle was so stiff that it was going to snap off. My sister told me that I looked like the alien from the Men and Black movie when I was trying to walk (the part when the alien was struggling to fit into the skin of the man on the farm).
            God was faithful during this entire experience. I had friends and family to encourage and take care of me, and God provided for my financial needs as well. This was not an easy journey, but I can walk without pain and am praying for complete healing. I hope to some day play soccer again. I read a quote in a Daily Bread devotional when I was doing physical therapy for my ankle, and it really resonated with me: “Write your plans in pencil and give God the eraser.” I struggle with letting go and letting God.  I need to pray, “If the Lord wills, [I] shall live and do this or that,” as it says in James 4:15.
Our life is uncertain, our path is unclear,
Yet we have no cause to falter or fear

If plans that we make our dreams to fulfill

Are born out of love for God and His will.
—D. De Haan

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Ankle Saga

Two years ago I broke my ankle playing indoor soccer, and I honestly have not been the same since. I obtained lovely scars from my surgery and have metal plates and screws in my ankle. Unfortunately, I have not played my beloved soccer since or participated in any other forms of rigorous exercise. I had a bimalleolar fracture, which means I broke both sides (the tibia and the fibula). I have been reflecting on my experience because I am going to see an ankle specialist tomorrow.  

It was the last ten seconds of the game. We were tied with the best team in the league. They had absolutely crushed us the first time we played them. It was a co-ed league, but the girls on this team were just as good as the guys. I wish I could say the same about myself. One of the girls played for a MLS team. The ball was bouncing toward one of their defenders, and if he received the ball, he would have kicked it to one of their cherry-picking forwards. Game over. I could under no circumstance let that happen, so I attempted to prevent the defender from getting the ball. However, he was about twice my size, so I decided to throw myself against him as hard as possible while blocking his path to the ball. (Yes, I know this is obstruction….) I went flying of course, but this is not an unusual occurrence for me, and I was fully expecting to bounce up and continue my pursuit. However, this time I caught my toe on the turf and put ALL of my weight on my ankle. I was on the ground, and my foot was underneath my leg. I was in excruciating pain and yelled until some guy put my foot back in the right direction.

People kept asking me to wiggle my foot or move my foot up and down, but I could not. It turns out that my bones were actually detached from my ankle joint. Ouch. We lost our game too. Penalty kicks are the worst. My Dad had to carry me out to the car, and we knew I needed to go to the hospital, but it was already after midnight, so we decided to go the next morning. I looked at my ankle, and it was about seven times larger than my other foot. It looked like I had Elephantitus. That is when I began to cry. I realized I probably just ruined my entire summer, and one of my worst nightmares was going to come true. I was going to get fat.

Let’s rewind a bit. This was going to be the busiest summer of my life. I had three jobs. I was taking two college courses, and one of them was Anatomy and Physiology – gag me with a spoon. I actually learned about ankle fractures the day I broke my ankle. Ironic, yes? I was running five times a week and lifting three. I was very proud of my summer plans, but breaking my ankle made me realize that I was not in control of my life. God is in control through the good times and the bad.
            To be continued… 

Saturday, June 18, 2011



Friendly, diligent, thoughtful, fun.

Daughter of caring parents.

Lover of soccer, acting, roller coasters, kids.

Feels happy, spastic, empathetic, protective.

Needs Jesus, friends, family, structure.

Fears spiders, eye gouging, small spaces, and failure.

Gives hugs, time, advice, and encouragement.

Would like to see my Compassion child, Costa Rica, Jesus recognized worldwide.

My heart resides where my family is.  


I was required to write this poem for one of my education classes. I followed a particular format and listed words to describe what I am like, who I belong to, what I like to do, feelings I feel, things I need, things I fear, things I give, things I wish for, and where I live. It was actually challenging to write because it was difficult for me to pick three or four words for each category. It is sometimes easier to describe other people. I found myself writing bio-poems in my head for my friends and family members when I was attempting to write mine. I think this would be a great way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year. If you are not a teacher, you could just try writing this bio-poem for the fun of it. Writing this type of poem really made me think about my priorities and what is truly important in my life. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How Much Are You Willing to Give?

Have you ever read the book, If You Give a Mouse A Cookie? If you have not read this book, you have probably heard people say, “If you give people an inch, they will take mile.” This concept is true in many cases; however, I would like you for a moment to invert this popular saying and consider the opposite occurrence. What if you gave a mile, and people only moved an inch? Wouldn’t this be just as frustrating?
 If you are a teacher, you know the amount of work you need to put into your job day in and day out. You may go the extra mile, and your students may only progress an inch. You may run a marathon and jump around the classroom doing calisthenics to make your lessons more interesting and engaging, and your students may not move at all. In fact, they may not even be fazed by your out of character behavior. (Well for some of us, this is our “normal” behavior.)
One of my education professors told me that students are like hinges. We as teachers move students in different directions. But what if students refuse to move? We can model good behavior and how to treat others with respect. We can show our students how excited we are about our subject and why it is important to learn. Teachers are responsible to reach every student, but some students are definitely harder to reach than others. What do you do about the student who won’t say spit in your class? What do you do for the perpetually grouchy student who hates every single one of your lessons?
What are you willing to do to help someone learn?

A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils. 
-- Ever Garrison

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What Every High School Teacher Needs to Know

(From High School Students)

1.     Students will try to test you because of your “lack of experience” – just be yourself, maintain honesty, and remember that not everyone is going to like you, but that isn’t what is important.

2.     You can share your faith and/or belief. Don’t fear that!

3.     We hate to do work and get distracted easily.

4.     We like to party.

5.     High schoolers are lazy and hate to be pushed, but sometimes it’s necessary.

6.     Treat us as if we were adults. Be nice but not lenient.

7.     Homework every night makes getting everything completed really difficult.

8.     Don’t teach something you don’t know well.

9.     High school students have the attention-span of squirrels with ADHD. Be patient.

10.  High school students react well to humor.

11.  Don’t show them you are nervous, or they will eat you alive!

12.  High school kids deal with a lot.

13.  Accept all students.

14.  We are all different and think differently.

15.  We’re crazy, ha, we stretch the limits. Just put your foot down.

16.  Make sure that all of your students are on the same level of awareness in class.

17.  High schoolers are lazy.

18.  Make yourself totally approachable.

19.  Don’t hate your students. Get to know them.

20.  Keep your cool.

21.  It’s DRAMA! Junior year is the hardest and probably most stressful year.

22.  Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be too strict either.

23.  Students have a lot of work in other classes and a lot of extracurricular activities, so don’t give a lot of work every night.

24.  We are big kids that have brains, but choose not to use them.

25.  Every teacher should know students care, even though we might not show we do.

26.  Let us know you are in charge, but be relaxed.

27.  Don’t give assigned seats…it makes us dislike you.

28.  Teach the good stuff. You were a kid once. You know what affected you, so it’s a good idea to keep that in mind.

29.  Every teacher should know we are teenagers. We have other activities and hobbies other than school.

30.  Don’t be over-controlling of your students.

31. Don’t make students feel dumb.

32.  Be prepared to be yourself.

33.  I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but for me even if I’m not interested in the subject, if the teacher is awesome, I will try my best.

34.  Don’t lose your personality like most teachers eventually do.

35.  Don’t assign seats (unless it’s way out of hand). Students will rebel and not like you.

36.  Students are extremely manipulating.

37.  Don’t believe everything students say.

38.  Don’t spend too much time on one thing.

39.  Even if you are “hard/mean,” it will only benefit kids in the long run.

40.  High school students are buckwild! So you have to match their intensity.

41.  We hate teachers who are intimidating.

42.  Students are EVIL!!!

43.  Students don’t behave.

44.  You have to make things interesting, or you will lose the attention of people.

45.  Be prepared for attitude. They think they know everything.