Monthly Archives: March 2012

Optimism Tour Rocks the House…(or should I say gymnasium?)

What a great day to sing and make a joyful racket. (In case you didn’t already know this, there’s not a lot of teaching and learning that goes on the day before Spring Break.) The Optimism Tour was a blast. Pictures coming soon!

Favorite stage quip: “I know you didn’t ask for it, but we’re going to give you an encore anyway!”-Mr. B

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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Optimism Tour

Here’s a list of songs for the first ever (and possibly last) Optimism Tour: Feelin’ Groovy, I Can See Clearly Now, Grandma’s Feather Bed, Country Roads, Battle of New Orleans, Don’t Worry-Be Happy, Lean on Me, Yellow Submarine, Dynamite, I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,  and Magic Penny. (D-square on the left, Mr. B on the right.)D-Square (left) and Mr. B (right)

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Kids Say the Darndest Things

I hear all kinds of things from kids as a teacher. A few weeks ago a kid came up to me and said, “When we do math my brain gets warm on this side of my head.” (Points to right side of his head.) But today was the grandaddy of student quotes. My class was coming in from recess and after several minutes of students wandering back to their seats, a boy approached me at my desk and said, “When I was in the bathroom, I slapped So-and-So on the butt, and then he turned around and kicked me in the balls…and it hurt.” I very calmly told him, “Well, I guess you’re even then.” He looked at me kind of weird and slowly walked away. (I think he was hoping I’d do something to the kid that kicked him.)

This brings me to my next point. Would you have ever said the word “balls” while talking to your teacher? I know we didn’t talk like that around adults when I was growing up.

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized



Parent-Teacher Conferences…What NOT to Say

Parent-Teacher Conferences are quickly approaching, and nothing ruins the mood more than the wrong choice of words. Telling a parent that their child is “screwing around way too much” and “really getting on my nerves” will not go over well.  Like the majority of professional jobs (excluding athletes), the art of biting one’s tongue is a very necessary skill. While it may be tempting to say exactly what’s on your mind while talking with parents, it’s best to word things in such a way that your point gets made, but there’s no chance of getting punched in the stomach or slapped across the face. Can you imagine a doctor saying to a patient, “Wow! You are so fat. I can’t believe you let yourself go like that. YOU ARE SO HUGE! What you doing, eating at Old Country Buffet for lunch and supper!?!? And your blood pressure…it’s off the charts, man! Are you trying to kill yourself or what?”  No, they just say things like, “You know, I noticed your weight is kind of creeping up there. You might want to think about eating differently. Try to cut down on the soda and eat more fruits and vegetables. That might help your blood pressure too.”

How about an auto mechanic: “What were you thinking when you bought this car? Ever heard of Consumer Reports?

Hairstylist: “Are you sure you want me to cut your hair like that? I mean…I’ll do it, but you don’t really have the right shape to your head for that one. Plus you have those weird lumps behind your ears.”

Dentist: “What are trying to do, see how many cavities you can squeeze into a six-month period? Did you lose the toothbrush I gave you the last time you were here?”

Builder: “That is the absolute worst place to put your house. You do realize your basement is going to be full of water every time it rains, right?

Photographer: “Okay people, try not to look like you’re at your grandma’s funeral.”

I’ve compiled a few phrases that would be best to avoid while talking with any child’s parents. Instead of saying, “Your kid is extremely loud and  obnoxious, he’s driving me crazy,” say, “Sometimes I need to remind (child’s name) to use his inside voice. It’s very difficult for the class to stay focused on their work.” Rather than say, “Your kid does nothing but screw around when he’s supposed to be working,” say, “(Child’s name) needs a lot of reminders to stay on task.” Finally, instead of, “Your kid needs to grow up and stop acting like a baby when things don’t go her way,” say, “She’s still working on handling herself appropriately when she gets frustrated or upset.”

Hope this helps.

-Mr. B

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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Teaching Tips


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