F is for Field Trip

It’s field trip day! Perfect for “f” in the AtoZChallenge! We’re going to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. When you teach kids day in and day out using curriculum on paper and overheads, it’s so effective to get them out into the real world where they can experience it with all 5 senses.

Today, about 70 kids from our high desert school get up close with Science. On exhibit is the Shuttle Endeavor. I plan to take a few choice photos and post them here on the blog so stay tuned. I’ve heard there are so many amazing exhibits, I can’t wait to see the wonder in my students’ faces. I got to pick my 5 students that had the highest chapter book reading points (AR) to go. The rest of my class is back with a sub. Im helping out the 6th grade because they didn’t get enough parent chaperones. Later this month I’m taking my regular class on a Gold Rush simulation field trip. I’m serving as a chaperone on this trip with my 5 plus a group of other kids. These are very rewarding times as a teacher when you get to see the kids really engaged with learning.

Little to You, Big to Others

Mister Buffalo With Trophy

I give a trophy out to kids who win the multiplication competition. They have to return it once another kid wins but it’s big notoriety when one does win. They get to keep it on their desk. They smile a lot. Today one of my students told me the winner’s mom was proud of him, really proud, like telling everyone in the laundry area of the apartments proud. Needless to say I’m encouraged by this news. I had a few arrows shot at me today, but who cares when you get news like this :)

This post was published first as Little to You, Big to Others on Riley Central.

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Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

My Top Ten Tunes in Heavy Rotation

These are the top ten tunes I have in heavy rotation currently. Spotify playlist link

  • The River – Imagine Dragons
  • All Night – R5
  • Brand New – Ben Rector
  • Nobody to Love – Alex Newell
  • Demons – Imagine Dragons
  • Superheroes – The Script
  • Man on a Wire – The Script
  • It’s Not Right for You – The Script
  • Renegades – X Ambassadors
  • Superhero – Cher Lloyd

Tagged as part of: #TopTenTuesday on Twitter.

The Guilt that Haunts Me

tumblr source

This is potentially a very personal writing prompt! I could have been silly with it and write about all the ants I’ve stepped on but I decided to go serious and share a real thing.

Share a time when you were overcome with guilt. What were the circumstances? How did you overcome you guilt?

Source: The Guilt that Haunts Me | The Daily Post

This is actually a story fromany light years ago that makes me feel vulnerable so go easy on the judgment. When my younger sister and her friends wanted to go to a concert, she asked me to drive. After I said yes, somehow the topic came up with the three 18 year old girls to get some booze before the show. I guess I wanted to be the cool big brother so I bought a bottle of vodka and took them to AM/PM where they bought sodas. They poured the liquor into their sodas and proceeded to drink drink drink.

By the time we got to the venue, they were drunk. I went somewhere and waitied as I recall. I think it was a local arcade? Like I said, it was years back. When I showed up to pick them up, one of the friends had disappeared. She ended up showing up later and nothing bad happened but a lot worse could have transpired. It was up there with one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. I felt guilty for a long long time, especially when the girl was lost. It goes to show you what bad things can happen when a big brother decides to be a showoff.

The Clencher

“What to do with my ride of an afternoon?”

The Peanuts movie is out. I heard Snoopy does a mean WWI Flying ace vs the Red Baron. Food courts are nice. Getting a chair massage at the mall while reading could work but maybe not because I have the girls. Fact is, I could do any nuber of things because it’s early dismissal and the teachers go home early today too. Sometimes the ride defines itself as you go along.

In 1997 when I was 27 years old I was offered a job as a 5th grade teacher. It was unexpected because I was only a substitute but they liked that I was bilingual and that I had a Master’s Degree. They grandfathered me in on what is known as an “emergency credential” in California. There was a teacher shortage at the time so if you had a few requirements and you passed fingerprints, you were in like Flynn.

Before I accepted the job that would later become my passion and career, usually it’s reversed for people, they follow their passion and it becomes a career, they took me to the school I would be teaching at. I observed the classes with the Principal and instatly knew this the right job for me.

But there was one clencher. I talked with a teacher, a male, who told me he had a wife and 3 daughters. He said teaching was a great job for raising a family. As I was talking with him, he got a phone call and I oerheard it. He was arranging a meetup with his wife at the local cinema for a matinee … AFTER WORK.

I knew this was the job for me at that moment. Today it continues to  give me the time I need to be with my family and follow my personal dreams alongside teaching.


Writer’s Workshop: Listening Experiment

It’s Thursday! The day I set aside to respond to one of fellow blogger “Mama Kat‘s” writing prompts. Today I chose: #3 “You have one wish…what do you wish for? I wish I could be a better listener. I get so much when I tune in to people and yet I am so on the go all week, I forget to discipline myself to do it. Listening is far superior to taking. Reading, in a similar way, is far superior to writing. I now this and yet I spend the majority of my time talking, as a teacher and also with my family/friends, and far less time listening and really accepting the input of other minds. Every once in awhile I challenge myself to do a “listening experiment.”

Most of us get hoodwinked into believing we must always be speaking, earning, racing, fighting to get ahead. As we buy the lie, we stop receiving knowledge, wisdom, encouragement, and other input from others.

I’ll be challenging myself in the upcoming set of days to focus on receiving input more than sending it out. I call it the listening experiment. So far, every time I have done it and blogged about it, I’ve been radically impacted for the better.

I don’t mind telling you that listening is the hardest thing I can challenge myself to do. I guess I’m afraid I’m wasting tie. Perhaps at my core I truly believe my thoughts are superior to other people. I hate the sound of that. A person like that ends up on an island with a Walkman and no one to talk to. I definitely don’t believe that and yet I act that way by not being a good listener. As I do the experiment, tv doesn’t count as “receiving” or listening, although it does has some value that way, you can’t interrupt it. Listening to my wife and kids does count. Reading others’ words in books and on a computer counts as well. I’m not sure why they are superior to tv, but they are. Active listening includes responses but rarely gives examples from its own life (a big pool of quicksand for me).

Active listening is an ongoing practice.

I think I’ve gotten better at listening but I still have many miles to go to be the type of listener I want to be. So that would be my wish, in response to this wonderful writing prompt. It was a nice reminder of what’s truly valuable to me and what I desire most out of life.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Announcing a movie blog contest I am participating in : Opinion Battles Year 2 Round One Favourite Quentin Tarantino Character

I asked to be a part of this for my first time and was happily allowed :) More will follow thoughout the year, different movies, different opinions. Darren Lucas, the host, just posted multiple writer’s posts including mine on his website their favorite Tarantino character.

I wrote on Dr. King Schultz, in Django Unchained. You’ll find my opinion at the source link below. If you’re a fan of Quentin Tarantino movies, you should read all the clever and great opinions. Oh, and don’t forget to vote! It is after all an “opinion battle.”

Source: Opinion Battles Year 2 Round One Favourite Quentin Tarantino Character | Movie Reviews 101

The Way the Path Is Worn

“Wait on paving the college sidewalk until the students have well-trodden the paths.”

I took my lovely wife Sarah out to dinner at Johnny Carinos. When we entered we saw they had transformed the place from standard “booth and tables” dining to a microbrew tavern. This is an example of going with the flow of your customers.

Every time I went there, the deal was the bar! Wings for a quarter, well drinks $3, you name it, you could get it in the bar. The owner must have been seeing this path being trodden because he gave the people what they want and now it’s a tavern.

My Word of the Year 2016: Peace

Courtyard at the Ayers Mission Viejo

Reading through the #MondayMusings hashtag posts I ran across a blog post regarding a Word of the Year for 2016. The author, a blog friend of mine Corinne Rodrigues, was explaining her word of the year for last year and she offered a link to a worksheet for finding ones own Word of the Year. I thought it sounded cool and since New Years Day is fast approaching, I downloaded the worksheet pdf by Christine Kane and checked it out. I wrote out my responses in my journal and came up with my word of the year:


It is certainly something I have currently but want to be intentional inwardly about it in hopes of increasing the peace of others as well in the new year 2016. It will look like many things different from now but most are personal so I will choose to keep them off my online diary. Have you chosen your word of the year yet?

Kindness Trainings to Prevent Violence in Our Schools

Since I work as a teacher, it’s probably high time I spoke about this topic. It permeates the reality all around us, fiction isn’t worse anymore.

These people who shoot up schools are disenfranchised.

For one reason or another, they weren’t getting their “bucket filled” at school so they took it out on people in a mass shooting. Mostly, these events end with the shooter(s) taking his(their) own life(ves). You can’t ask a bloody corpse how they were hurt and what caused this, so nothing is usually learned.

Training of teachers and public perssonnell all across my state has been stepped up.

We’ve been told strategic ways to reduce the body count but sadly, not how it can be prevented.

Treating people kindly would be a start. I’m not saying those who got shot in the past deserved it but these people are all saying the same thing, they didn’t feel good enough. We should have trainings in kindness. It’s about time.

Opinion Battles Round Two Favourite Oscar Winning Best Picture

Darren at Movie Reviews 101 hosts “Opinion Battles” in which I am a contributor. Movie reviewers/bloggers compete with a blurb about their pick for their favorite oscar winning best picture. I picked “A Beautiful Mind.” You can vote for mine or any other favorite Oscar Winning film you agree is best at Darren’s post, linked below.

We are about to hit Oscar season and what better than to pick our favourite Oscar Winning Best Picture because let’s face it we do love some more than others.If you want to take part in the next round which is Favourite Ryan Reynolds Role to celebrate the release of Deadpool, if you want to take part end your pick to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by Sunday the 7th February 2016.Darren

Source: Opinion Battles Round Two Favourite Oscar Winning Best Picture | Movie Reviews 101