Passion in Education

I have been pondering education, our schools, our children, our families . . . today’s prayer by Gail Schilling was perfect:  “Lord, give me the wisdom, love –and energy–to instruct.”


Passion leads instruction.  Students need to know your passion  before they can figure out theirs.  It was so obvious that I was excited about reading, writing, country/community. (Dinosaurs and Economics too).  We have teachers that have a diversity of passions: exercise, nutrition, science, nature,hunting, dancing are just a few.  Life is short! Passion excites us and fills the empty spaces.


Students that enjoy: sports, reading, math, performing plays, music math, sewing, cooking–will have a spark and are alive.  They have worked to develop and love a skill.  Our challenge is to light the spark in the others! Don’t give up teachers!  Be the spark that changes  lives.  You have an awesome profession!  Share your passion.


Thank you Lynn Wilson, Judy Carpenter. . . Warner Michener, Bea Sousa, and so many more that put sparks of passion in our family.



So many gifts among God’s people. .. I wish that I could sing and be able to lead songs at church.  I wish that I could draw and paint the beauties of the world, but these are not my talents.  God had a different plan for me.  I believe He gave me the gift to teach–I loved every minute of my teaching years, working with wonderful children, parents, families, and staff.  That is one reason retirement seemed daunting.  Would God give a talent and then no longer be able to use it?  I worried and put off the idea. . .  no worries: put your trust in Him.  I am still working and teaching a couple of hours a day.  I am excited to be with my students.


I love writing, and I feel God has given me a talent to work and to perfect –always make the best better.  I wonder if all those years of teaching was a preparation for writing.  God has a plan. I hope that I am wise enough to see it and carry it out.


I Corinthians 12 and 13 talk about the talents given out.  The greatest gift is charity. . . I hope and pray I will be able to help my community. . . a new chapter is always exciting. . . this book of life!

Spring Comp Camp 2017

Thank you Amy for the kind words. . . Our Comp Camp students love you and your poetry. Thank you for being such a good mentor for them.

Amy shared this message from me on the Poem Farm. . .

I believe there has to be a reading/writing connection.  If you read like a writer and write like a reader, your life is forever changed.  So that being said, I give a couple of weeks of choice writing while we immerse ourselves in reading in the genre we will write next.  Then when our new writing cycle starts, students will some background information to hold onto.
Before our poetry writing cycle, we have had a couple of weeks to look at poetry, reading a great variety of poems, so by the time we start writing poetry, we have learned some writing craft: onomatopoeia, just right word choice. bold nouns, vivid verbs, magic three, simile, metaphor, and more. 
Day one of poetry, students are sitting on the carpet and I tell them we will be learning how to write poems.  I invite them to watch a poem in the making. . . I am by the chart paper.  I usually choose something they won’t want to copy, a topic such as coffee or my dog, Yuri.  They are watching me ponder and think.  They know that to write, you have to choose something you know about.
by Chloe (grade 2)
Splash, drip
The thunder growling
Flashing through the windows.
It’s getting louder,
Then it stops.
The sun is out!
See you later,
by Brock (grade 3)
I make people fright
I make them cry
I make puddles
I make sparks and electricity!
by Callie (grade 5)
The sun is so dark
I see a
Person. Oh wait, it’s
A rock
I hear a horse
Oh Wait,
It’s Mr. Shaffer
I see the Darkest soul
Of them all!
Oh yes,
by Ella (grade 5)
The wind was blowing through the trees,
The wind chimes sing a song with keys,
Around around everywhere we go.
Nature tells us something we don’t know
Over there and over here
There’s nothing ever to fear!
Summertime Storms
by Jennah (grade 5)
I don’t have much fear
When storms are near
But when wind blows
My scared expression shows!
Crashes of thunder
Flashes some lightning
This weather is
My heart’s everything
Hail starts to fall
From a sky full of gray
I wish I could
Be outside to play,
But Mom says,” “NOT TODAY!”
Branches of trees
Scatter the ground
There are so many things
Making a sound
Not a tornado was in sight!
I’m really glad!
Didn’t take flight
Storm has passed
It went by
Very FAST!
Please Don’t Go
by Malachi (grade 4)
Don’t go bye bye
In front of my eyes.
Just don’t die…
I love you KYE!
Please don’t go
You stole my heart.
I know…
I will fall apart.
Thank you  Spring Comp Camp 2017 students for sharing your work.  Spending time with writers is a blessing.

Grandma Fights the Buffalo

Grandma Fights the Buffalo

One of the most unusual sights on Indiana Delaware County/Grant Road was a bull buffalo that was running amuck. . .

One day I was at my grandparent’s house. I often went there to spend time, mow yard, or do little jobs. My mom had called to warn us of the bull buffalo’s escape from a neighbor’s herd. (I guess you can call it a herd even if there were only three buffalo.) She said to be sure and stay inside till they somehow got it corralled.
Now. . . Granny and I both had trouble doing what we were told. Mom said that I was determined, like Curious George. . . . I think that is a positive attribute, but some may not! Now Granny. . . she just did what she wanted! Maybe not always a positive.
She heard that a buffalo was on the loose. She scrambled right away for the breezeway door, grabbing the broom as she raced out! Nothing was going to trample her flower beds! NOTHING! I peered through the glass door. This was a sight straight from the funny papers. Granny standing at the edge of her flowers, broom clasped tightly in her fists, eyes fixed eastward!
Then we saw it . . . ground shaking as it stomped and snorted heading right for Granny! (She resembled Granny Walton or Granny Clampett) and was not afraid to tell you her thoughts. As the buffalo slowed down, eyeing Granny. . . she started screaming and waving her broom like a lunatic. I had inched my way out of the door, standing on the sidewalk, screaming equally like a lunatic. . we were both breathless!
The bull stopped on a dime with all that hullabaloo, turned and ran back east. He made one lap around my parents’ driveway before heading to the field across from our house. . . by that time the police and veterinarian had arrived! They shot him three times and killed him. . . They dressed him out right there on the spot!!! Let me just say. . . buffalo steaks are wonderful!! AND . . . my grandma was one super hero. . . even though my dad told he NEVER do that again.

Strength and Wisdom for our Children

Rich Halin’s prayer. . .”Be with my child, Lord, on this journey.”


     Don’t you want to protect your children and grandchildren from all the hurts of life. . . the ones we suffered and more. I pray every night that God will protect them from life’s evils! I think we need to teach self worth so they can be strong in who they are. Repeat over and over that they are a miracle of God–unique and one of a kind!  We need to teach them to be wise and thoughtful, problem solvers that can be strong to say NO and leave when things seem to be wrong.  . . they can tell because their conscience will be at work.  Keep lines of communication open so they will bring all their trials to you. . . discuss, reassure, advise, or at least help them see all possibilities and consequences.

  Sending prayers to parents to be strong. . . it is not an easy job!  . . . but oh, so much joy!

   Pro 13:20 “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

   May we all teach our children to be faithful messengers of Godly things—choose friends wisely!  Respect yourself! Be strong!

Things Are Not Always What They Seem

   Things are not always what they seem. When we went to Rich’s ten year reunion, some came up and said that they thought he was a snob, because he never talked to anyone.  WOW!  Anyone that knew Rich, would laugh at that . . . he was just shy and stayed away from drama.  

Sometimes we put on a “mask” and just let people see what we want them to see. Things are not always what they seem.  

    We as teachers do need eyes in the back of our heads and ears that tune into the little things.  Do we see students that don’t fit in the small desk and chairs.? We tell them to sit up and pay attention, but do we understand that their parents are in jail or gone?  Do we understand that they haven’t a clue as to what we are doing but just don’t know how to ask for help. . . Do we understand that their is no food at home? Or twelve people are living in their house and it is too noisy to sleep. . . or they have been abused???  

     Things are not always what they seem. . . talk softer, make our students feel safe!  Let them know how we care and we make mistakes often.  Love knows no failure!  Guide, love, nurture

. . . sometimes things are just not what they seem!


     Micah 6:8 . . . “what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”  May I always remember things are not always what they see. . . and show love and mercy to my students first and foremost!  They may not remember what I taught them

. . . but they will remember how i made them feel. . . loved and special!


Dad . . . Still Singing Songs

Anyone that knew Dad, knew that he loved to sing and had a beautiful bass voice . . . to list all his favorite songs would take many pages.  He won a singing contest at the nursing home singing Amazing Grace. The Taylor University choir was visiting on another day. Someone told one of the students that it was Dad’s birthday.  She came over and asked, “John can we sing happy birthday to you?”  Dad smiled and said, “That would be great, but I’d rather you sing Amazing Grace.”  She turned to tell the others but before they could start, Dad started singing.  Soon everyone one joined it. . . it sounded like a choir of angels. The gal came back over to him and said, “ You really can sing!”  Dad chuckled and replied proudly. . . “I have been singing all my life!”


Another favorite. . .

Take My Hand Precious Lord


When my way groweth drear
Precious Lord linger near

When my life is almost gone;

Hear my cry, hear my call,

Hold my hand lest I fall,

Take my hand precious Lord,

Lead me home.


. . . .Nearing life journey’s end,

By my Guide, be my Friend,

Give me strength Lord,

To overcome,

I’ll not go alone,

For by grace I’m Thine own

Take my hand, precious Lord,

Lead me home!


Precious Lord, take my hand,

Lead me on, let me stand

I am tired, I am weak,

I am worn.

Thru the storm, thru the night,

Lead me on to the light.

Take my hand precious Lord,

Lead me home~~~~4/18/15