Thursday, March 15, 2007
Coughing and Teaching
I've got a really bad cough now--I'm into my second week of this, and now it's the coughing getting me down--I don't feel particularly bad except my forehead is just short of aching from the cough and my throat likewise. Still, I got through the morning with the fourth graders at the Aaron Decker School, in Butler, New Jersey. I had to apologize to each class and tell them that they were going to hear some ugly coughing, but I was really okay. And, indeed, I'm pretty sure I AM okay. They had fifty kids absent yesterday in a relatively small school. I always enjoy so much being up there. The teachers seem glad to have me some and do workshops and, in fact, the lead fourth grade teacher has made the arrangements herself for several years running. Most of my best relationships with schools are in the ones where the teachers truly buy in-- I've been in a fair number of schools where it's the PTA's who bring in another perk for the kids (along with performers and trips and riding lessons) and the teachers can feel it's just a waste of their time to have in one more special. The school in Mendham where I was earlier this year could have fallen into that category-- it was certainly a wealthy enough district-- but in that case, the language arts supervisor knew me and brought me in for a specific project with her teachers. She had begun a new writing program, and the teachers, very professional, viewed me as a good supplement to their work. So lots of things are good, as long as the teachers want the program.