Our World Tuesday: School and Supper

Fall came this week, even if summer has another few weeks to its name.  We have the evidence:

School started for me and for Della.  She likes her teachers, including the chemistry teacher who set something on fire to get the kids thinking about the possibilities.  My students are among the coolest young people on this planet.  They are good little urbanites ready to work hard and to work with each other.  I had them decide our classroom norms.  They weren't sure what to do with the freedom to establish the terms of their learning, but I reminded them they earned the right by behaving so well and, besides, the people who established our freedom--from Ben Franklin to Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King--didn't go to the trouble so they could shrug off the opportunity to make their own world.  I asked them to tell me what they needed to feel safe and protected in our classroom.  

They came up with some good stuff.  Each class had its own ideas about what it liked and didn't like in a classroom, but a common thread, in the words of my class of repeaters, was, "Don't humiliate us."  Another, "Let us work with each other on hands-on projects,"  and, "Let us help each other out."  My favorites were:  "Don't make weird sounds," and "Work with us; don't be a dictator."  What would seem obvious but wasn't:  "Reward our successes."  (All of these offer insight into why some kids just plain hate school.)

I typed up and projected their norms at the beginning of each class, and I showed them their peers' norms to see if the other classes thought of something they had not.  Nope; they were good.  They had what they needed to feel safe and protected.  

At the end of a good week, we had some good food with some good friends.  After a trip to a nearby family farm, there were fried green tomatoes:

And sweet corn on the cob:

And shrimp and grits with scallions and squash:
That was after breakfast with another good friend at one of the best delis in town:

All the excitement wore Maeve out.  Here she is too tired to get back on her bed:

Life is good.


  1. Yes, it seems life is good. Please continue enjoying your week!

  2. oh, that little pup!

    i like how you engaged your students from the start. good luck to them and to you in their learning!

  3. That sweet corn looks so good! I never get enough!
    Have a great school year. I retired in May after 30+ years in the classroom,

  4. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Great photos and Happy School Time ~ carol, xo

  5. i like your aproach to establishing rules with your class...that is a healthy approach and giving up some of the control as well...it can be humbling...smiles.

  6. Best wishes and wonderful learning on the start of a new school year for you.
    The photos of your food made my mouth water....especially that corn. Yum!!
    Hugs to you,

  7. Oh i get hungrey with those, i love boiled corn in the cob when it is done at the freshest stage. I haven't an idea how a fried green tomato taste like, maybe i should try experimenting on that, but i guess it is sour! hmmm interesting.

  8. I am glad for your daughter and for all the lucky students in your classes. I hope your year continues to be perfect. Even for old retired folk like us, once school starts, it is definitely Autumn...

    That meal looks fabulous.

  9. You are a great teacher, Sandy, and I, too, am so glad not only for Della, but your students as well! We need many, many more like you! Beautiful captures and a terrific post for the day!

  10. "Don't humiliate us." Such a simple idea yet so many people in leadership find it hard to follow.

    Your students are blessed beyond measure. It takes a special person to teach. It takes an even more special person to do it as you obviously do. With love and passion.

    ▍---- BACK TO SCHOOL ---- ┃

  11. Well, the school bus didn't work like I wanted it to but you get the idea. xo

  12. Anonymous12:10 AM

    We've been back to school for two weeks now... Sounds as if things are going well for you. And all that fresh food looks delicious.

    Had a bit of a glitch with Our World, but it's finally up and running. Enjoy your week.

  13. Life is good indeed!
    I liked the bus design in the comment above!

  14. Sandy, you are a great teacher and your students sound nice too. The food looks yummy, especially the corn. The puppy dog is a cutie! Have a great week!


  16. It sounds like you and your students are off to a good start. Have a great school year.

  17. Life is delicious. Your kids are lucky to have you.

  18. Nice looking food! Can I bring the family over for dinner?!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  19. sounds like a great start to the school year, and the photo of the tomatoes and the corn is really good and making me hungry. thanks for stopping by my post.

  20. good ideas for your classroom. Just got an email from my grand daughter-her first year in high school and she's worrying about bullies! Sad...

  21. How I wish I'd had a teacher like you, I reckon I'd be thinking about the possibility of actually doing quite well with my studies with a cool chemistry teacher like that.

    American corn is the best!

  22. What an inspiring teacher you are! It's so wonderful to have eager learners. I teach college students and am considering trying your exercise on them!

  23. Great ideas for starting the school year, Sandy! You've got them involved from the start. I am salivating at that corn. Good eats for you this weekend!

  24. What an approach to teaching. You probably violated some sort of regulation.

    Maeve is one cute little puppy dog.

  25. Fried green tomatoes, wow ... that is nice to eat.
    And all the other food als.
    What a day you have!

  26. I always love reading about how you and your students relate to one another. You are the kind of teacher I always wanted for my kids.. and thankfully, they often had. I know what a difference they made in my sons' live and clearly you do the same for your students.

    Everything looks wonderful.. especially that darling Maeve.


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