Latest posts from South Dakota

Apr 13 2010

What Language Am I Speaking?

What language am I speaking? I often wonder this, especially on the hard days when I feel like I haven’t said one word in English. At Institute this past summer my School Director had a philosophy about ‘Sticky Handles’ – a method to keep students connected to what you are saying. It involved exploring the…

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Mar 10 2010

Todd County Fine Arts Night

To celebrate the excellent work of the Oral Interpretation, One Act and Poetry* students – tonight we are holding the first Todd County Fine Arts Night. In two acts, high school students who’ve competed and received state-level recognition will perform the pieces that brought home the gold to Todd County. The show begins at 7:00…

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Feb 24 2010

Pick Yer’ Weapon

My mentor here in explained an excellent concept to me a while back. She talked with me about daily investing myself into my lessons so I can teach enthusiastically and hook my students no matter what the material. She told me I need to find a way to be passionate about either the topic, the…

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Feb 18 2010


Consistency is one of the most important qualities I’ve observed and come to value while here in South Dakota. Being consistent as a person and teacher applies to everything: discipline in keeping up with plans and systems in the classroom, with expectations for students, with mindsets as a teacher and what the purpose is for…

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Feb 08 2010

State Champs

For the first time in school history, we brought home the Superior One Act Play Award to Todd County High School. Not only did our play take the highest award at the South Dakota State One Act Festival, but the kids also received the Outstanding Ensemble award, recognizing them for their cohesiveness as a unit.…

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Feb 01 2010

Regional Champs

My students are the South Dakota Region 6 One Act Play Champions. It happened with: A desk and chair borrowed from my teacher friend down the hall. A set of stairs borrowed from the school we performed at. A freshman lighting technician who had never seen a lighting board before the day of competition. A…

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Jan 25 2010

First Apology

“Because trying to persuade me that: ‘The characters from the movie Avatar are not related to Smurfs just because they are both blue’ isn’t the kind of persuasive speech that I want you to write me.” My student continued to look at his paper blankly like I had just informed him Batman’s grappling hook would…

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Jan 18 2010


Every day feels like I drag a bunch of valuables that I am sentimentally attached to up to the edge of a well and proceed to toss them into the selfish blackness. Dolling out patience and encouragement is quite taxing. I’m expected to have an endless supply of cheer and you best believe there’s little…

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Jan 11 2010

Pray for Me and I will Pray for You

One of my most insightful students is nicknamed ‘Stoic.’ He rarely speaks, but when he does there is much wisdom and maturity. He is about to turn 19 and his presence in my classroom in no way reflects his inability to keep up with the curriculum. He misses a lot of class and, for the…

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Jan 07 2010

Extended Break

Northern winds and subzero temperatures have kept us in for three days. Some good reading, writing and time with the roommates. Stay tuned for updates from the new semester!

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