I don’t spend a lot of time on any of my blogs posting about my jobs. It’s not that I don’t find them interesting. Most of my life my jobs haven’t really said a lot about who I am. Working as a stocker in a grocery department doesn’t really define me. Sustitute teaching does and I just haven’t found a way to work it in to the blogs very much.
First of all I can’t really get into specifics like I did when I was blogging about my own home education experiences. I can’t take pictures of my students let alone post them nor would I ever think of doing so. In my 3rd year of subbing I am no where near an expert with advice to dole out. What I can do occasionally is make some observations and comparisons which is what I’ll attempt to this evening.
Even before Covid hit the scene I have been very impressed with the types of media that are available to the teacher. Back when I was college and doing my pre student teaching we were still using filmstrips in high school classes and computers were pretty much for word processing only and typing classes were still taught on typewriters.
In current times even in the live classroom the smartboard has replaced most if not all chalkboards and dry erase board. A smartboard plugs into the teachers laptop and a teacher could run videos, slide presentation, even quizzes disguised as games. In the school I’m in now a pretaped video of annoincements has replaced the traditional over the intercom announcements.
The teacher can also share their screen with students at home om platforms like zoom or provide the students with links to the material through the teachers home page. Homework is generally sent in electronically whether the student is live or at home.
Today some of my students went to a music class where the teacher was explaining the concept of theme and variation. After explaining it very well, he then showed this neat video which you can find on you tube simply by typing in theme and variation.
Later my students went to gym where much of their class activities were shown on the smart board. While traditional teaching still does take place this kind of vee-jay approach does enhance the learning experience and because of Co-vid the technology has become less a nicety and much more a necessity.
This technology is not just in the public schools. My daughters last year of being home schooled was 60% done through computer technology until covid increased that number to nearly 100%.
Technology in schools may be a million miles away from wheeling in the A-V cart but education does continue to roll along nicely.
I’ve just recently come back from a blogging hiatus. After more than 26 posts in April, I decided I needed a bit of a break. Click here to see an index of my A to Z posts from 2019. The index didn’t write itself, So I was doing a little blog related work in my hiatus,
Thing 1: The A to Z challenge helped me remember things I love about blogging. My first foray into blogging was reading a blog called Outwalking by Steve West. When I first read it , I didn’t know what a blog was and it wasn’t until later when I started blogging in 2009 that I realized Out Walking was a blog. What I like most about blogging is discovery. The first post I remember reading on Steve’s blog was a review of the movie Once. That post helped me discover a movie , musicians, later a musical and even an island. (The Island existed, I just didn’t know about it until I went to see the musical).
Participating in the A to Z challenge this year did help me discover many new people, places and things. This was a little nostalgic for me, as one of my themes in a previous a to z challenge had been nouns. I think this year I really did enjoy reading other peoples blogs as much as if not more than I did preparing my own. And I loved preparing my own.
Thing 2: Posting about the Sherman Brothers non stop in the month of April helped me remember things I loved about growing up. To say that life is much different now than it was in the 1970’s goes without saying. It’s a good thing I’m typing it. Many of the Sherman compositions were songs I discovered and or adored growing up. Winnie The Pooh, Charlie Brown, Charlottes Web, these were common place for me. Remembering listening to theses songs on 8 track long before I knew who the Sherman Brothers were brought piles of memories back into the forefront of my mind. I’m not sure If I didn’t stumble upon Snoopy Come Home on Hulu in March, If I ever would have remembered singing The Best of Buddies as a bath time ritual and I certainly would have not known it’s actual title or the authors/composers of the piece.
Thing 3: Posting about The Sherman Brothers made me astoundingly aware of this legendary songwriting team.
I knew of the Sherman’s work prior to this year. I knew of their work on Mary Poppins and Winnie The Pooh. I had no idea of really how prolific they were. As previously mentioned, I didn’t know about their non Diseny work on Charlotte’s Web or Snoopy Come Home. There is so much of their work I was unfamiliar with.
I am interrupting this paragraph to say that in the last 15 minutes I have discovered that the Sherman Brother’s wrote You’re 16 (You’re beautiful and your mine) in 1960. When I googled the Sherman Brothers and hit what songs did the Sherman Brothers write sure enough they were credited with writing the song that would eventually become a number one hit for Ringo Starr in 1973. That means that the duo wrote music performed not only by the Beach Boys (The Monkey’s Uncle) but also by the Drummer of the Beatles. Pretty Amazing! There are propably still songs that I know of out there that I didn’t know the Sherman Brother’s association with.
Thing 4: I showed remarkable restraint on a common mistake.
All A to Z challenge announcements this year centered on this being the 10th anniversary of the Challenge. IT WAS NOT!
Consider this excerpt from teh A to Z website:
It all began with my post from Saturday March 27, 2010 when I set forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April. Can you post every day except Sundays during this month? And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?
If the first A to Z challene began in 2010 this was it’s 9th anniversary. What it accuaratley was was the 10th annual a to z challenge, March 27 2020 will mark the 10th anniversary of the challenge and April ist will commence the 11th annual challenge.
For 26 entries I held my tongue, as I did not think that was the time to point it out. That being said, If the 11th anniversary is announced a year early next year I probably will mention it sooner than I did this year.
Thing 5: Less is always not easier.
My A yo Z challenge entries stuck pretty much to a basic format, which I tweaked a little from week to week. My posts would always include the name of the song, the movie or television program the song appeared in, the year it was made, a video of the song and the ltrics from the song. There was not a lot more content than that.
This did not necessarily mean it was less time consuming than writing a regular blog post that contained more copy. Linking videos and other materials to my posts is not my strong suit and actually more time consuming than just producing words. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was worth the extra work but doing this times 26 in a monthly period could be fatiguing sometimes.
This leads to Thing 6: Did I cheat?
I had a conversation with a school principal on a substitute teaching assignment today and she commented that I am a very proactive person. I had just said goodbye to her for the Summer even though I’m scheduled to be back at her school later this week. I told her I was saying goodbye just in case we missed each other that day. Thus, the comment on proactivity.
I tended to be very proactive with the A to Z challenge and wrote many of my posts a week in advance and then scheduled them to post at about 5:30 am the day they were due. This is where I began to wonder if I was cheating. If the purpose of the A to Z challenge is to actually write a blog post every day (except most Sundays) than I didn’t really do that. I produced a post for each letter of the alphabet, to be sure. However, writing 3 to 4 posts at a time when I had time was really the secret to my success.
Thing 7: Best comments came from a non A to Z Post
10 years ago on April 7, 2019. My youngest brother Keoth passed away. This was on a Sunday, so no A to Z post was needed. I wrote a brief post commemorating his passing, 2 participants from the A to Z challenge John Holton and J-Dubs both wrote encouraging comments that I really appreciated.”
Thing 8: A theme park within a theme. Park I
I did quite a bit of research on the Sherman Brothers for last month’s spectacular. Much of what I found blew me away. The Sherman’s wrote many songs for attractions at Disney World and Disney Land. They also wrote a song for the New York Worlds Fair in 1964 that has since become the most performed song in the world. It’s a small world, but that still is quite a distinction.
Thing 9: A Theme Park within a theme. Park II
One place I never expected to see the Sherman Brothers was in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Univierse). Yet Robert Sherman did write a song that to date has appeared 2 MCU films (Iron Man2 andCaptain America: First Avenger). The song is called Make Way for Tomorrow Today and sounds like it could also have been in the 1964 World’s Fair. I think this is on purpose as the Howard Stark character is in many ways like Walt Disney himself. The Shermans also wrote a similar tune for the World’s fair called There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.
Sherman on my mind.
Most every morning during the A to Z fun fest, I woke up singing a Sherman song. Not always the song I was posting that day. Just a random Sherman, some of them ones I hadn’t even been posting about. I guess this was one of the many wasy that April A to Z permeated through by being during the merry month of April.
The Word for today is quinteseential. I know that I have already used Q for Quintessential earlier in the A to Z Challenge when referring to Jolly Holiday. While Jolly Holiday is a perfect example of a Sherman Brother’s tune. Zuckerman’s famous pig is an ideal example of a barber shop quartet song. I’m not sure why, but I’m a big fan of one person multi-tracks so here is one for ZFP.
earlier in the A to Z Challenge when referring to Jolly Holiday. While Jolly Holiday is a perfect example of a Sherman Brother’s tune. Zuckerman’s famous pig is an ideal example of a barber shop quartet song. I’m not sure why, but I’m a big fan of one person multi-tracks so here is one for ZFP.
I have decided to use one of my favorite words in each and every post I do this week. The word for today’s post is penultimate. which means 2nd to last. Y is the penultimate letter in the English alphabet. Making this the penultimate post in the A to Z Challenge. We are featuring the song You Two from the 1968 film: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Caractacus: To me, the answer’s clear; it’s having someone near; someone dear.
Someone to care for; to be there for. I have You Two!
Someone to do for; muddle through for. I have You Two!
Someone to share joy or despair with; whichever betides you.