Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Well, Ben went on another cross-country adventure. I'll let him tell the story as soon as he can, but this picture is a little sneak peek.
We're getting very busy now that school is fully back in swing. It is very challenging to prepare 5 different courses each day. Even though I have 7th-11th grade English separated into just two class periods, all 5 grade levels are doing their own separate grade level's literature, writing, grammar, etc. When we started this "one room schoolhouse" model, I think the intent was to teach the 7-8th graders the same things, and the 9th-11th graders the same thing (just 2 lessons each day), but I felt strongly that it was best for the kids to continue doing all that they were supposed to learn for their specific grade. For instance, the 9th graders are supposed to read Romeo & Juliet. Practically all 9th graders read R & J. I remember reading it in Mr. Patterson's class vividly. So, if I throw the 9th graders in with the 10th and 11th graders, and we read something higher-level, the Freshmen will skip R & J, possibly never reading it! I can't have that. 

So I'm struggling to teach 5 classes at once through a rotational system: From 11-12 am I have the 7th and 8th graders, and each day one grade level will do in-class silent reading while the other is having a class discussion with me in another area, and then the next day they switch. Now it all hangs on whether the kids are mature enough to read silently while I discuss with the other half.... we'll see. Today's the first day of the rotation plan.
Yesterday in chapel we played a really fun "beach babe vs surfer dude vs wave" game (spin-off of rock/paper/scissors or gorilla/man/gun). The kids were laughing, smiling, engaged.... it was a joy to watch. Corrigan, our fellow teacher, said later that that silly game might've been the most spiritually significant, "life-bringing" thing we did yesterday.

"If you tie, you die!". Championship round.
Corrigan plays a game with some seniors before lunch. He's teaching them as a group for all subjects except math- its a really fascinating project. They're studying geography and cooking together as one elective. This falls under the category of "Things you can do when you have 5 seniors".

With so few students (we're at about 65 PreK through 12th) we're really getting to know them very closely. Students and teachers eat lunch together more now than before the quake. I had a college talk with the girl in the pink - she's looking for strong science programs in Georgia or Florida. The boy next to her in black borrowed my copy of Screwtape Letters over the weekend. They're such great kids. 

What a wonderful and strange road we're walking down.



  1. Ben and Katie,

    The two of you are doing such incredible work! Please know that y'all are in so many prayers. Much love,

  2. I love hearing about the game during chapel. I'm sure silliness, laughter, and fun are MUCH needed right now and will help everyone transition into the 'new normal' as you aptly named it.

    Good luck with the rotating schedules with the grades!! You're so awesome to bravely continue with as much integrity to the curriculum as possible right now, even when it seems like you are juggling too many things (with no formal teaching training on top of that!) Hang in there, Katie!!!

    Thinking about you guys and praying for you!
    Team Moisan

  3. I read Romeo & Juliet in 9th grade, way back in 1979. Have 9th graders been reading it since the institution of 9th grade? Can't mess up tradition. The main reason I remember this so well is that I was reading the narrator part on our last day, and I finished with "no story is more full of woe, than this of Rome-ette and her Julio." Gales of laughter greeted me. Probably the only line of Shakespeare I can (mis)quote from memory [sorry Ruth, if you read this :^), but my memory just doesn't work that way...]

  4. Katie-
    Hi, I'm Jamie Willis (Baylor class of 2006). I ran across your blog via a friend on Facebook and I was instantly intrigued! You and Ben are ministering in ways you never imagined-- and we can clearly see God getting all of the Glory! Thank you for your willingness to serve when it is not easy, and to share your story with the world! I'm praying for safety and good health for both of you, as you continue to serve in a place that desperately needs Him. Thoughts and prayers abounding from Dallas, Jamie

  5. Oh how I would love to "observe" you teaching. I just know what an incredible teacher you are. Sounds like you are doing an amazing job!! So proud of you!! Praying for you always.

    Stephanie :)

  6. Dear Katie:

    Ever since you were a little girl I knew you were very special, and now so many others know it too. Others who have posted are far more spiritually qualified to strengthen and encourage you and Ben than I, but I want you to know how proud we are of you guys and that you are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers always.

    I teased Ben before you left that I would get him if he let anything happen to you -- now I just want to give you both a big hug. You two make quite a couple.

    May the Lord bless and keep you now and always,


    Richard & Sally



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