I was watching a documentary on the Israeli raid on Entebbe and they were interviewing the operators on the raid. One of them said that when he returned he saw his father. His father had lost his entire family in the Holocaust and had been in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp himself. He told his father that, “…we are now able to rescue Jews around the world and this is something that Jews had been unable to do when my father and his family needed rescuing.” He concluded by saying, “My father said, ‘you’ve done well.’ He was proud.”
Here’s a guy who had taken part in one of the most successful rescue operations in the history of the world and what he was most happy about was that his father was proud of him. I connected with the man because of that. As men, we look for the recognition of our fathers and want to make them proud. It made me recall my last conversation with my father.
The last conversation I had with my father went something like this on the phone about a week before he passed away. I don’t remember the entire specific conversation, but I recall two snippets of the talk and it went something like this:
“Dad, you do what you need to do.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well, if the pain is too much and you need to go, I understand.”
“Eric, I don’t even know what that means.”
“Then don’t worry about it.”
“Dad, I love you. I always have and I always will.”
(I hear him kind of laugh)
“Eric, I’ve know that my entire life. I love you too.”
I spoke with him often once I got to his house before he passed away. But he was unable to respond except in half-smiles and eyes of recognition. In retrospect, I think dad knew what I meant, but I don’t think he knew how to quit or give up.
One of the reasons I include this on my blog is because I don’t want to forget this conversation. I have a horrible memory. I want to be able to tell my kids this information when I’m old, just as my father told me his last talks with his father.
I don’t know where this came from or who wrote it originally. If you know, please let me know so I can give proper credit. I found this in the first school I taught at in (of all places) the bathroom. But they are true statements. If we can be proactive as teachers in these areas and answer them before they arise, most misbehavior in classrooms will simply disappear.
This school year we had to switch our schedule around. We receive students from about 5 different high schools. Four of them are on block schedule. But one of them decided to switch to periods as a “pilot program” (as if you really need a pilot program when the district has already done it previously and when half the nation is on periods as well). Because we have to serve students from all the high schools, we have to have periods and blocks. So we are divided into 7 periods + lunch / character ed and 4 blocks. 1st & 2nd period = 1st block, 3rd & 4th period = 2nd block, 5th & lunch = 3rd block, 6th & 7th period = 4th block. Additionally, I had all new standards for all my subjects (5 preps). This has been a very trying year for me. I had created a MS Word document for 4 blocks that I used prior to this year. But I couldn’t use it for 5 preps this year. I really didn’t have anything & I was growing frustrated. I don’t like to use just paper copies. I prefer to create my weekly planner digitally & then print it out and then make modifications as needed.
This last weekend I finally managed to create a 5 subject weekly planner on one sheet of paper. It does not have much room to write things, but can be used fine digitally. I offer it here for you if you should need one & like mine.
Weekly Planner Master Copy (MS Word .doc file) (requires downloading two fonts: Univers-Light-Light & CG Times)
Weekly Planner Master Copy (Adobe Acrobat .pdf file)