Tag Archives: teaching

There’s no sub for the sub…

Unfortunately, due to illness (mine!) and low enrollment, we are cancelling the Substitute Teachers’ Class scheduled for tomorrow in Dexter. In addition to not wanting to infect others, I  don’t have much voice and that’s one thing that makes it very hard to teach! Please note the class is offered again on February 11th in Dover Foxcroft. Call PVAEC at 564-6525 for information and to register.

Yes, I am drinking plenty of liquids and hope to be back on track soon…

Mr. Boomsma, I really love you!

There are some self-appointed experts out there (I might be considered one depending in the topic) who really don’t get it right. They remind me of Lucy of the Peanuts comic strip once who once declared, “If you can’t be right, be wrong loudlyl”

I’ve been frustrated ever since reading a column by a minister (his emphasis, not mine) who seems to think he’s got raising kids figured out. As is often the case these days, his solution is one-dimensional. He thinks kids need love; parents need respect and therein lies the tension in child rearing. His recommendation is to make certain our children feel loved when we discipline—that way they’ll be more likely to respect us. You’ve heard it before. Maybe you’ve used it before. “I’m only doing this because I love you.”

balance love respectOf course he’s not wrong—unless you consider only dealing with half the equation correct. In my work with the kids I’ve found that kids need (and deserve) respect just as much as adults. What successes I’ve had includes dishing out lots of both love and respect.

There’s a young lady at school who is beginning to figure this out. When she needs redirecting and correcting she will come over to me, grab me around the legs for a hug and say, “Mr. Boomsma, I really love you.” It’s an interesting coping mechanism on her part and was initially very disarming. Assuring me she really loves me could, after all, make me melt into submission. “It’s okay. All is forgiven”.

This is not just about love and forgiveness, so  I will respond by affirming that I love her as well but we also have to respect each other so together we can accomplish our work for the day. One of Mr. Boomsma’s rules is “follow directions quickly” and her love for me doesn’t negate the rule. She gets assurance that I also don’t feel any less loved when she doesn’t quite measure up.  But this is also about demonstrating respect for each other.

My best day with her recently was when she kept saying she needed to tell me something. Unfortunately this came at the busiest time of the day and it was necessary to ask her to wait until things were settled so I could pay attention better to a girl who is easy to ignore; she’s pretty high maintenance. (But what five-year old isn’t? If you don’t figure out how to get the kids to help you prioritize, the school day can be long and arduous with nineteen little voices calling your name.)

When we’d achieved order, I walked over and knelt down beside her. I immediately noticed she had tears on her cheeks. When I asked what was wrong she replied, “Mr. Boomsma, I’m really sorry my behavior wasn’t very good today.”

So it was my turn to tell her I really love her. I don’t think she noticed the tear in the corner of my eye as I thanked her for trying that day. I felt loved and respected by her acknowledgement. She is accepting responsibility for her behavior as well as her love.  I think we might be onto something.

Phew! Quick notes…

low batteryHere’s a few quick notes… the past few days have been a blur of “let’s get stuff done!” I’ve continued to work on setting up Abbot Village Press… including an online store! Part of this is in anticipation of final release of the “Maine Real Estate Law and Rules Handbook.” We’re still in the “final proofing” stage thanks to a minor oops on my part, but I fully expect to have it completed and released by the end of next week.

In addition to taking some time out for a re-charge, it seemed important to give a quick update and share a few thoughts. As things evolve, there may be some minor confusion with things looking a little strange, but the plan is to make this site even more about education and personal growth. To that end, I’ll be moving some of the resources regarding books and publishing to the Abbot Village Press website. Of course there will be plenty of links that should make things easy to find.

With the development of Abbot Village Press it will now be possible to order any of my books directly from the publisher through the Square Market (our online store). Of course you can still order from Amazon and Kindle as well as a number of other resources such as Barnes and Noble. You did hear me say the word for this year is “evolve,” right? Well, we’re evolving!

By the way, the PVAEC catalog is out–I’m not sure exactly when I received mine because I haven’t dared venture down the driveway for a while! I haven’t felt trapped, I’ve been too busy!

Anyway, check it out and discover lots of opportunities to evolve! We have two substitute teacher courses coming up soon, plus the popular two night class on how to start your own blog/website using WordPress. Real Estate licensing courses also begin in February so things are starting to get busy! It’ll be spring before you know it!


Substitute Teacher Class scheduled in Dexter and Dover


This fun one-day program is designed in collaboration with PVAEC to prepare people interested in serving as a substitute teacher or ed tech.  There will be plenty of “hands on learning” that will include important classroom management techniques and teaching strategies. We’ll also cover some legal aspects and help you develop your own “sub pack” of resources and an action plan that will get you started on the right foot! If you’ve been subbing, this is a great opportunity for a “refresher” and some new ideas. The workshop is based on Utah State University’s STEDI Program and attendees will earn a certificate recognized by PVAEC member districts. One student comments, “…very engaging with a lot of real life scenarios. I came away with new information even after subbing for a year.” The program is taught by Walter Boomsma, an experienced substitute teacher and adult educator. An optional recommended text containing educational strategies and classroom activities will be available for $25.

The fee for this one day class is $10 and the class is being offered twice:

  1. Tuesday, January 28th at Dexter Regional High School Dexter starting at 9 AM and ending at 4 PM.
  2. Tuesday, February 11th at Penquis Higher Education Center (Dover Foxcroft) starting at 9 AM and ending at 4 PM

For additional information or to register, contact PVAEC at 564-6525 or visit their website to sign up online. For questions about course content, email “Mr. Boomsma.”

Help spread the word! Download this flyer/poster:  Flyer – Sub Course 2014

Ten Commandments for Teachers

How could I not be interested in a site called “Brain Pickings?” (Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are.) A recent post offered Ten Commandments for Teachers as offered by Bertram Russell  in 1951. I’m not sure I’d limit these to teachers and I’m having a lot of trouble picking a personal favorite!

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.