Sunday, June 12, 2011

Desert Dew

The title was attractive because I love the desert and desert dew can take on many meanings physically and spiritually. It has been over many years that I have blogged in Desert Dew primarily for my sake and for my sanity in this new profession.

I was told that after five years as a teacher I would really know if  I wanted to stay in the profession... Well, I am completing my fifth year and yes, I know now that I want to keep on teaching - I have had many doubts and occasionally still wonder - but nothing compares to a thank you note from an autistic student and parents that says, "Thank you - you are a great teacher"

It turns out like most jobs in life if you put your heart into the job and do professional work - the rewards will follow. In teaching however, most teachers hang on to the lives transformed and the very few "thank you!" you get - they sustain you in some cases for decades!

Another five years if the Lord wills is sufficient for me! :)  Thank you to my teachers, my mentors, my peers, and most importantly, my students. I finally feel like a teacher.

I will muse in a new school Blog called Rancho's Bell.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1 Year Old!

Celebrating the completion of our first year - Encuentros!  Congratulations to all my students...

Also, never forgetting important dates - today is Koda's birthday! One year old!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

One of the saddest thing I have heard this semester...

From the minutes of the Department chair's meeting:

"Letters to all our veterans have been sent regarding the fact that RBV will not be staging the USO show in the future."

How very sad... :(   Here a picture from the the NC Times story from last year...(photograph by Don Boomer) - Check the LINK

This is the end of an era at Rancho...I have been here five years and it was the best school event every year. Having said that, Veterans - thank you for your service!

In contrast, one of the best news this year was heard worldwide over the week-end. Special thanks to the NAVY SEAL UNIT SIX and to all our servicemen and women.  A job well done.

We will never forget...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Google Apps at the Ranch

Presented to the VUSD Technology Council the possibilities of technology in our school setting using Google Apps. The presentation in posted at:

Ear full...

I was nicely surprised by some of my student's suggestions...

Ubiquitous teen attachment :)

Florence and the Machine
  • Cosmic Love
  • Drumming Song
  • Howl
  • My boy Builds Coffins
Dashboard Confessional
  • Hands Down
Johnny Cash
  • Personal Jesus
Imogen Heap
  • Speeding Cab
  • Headlock
Munford & Sons
  • White Blank Page
  • Roll Away Your Stone
Iron and Wine
  • Jezebell
Peter Murphy
  • Cuts You Up
Sarah McLachlan
  • Icecream
  • Fallen
Silversun Pickups
  • Lazy Eye
Squirrel Nut Zippers
  • Put a Lid on it
  • Ghost of Stephen Foster
  • Afterlife
  • Desert Rose
  • Amber
The new Anazon Cloud is getting a workout plus some investment on my part on music I really like. Not all, mind you, but some nice nice surprises... Thank you Luna!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Moving right along...

  1. Invest and expand technological infrastructure to meet evolving instructional, learning and professional needs.
  1. Improve technology system support to be transparent, efficient, and productive.
  1. Implement training systems that ensure the successful technical proficiency of all stakeholders.
  1. Blend pedagogy, subject knowledge, and technology in the development and delivery of effective and powerful curricular lessons.
  1. Support and enhance effective differentiation, using technology to engage all students so they will master standards and make meaning of content.
  1. Develop a structured selection process that will guide technological decision making.
  1. Articulate, deploy, and maintain technology standards for every classroom.
  1. Plan and implement accurate, timely, and secure data collection methods that will inform stakeholders, direct curricular design, and support policy decisions. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Think of "Like Stars on Earth"

"The quality of an education system depends ultimately on the quality of its teachers."

"...the only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction: learning occurs when students and teachers interact, and thus to improve learning implies improving the quality of the interaction."

From the 2007 report " How the World's Best-Performing School Systems Come Out on Top"
From: Paul Wezeman's interview

Interesting - - -

MONTVALE, NJ (WCBS 880) - Times are changing. Technology is everywhere at the Pascack Valley Regional High School District in northern New Jersey. Forget about the chalk and blackboard.

Spring Break

I am looking forward to the 2 week Spring break. We started the week-end by sending the Encuentros Club and Class on a camping field trip - what a great and deserving group! Thank you Ms. Carr for accompanying them.  They came back safe and sound on Sunday.

@ Rancho before take-off

@ Torrey Pines

The semester is going by so fast - after these two weeks - April looks very short with the CSTs in May and end of school in June.... all of it is like a flash!

Well I am now reviewing the honey-do list... :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Making progress:
"The purpose of technology at VUSD is to provide sufficient and effective information services in order to expand and enhance learning, instructional practice, and productivity for the school community."

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I gave myself time this long w/e to produce a Prezi presentation to begin our review next week. Highly recommended:

Friday, February 18, 2011


"The Fantasticks" was put on last night in El Cajon by the SDCC music department. What a wonderful evening - highly recommended. From the soft melody of the first song Try to Remember I was enveloped in the wonderful memories of the timeless man-made love story marred by the world's reality with a restored end of pure love.

Thank you Trisha you looked wonderful on stage as the "Mute".

Theater serves well to restore the soul. It is the supreme form of entertainment. Last month we attended the Balboa theater in San Diego to see the play The Screwtape Letters - based on C.S. Lewis's work. What a wonderful and riveting performance. The combination of theme, well written script, and a perfect powerful performance it was a chilling delight from hell!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Welcome Break

Sometimes students and teachers need a break - this is one of them! President's day long week-end.
Washington & Lincoln my personal heroes and a welcome celebration in these packed teaching days.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I came across a book I acquired in Pasadena California many many years ago. My kids grew up with this book: Selected Poems for Small Children.... Lots of memories came flooding... pray my kids remember...Here is one:

They Sting

A mosquito is
A funny thing!
Before he'll sting
He'll sing an' sing!

An' if you're near
Or if you're far
Mosquitos know
JUST - where you are!

An' perching lightly
On your face
They'll bite you 
On the tenderest place!

Then... when they've had
A bit to eat,
They'll b-z-z-z away,
An' - bite your feet!

Sometimes - you s-q-u-a-s-h
Them very flat,
Poor things, they can't
B-z-z-z, after THAT!!!

But as Mosquitos
Are a pest,
I s'pose the s-q-u-a-s-h-e-d ones
Are the BEST!!

(Alicia Aspinwall, from Shrot Poems for Short People)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Well finals have finally arrived... time seems to fly and we outlook starting second semester next week. A blurr!