About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, October 27, 2013



noun: pedagogue; plural noun: pedagogues
a teacher, especially a strict or pedantic one.

Yes, I am a pedagogue.  However, when you read the definition, you'll see that it means "especially a strict or pedantic one."  Well, one could say I was strict in my classrooms.  I preferred to call it "setting boundaries" because my philosophy about teaching is that if it isn't fun for me, it isn't fun for the kids.  I would tell them straight out about boundaries and we set them up together; then we'd have a blast for the school year.
Once the boundaries were set, on came the fun!  Grammar can be SO boring, but I made it all a game and got the kids up and communicating with each other.  For example, each student got a card with a sentence's "subject" or "predicate."  I'd set the timer for 3 minutes and off they went to try to find a match for their card.  When time was up, each pair presented their complete sentence to the rest of the class.  To review for Science or Social Studies tests, we played "Family Feud" and you will not believe how competitive those kids were!  In Art, we did abstracts and displayed them on the hall bulletin board.  In French, the highlight of the year was when we made edible or non-edible pizzas. We displayed them in the school's front hall for all students, teachers, and visitors to view.  Four boys got together and made a "hubcap pizza" with real oil as the sauce and nuts and bolts for the ingredients.  Two girls made a garden pizza with dirt and real grass grown in it, topped with tiny flowers and garden accessories.  There were cake and candy pizzas, dog and cat pizzas covered in their treats, and even a poolside pizza complete with tiny chaise lounges.  Of course, they had to write up their pizzas' recipes and present them to the class, (en français bien sûr) but they were great about it because they were all so proud of what they'd produced.
One year, I had two grade 7 boys who were always acting up.  They weren't "bad" kids, but they seemed to need a lot of attention.  So because I'm not above bribery, (lol) I made up a chart for each of them and every day that they were able to get through French class without misbehaving, they'd get a tick mark.  When they got 10 ticks, I would buy each of them a giant chocolate bar.  Well, it worked.  Both had a couple of slips, but they both eventually received their chocolate bar.  You might wonder if I had to do that for the rest of the year.  NO!  When they tried to get me to do it again, I simply said, "You have proved to me that you are able to get through class time without misbehaving.  Now I know you CAN do it, so now I EXPECT you to do it."  Oh such sad faces - but they were so much better then and they respected me for my sense of humour about it.
Oh yes, some teachers can be pedantic, but without a sense of humour, all is lost.  So I made school fun for us all - for my students and for me!  Now I look forward to when my students come to my home for a tutoring session.  I don't have the administration or parents breathing down my neck so I can relax and be myself with these kids.  We work hard, we all learn (sometimes they're studying a novel that I haven't read so I have to read it and be able to guide them), and their grades go up up up.  And the parents are so delighted that they tell their friends about me and I get more work.  

Yes, I love being a pedagogue and when I started my blog years ago, it was my daughter who came up with the word "Pedalogue."  So now you know, whether you wondered or not, where my blog name came from.

Thanks to Denise Nesbitt, the poised yet perky creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the presidential and  professional Roger, our administrator. Each week, Roger puts aside his personal work to keep the team pepped up by assigning us our parts in responding to contributors' posts.  Have a peaceful, productive week, everyone.


Roger Owen Green said...

You're not pedantic to me; you have pizzazz!

Powell River Books said...

Now I know where your blog name came from. You were a great teacher to understand your students so well. I enjoyed all of my teaching and administrative years. But I have to say, retirement has been even better. - Margy

MastHoliday said...

What the great world "pedagogue" for letter "P" selected by you!!
Nice post.

Reader Wil said...

Very interesting how you managed to teach your students grammar. I also tried to do it by means of games and it worked well. I am a bit confused, because you write about grades. We talk about elementary and secundary schools, and divide the groups in classes.. I taught at elementary schools and lateron at a school of domestic science for a short while. I also taught English to adults, which was great.
Have a great week.
Wil, ABCW Team.

Russell said...

Most excellent post!

I work in a community college and often my students are from families that have never had a college student - so there is not that base of support we often take for granted.

So many good thoughts in your post! I am sure you are and were a GERAT teacher and well remembered by students.

Take care.

Carver said...

Sounds like you were a great teacher. Interesting post full of good P words. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

Photo Cache said...

my hats off to teachers and all their contributions.


photowannabe said...

I know I would have liked you for a teacher.
I might have learned proper grammer too.

Hildred said...

Lots of great P words, and I do admire your philosophy of teaching, Leslie.

Obsessivemom said...

Loved the post. You're a great teacher. I tried the 'tick' thing with my kids, i'd stick on stars. Worked like a dream. :-).

Ann said...

My daughter was a teacher for 17 years before she just became a principal this year. She was strict but all of her students loved the way she conducted her classroom. All the teachers could tell which line of students was my daughters because they were the straightest in the hall or playground.

LindyLouMac said...

Calling by as another ABC Wednesday participant, great entry.

Wanda said...

What a great teacher. You students must love you dearly.

My teaching was in the Sunday School room, and surprisingly, you can make Sunday School fun teach Bible lesson using games, drama and setting boundaries. I truly enjoyed your "P" post.

ChrisJ said...

Being a teacher can be tough, but if it's in your blood, you HAVE to teach. The greatest compliment I ever had from a student (and it was relayed to the principal), was "She's firm but she's fair." There were other good comments too, but it's really fun when I meet students from the past-- usually at restaurants.

Lise said...

Those children were lucky! Some would call bribery a form of conditioning...don't see anything wrong with that!