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Week 11: The Great Pumpkin Dilemma

October 29, 2018



 This week you guys spent two class days typing your short stories.  I have a confession.  I walked out of school on Friday and completely forgot to grab your stories to grade. 


              I considered turning back to go get them, but I was afraid I would set off the school alarm. Plus, if I am being completely honest, I had seen the weekend weather forecast. Like you guys, I wanted to go to a high school football game too.  I also wanted to enjoy my children at the pumpkin path rather than staying indoors all weekend grading.   This is the balancing act of a teacher: loving other people's children and sacrificing for them without jeopardizing the allegiance and devotion you have to your own children.  Even after fifteen years, I still struggle with this battle, but I am keenly aware that at the end of my career, I  do not want to look back and realize I poured into other people's children at the expense of my own.  So, yes, this weekend I chose the pumpkin patch, and I have no regrets.


               Please do not misunderstand.  Your short stories are also very important to me.  I was so excited to read your topics and introductions last weekend, and I promise I will spend a great deal of time grading this homecoming week and next weekend too.  When I do, I know I will be transported to your worlds and remember when I was fourteen and had an English teacher who took the time to read my short story, tell me it was something special, and set my life on a path to do the same for others. 


            And here is my pledge as well, while I am remembering, I will try to recall that at 14 I had not read as many novels as I have now.  My grammar skills were still developing.  My vocabulary was limited, and my experiences were minimal. 


             This does not mean I will set the bar low because my expectations are always high, very high, but it does mean I will aim to be gracious and encouraging, as I realize you all are still very much developing in your abilities. It also means while I am grading, you can bet I am going to be looking for the best pumpkin in the patch to put on display.   I sure hope it is yours.



       Continuously Carving,


       Mrs. Bell












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