An Ideas Page by Omar Villarreal and Marina
12 March 5th
Dear SHARERS ,
y armemos con tus hilos blancos
y con tus hilos
los esenciales artefactos de uso
la paz, la mesa, la poesía, la
los canastos para el pan ,
la voz para el
E. Barquero "Mimbre y Poesía"
Another school year begins . We
teachers start weaving the basic artifacts
of our job again. As every single
year of our long or short teaching careers, our blue threads and our students´white threads are ready for a
new construction. Together we start building anew, writing new stories,
creating new bonds, dreaming new dreams, generating new illusions,
Let us make our construction as
simple and as beautiful as this short poem.
Let us not forget the basics :
peace, poetry, food for the body and the soul and the miracle of life . Let us all fight hard to
love and teach others to love, to be generous, to give and to SHARE.
May God help us to become
better builders this year, every year...
(1) A NICE STORY
A dear friend José Luis Morales,
Macmillan Heinemann ELT Manager for Uruguay, has sent us this beautiful
story. He insists on calling it just
"a nice story" but it was much more than
that for Marina and me. We are sure
you are going to enjoy it too :
There is a story many years ago of
an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in
front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she
told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students
and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible,
because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy
named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched
Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other
children, that his clothes were messy and that he
constantly needed a
bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs.
Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red
pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson
taught, she was required to review each
child's past records and she
put Teddy's off until last. However, when she
reviewed his file, she was in
for a surprise.
Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright
child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he
is a joy to be around."
His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is
an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is
troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be
His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has
been hard on him.
He tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much
interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't
Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't
much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and
sometimes sleeps in class."
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and
she was ashamed of herself.
She felt even worse when her students brought her
Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except
for Teddy's. His present which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown
paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it
in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to
laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing,
and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled
the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet
was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.
Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say,
Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the
left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit
teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to
Mrs. Thompson paid particular
attention to Teddy. As she worked with him,
his mind seemed to come
alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster
By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest
children in the
class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same,
Teddy became one her "teacher's pets."
A year later, she found a note
under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher
he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got
another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high
school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had
in his whole life.
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that
while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with
it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors.
He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher
he ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years passed and yet
another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his
bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained
that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now
his name was a little longer-the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard,
The story doesn't end there. You
see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this
girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a
couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to
sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of
the groom. Of course, Mrs.Thompson did. And guess what? She
wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made
sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing
on their last Christmas together.
They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard
whispered in Mrs.Thompson's ear,
"Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in
me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing
me that I could make a difference.."
Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes,
whispered back. She said, "Teddy,
you have it all wrong. You were
the one who taught me that I could make a
difference. I didn't know how
to teach until I met you."
Dear SHARERS ,
Please remember that wherever
you go, and whatever you do, you will have the opportunity to touch and/or
change a person's outlook....please try to do it in a
(2) A MESSAGE FROM DEAR OLD RICHARD
Our friend and old SHARER, Ricardo
Sampedro writes to us to announce the launch in Buenos Aires and Cordoba of his Education for a Change - an independent training project
promoting work with Social Values in the ELT classroom :
"Social Values in the Classroom" by Ricardo
Diversity" by Susan Hillyard
18 March, 9:00 to 13:00 - Venue
to be confirmed
(011) 4982-2409 and Educhange@infovia.com.ar
in the Classroom" by Ricardo Sampedro
March 9:00 to
Blackpool Bookshop , Av Rafael Nuñez 4555
No doubt an
initiative worth SHARING ! We´ll stay tuned for Ricardo´s coming events and wish
him the very best in this project.
URUTESOL 2000 AND TESOL ACADEMY
Maggioli, URUTESOL President 1999-2000, writes to us to invite all SHARERS to
the 2000 URUTESOL
International Convention and Exposition to be held in Montevideo on July
10-12 under the unifying theme of ONE PATH, MANY
special feature is
the Southern Cone
TESOL Academy that will be held in Montevideo on July 8 - 9, immediately before
the Convention. You can visit the this web page http://www.tesol.edu/edprg/2000/academies/uruguay.pdf for
on the Academy.
materials as well as the call for papers and enrolment information is available
on request from Gabriel Díaz
Maggioli , Convención 1419 – 11100 Montevideo , firstname.lastname@example.org
(4) FAAPI STRIKES BACK !
As every year
teachers of English in Argentina start getting ready for the biggest ELT event
of the year, our FAAPI Congress . This year the event will be organized by
the Asociación Austral de Profesores de Inglés and will be held in Comodoro
Rivadavia on 21, 22 and
appears to be as promising and highly
professional as ever . It was heard through the grapevine that our "Australis"
colleagues want to make this an unforgettable occasion with top-notch speakers
from all over the world ...and a number of recently inaugurated
five-star hotels at very convenient prices at our disposal. A web page with
all the information is currently under construction and we will soon be hearing
The call for papers is out
and proposal forms
as well as further details can be obtained from Adriana Marcos, the
Austral Association President, at email@example.com. Adriana´s computer might blow up any minute
now, so you might use the following additional electronic address : firstname.lastname@example.org .
(5) LITTLE JOHNNY JOKES
A SHARER from Ranelagh, in Southern Greater
Buenos Aires, Norma Beatriz
Rodriguez , email@example.com , sent us these incredible
jokes. Just the right stuff for the beginning of a new school year with 40
something little Johnnies in each class :
Teacher: Little Johnny, go to the map and find
Little Johnny: Here it is!
Teacher: Correct. Now,
class, who discovered America?
Teacher: Are you chewing gum?
No, I'm Little Johnny.
Teacher: How can one person make so
many stupid mistakes in one day?
Little Johnny: I get up
Teacher; Didn't you promise to behave?
Johnny: Yes, sir.
Teacher: And didn't I promise to punish you if you
Little Johnny: Yes, sir, but since I broke my promise, you didn't
to keep yours.
Little Johnny: Teacher, would you
punish me for something I didn't do?
Teacher: Of course
Little Johnny: Good, because I didn't do my
Teacher: Why are you late?
Because of the sign.
Teacher: What sign?
Little Johnny: The one
that says, "School Ahead, Go Slow. "That's what
Teacher: I hope I didn't see you looking at Don's
Little Johnny: I hope you didn't
Teacher: Well, at least there's one thing I can say
about your son.
Father: What's that?
Teacher: With grades like
these, he couldn't be cheating.
Teacher: Johnny, give me a
sentence starting with "I".
Little Johnny: I is...
Little Johnny. Always say "I am."
Little Johnny: All right. "I am the
ninth letter of the alphabet."
(6) REMEMBER YOUR FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL ?
Omar and Marina:
I´m Micaela Nerguizian, a third year student at the UTN and
I´d like to tell
you that I love receiving your SHARES and I´d also like to
share with you
and all fellow ¨sharers¨ a poem that I love and that has to
do with the
beginning of a new academic year.
FIRST DAY AT
A millionbillionwillion miles from home
Waiting for the bell to
go. (To go where?)
Why are they all so big, other children?
So noisy? So
much at home they
must have been born in uniform
Lived all their lives in
Spent the years inventing games
that don´t let me in.
that are rough, that swallow you up.
And the railings.
around, the railings.
Are they to keep out wolves and monsters?
that carry off and eat children?
Things you don´t take sweets
Perhaps they´re to stop us getting out
Running away from the
What does a lessin look like?
Sounds small and
They keep them in glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass.
I wish I could remember my name
Mummy said it would come in
Like wellies. When there´s puddles.
Yellowwellies. I wish she was
I think my name is sewn on somewhere
Perhaps the teacher will read
it for me.
Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.
hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy the SHARES you send me.
certainly did. THANK YOU for sharing it with all of us , Micaela
SUSAN ANNOUNCES ...
Our dear SHARER and most reputed lecturer Susan Hillyard
announces the following activities of CELL at Itesl in
Olivos. They are starting the year with a 12 hour energy raising
workshop on "Change" for professionals : HATS OFF TO CHANGE
to be leadered by Susan Hillyard and Claudia Rey on
Saturday 25th March and Saturday 1st April 9.00-17.00 (There is an option
of attending just one or both sessions).
For teachers wishing to do some serious work on professional
development. there are two special pre-postgrad 36 hour course ( divided
into 12 sessions of 3 hours each) :
The Teaching and Learning Process by Susan Hillyard (starts Friday 7th April)Reading
Processes and Strategies by Claudia Rey (starts Saturday 8th
For more information on course content and fees,
please telephone 4796-2534 or 4797-2775 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Mick Hillyard, Susan´s husband and a very artistic teacher , will be
singing with Bluesberry Jam at a Rolling Stones Tribute Night at the
"Buenos Aires News", Libertador 3883, Paseo de la Infanta, Arco 17
on Friday 10th after midnight. What a great opportunity for the
many SHARERS living in Buenos Aires to get together and celebrate the beginning
of a new school year... away from the children !
(8) ANOTHER VERY ARTISTIC TEACHER !
Our friend and colleague Alicia Gil
invites all SHARERS and their friends to an
exhibition of her paintings entitled
"PATCHWORK". The exhibition can be visited until 16th March at Sede
Central Asociación Critistiana de Jóvenes, Reconquista 439, Capital
Federal. There is more than one reason to make Alicia a very "special" colleague
: she is a Sworn Translator from Universidad del
Salvador, a graduate teacher from IESLV "J.R. Fernández" and a graduate
teacher of painting from Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes "Prilidiano
Pueyrredón". She is currently working towards her Master of Arts in the
Humanities at California
State University and teaches " 20th Century Culture" and "Discourse Analysis" at
Instituto Nacional Superior del Profesorado Técnico de la UTN . Does she ever
(9) NLP AT ITS BEST
Our dear SHARERS Jamie Duncan and Laura Szmuch write to us :
We will be having our other free
introductory talk on NLP in Versalles,
Capital Federal on Saturday 18 March at 10.00am.
There are still a few places available at the San
Isidro talk - Friday 10 March 2.30pm.
Keep up the brilliant work !
You too, keep up your brilliant work and keep us posted on your coming