Middle School Faux Pas

Middle School was introduced to our province twenty years ago. The biggest structural change saw the grade 9’s move up to the high school, and grade 6’s moved up to middle school. Some schools embraced the change and worked hard at implementing the associated philosophy. Others simply became grade 6,7,8 junior high schools. One of… Continue reading Middle School Faux Pas

Questions One Should Never Ask

There is a common expression in courtroom proceedings that a lawyer should never ask a question unless s/he knows the answer. This would be one of those questions and it was asked about twelve years ago. To Student: “How stupid do you think I am?” Student: “It’s not a matter of degree, Mr. Caines.” Follow… Continue reading Questions One Should Never Ask

Right Place – Wrong Space

Right Place – Wrong Space My first teaching job was in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. It was a school of 800 students, grades 10-12. I was teaching chemistry and physics. Exams were held in the gym and students were given 3 hours to complete them. Subjects were row specific, and a course like Chemistry 11 might… Continue reading Right Place – Wrong Space

Basic Communication

Basic Communication When we communicate we do so by expressing either facts, opinions, feelings or needs: Facts are simply observations that are true. Opinions include thoughts, beliefs or conclusions based on one’s own observations and life experiences. Feelings are the emotions one experiences. Needs are those things that are necessary to achieve an objective. That’s… Continue reading Basic Communication

Waisting Away

Waisting Away I love the sport of rugby and am coming to grips with the fact that my playing days are coming to an end. I am making the transition into refereeing but I am going on the belief that I still have a few games to be played. Last June I suited up for… Continue reading Waisting Away

If You Really…….. Part 2

If You Really ……… Part 2 If you haven’t read the previous post then you should before reading this one (it’s short). I first read Verbal Self-Defence in 1992. From that point onward, I would often share this strategy with my upper-level students. I didn’t realize that a few years later I would end up… Continue reading If You Really…….. Part 2

If You Really ……….. Part 1

If You Really ……… Part 1 Early in my career I took an interest in improving my communication skills and in the study of body language. I read a great deal and learned a lot. Here is a strategy I picked up from the book, The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defence by S. Elgin. I… Continue reading If You Really ……….. Part 1

Oops on That One

Oops on That One Sonny was a challenge on many fronts. He was in our middle school for grades 7 and 8. He had both academic and behavioural issues on the go. To say that his family was underprivileged would be fair. In high school his behaviour became a bigger issue. He was eventually expelled.… Continue reading Oops on That One