K-5 Citizenship and Education Teacher of the Year

Regents Academy’s own fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Lori Cunyus, was awarded the K-5 Citizenship and Education Teacher of the Year Award for our local VFW Post 3893. She received a plaque and a check with her award. She also advanced to the district level and was awarded a plaque and a check for Teacher of the Year for District 19.

We are very proud of Mrs. Cunyus and even more thankful for her involvement with our students and Regents family.

Congratulations, Mrs. Cunyus!

Pictured below is Mrs. Cunyus with VFW representatives Don Kirkley and Galen Fletcher.


The 7 Laws of Teaching, Part 3

Here are some observations about the use of Gregory’s Seven Laws of Teaching:

• These principles underlie all good teaching. The teacher may use them unconsciously, but they are still present because they are inherent and inescapable. To use them often, in themselves, brings about good order.
• The principles are applicable to all teaching, regardless of grade level, since they are fundamental conditions on which ideas may pass from person to person. University… elementary school…home school…school classroom…math and English: they are applicable in all settings.
• Skill does not replace enthusiasm, making teaching cold and mechanical.
• There is no special key that will enable a teacher to open a student’s mind, look in and plant knowledge there, but in the laws of teaching a teacher has lines of communications common to our nature by which they may awaken their students’ ability to receive and embrace what they are teaching.

The 7 Laws of Teaching, Part 2

Now here are Gregory’s Seven Laws of Teaching restated as rules for teachers:

1. Know thoroughly and familiarly the lesson you wish to teach – teach from a full mind and a clear understanding.
2. Gain and keep the attention and interest of the pupils upon the lesson. Do not try to teach without attention.
3. Use words understood in the same way by the pupils and yourself – language clear and vivid to both.
4. Begin with what is already well known to the pupil upon the subject and with what he was himself experienced – and proceed to the new material by single, easy, and natural steps, letting the known explain the unknown.
5. Stimulate the pupil’s own mind to action. Keep his thought as much as possible ahead of your expression, placing him in the attitude of discoverer, an anticipator.
6. Require the pupil to reproduce in thought the lesson he is learning – thinking it our in its various phases and applications till he can express it in his own language.
7. Review, review, review, reproducing the old, deepening its impression with new thought, linking it with added meanings, finding new applications, correcting any false views, and completing the true.

The 7 Laws of Teaching, Part 1

Here are John Milton Gregory’s Seven Laws of Teaching:

1. A teacher must be one who knows the lesson or truth or art to be taught.
2. A learner is one who attends with interest to the lesson.
3. The language used as a medium between teacher and learner must be common to both.
4. The lesson to be mastered must be explicable in the terms of truth already known by the learner – the unknown must be explained by means of the known.
5. Teaching is arousing and using the pupil’s mind to grasp the desired thought or to master the desired art.
6. Learning is thinking into one’s own understanding a new idea or truth or working into habit a new art or skill.
7. The test and proof of teaching done – the finishing and fastening process – must be a reviewing, rethinking, reknowing, reproducing, and applying of the material that has been taught, the knowledge and ideals and arts that have been communicated.

Faith for Boys

Boys take faith.  Anyone that has had boys or has taught boys knows that they take A LOT of faith!  I must admit that having my own family made up of the male species, me being the exception, and teaching sixth grade boys I have an abundance of exposure to boys!  I must also admit that at times I forget that boys take faith!  I do get discouraged and the boys in my life bring disappointment in ways that are hard for a female to understand.  I regularly have to give myself a pep-talk about being faithful and not losing faith, that God does love these young men in my midst and that I have a duty to our Lord to faithfully love and correct them.

This morning the Lord gave me a big hug from Heaven.  Our morning assembly began as usual and the children that are late are required to wait in the hall until the Scripture reading is completed so that they won’t disrupt the the reading of God’s Word.  We always have some students waiting in the hall.  These children filed in after the reading and the assembly continued on.  We were almost finished with the assembly when I looked into the hallway and there I saw one of our “big boys” in secondary school, obviously later than the rest.  Mr. Bryant was ready for us to sing the Gloria Patri and we all raised our hands to praise the Lord one last time before we were released to start our day in our classrooms.  Tears quickly came to my eyes as I watched this young man, who will soon be on his own in the world, raise his hands and his mouth followed the words that we all sang.  My point being that it would have been so easy for him to just stand in the hall since few could even see him.  He could have stayed at his locker two minutes longer for the assembly would conclude very shortly.  This young man could have walked to his first period class (and two years ago, I would have fully expected him to do so) but he chose to stand in the hallway, raise his large manly hands to Heaven and sing praises to our Lord.    He has no idea what a faith boost he gave me today!  (I almost ran to hug him when the song was over! :>)

With more faith than usual, and a gratefulness for God’s goodness, I pray along with Ignatius of Loyola:

Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous.

Teach me to serve you as you deserve;

to give, and not to count the cost;

to fight, and not to heed the wounds;

to labor, and not to seek to rest;

to give of myself and not to ask for reward,

except the reward of knowing that I am doing your will.  Amen.

My Poets

Sharing poetry with my students is a goal that I have for the year.  I have the poems which I have collected from numerous sources printed on overhead transparencies.  Three times a week I display the poems on the board for all to see.  I usually read the poem once and then call on a male voice and female voice to read during the week.  Each day we try to unfold some new aspect of the poem discussing the vocabulary, syllable form, style and flavor of each poem and poet.

We recently read John Clare’s Pleasant Sounds and I asked my students to brainstorm some of their favorite sounds.  The lights were off and some of my students’ pencils couldn’t stop scrawling across their page.  The next day I handed my students the task of composing a poem of their own favorite or pleasant sounds.  I was most pleased with their work and would like to share a poem or two with you.

Pleasant Sound

The chirping of birds in the distance,

Trickling of water down the stream,

Laughter of children on the playground,

Shouts of joy for my team.

Rain hitting on my window,

Creatures scampering about,

Horses hooves in the fields,

The honk of a mailman on his route.

Dad cheering for the Aggies,

Knives hitting the plate,

Ladies sipping their tea,

The speeches in debate.

composed by Annaleigh

Sparking Wonder

Blogger Jessica Hagy makes sense of the world by reducing thoughts to simple graphs on index cards. I don’t see any indication that Jessica is a Christian, but with this card she shows that she understands at least a bit about education in the Triune God’s universe.

What do we do in Christian education? We ask enduring questions that fuel wonder and spark desire for wisdom and understanding. An unboring life, indeed.

Teachers Appreciate

The door remains open in my classroom almost always.  This late morning we hear maraccas, the rattling of foil and smell cumin and garlic.  This week at Regents Academy is Teacher Appreciation Week.  A good teacher doesn’t need much to feel appreciated, but a good teacher wants to feel appreciated.  If we weren’t appreciated then we could be replaced, and I know that I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t teach for it satisfies a deep need in my soul.

Yesterday morning we were greeted by doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and a selection of coffee.  Today we had plans for a duty-free lunch provided by a local restaurant.  I was surprised when I walked into the kitchen this morning and it was filled to over flowing with breakfast goodies!  Hey, wait a minute!  This wasn’t on the email!  I told one dedicated mom that I appreciated all her help.  She sweetly replied that we deserved all this and much more.  I am fortunate to teach at a school with such awesome parents!

The teachers at Regents appreciate our wonderful parents that support us in the daily task of teaching God’s shortest people!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  (I’ll try not to think of the extra few pounds this week is going to leave me with!) :>

Teach Less But Delve Deeper

Now that the end of the school year is approaching and I see that there is no way for us to cover the remaining six chapters of our biology textbook as it took us three-fourths of the year to cover the first nine, I am struggling with deciding which topics should take priority. Do I teach them about ecosystems, the water cycle and the greenhouse effect, or do we talk about fish and dissect frogs? Do I skip the plants and talk about reptiles, or do I talk about birds and skip the mammals? How do I decide which is more important?

This a recurring problem. Rarely am I able to cover all the material in the textbook. There is so much information to cover and so little time to cover it. But is completing the textbook so important? My type-A personality is screaming, “Yes! It is in the textbook and therefore it must be taught. Besides, if it wasn’t important to memorize the lifecycle of a mushroom, the author wouldn’t have put it in there, would he?” But the truth is, completing the textbook, atleast in science, is not that important. Everything you want to know about a subject ( and some things you don’t) are readily available on the internet or at the nearest college library. Maybe it’s time to change the way I view the role of science in school.

The purpose of studying science is not to pump as much information into a student’s mind as possible and then hope that he retains it when it’s time for the next achievement test. The purpose of the study of science is to increase our understanding of and appreciation for the nature of God and His creation. A student’s appreciation for the beauty and order found in God’s creation doesn’t come from memorizing volumes of information. This type of understanding is superficial at best. An appreciation for God’s creation is better cultivated by taking fewer topics, and teaching the students how to delve more deeply into them. Then learning science is no longer just a transmission of information from teacher to student. It becomes an opportunity for discovery, observation, experimentation, articulation–all the skills we desire our science students to acquire.

So, now the question is no longer, “How can I get it all in before the end of May?” Instead, I’m going to choose a topic that will grab my students’ interests and show them how clever God was when he made this earth. Now the question is, “Amphibians, anyone?”