Back in the Swing

A new home

A new place

Hey Kids!

Well, we’ve made it through three full days of school.  So far, so good.

In our two days together, we’ve learned about the people in our class through poetry and song.  We’ve learned about the places in our classroom and in our school where we can find resources to help us develop our minds.  And, we’ve learned about the things that will guide us to success by reading and developing questions for our fact sheets.

By far, I have enjoyed learning about the people around me the most.   What an interesting group!  When asked to describe yourselves with adjectives, you responded with this list: amazing, inquisitive, fantastic, awesome, overachieving, enthusiastic, the best, quiet, hard-working, super, multi-lingual, excited, fabulous, smart, excellent, pretty, responsible, wise, independent, beautiful, ambitious, metalhead, gamer, and cool.  

It is safe to say that the apple does not fall far from the tree.  Your parents are also: wonderful, amazing, awesome, highly motivated, supportive, proud, nice, involved, goofy, good-looking, interested, and ecstatic.  

You have all piqued my interest with your one-word descriptions!  I need to know more!

How did you get to be so inquisitive and enthusiastic?  Did you have a teacher (or parent) who really motivated you to learn and grow?  (Parents are our first teachers.) Tell us about your best teacher.  What did he/she do to help you become the fabulous, smart student you are today?

I know we’re going to have a great  year!

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20 thoughts on “Back in the Swing

  1. Okay, I know I saw this website and blog title as the homework assignment, but it was never discussed today in class since we were at the library when the bell rang.
    Answering the question from the little blog, I had a chorus teacher for three years that was the most enthusiastic and encouraging person I’ve met so far. She encouraged me to be open and enjoy the environment around me.

    • Hi Gabby,
      You are right about us not having the opportunity to review this assignment in class today due to our lengthy stay in the media center. I am so pleased to see that a number of students did the homework anyway, including you! You are motivated learners! I agree with your assessment that enthusiasm and encouragement go a long way to helping someone learn. I’m so glad you had a teacher like this, and I hope you have many more in the years ahead.
      Would you like to become a teacher?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  2. I got so inquisitive and enthusiastic because of my parents and my friends.Since I was little my parents always taught me to be polite and to have manners. For example saying please and thank you. When I started school that was all I knew but when I got friends I started to become a bit more outgoing and fun! So I guess my teachers were my parents and my friends.

    • Hi Briseyda,
      You can’t beat the combination of good manners and an outgoing personality. You are blessed to have had both wonderful parents and wonderful friends as teachers. Do you think that you have ever taught your friends something?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  3. My dad is my highly motivated teacher. He has made me do the things I want and the things I don’t want to do. He is almost breathin down my neck when I don’t do something right.

    • Hi Cameron,
      It’s difficult to motivate people to do things they don’t want to do. This is probably one of the mosts difficult aspects of teaching and of education in general. Can you think of anything specific your dad motivates you to do?
      Sometimes I have to just motivate myself. Other times, you kids motivate me. I want to do my best so that you will love to read and to learn as much as I do. If you enjoy reading and learning, life is never boring.
      What is the last GOOD book you have read?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

      • My dad motivates me through sports, homework’ and generally anything I struggle with. The last good book I read was The Exiled Queen.

        • It’s great that you checked the blog and are replying again, Cameron! I love to see that kind of motivation in students. I can tell already that you have the attitude to be successful at whatever you decide to do in life. What did you like about The Exiled Queen? I have not heard of that book. What genre is it?
          You are blessed to have a good dad who motivates you in all aspects of your life. Make sure you let him know how much he helps you and how much he means to you. No one ever gets tired of hearing good things about themselves, and that includes parents.
          See you tomorrow!
          ~Mrs. Donofrio

          • The Exiled Queen is a fantasy series. In which the main character Han has to go through a lot to figure out he is a wizard.

  4. One of my past teachers has motivated me to learn because she was very nice and enthusiastic and was always ready to teach her students.

    • Hi Cole,
      It’s interesting to see how many students are motivated by the teacher’s demeanor rather than by her/his knowledge of the material. That’s important for all teachers to remember, especially at this time of year. Would you ever like to be a teacher?
      I hope you have a great year at school this year!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  5. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,
    I’m so glad that you are continuing to blog! I really miss blogging for your class last year. This year are you going to teach about mythology, medieval times and Shakespeare? Those were my favorite learning points of the year! I would love to be in your class again this year. I hope to see you around school! -Johnny

    • Hi Johnny!
      I am so happy to get your comment! I am continuing to blog and want to keep up with it better than I am right now. I am hoping for one new post a week. I am teaching about mythology, and in fact we are in the middle of Greek mythology right now. Both my classes read “The Trojan War”, a short play based on The Iliad. My freshmen are about to start Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of Greek Mythology, and my sophomores are reading Antigone. We just finished a short legend called Damon and Pythias. We will also do Shakespeare in the spring, focused around the Bard’s birthday, of course! I don’t know about the medieval times; there doesn’t seem to be any of this literature in the curriculum. So that is sad as this was one of the highlights of the year for us. However, Shakespeare didn’t live too much after this time period, so perhaps we can combine a bit.
      I LOVE seeing all my old Epiphany kids at Venice high. I hope I see you often! Room 354. Come by any time! Perhaps next year I will get to have you again since I am teaching sophomores and freshmen. Say hi to Joey for me also!
      Thank you for stopping by the blog. See you soon.
      Love, Mrs. Donofrio

  6. Hello Mrs. Donofrio!
    And 4,000 years later, I finally comment on the blog.
    I’ve missed leaving comments here, your posts are always so interesting and always leave me thinking. Anyway, to your questions……

    How did you get to be so inquisitive and enthusiastic?
    One word: books! Reading, along with other things, have always been my passion. Trips to the library would always open my mind up to news things: science, technology, history, art, and the list goes on and on. It’s odd how a small packet of paper, glue, and ink can leave you with so much knowledge, and so many questions too! What is your favorite genre of books?

    Who was your best teacher, and how did they help you to grow?
    Actually, I know this sounds cheesy, but you. Language arts class was one of my favorite parts of the day, you would always have some sort of fun way to learn. Before going to Epiphany, I had little to no interest in Shakespeare’s works, but now, after scrounging around in my closet for a bit, I actually managed to find an abridged Shakespeare book. I am currently reading it when I have time, but I never knew his works were so interesting until I went to Epiphany. What’s your favorite Shakespearian tale? Anyway, back to the point. You’ve taught me so much about language arts, and have opened my mind to the art of writing even more! Language arts has helped me in school and daily life so much. The way you would always cheer us up on gloomy days, or encourage us to be better people has improved my attitude towards things. Thank you for being such a wonderful middle school teacher, I don’t know where I would be without you!
    Another person who has shaped me into the person I am and has helped me along the path of life is my sister, Emily. Despite our differences and occasional family arguments, her encouragement and kind words have always helped me reach my goals and make it through tough times. I don’t know where I would be without her either!

    Anyway, how have you been? I hope I have your class next year, and am glad Emily has you as a teacher! From what I’ve heard, she thinks you’re a wonderful teacher. Happy teaching!

    Your (former) student,
    Katie S.

    (I wasn’t sure if I could log into my blog, can I?)

    • Oh, Katie! So wonderful to see you on the blog again! I love your writing style, and this comment did not disappoint. I agree completely with your insight about books, and I love your description of them as well, ” a small packet of paper, glue and ink”. I guess the most important parts of books are intangible: the creativity of the author and the engagement of the reader. Reading my very first book is one of my earliest and most cherished memories.
      Have you seen Dr. Ben Carson’s movie, Gifted Hands or read any of his books? He is a bibliophile as well and speaks on the topic often.
      My favorite genre of books is historical fiction; I figure that while I am learning about life and writing through literature, I may as well learn some history, too!
      Thank you for your many kind words about my teaching. I accept them humbly as I know I can only teach because God has called me to it. I think teachers, healers, and preachers are all vocations rather than professions because they follow the work that Jesus did on earth. He was a teacher, a healer, and and a preacher. I am so glad that I was able to make your days a bit easier and more enjoyable at Epiphany!
      Good for you with the Shakespeare! You are ambitious, and I am proud of you. My favorite Shakespeare play is Macbeth, even though the central character is not a good man. I think this play has some of Shakespeare’s most insightful lines about human nature, and it is intriguing for me, even when I already know the ending, to see Macbeth’s internal conflict develop throughout the drama.
      Do you have a favorite Shakepseare story/line? What are you reading in your English class now?
      Come back and visit again!
      Love, Mrs. Donofrio

  7. I remember the first week of school, it was awesome having all the teachers care so much about each and every one of us. I’m so far loving this school. In middle school, they had told us that high school was going to be a nightmare and the teachers would never help us. That’s obviously a lie because all my teachers especially you have tried to work with each student to help us. Anyway I read the other comments, since we are still in the Greece themed section I’m hoping that we can do a play! Maybe like Romeo and Juliet!😀

    • Thanks for your kind words, Alyssa! I am so glad you are loving high school. It can be a big adjustment, but I think you are doing great! We will read a play this year, and you are correct; it will be Romeo and Juliet. I love Shakespeare, and I think we will have tons of fun with that unit. I hope you like the Odyssey, too. Wouldn’t it be fun to visit all the places we read about? I’d love to go to Greece and to Verona, Italy, where Romeo and Juliet is set. Have you ever read a book that made you want to visit the setting?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

      • No i haven’t! I haven’t read any books yet 🙁 but I’m hoping to soon especially if its about Romeo and Juliet. Maybe if i like the Odyssey it will help me read all the books there are it will take a long time but it should be worth it.

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