Skip to main content

Piece #3 - The First Move and Education

After I graduated in 1994, teaching positions were difficult to find so I was a substitute teacher for one year before I was able to obtain a teaching job. I was certified in Speech and Drama so let this be a lesson to anyone wanting to go into the teaching biz...make sure you are certified in other areas to cover your rear! The location of the school that offered me my first teaching job was in a tiny little town called Alton. If hindsight were 20/20, I would have been a little more patient because when I was offered the teaching position, I had two more offers come in right after that first one and they were in El Paso, Texas and the other one was right here in my hometown of Kansas City - Independence School District. (OUCH!) But, no…I felt like I made a verbal agreement to teach in Alton. (Yes, it's in Missouri and No, I'm not making this really is a town.) So Jaimee, I and the four girls all packed up and moved to West Plains. (There were some famous people that were born in West Plains: Porter Wagoner, Dick Van Dyke, Jan Howard, and Preacher Roe! Then I'm sure you are now asking...who? who? and who?) It was the first time I have ever left Kansas City so this was going to be rather interesting. We rented a house in a larger town called West Plains, which at first really excited Jaimee because it was an old Victorian home, but little did we know that this home had a secret. Jaimee loves Victorian… well...everything; so being able to rent out this house was her dream come true. Before I had to start teaching, we did have a bit of a bug problem, so we scheduled an exterminator to come out on my first day of school.

A teacher's first day of school is almost as scary as it would be for any student starting their elementary years. The anticipation of what kind of students will you have, are you prepared, do you know the procedures; can all be taxing as a first year teacher. (And...No, I didn't pee my pants, I don't think I did in elementary either.) So my first day went well, and after about a 30 minute drive back to our new rented house; I come home to a very frantic wife who declared..."We have to move out!" Now mind you, my next logical statement was..."We just moved in." However, our bug inspector discovered the house's big secret and it wasn't very pleasant; my wife told me..."The house is infested with Brown Recluse Spiders!" (I'm sure right now every person who hates spiders has now stopped reading this piece.) Of course my Asperger's self couldn't quite understand what Jaimee meant so she clarified..."The Spiders are all between the walls and floor boards!" Honestly, I had never even heard of a Brown Recluse Spider until that day or how dangerous they were for that matter. (You'll have to look them up...they are a nasty thing!) So we promptly moved out of Jaimee's dream home and into a Holiday Inn. The next few days, Jaimee went back to Kansas City with all the girls and I was left to look for a new rental home so I took up residency at Alton's only little motel in town. I wasn't there too long after that, until we did discover another rental home and we stayed there for the two years for the time I served for the school district.

This being my first school took a lot of adjusting because I've been use to big districts with over thousands of students in the building. This was completely different, their middle school was literally a hallway, and their attendance was little over hundred students’ total. The best example I could give you is they were the only district that I knew of that would take a day off for deer season. For that one full week of deer season for rifles, there were very few students in the hallway of the school. While I was there, I actually organized their first assembly that year with some one-acts that the kids did and we put on a full-length play to which Alton hadn't seen in years. We even started a drama club (With T-Shirts!) and sold popcorn cans as a fundraiser. The kids were pretty cool over all, I got the chance to meet a lot of interesting people, but after two years of teaching there, my wife and I thought a change might be in order. Sure enough, through my connection with William Jewell College, my fellow alum was principal for a school district called Pierce City. So we said goodbye to West Plains/Alton and started to pack our things and move.

The Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes!]:

Song: "Through the Fire"

Artist: Day of Fire        

Album: Self-Titled
This was the second house in West Plains. My twin girls are out playing in the front yard before we made the move to Pierce City.

Popular posts from this blog

Lost Piece #1 - The Gospel Truth

"I know my Jesus, I love Him, and I think if he needed me to believe that homosexuality was a sin, He would have mentioned it. He didn’t. When Jesus said that marriage was between a man and a woman, he was responding to a question about divorce, not sexuality.* And even the Gospels... well, even though they are gospel to me, I accept that they are also interpretations of what Jesus said and did and meant -we don’t have a single written word directly from Jesus. He could have left us something - he could have left another list of rights and wrongs when He came to Earth, but he chose not to." Glennon Doyle Melton - Aug 25, 2013
These words were penned by Ms. Glennon Doyle Melton who is an author and Christian blogger. Back in February of 2017 she announced that she was engaged to Abby Wambach a former Women's Soccer Champion. Glennon had been married to her husband (Craig Melton) for over 14 years before she divorced him due to his extramarital affairs.  Glennon had also o…

Piece #110 - My Complex Discernment of Concrete versus Abstract

I very rarely start off any of my blog entries with a picture but, this photo will illustrate a rather compelling discussion about my Asperger brain. I can't think of a better example of just how complicated a small part of concrete versus abstract is processed in my mind. I will do my best to sort out the complete meaning behind this picture. There will be several odd turns but, stick with me because this will actually make sense in the if my wife gets it then we're good!
Defining Terms:
Completeness - The state or condition of having all the necessary or appropriate parts. Uniform - Identical or consistent, as from example to example, place to place or moment to moment. Commonality - The state of sharing features or attributes.
The first area I want to address is uniform. Of course, I'm not talking about an outfit; I'm talking about consistency; the idea that flows smoothly from the top to the bottom. I guess a good example is like looking at a baseball card, a…

Broken Piece #1 - 13 Reasons Why

On March 31, 2017; the steaming service known as Netflix released a new mini series called "13 Reasons Why". This has quickly become one the most talked about series throughout the world. The story is based on the book by Jay Asher where the character Clay Jensen who had a high school crush on Hannah who ends up committing suicide. Suddenly two weeks after her death Clay receives a mysterious package on his porch which contains several cassette tapes of Hannah's recordings explaining the 13 reasons why she chose to end her life.
Within the last few days since the show was released it has created a lot of concern in the mental health, education and youth advocacy groups. Groups have demanded that the books be banned from the school libraries including Colorado, which has had seven teenangers ending their own lives: The show claims they had gotten experts to give the…