Verbs With And Without Prepositions

Fill in the blanks. Answers 1. Have you paid the fee yet? 2. Samuel paid for my drinks. 3. They searched the house but they… Continue reading
from English Grammar


She Hired Me! Betty Shiver, the woman who convinced me to become a teacher

Betty Shiver on episode 194 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

In today’s show, Betty Shiver, my former curriculum director and the person who convinced me to become a teacher and I talk about teaching. We discuss hiring, inspiring, and having conversations that inspire people to change and improve their classrooms.

FlexPath – only at Capella University – lets teachers work at their own pace to earn their MEd in a competency-based learning format. This subscription-based tuition model doesn’t limit the number of courses you can complete during each 12-week period, enrolling in up to two courses at once, for one flat tuition rate. Go to to get your free FlexPath guide and see if Capella’s FlexPath option is right for you.

Listen Now


Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure.For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.


Enhanced Transcript

The Person Who Hired Me to Teach

Link to show:
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Vicki: This week for the 10-Minute Teacher, we are running a couple of extended episodes. I wanted to talk to some people in my life for who I am really thankful for their presence.

Who is Betty Shiver?

Today, we have Ms. Betty Shiver. She was my curriculum director for many, many years. She also convinced me to go into teaching. If you want to know the secret behind who I am, it’s really because Ms. Betty has been there all these years. You would not see anything that I have on my blog without here. In fact, when I started blogging I went to her and said, “I’m doing this crazy thing called blogging. Will you read my blog?” She was kind of my accountability partner here on campus.

So, Ms. Betty, first of all… I was in the business world and you saw me and somehow you convinced me to try out teaching for a year. You’re kind of known for finding people who would make great teachers. I’m trying not to compliment myself, but there are other people that you’ve found who have just gone on to win all kinds of awards as well.

What do you look for to figure out who would make a great teacher?

Betty: Woooo. I guess I look for people with enthusiasm, people who like people (especially children), somebody intelligent, somebody who has energy and passion… Somebody who wants to do something and is excited… Somebody who is… I don’t know, it’s just that “something” and that gleam in the eye.

It’s not something you can put your finger on, but you can just see it — that “it” in people who want to do something special. They want to give. They want to effect.

And where in the world can you do more than teaching children? How can you effect the world more than in shaping the next generation? I don’t know. If you look at enough people, if you talk to them, you can just see it. You can just see it there.

Vicki: Now, you’ve been teaching for more than thirty years, and you love kids. But also, I just remember for example, when Flat Classroom happened. So many of the projects in my classroom happened because I went to you, and we had conversations.

You’re kind of famous for having conversations that spark change, and this is a difficult thing in many schools.

What’s your strategy for helping us teachers change and innovate?

I really don’t know how you do it. It’s kind of like I woke up one day and realized that all of the big things I’ve done have kind of come from a conversation with you. It’s like, What’s your secret? I want to know it, too!”

Betty: I guess it starts with listening to people. One of the things I do best is go to people and listen, “What are you doing? What do you want to do?”

“Well, if I can’t do that, why don’t we try something out…” And that’s where it starts.

Ideas. I got so many ideas from you. Then I just kind of took the ideas and ran with it.

It’s all in the approach with people. You approach, then you listen, then you suggest, and then you say, “Why don’t we try…” It’s kind of a gradual thing, that you get people to try new things or new ideas.

But the main thing is that you do it with them. You get them to buy in if YOU buy in. You become part of the process. If you do, then people will just about follow you anywhere if you’re with them. If you do it with them.

Vicki: So how do you make people feel like you’re with them? Because you know… I don’t know how you are where you are to have these conversations happen. (laughs)

DO you have habits? Do you like to walk the building? Do you like to pop in on people? How do you allow this, and nurture these conversations?

How do you nurture change-making conversations?

Betty: Yeah… Drop in whenever they’re free — before school, after school. You kind of become part of their personal lives in a way. “How’s your family? What’s going on with you?” You listen.

“What’s going on with your projects?” You know, what’s going on in their classroom. In so many ways, teachers are isolated. They like to talk about what they’re doing, and so sometimes you just listen.

When you listen and they know you’re interested and they’re open to what you have to say — because you’re’ open to what they have to say. So it’s kind of a two-way street.

Vicki: What do you think some of the biggest mistakes are that school leaders make? I mean it might be a curriculum leader. It might be whoever.

What are the biggest mistakes that people make in schools that make it hard to help teachers change?

Betty: Again, I think it’s (not) listening to them. I think the smartest people in our schools are the people in the classrooms, because they’re in the trenches.

I think sometimes big decisions — big sweeping decisions — are made that don’t concern the teachers, that don’t concern the children, and aren’t in the best welfare of the bottom line, (rather than) the children themselves. I think that’s a huge mistake.

When I think about why… “Why don’t kids read? Why can’t kids read?” That’s a big mystery to me. “Why do kids that can’t read come out of schools?”

We can teach children to read. It’s a lot of work. But I can’t understand WHY (laughs) those things don’t happen! They should.

Vicki: So, it’s listening. It’s really paying attention.

Betty: I think it is. I mean, there are a lot of good answers out there, if somebody’s willing to listen, and then try to make them happen.

Vicki: So, when you think back over thirty years, what do you think one of your biggest mistakes was? And you have to be careful, because we’re both at the same school, and we don’t name names, and all that. But just big picture, “I wish that I had done this differently.”

What are your biggest mistakes?

Betty: My biggest mistake was in my early years, when I just didn’t know any better.

I didn’t know anything about learning disabilities. I didn’t know that there were children that couldn’t learn normally. I mean, somewhere in the back of my mind, I had to have known something. But I look back and see the way that I treated some children, and… and… I hate it!

I feel so guilty about what I didn’t do for some children. I think that’s my biggest regret… the things that I didn’t know when I was younger, when I was in the classroom. Things I didn’t do.

Vicki: You know, learning differences or learning disabilities are just so hard, and that’s near and dear to your heart and my heart both. We’ve seen the kids who overcome and go on to do great things.

Do you have a moment that you think, “OK, this is one of my proud moments…” Like, “This is awesome. This is why I do this job.

What is a proud moment?

Betty: I think… maybe… when I got an email from a student who had left. She’d been gone 15 years. Oh, it was Facebook, and I got a message from her. She told me that she was getting her Masters Degree in Special Ed.

And she said, “Ms. Betty, I wanted you to know. I’ve been meaning to send this to you for years. You’re the reason that I’m in education. You’re the reason that I’m doing what I do.”

I taught her in middle school, and she was one of those kids… I always picked two children every year, wrote their names down, and I was going to give special attention to. She was one of my kids that year. I went to her ballgames, and I took her home because she had struggles at home.

But then when she graduated, she had troubles, she had lots of issues that I heard about through the grapevine. And then, you know, I wasn’t in touch with her.

And then out of the blue… that message came.

So I think, yeah. I think that’s one of the most wonderful things about being in education or being a teacher. You never know who you’ve touched, or how you’ve them.

And so, yeah. Those things kind of keep you going.

Vicki: So as we finish up, you said, “You give me so many quotes. And I quote you all of the time.” One of them is that, “Great teachers are repeaters.”

Betty: (laughs)

Vicki: (laughs)

Because we just have to repeat ourselves so much and it’s ridiculous, but we do. We have to remind kids, “Why are you here? How do you act?” and that’s just one of the things that you do.

But what do you think makes a great teacher? What’s your word, to all the teachers listening, about, “OK. Do this. Because that makes you a great teacher.”

What makes a great teacher?

Betty: Respect for each child, regardless of their ability, regardless of their temperament. You respect them as a person.

Fairness. There are a lot of definitions of fairness. But you treat each child fairly.

I think if you can respect them and treat them fairly, you’ll get that back. And if you do that, then you can teach them.

Vicki: OK, I have to do one more question. This is already an extended episode.

What makes you furious?

Betty: When kids aren’t treated fairly. When their needs are not put first in the classroom. When teachers just don’t look at kids as people with feelings and needs and lives outside of school. They just don’t “see” them. I just think that’s so sad. And it hurts as much as it makes you angry. And there are some things that you just can’t fix… and that makes me furious.

Vicki: Yeah. Because life is a bear, and it’s tough. But you know, teaching’s worth it.

I really don’t know how you convinced me to become a teacher.

Betty: (laughs) I don’t either!

Vicki: (laughs) But I will go on the record and say that basically, what I remember is that you said, “I think that you would make a great high school teacher.”

I was teaching some college classes at the time, and I had my own business. It was totally not on my radar. But I will say that at the time, I knew that one of my three kids had a learning difference, and I knew that there was technology to learn. So I think that was a part of the equation.

What I remember is that Ms. Betty said, “Give it a year, and let’s see what you think.” (laughs)

That was 16 years ago. (laughs)

Betty: And I was desperate at the time, too! (laughs)

Vicki: (laughs)

Yeah. She had kind of been left without a technology teacher at the last minute. I think it was about a month before school started or something. And we did a year. And we traveled the world together. We’ve been to Qatar and Mumbai…

Betty: And Dubai.

Vicki: And Dubai.

We’ve been a lot of places together. It’s been exciting.

One thing that we’ve done is this whole immersion thing… when we travel. The kids back home immerse. And I think that’s kind of been neat, hasn’t it?

Betty: It has.

Vicki: Yeah.

Betty: And we did the Flint River Project, which was a great curriculum project, maybe one of the best we’ve ever done.

Vicki: I think the Flint River Project is probably the single best project I’ve ever seen in my life.

Describe that for us a little bit.

What was the Flint River project?

Betty: We took the whole ninth grade and broke them up…

Vicki: Actually, it was the whole high school, wasn’t it?

Betty: Yeah. The whole high school. We broke them across class groupings into science and social studies and English and math, and…

Vicki: I had a technology group.

Betty: We had — what was it? Four days? And we did the science group who canoed the river, did water testing and biology. We tramped through the river.

We had the history group who did a dig.

The English group wrote poetry on the river and did photography.

And the math group… and the technology group… I don’t remember what all we did. They all had to blog, and they had to post pictures. Then everybody did presentations. Everybody participated. All of the teachers participated. Well, it was just a great project.

Vicki: Yeah. It was hard work.

But a lot of the kids from that time say it was one of the greatest projects.

Well, this week, as we talk about things that we’re thankful for, I am very thankful for Ms. Betty Shiver… and for her mentoring all of these years… and all that she’s done for students, because it’s all about the kids. She’s helped me adjust my thinking when I messed up. I have messed up a lot.

I just appreciate that — and this is for all of you school leaders out there — if you’re the kind of person that you can go to with your problem, and not feel condemned for having that problem? (If you can) actually feel like, “Let’s try this,” or “Let’s try to do that,” instead of just making you feel — I hate to say — like an idiot.

Ms. Betty has never made me feel like I was dumb or couldn’t do it. But she was a fellow traveler on the journey. I think that school leaders can learn a lot from her. Honestly, if you look at all of my stuff? Her fingerprints are everywhere, because she’s tried a lot of stuff with me, and she’s encouraged me, and helped me become a much better teacher.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey into someone I’m thankful for.

And I look forward to sharing other episodes.

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted

Betty has been in education since 1968, first starting as a language arts teacher. She has been teaching at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia since 1980 and served as interim headmaster from 2001-2002. Betty Shiver has been the curriculum direct at Westwood Schools for many years. Although she recently “retired” from that job, she still teaches composition to ninth graders.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post She Hired Me! Betty Shiver, the woman who convinced me to become a teacher appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog

Brent Johnson: My student’s views on learning and teaching

Brent Johnson on episode 193 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Brent Johnson is a senior at Westwood Schools. He has taken my classes for the last four years. We have a frank conversation about technology and a win in the National 4H Competition as a result of some apps he made in my class. Brent has come a long way! I hope you find this conversation inspiring.

FlexPath – only at Capella University – lets teachers work at their own pace to earn their MEd in a competency-based learning format. This subscription-based tuition model doesn’t limit the number of courses you can complete during each 12-week period, enrolling in up to two courses at once, for one flat tuition rate. Go to to get your free FlexPath guide and see if Capella’s FlexPath option is right for you.

Listen Now


Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.


Enhanced Transcript

Brent Johnson: My student’s views on learning and teaching


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Vicki: This week on the 10-Minute Teacher, we’re talking with some people who I’m very thankful for in my life.

Today I wanted to bring one of my students – I have so many students I love, so many students that I admire throughout the years – but Brent is one of my students who has recently won an award for something he did in my class. He actually won this at 4-H.

How some app projects helped Brent win some awards from 4-H

Tell us about your 4-H project that has earned you the trip to the National Conference.

Brent: Well, I’ve been in 4-H for the past seven years, and I’ve actually been doing district project achievements for the last four.

In my District Project Achievement speech, I speak on the apps that I’ve made in Ms. Vicki’s classroom. I’ve made two apps, and those two apps have brought me so far. I’ve competed in district last fall. I placed first there. Then I went to state congress, and then I also placed first there. Now I get to go to national congress, which is a little bit later this year.

Using Humor to Hook Students into Learning

Vicki: But these apps… Some people could say, “Oh, all apps have to be serious.” But tell us about the topic for your apps. I’ll put the links in the Shownotes. One of them is just hilarious.

Brent: Well, funny enough, my first app was made a joke, really. It was just me and my friends just wanting to mess around. We made a recipe app for nachos, of all things that we could have made a recipe for. I mean, we could literally have done chicken, steak… But no. Nachos.

Vicki: And you have the funniest film shoot I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Brent: Yes…

Vicki: Tell us about it.

Brent: Well, we got a kiddie pool, about 20 bags of tortilla chips… And we took a bath in nachos.

Vicki: (laughs) I literally was hurting so badly. My face was hurting. My ribs were hurting. I could hardly even breathe.

Brent: I was getting salt out of my pants for weeks.

Vicki: OK, that’s a little TMI. (laughs) I might take that one out.

I think the point is here. The first app was literally a joke.

Brent: A joke, yes.

How to Hook Students (without them knowing it – unless you tell them)

Vicki: Yeah, but OK. Let’s just travel through the mind of Ms. Vicki, and this is a part Brent has never seen. So I’m always looking for a hook. OK, I see these brilliant kids, really smart kids. And they might not be ready to save the world. They might just be ready to have a laugh, right?

So what you have to do is you have to say, “OK, what is going to interest them?” And I’m like, “What is it going to take?”

Brent and his friends are pretty smart. But in 9th grade? They weren’t ready to change the world.

Brent: No. (laughs)

Vicki: They weren’t ready to be serious about anything, were you?

Brent: No. (laughs) Definitely not. Not yet.

Vicki: And it was hilarious. And we laughed a lot.

Brent: Yes.

Vicki: But, you went on the next year, and what’s the app you made?

Brent: It’s called Overty. It’s a charity referral app, and it was a much more serious approach than the nacho app was.

We went in and we found trusted charities that we had pre-researched. Not all charities are good charities, so we pre-vetted the ones that are good, and we put them in our app. We gave statistics, and we gave links to those websites, and it was overall a much more professional process than Nacho app ever was.

Vicki: Yeah. But of course you took the things you learned on the Nacho app to the Overty app.

Brent: Of course, of course.

How is Technology Changing Schools?

Vicki: Both of them ended up in the finals, so neither one was a laughing matter in the end.

OK, so there’s a piece of the 4-H presentation you did, where you talk about what you think education should be. Could you share some of that – what you remember – with us?

Brent: Well, the way I see it, education is definitely changing every day. Nothing’s the same as it was ten years ago, five years ago, maybe even two years ago.

Vicki: Yeah. You think that making apps should be part of what people learn, right?

Brent: Of course, of course.

Vicki: Why?

Brent: Well, I’ve learned a lot more through making apps than I have through some of my other classes, considering that with the app-making process you have to coordinate with people. And a big part of being in the workplace later in life is working with people.

You have to come together and make this big project using technology, work together as a group and make something that is successful. That’s not something that can just be taught in a classroom. That’s something that has to be done through experience.

Vicki: Right. So, as you think about… you know, it could be my class, it could be whatever, because as you know I don’t like to ever fish for compliments, that’s just not me. What do you think are the things that have taught you the most in your high school career?

Brent: Oh, that’s a hard one.

Collective hardships is probably the single most thing that has taught me more than anything else.

You make a really bad grade in a class for the first quarter, and then the second quarter you have to dig deep and find that side of you didn’t think was there before. You have to work much harder, stay up later at night, and that’s definitely one of the things that I’ve learned.

Vicki: And you’re a runner, too. So you know what it’s like to be running behind.

Brent: I am a runner. Definitely perseverance. That’s a good one. I’m actually in all honors classes and I’m in one AP class. I’m taking the hardest rigor at the school.

I was not always the best student, but my dreams of becoming a doctor have really pushed the initiative to work harder in school. And that’s another one with perseverance, too.

How he found his dream

Vicki: How did you find that dream?

Brent: I had a hernia operation about two years ago, and my cousin, who is actually a P.A. was there through all of it. And I saw the way that he deals with people, and the way that he has the drive for the medical field.

And I talked to him about it, because you know, you’re stuck in that room for about four hours before they actually put you on the table. We had long conversation about the medical field and how he likes it.

I just decided that that’s for me. I’m a people person, and I like helping people. That’s something that I’m really interested in.

Vicki: Brent is a great example to all you listeners of someone who really has taken the most out of my class. You know, some students come to class and they get SOME. And some students take advantage of a lot more than others. So I like sharing those students with the world, so you can kind of see, “OK, this is what the student turns out like.” And I can’t take all the credit for Brent, because he’s had many great teachers.

But Brent, what would you say – let’s just focus on computer science for a minute – are the things that you learned in computer science that you think you’ll take with you?

What will you take with you from Computer Science?

Brent: Graphic design is one really big thing for me. Like, just projects in high school and for some of my college classes have taken a lot of graphic design. And Ms. Vicki taught us graphic design in computer science.

Another big one would be just learning the ins and outs of computer programs. In general, just knowing how to use a program can save you a lot of time later.

Vicki: Now, you take a lot of online classes. Do you think our class – we use a blended classroom, where we have PowerSchool Learning as our LMS (Learning Management System). Do you think that that helps prepare you for these online classes that you take?

Brent: Oh, 100%. The operating system is almost the same through the way that we learned in Ms. Vicki’s class to the way that online college is set up.

So, in Ms. Vicki’s class, we would have all of our assignments on one pane, where to go to the assignment, how to turn in the assignment, and all that.

College – it’s not like Ms. Vicki’s class where if you’re stuck or something, you can go to Ms. Vicki. College professors aren’t the same way. They don’t have as much compassion for you, and if you mess up, they can — and will — fail you.

So learning all of the programs and the operating system – and getting my stuff done on time in Ms. Vicki’s class, on my own sometimes, has really taught me to do better in college.

Vicki: But I know that the hard part about it – and the reason that a lot of teachers say, “Oh, I don’t want to blend my classroom,” – is that there is some pushback. Because it is frustrating to learn that way, don’t you think?

Talking about Blending

Brent: Oh yeah. I guess some people don’t like the fact that there are videos that they have to sit through and watch. I guess they find those boring.

Vicki: But then they also don’t want a lecture, either.

Brent: Yeah. They just don’t like learning in general.

Vicki: Yeah! (laughs) You’ve got to pick, you know?

Brent: Some people would rather sit at home. You have to take the good with the bad, under some circumstances. Honestly, I learned a lot better through the system that we had in Ms. Vicki’s class, compared to just sitting there through lectures.

I feel the stimuli in your brain work better when you’re getting… I mean, Ms. Vicki does do lectures. She has hands-on work, online work. There’s everything. You really don’t miss a thing in Ms. Vicki’s class.

Vicki: Well. You’re sweet, but…

So, is there any advice that you have for teachers to be better teachers?

Brent: Compassion. Compassion is something that’s infectious, I would say, between teachers and students. If you walk into a classroom, and you don’t get a good vibe from the class, you definitely don’t learn as well then.

If you walk in there, and a teacher gives you a smile and a “How’s your day going?” then you are definitely going to feel a lot better. You’re definitely going to pay more attention in that class. You’re not going to want to fall asleep.

Another thing? Another big thing? Being interesting. Being an interesting person, in general, is a big thing. If you’re a bland person, as a teacher and you don’t care as much about the students, then it’s a little bit harder… definitely a lot harder for students to learn in your classroom.

Vicki: That’s a great thought about teachers.

Now, I do have a question about, like, to quote your generation. And we don’t generation bash, because every generation has its weaknesses. But you talk to a lot of friends who go to other schools and other places, right?

Brent: Yes, Ma’am.

Vicki: As we finish up, could you give us a 30-second pep talk on how to actually reach your generation, for teachers who may be struggling.

Brent: I have one word that I believe that totally encompasses it… and it’s ‘Positivity.”

I feel my generation has been stereotyped, from the get-go. I’ve always heard that my generation doesn’t pay as much attention, is more unruly, and has more stuck their heads in their phones than anything. But honestly, if you look at it, you could say the same for every generation before that.

I mean, there’s always been books, newspapers, and other forms of entertainment that have always been around. I think that’s something that is just done. It’s always going to be there.

But definitely positivity toward our generation is something that is huge.

Like the negativity that is thrown at our generation is wild. There’s way too much of it. If more people could just be more positive, it would make the world a better place in general, I believe.

Vicki: What do you think the stereotypes about your generation are that people say that you think are not true?

Brent: Well, I know that one of them is that… We live in our phones.

Vicki: (laughs) You’re all taking selfies? You’re all divas?

Brent: Oh, that’s definitely not true.

The people that aren’t always in their phones don’t really get noticed as much, I guess. They’re picking one person out of a crowd that they see as a diva, and then they’re totally characterizing our entire generation by that one person.

A lot of the people are actually not that crazy about being a diva. You always see all these people on YouTube that are just wild. But in reality, that’s less than 1% of our population.

Vicki: Yeah.

Well, OK.

Well, thank you for listening. I hope you’ve pulled some things out of what Brent has shared with us.

And I am thankful for my students.

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted

Brent Johnson is a senior at Westwood Schools. He recently won his state 4H Congress and is going to nationals. Brent is hoping to attend the University of Georgia with a major in pre-med. After that, he plans to attend medical school. He has spent time his senior year shadowing in emergency rooms. He is a member of the National Honor Society and directed the class movie in last year’s film class.

The picture below was taking on a location shoot during the 2016-2017 digital filmmaking class where Brent served as director.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Brent Johnson: My student’s views on learning and teaching appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog