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Nominations for the 2011 Edublog Awards

November 19, 2011 1 comment
Through his blogs, Matthew Ray shares his passion for his world, his work, his students and anything else that has touched or influenced his life.
I am nominating his blog From the Desk of Mr.Foteah, where he shares his thoughts and opinions penned in an honest and thought provoking way, for Best Teacher Blog.  Sometimes making them laugh, sometimes making them cry, he inspires his readers as he challenges them to change the way they think or teach.
According to Matthew, he blogs because, “I inspire people and that inspires me.”  Therefore, I am also nominating two of his blog posts for a 2011 Edublog Award for Most Influential Blog Post.
The first nomination was featured on WordPress in August 2011 as Freshly Pressed: Dear Me (On the Eve of My First Year Teaching). As a teacher beginning his fourth year, he reflected on his three years of experiences and wrote a letter to himself as if he were beginning his first year of teaching. His lessons learned were heartfelt and certainly inspired his readers.
An avid blogger himself,  this year, Matthew  shared this love as he undertook the  exciting challenge of teaching his third graders, (all children with IEPS) the basics of blogging. He’s written many  wonderful blog posts which follow their adventures with blogging but one of his most influential is 10 Reasons Your Students Should Be Blogging. The practical educational and social reasons for having students blog influenced many members of his own school as well as his PLN to start blogging with their class.

A Different Veterans Day “Tail”

November 12, 2011 Leave a comment

This is not the type of blog that I usually write but I was so moved by the story that I felt compelled to share it.

I met Snoopy last night. Snoopy is a four year old, 50 lb. pure bred Husky with the most beautiful blue eyes. He is friendly, playful, smart and loyal. He obeys commands and loves to give kisses. For someone like me, who is not necessarily a dog lover, it is easy to fall in love with him. It’s also easy to picture a dog like this living with a family, romping in their yard and having a great life.

But Snoopy was a military dog. This dog was being trained for a very different  type of life, a life in combat. He spent the last three years at the side of his trainer. They were inseparable. He was learning to sniff out bombs, find cadavers, and attack when necessary. He participated in parades and walked proudly with his trainer and other members of the military. He was deemed to live a military life. That was until this past Tuesday.

You see, Snoopy wasn’t aggressive enough and therefore not right for this type of service. I totally understand that military dogs must fit a certain mold, no criticism for that. He would return to civilian life and have a home with a family.  All was going well until the people who planned to adopt him backed out at the last minute. His trainer and the trainer’s superior tried to find others to take him, but no luck. Though they both loved this dog, they were told that Snoopy, this beautiful, healthy, young dog who was  so full of life, would be put down at 9:00 AM on Wednesday.

As luck would have it, my sister in law, who does animal rescue, was at the groomer with some of her dogs and learned about Snoopy from another animal lover. She and my brother sprung into action, contacted the proper people and rescued Snoopy on Tuesday night, sparing him from an untimely death.

 Snoopy’s trainer, could not stop crying at the loss of his much loved companion. Still a member of the military, he could not adopt this dog. Snoopy, used to being with this man for 24/7, had a hard time separating as well. Not easy for either of them.  But after meeting Snoopy last night, I am confident that he will be fine. He will be adopted by the right people and get the home he needs, the attention he craves and the love and life he deserves. They in turn, will be rewarded by lots of kisses from a truly delightful and loyal pet.

*Ironically, I saw this on this article about Dogs of War in the Huffington Post today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/dogs-of-war-book_n_1079604.html?ref=green&icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk3%7C112023

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