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After the Bell

Dave Orphal

April 22, 2015

Managing Sick Days


I’ve been up all through the night with stomach cramps that feeling like I’m being kicked. I’d tell you more, but, you know, TMI.

When the alarm rang at 5AM, I knew there was now way I could go in. I needed a sub.

For many teachers, preparing for and cleaning up after a substitute is a nightmare. We will just drag our weak, sniffily, infectious bodies into school rather than surrender control of our classroom to a substitute.

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Dave Orphal

March 12, 2015

A little service translates to a lot of smiles.


“Can we keep them forever?” one teacher asked me, referring to two of my students. As soon as they walked in the room, the children hushed and listened with rapt attention.  For the room of third graders, the junior and senior were like rock stars. Up and down the hall I roamed, gently knocking on doors, introducing myself, and listening as my students read to the little ones.

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Dave Orphal

December 17, 2014

Stealing Business ideas for my Classroom


“Project Managers, I need to meet with you in ten minutes,” I called out to the classroom.  “I need a progress report on your drafts, also on your posters.  Additionally, I need to know if your team is having any problems.”

It was time for our daily stand-up meeting.  After getting their teams going on today’s work, five students circled around me.

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