Friday, October 19, 2012


Busy Week

We had rather mixed weather this past week. But it didn't matter mostly because I was substitute teaching Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  That meant the swimming pool right there, so I swam as well.  Add a chiropractor appointment and a trip in the pouring rain to get a new battery installed in my truck, and another bout of rain today, and the horses did not get any work.

I had a great time subbing. I was the history teacher the last two days but I swapped classes with one of the English teachers so I could give a lesson on...get ready...horses!!

Her class was reading "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," and had asked some questions about spurs. She asked me, I explained it to her, then had the bright idea of bringing some real riding spurs into school to show the students. That led to the brilliant idea of further explaining some of the origin of the knight's charger...which logically led to horses in medieval warfare...which led quite naturally to dressage!!

So, I created a Powerpoint presentation introducing the airs above the ground which are based on battlefield moves, and then found a short series of videos of the Spanish Riding School cool lesson all set up to show how dressage had developed out of the training horses needed for warfare.

I presented the lesson twice and got a round of applause both times. I had to laugh a little because the class on the second day had an extra bunch of questions, mostly to detain me so they could put off their regular English class as long as possible, but I knew they were doing it and gave really short answers, to what actually proved to be some good questions. All in all, it was really fun.

I also had an Economics class during which I showed the Frontline documentary, "Inside the Meltdown." It was about the US 2008 financial crisis and was absolutely fascinating!  I learned a ton of interesting information. It is well worth watching...available online...if you want to know how our economy got into the mess we are still trying to recover from

I have to admit, substitute teaching is a blast, especially when I can actually teach something. There is no pressure about grading students, keeping all kinds of records, grading papers, writing up lesson plans and all the high pressure detail work that goes on behind the scenes of a well run classroom. This past week was particularly fun.

Now, I need to spend some time educating my horses, and learning perhaps even more from them.


  1. How cool that you could incorporate dressage into your lesson plan - sounds like the students appreciated it!

    If you liked that Frontline documentary - you might appreciate the film "Heist - Who stole the American dream?" Not sure it's getting a very wide release but the dvd is available. :D

  2. I wish I was in your English class!

  3. I'd want to be in your English class too! It sounds like you made their learning experience fun. That's the best way to learn in my book, keep it fun and interesting. Glad you had such a good time as well as the students.

    I'll have to look those two videos up. They sound interesting.

  4. woohoo! you go girl. keep baptizing those kids into the Horse world! lol
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

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