Category Archives: Teaching Stories

No Such Thing as Grown Up Teachers: The Herdmans 4-1 by Gary Cains

Mr. Caines, my former high school teacher, has been a great inspiration in my teaching career, and looking back, most likely one of the first “Non-Grown Ups” I encountered. He is and was a truly great teacher and I learned a lot about teaching, feminism, treating people fairly and equally, and having fun-just from being his student. I am so happy to live in a word where there are more people who have been taught by him, and I know the world is a better place because of it. Oh and did I mention he’s funny-well now he has a blog and you can see for yourself. Check it out and leave him a comment he’d love to hear from you! –Tara Audibert Co-Host No Such Thing as Grown Ups


The Herdmans – Part 4-1

Billy K’s behaviour continued to be an issue. He could go several days without incident but then WHAM. I suppose his belief was, go big or go home. While his brothers needed academic support in the classroom their behaviour wasn’t much of an issue.

By this time, one of the measures we had in place for Billy consisted of an intervention worker (IW) meeting him when he stepped off the bus. An intervention worker was a teaching assistant who specialized in behaviour intervention. She had several students on her case load and her day consisted of quietly moving from class to class and connecting with kids for whom behaviour was an issue. We tried to make it look like she was connecting with most students but there were several she was monitoring closely. The intention was to have her intervene before behaviours became disruptive. Her day began with meeting B.K. when he first arrived. READ MORE…

Pokemon Cards

In the late 90’s, Pokemon cards came on the scene. They were quite a hit with kids but, in many school hallways and on many playgrounds, they led to fighting and other disruptive behaviours. It reached a point where they were banned from many elementary schools. Personally, I think teachers missed a golden opportunity. Imagine a collection of these cards being used for the teaching of thinking strategies: observing, comparing/contrasting, sequencing, grouping, etc. One would certainly have the attention and enthusiasm of the class. READ MORE…


Gary Caines is a retired teacher. During his 32 year career he taught in Newfoundland and New Brunswick and in private and public schools. He directed school musicals, coached rugby, is a recording artist, a past-master of the Masonic Lodge, and served as a volunteer ambulance driver. Oh, and something else of which he is proud, he is married with two beautiful children. In the spring of 2015 he became a grand-father.

He has a lot of stories to tell. Follow his wordpress for more stories each week!

No Such Thing as grown Up Teachers: The Herdmans 3 and Rugby Tour #1 by Gary Caines

Mr. Caines, my former high school teacher, has been a great inspiration in my teaching career, and looking back, most likely one of the first “Non-Grown Ups” I encountered. He is and was a truly great teacher and I learned a lot about teaching, feminism, treating people fairly and equally, and having fun-just from being his student. I am so happy to live in a word where there are more people who have been taught by him, and I know the world is a better place because of it. Oh and did I mention he’s funny-well now he has a blog and you can see for yourself. Check it out and leave him a comment he’d love to hear from you! –Tara Audibert Co-Host No Such Thing as Grown Ups


The Herdmans – Part 3

Of course, I am not referring to this family by their actual names. So, why am I calling them the Herdman’s? A few years prior to their arrival at our school, our annual theatre production was called, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It centred around six delinquent children with the surname Herdman. It was a delightful comedy and a perfect Christmas-themed, middle school play. When the family in question arrived at our school, it wasn’t long until someone said, “Oh my God, it’s the Herdmans.” The name stuck. READ MORE…

Rugby Tour #1

First, a bit of background:

  • In 1987, the Canadian $1 paper bill was replaced by a gold coloured coin.
  • That coin is nicknamed the loonie due to the fact that a loon is pictured on the back.
  • I coached high school rugby in four different schools and every year, except for my first year in Newfoundland, I took the team on a tour.
  • Please note, technically I did not tell a lie in this story. READ MORE…

Gary Caines is a retired teacher. During his 32 year career he taught in Newfoundland and New Brunswick and in private and public schools. He directed school musicals, coached rugby, is a recording artist, a past-master of the Masonic Lodge, and served as a volunteer ambulance driver. Oh, and something else of which he is proud, he is married with two beautiful children. In the spring of 2015 he became a grand-father.

He has a lot of stories to tell. Follow his wordpress for more stories each week!


No Such Thing as Grown Up Teachers: Sex Ed & Favourite Teachers by Gary Caines

Mr. Caines, my former high school teacher, has been a great inspiration in my teaching career, and looking back, most likely one of the first “Non-Grown Ups” I encountered. He is and was a truly great teacher and I learned a lot about teaching, feminism, treating people fairly and equally, and having fun-just from being his student. I am so happy to live in a word where there are more people who have been taught by him, and I know the world is a better place because of it. Oh and did I mention he’s funny-well now he has a blog and you can see for yourself. Check it out and leave him a comment he’d love to hear from you! –Tara Audibert Co-Host No Such Thing as Grown Ups


SEX ED

For the 1996/97 school year, the Dept of Education introduced a new sex. ed. curriculum.   Neither of the middle school teachers at Macdonald Consolidated were comfortable and/or willing to take the two day in-service. I figured, what the heck. If I taught this component of the health courses, it would at least get me into each of the grade 7-9 classes (the grade 9’s had yet to move up to the high school); besides, I would probably learn something new. I signed up. READ MORE…

Favourite Teachers

Growing up, my mother would often ask, “Who is your favourite teacher?”; of course, I assumed she was referring to my school teaches. While I had a number of favourite school teachers over the years, if I were now asked the question, “Who was your favourite teacher?”, my response would be, “I had two. My mom and my dad.” I have been thinking a lot about my folks of late. My mother’s birthday is coming up. She died 13 years ago and my father died eight years before her. I guess it makes sense for me to take a moment to salute their memory. READ MORE…



Gary Caines is a retired teacher. During his 32 year career he taught in Newfoundland and New Brunswick and in private and public schools. He directed school musicals, coached rugby, is a recording artist, a past-master of the Masonic Lodge, and served as a volunteer ambulance driver. Oh, and something else of which he is proud, he is married with two beautiful children. In the spring of 2015 he became a grand-father.

He has a lot of stories to tell. Follow his wordpress for more stories each week!

No Such Thing as Grown Up Teachers: The Herdmans Part 2 & Drug Bust by Gary Caines

Mr. Caines, my former high school teacher, has been a great inspiration in my teaching career, and looking back, most likely one of the first “Non-Grown Ups” I encountered. He is and was a truly great teacher and I learned a lot about teaching, feminism, treating people fairly and equally, and having fun-just from being his student. I am so happy to live in a word where there are more people who have been taught by him, and I know the world is a better place because of it. Oh and did I mention he’s funny-well now he has a blog and you can see for yourself. Check it out and leave him a comment he’d love to hear from you! –Tara Audibert Co-Host No Such Thing as Grown Ups


The Herdmans Part 2

Students misbehave for four reasons: attention, revenge, control or lack of control. I didn’t know this when I first started teaching. It was about mid-way through my career before this became clear (more on the four reasons later). Of course, as a principal I was often dealing with student misbehaviour. More often than not, it was regarding a situation I did not witness; ie, it was brought to my attention by a member of staff or another student. The first thing I would attempt to do was to determine under which category the behaviour fell. Until one did so, one ran the risk of ineffectively dealing with the matter. READ MORE…

Drug Bust

Each year MacDonald Consolidated organizes a trip to Quebec for its grade 8 students, and for years students were permitted to sell chocolate bars to help offset their expenses. . I wasn’t too far into my tenure as principal when I was advised that Miranda had either eaten her bars or had spent the money she collected; regardless, she was on the hook for at least the cost of the bars, $20. I explained to her that she had a period of time by which she needed to settle the bill. READ MORE…



Gary Caines is a retired teacher. During his 32 year career he taught in Newfoundland and New Brunswick and in private and public schools. He directed school musicals, coached rugby, is a recording artist, a past-master of the Masonic Lodge, and served as a volunteer ambulance driver. Oh, and something else of which he is proud, he is married with two beautiful children. In the spring of 2015 he became a grand-father.

He has a lot of stories to tell. Follow his wordpress for more stories each week!

No Such Thing as Grown Up Teachers: BEd Assignment and General Military Training by Gary Caines

Mr. Caines, my former high school teacher, has been a great inspiration in my teaching career, and looking back, most likely one of the first “Non-Grown Ups” I encountered. He is and was a truly great teacher and I learned a lot about teaching, feminism, treating people fairly and equally, and having fun-just from being his student. I am so happy to live in a word where there are more people who have been taught by him, and I know the world is a better place because of it. Oh and did I mention he’s funny-well now he has a blog and you can see for yourself. Check it out and leave him a comment he’d love to hear from you! –Tara Audibert Co-Host No Such Thing as Grown Ups


BEd Assignment

During my time at St. Thomas we were given an assignment to interview two seasoned teachers and ask each for two pieces of advice. I asked Sister McCloskey how we were to define seasoned. She said that two or more years experience would be fine. That was good – it meant I could interview my brothers. I remember three of the four suggestions: READ MORE…

General Military training

I was in the Naval Reserve for 20 years (I could probably write a book just on my navy experiences). During my G.M.T. (General Military Training) we were required to run 1.5 miles each morning starting at 0600. My running buddy was Gord Edwards and we remain friends to this day. I would like to send a shout-out to Gord. He said something to me in 1978 that made a profound difference in my life and my teaching career. The conversation went like this: READ MORE…



Gary Caines is a retired teacher. During his 32 year career he taught in Newfoundland and New Brunswick and in private and public schools. He directed school musicals, coached rugby, is a recording artist, a past-master of the Masonic Lodge, and served as a volunteer ambulance driver. Oh, and something else of which he is proud, he is married with two beautiful children. In the spring of 2015 he became a grand-father.

He has a lot of stories to tell. Follow his wordpress for more stories each week!

No Such Thing as Grown Up Teachers: Student Teaching #1 and Plans by Gary Caines

Mr. Caines, my former high school teacher, has been a great inspiration in my teaching career, and looking back, most likely one of the first “Non-Grown Ups” I encountered. He is and was a truly great teacher and I learned a lot about teaching, feminism, treating people fairly and equally, and having fun-just from being his student. I am so happy to live in a word where there are more people who have been taught by him, and I know the world is a better place because of it. Oh and did I mention he’s funny-well now he has a blog and you can see for yourself. Check it out and leave him a comment he’d love to hear from you! –Tara Audibert Co-Host No Such Thing as Grown Ups


Student Teaching # 1

I did my BEd at St. Thomas University. I had also received acceptance at UNB but having received my BSc there I thought it would be nice to have the experience of another university setting. I had a thoroughly enjoyable year at STU and learned a great deal. More on that later. READ MORE…

Plans

I have never forgiven the New Brunswick Liberal government of the 1990’s for adopting a business approach to education. It probably made sense to the bean-counters and politicians of the day but it certainly wasn’t a student-centred initiative. We continue to pay the price in this province. READ MORE…



Gary Caines is a retired teacher. During his 32 year career he taught in Newfoundland and New Brunswick and in private and public schools. He directed school musicals, coached rugby, is a recording artist, a past-master of the Masonic Lodge, and served as a volunteer ambulance driver. Oh, and something else of which he is proud, he is married with two beautiful children. In the spring of 2015 he became a grand-father.

He has a lot of stories to tell. Follow his wordpress for more stories each week!

No Such Thing as Grown Up Teachers- Teaching stories by Gary Caines “Homework” and “”Speaking of the Bible”

Mr. Caines, my former high school teacher, has been a great inspiration in my teaching career, and looking back, most likely one of the first “Non-Grown Ups” I encountered. He is and was a truly great teacher and I learned a lot about teaching, feminism, treating people fairly and equally, and having fun-just from being his student. I am so happy to live in a word where there are more people who have been taught by him, and I know the world is a better place because of it. Oh and did I mention he’s funny-well now he has a blog and you can see for yourself. Check it out and leave him a comment he’d love to hear from you! –Tara Audibert Co-Host No Such Thing as Grown Ups


Homework

We had a young student at MacDonald Consolidated who never had his homework done. Both his teacher and I spoke to his parents on the matter. They were quite adamant that when he was home he was “on his own time” and that any school work should be done at school. They never reneged; the work he took home at the end of the day was never completed. It was very frustrating for the teacher. READ MORE…

Speaking of the Bible

This summer I attended three funeral services and made a number of funeral home visitations (I suppose I am at that age). According to Revelations 21:4, READ MORE…



Gary Caines is a retired teacher. During his 32 year career he taught in Newfoundland and New Brunswick and in private and public schools. He directed school musicals, coached rugby, is a recording artist, a past-master of the Masonic Lodge, and served as a volunteer ambulance driver. Oh, and something else of which he is proud, he is married with two beautiful children. In the spring of 2015 he became a grand-father.

He has a lot of stories to tell. Follow his wordpress for more stories each week!