Archive

Archive for November, 2010

The Education of our Educators

November 25, 2010 4 comments

As I was browsing through random articles tonight, I found an interesting blog posting on The Huffington Post.  It discussed some recent comments by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  It looked at the idea of making teacher training like med school, in the sense of the idea of residences.  The idea is that education students would be observe and work more in schools near their college/university throughout the college years.

This is a great idea, but wait, don’t most places already do this?  I know when I was in college I had to obtain a minimum of twenty observation hours per semester.  Often I exceeded this since I enjoyed working with some of the teachers.  As I have been teaching for a few years now I have been honored to have college students from different places observe and teach in my class.

The article does discuss that students say their programs failed to prepare them for their classrooms.  This is probably true in any college program though.  It is hard to actually prepare anyone to be one their own in any job field, teaching especially.  Some of the parts of teaching is learned through ones own mistakes and successes.  Teaching is not a controlled environment where ever situation is the same and is handled in the same manner.  Also, when future-teacher walks into a classroom, its atmosphere has already been created by the main teacher.  That future-teacher will more then likely not run into the problems of a poorly ran classroom.

The merit and point of this article is great.  Getting teachers more experience in the classroom is a great way to prepare them for the future, but I am not sure the med school way of doing this is the best.  Unfortunately sometimes student teachers and teachers themselves need to get a few bumps and bruises before they learn their teaching method.  That in essence though is the main root of learning.  We make our mistakes and get better from it.  If we do not allow our future teachers to do the same, they will just imitate instead of becoming great!

Sources:

Belmont, Fred. “Teaching Teachers a Better Way.” The Huffington Post. V, 23 Nov. 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-belmont/teaching-teachers-a-bette_b_787743.html&gt;.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Smith, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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All I can say is “wow.”

November 12, 2010 4 comments

Every morning I wake up and check Google News to see what is happening in the world or to find information to share with students.  This morning I was astonished and horrified when I read an article from The New York Times.  The article titled, “Like a Monitor More Than a Tutor,” talked about busy families hiring tutors for their children. At first I was glad to see parents helping their children achieve better and focusing on their education.  The happy session ended about half-way through the article when this quote occurred, ““I don’t want to have friction between the two of us,” she said, speaking of homework. “It made more sense for me to step out of it.””

Step out of it?  You are the child’s parent, you need to step in it!  Yes being involved and caring for your child creates friction, but that is a good thing.  Friction is what causes growth and maturing.  When people have friction they are forced to work on their relationship.  Avoiding friction does not allow for bonding or finding ways to work together.

As a teacher I attempt to create friction everyday in my classroom.  I attempt to push students to do more and to achieve their best.  I create assignments to challenge them and maybe even create a little dislike for me because it is hard.  It is my job to create that friction in learning and not be afraid of it.  It is parents jobs to create friction that makes their child a better person as a whole.  That does mean Mrs. Sternberg you need to make sure your child does their homework, even if makes your son angry.

Works Cited
Nir, Sarah M. “Like a Monitor More Than a Tutor.” Homework Helpers Focus Students’ Attention. The New York Times, 7 Nov. 2010. Web. 10 Nov. 2010

First blog from Droid X

November 11, 2010 1 comment

Just found out that there was a WordPress app for Android.  So right now this blog is being created using said app.  It is amazing how much my smartphone has changed the way I do things.  I finally made the jump from a regular cell phone to the Droid X in August.  Since then I hardly ever turn on my desktop. 

The biggest effect it has probably has had is in my communication.  After looking at my last cell phone bill I found I only used 42 minutes of talk time.  This was a drop of almost 150 minutes!  One would think I have shunned society, but looking at my text and data usage, I have done.the complete opposite.  I sent about an additional 200 texts and increased my usage of Facebook and Twitter.  Using this phone I feel more up-to-date than ever.  Having the power to access the internet at any second is very impowering!

Well, my thumbs are starting to get sore so it is time to cut my rant short.  Let me know how smartphones have changed your life and apps you can not live without.

1st Quarter….Check

November 9, 2010 4 comments

1st quarter of the school year is on the books and three left to go!  It was a busy quarter in many ways.  I implemented some new policies, introduced students to Edmodo, gutted and redid my school homepage, became more active on Twitter, and managing the middle school yearbook club.

Somethings went smoothly and others were a tad bumpy.  Edmodo has been a interesting twist in my classroom.  Not only has it replaced email, but has actually made me get organized!  I post my lesson plans everyday for students to see, I use it for collecting homework, and sharing files/links.  It has really changed the way I do my class.  Recently I was honored to teach other teachers how to use Edmodo at our last district in-service.  You can see an example of what I taught teachers by following this link: http://bit.ly/bvRvxH.  It was a pretty successful in-service and many teachers are now interested in Edmodo.

On the bumpy side my homepage revisions have not been as smooth.  I am a little happy with some new additions and changes, but I do not stay on-top of it enough.  The time I should be spending on it has been used tweaking Edmodo.  I am sure there is a way I can integrate the two, but there is just not enough time in the day.  One other problem is I do not have a way to monitor page views/visits right now.  Since the page is hosted through the school, I do not have access to the information.  Also, to view my page a person has to go through a complicated process, which I feel hinders parents visiting it.  Sometime in December I will  do a survey and see how much of an impact the website and/or Edmodo has.