Monday, September 29, 2008

What a surprise about homework!!!!

It turns out that acutally giving homework to kids is not that bad of a thing....that is, ofcourse if the parents can handle it. This article in the washington post, explains how students with an active afterschool life can still handle homework in a structred setting.

Not too much of a shocker, but I'm glad that someone actually went out and did the research on it. I for one would not like to tell any parent, that if they had a more structred household than their student might perform better. No thank you, I'll pass.

This is an interesting article that I found has a lot of valid points. A structred household and a structred classroom will increase the chances of any student being successful. So my only question is where do we go from here? Should there be more parenting classes offered to help with this area? What do you think?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's goal writing time...

It's that time of the year where I have to sit and go over with my principal about goals that I should have for the year. How many of you have spent hours pondering over this topic? The simple thing would be to look at test scores and reading levels and call it a day. However if anyone were to tell you that teaching is simple, they clearly have no idea what teaching is like. Soooooo I was racking my brain over how to clearly state that I would like to have some kind of positive effect on my kids with it being measurable and defined. But there's the can someone put a clearly defined and measureable label over something that is clearly not...learning?

We all know that students consume information at different rates and styles yet we are to measure them all in the same method and style. How fair and accurate is that? My point being is that if a student who might not learn how to comprehend a story but learns how to stay out of trouble and helps others around him, be ready for the real world of tomorrow? Clearly we would all love for them to be perfect students with A+ averages, but we all know that's far from the case. So, with that being said, which skill or trait would you want your student to leave your classroom and be successful with? We would all love for our students to be nice, and honest, and responsible, and dependable, so on and so forth. If a student who had history of being disruptive left your room with a desire to help others with positive comments, wouldn't that be just as important and vital to a career as anything else?

Teaching is such a demanding profession. Clearly you need to be everything at all times to everyone. Where would you rate job readiness skills in a student with test scores? How would you know if you were an effective teacher to a student?

Monday, September 22, 2008

What kind of teacher are you?

After watching this video I had to think about how I engage my students. It's easy to get stuck in a routine not using technology, but in the end the ones who suffer are the students. They need to be able to learn how to use the techonolgy around us in manner that will aid them in their learning. How many teachers do you know have no clue what a blog is, or what even a podcast is? We need to do a better job of educating and spreading the word out about technology, so that our students will be better prepared for tomorrow. After watching this video do you feel that you are engaging your students correctly?

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Six steps for better schools...

Make no mistake about it, there needs to be a change in the education system in the United States. Teachers are unhappy with not only their pay, but also the lack of respect, materials, supplies, and the day to day stress that just comes along with the job. This editorial from Florida's Tresure Coast & Palm Beaches offers some suggestions on improvement:

District Officials -

Raise entry-level salaries

Provide real advancement opportunities

Pay bonuses for teaching in the toughest schools

Teacher Unions -

Negotiate new salaries pegged to performance

Loosen tenure rules

Remove certification barriers

What do you think of these ideas? I do feel that just because you are an experienced teacher doesn't always mean that you are an effective teacher. Do you feel that with these steps in place that more effective teachers are going to remain in the workforce?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Why Work Sucks!!!

I was listening to the radio and I heard Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson talk about their innovative ideas of work culture. Can you imagine going to work and not have to go to meetings, can leave when you want, and show up when you want? Sounds weird, I know. But for some companies this has been just the thing to get morale and productivity up.

Here is a small part from their book, Why Work Sucks:

Do you hate cramming all your work into the weekend?

Do you resent having to beg permission to watch your kid's weekday soccer game?

Are you tired of seeing people who aren't very good get promoted because they arrive early and stay late?

This is a very interesting idea. Going to work, and focusing on making sure that my students are going to get the most out of this year. The purpose ofcourse is to move away from just those who get by just "going through the motions". Both the employer and the employee will look at what each can do to achieve the determined objectives laid out.

I do feel like the majority of staff meetings are well....not the most productive use of my time. Imagine being able to say, "Hmm, No I don't think I'll go to the meeting today, I have other things to do?"

Sooooo.....Here's my question to you, what's your take on this idea? Would you be interested in working in a place that focuses on only the result?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Do you believe???

I know that by know you're probably looking at the calendar and trying to count down till the next holiday. School can be rough, draining and sometimes very unforgiving. However after watching this 8min video of student Dalton Sherman, I'm sure you'll feel energized to get back at it again. Thanks to Wesley Fryer and Sandra Fivecoat. Enjoy!!!