Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cool Web 2.0 sites...

I've been meaning to post about these for some time now, and I just never got around to it. Well....now that I've got a bit of down time, I might as well play a little bit of catch up.

Ok the first site is called http://lingtlanguage.com
This is very cool tool for those who are teaching another language, or who have English Language Learners in their class. This is a free site, where you can create your own assessment with uploaded audio, youtube videos, photos, and even text. It allows for the students to get the full meaning of any given subject.

The next site is basically a cool search engine that locates images.....in other languages. How cool is that? You can choose what language you want from a drop down menu, and then type it in, to see your assortment of images. Very cool for early learners of another language. Plus its just fun to search for images in other languages.

For those of you who are like me...you may or may not like this next site....I'm pretty sure my wife will love it though. It's minutesplease.com. Foranyone who stays connected a bit too long, this site is great for for time management. Just type in the site you want to be at, and how long you'll want to be there for...and the timer will keep track for you...and then it'll shut down once the time has expired. Great for students...and for husbands who happen to stay online a bit too much.

This site is the eight irresistible principles of fun. It's a fantastic show that will get you jazzed up and ready for the day. I love this site, and keep finding myself going back and seeing it again. You'll love it.

There....now I feel much better...and just in time too, my timer just went off. Enjoy!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ever wonder what it's like to be a principal?

If you're like me, then you often have had moments of "what does it take to have that job?". I have a lot of respect for principals (the good ones, at least), because they always have a thousand things going on....and that's just on a good day. It's really hard to merely observe a principal and have an idea of what it is they go through. Teachers have it hard, but principals have it even harder. While test scores a big component, there's staff appreciation, communication with parents and family, budgets, and not to mention the hundred or so meetings that quickly fill up the day.

I had a great principal who made the job seem so easy. She always handled herself professionally, and when you left one of her meetings she made you feel good and empowered. What I didn't see (or took for granted) was the countless number of hours it takes to handle everything else. Which is why, I still hold her as one of the best principals, because she never tried to waste your time with things that were not important. She was efficient, effective, and a big plus, funny.

PBS is showing a great documentary called The Principal Story. It's on two different principals (one new, and one experienced) and you get to see how they handle the day to day challenges. For anyone who has every considered being a principal, this is a must see program. There's even a field guide that goes along with the program. Take the time to watch it, and reflect on it for a moment. You just might have a better appreciation for your principal.....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Obama speaks to the students....

Whether you care for the president or not, is your opinion. I'm not going to sway you one way or the other. I don't care, if you voted for him or if you can't stand him. Neither one doesn't change the fact that he's still the president. Take away all the issues that's been going on recently (take your pick), his position still demands respect.

Students today are losing respect. Respect for themselves, each other, teachers, family, and authority. It's very stressful being a student in school today. Not only are there high stakes assessments, but the pace is faster since most teachers have to play "catch up" to help bring students up to what's current. A student who trips and falls may not be able to bring themselves back up again.

Which brings up to the big speech this Tuesday morning. Here is a link to the president's speech. Here's a man in a position of respect talking to students to try to get them motivated to succeed. He does this by adding pieces of his personal life, bringing in other children who have risen to success, and famous celebrities who have overcome difficulties. He's not trying to brainwash children, rather try to get them focused and ready for the coming year.

Some parent's are pulling their children out of class so they can miss it. Think about that for a moment. Parents are pulling their children out of classes so they can miss a speech about staying in school and being motivated to succeed. If you find yourself caught up in this huge drama, take a moment and think about what you want best for your kids. Do you want them to be successful later on life? Do you want them to not get discouraged or give up easily after they fail at something

The students who I used to work with needed a positive role model to look up to. It's hard to find that in the media today, and for some it might be even harder to find in their own family. I'm glad that the president is trying to address this issue. Hopefully students will listen to it with an open mind and will leave with the confidence to do anything they want.