Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Teacher’s Summer

Long after the last child has left the classroom and a teacher rolls a cart of materials home to work on over the summer, the reality of what a “teacher’s summer” means sets in.  For many, summer means teaching summer school – the extra income supplements a steady decline in teacher salary because of budget cuts and increased teacher expenses.  There are professional development workshops to attend, doctor’s appointments to make and keep, and of course, a plethora of new materials to prepare for the upcoming school year.  Too many things to do can find stress seeping into what should be a stress-free time.  Summer is the time to “body de-stress” allowing it time to heal from a far too intense school year experience.

Create a meaningful summer by taking time to sleep in, laugh, read a good book, and find joy in simple things.

Sleep is the body’s natural healer.  Be sure to get some extra winks in over the summer.  You’ll feel better going into the new school year because you did.

Research shows that those who laugh more often stay healthier longer and heal more quickly.  Watch a few good comedies with family and friends to lift your spirits, and lift others’ spirits as well.

Read a good book.  There is something to be said for a book that takes you away to real or imaginary places without the stress and money involved in actually going there.

Find joy in simple things – they are everywhere!  The warmth of the sun, the bluest of skies, a puppy enticing you to play, a child’s smile, and the pleasurable company of family and friends.

What are your plans for summer?  Here’s hoping they’re meaningful and serve you well!

How People Learn

These are great tips to consider when teaching a class too!

Pushing a Feather

Or at least, how some people best process oral-visual communication. But still, these are helpful things to be aware of, and the visual typography is a lot of fun.

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Making the case for teaching morals in the classroom…

“Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.”    Jose Ortega y Gasset

The study of morals and values dates back thousands of years.  Within the United States – hundreds of years.  Its inception began with Horace Mann (1796-1859), the Massachusetts statesman and champion for morals education in the classroom.  John Dewey (1859-1952), educational reformer, followed suit stating morals education was of significant importance in schools.  Sadly, morals instruction has eluded successful drafting into a definite curriculum.  Instead, it has been “thought” intuitively learned at home, school, and church.

Although assumptions of morals learning sound good in intent, it is clear that time has come to seriously consider “making time” for morals education in schools as shown in the recent bullying of a school bus monitor in Greece, New York.

Society has changed – most children come from single parent families, one out of three teenage girls is a mother, and church memberships are down.  While bullying and character programs have been on the rise in the classroom, they do not adequately set the purpose for the learning that needs to take place, which is “learning to do what is right for right’s sake.”

Morals learning should scaffold like any successful curriculum, beginning with a foundation in the early years and emerging over time.   Unless educators provide adequate morals instruction in the classroom, our students have a slim to none chance of developing moral values on their own…

Alice came to a fork in the road. “Which road do I take?” she asked.

“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then…,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

                                                                  Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

NEA – Write a Grant

Summer is the perfect time to write!  For great ideas on grant writing…

NEA – Write a Grant

What Motivates Teachers to Learn?

As the dictates of school administrations lean toward one size fits all instruction, teachers feel less empowered to make meaningful decisions toward student learning within their classrooms.  In the article What Can Motivate Teachers to Learn?  ASK THEM, Michelle Vaughn and James McLaughlin note teachers feel districts are working against them.  Mandated programs are restrictive and often do not address unique individual student needs required for academic success.  While teachers differentiate instruction to student needs, professional development training is not differentiated to teacher needs.  Would confidence and openness to new ideas by district decision makers lead to more innovation and higher achievement in the classroom?  How do you feel about your professional development experiences?

Vaughan, M., & McLaughlin, J. (2011). What Can Motivate Teachers to Learn? Ask Them. Journal Of Staff Development, 32(5), 50-54.

Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms

If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to Sir Ken Robinson now is your chance!  Click on the link for…

Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms

How did you think about education before listening?  How are you thinking about education now?

via Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms.

Higher Education Questions, Comments, Strategies, and Successes

Welcome professors! Please feel free to post any questions, comments, or strategies here by clicking “leave a comment”. Of course, we want to share in your successes too! Be sure to let us know what’s working for you!

Grades 6-12 Questions, Comments, Strategies, and Successes

Welcome Grades 6-12 teachers! Please feel free to post any questions, comments, or strategies here by clicking “leave a comment”. Of course, we want to share in your successes too! Be sure to let us know what’s working for you!

Grades K-5 Questions, Comments, Strategies, and Successes

Welcome Grades K-5 teachers! Please feel free to post any questions, comments, or strategies here by clicking “leave a comment”. Of course, we want to share in your successes too! Be sure to let us know what’s working for you!