Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
The one overwhelming fact I have learned about myself over the past 11 months is about me as a student. Coming into this Georgia State/ NTI experience, I was seriously fearful of going back to school. Terrified is probably a better word.
My last experience with college was 20 years ago. It was July of 1993 and I was about to complete my final course. I still remember answering the final question of my last college final. I placed the pencil down on the desk and said to myself, “I will never do this again”! School was always a struggle for me. I didn’t really figure out how to study until I was a junior in college. On top of that, I was lazy and immature. Mix all that together and the cocktail you get is a stout serving of “terrible student”. Fast forward to today and now I know there was no reason to be fearful.
What I know about me the student now is I can succeed in any school setting. My years since college have taught me how to pay attention, pick up on important things, become the most prepared for whatever the situation and don’t settle for average achievement. The corporate world taught me that. I also know that success as a student is also highly dependent on the teacher. Dr. Burns taught me that! I don’t know if I will ever take another college level course, work towards a masters or even a doctorate. However, I do know as I put this “pencil” down for the last time in this class I am not scared to “do this again”.
Wow. How do I write a response to that Lee Iacocca quote without showing, at least some, bias? Let’s give it a shot. I agree with Mr. Iacocca, for the most part. Our society is continually replenished by our children and theirs. In this replenishment, our cultural and societal norms are taught, exhibited and refined. If the very best individuals from every possible professional discipline are charged with passing down what works and what doesn't work from one generation to the next, then society should continue to flourish. In “a completely rational society”, that is
We all know we don’t live in a world like that. By that I mean you may be great at something, but, you may not have the ability to teach it effectively. It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. They must possess skills such as time management, human relations, excellent communication, mental toughness, stamina, content knowledge, patience and passion, just to name a few. Yes, the “very best of us” may possess many of those traits, but, that may not make them a good teacher.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014
When I think about society and where it's priorities are in the current state of affairs I could easily tell you that it is not anchored in rational thought. When the best of the best of society are movie stars and musicians and athletes, where does that put the position of the teacher? While I believe Lee's quote is optimistic, it is far flung in this day and age. I mean how many times have you turned on the television and actually saw a special newscast or special report on amazing teachers? I can answer that one for you... Just last year I saw my FIRST ever news story that dedicated like two hours to the best of our struggling teachers. I find it funny how society only pays attention to it's most powerful trendsetters and innovators when there is violence in a school or a shooting.
Don't get me wrong, in the end, I agree with this quote from Lee Lacocca. When taken in the context of how it was stated... "In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers".. That statement alone defines the barriers of what is being said. So until we become a completely rational society, teachers will be teachers, and athletes, musicians, and movie stars will be the heroes to the multitudes.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
This situation has a lot of layers to it and should be analyzed before any decisions are made. If a student is consistently performing poorly on tests (notice this is multiple so there may be a pattern) I take a look at the overall performance on each test by the entire class. If the class performance closely mirrors the one student’s, then yes, there may be a problem with the test. However, if the rest of the class is outperforming the one student on the test(s) then, most likely, the problem is not with the test.
Hopefully, you have this information ready when you talk to the parent. I would be well prepared to communicate all details about that particular student’s efforts in class and how he or she compares to their peers. I would also have an action plan ready to suggest to the parent if they do not offer one first.
In the end, professionalism will be the most important factor in the teacher’s conversation with the parent. Being prepared, polite and proficient should allow the situation to be resolved easily.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Sunday, April 6, 2014
"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success." (Dale Carnegie)
I love this quote. I agree 100% with Mr. Carnegie on this philosophy. Dale Carnegie is one of the authors I most respect. His book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has guided me through my development as a professional in the corporate world and as a budding teacher in the world of education. In fact, this very book is still used by many companies to mold their leadership and management teams even though it was written in the 1930s. I have been through many of these classes and can attest to their immense worth.
The quote above is a restatement of the human fight or flight philosophy. What Mr. Carnegie is attempting to cast light upon is that people can improve themselves if they learn from their disappointments and allow them to motivate them forward to success. Some people will embrace the challenge of failure and use it to motivate them into becoming better at whatever they failed at. At the same time, some people will quit or give up when failure occurs. If you don’t quit after a disappointment, learn from it, then you should eventually be successful.
Everyone experiences disappointment throughout their lives. How you handle each situation helps shape you into the person you are. Are you going to let letdown change your direction (flight) or will you get up and try again with more experience under your belt (fight)? Dale Carnegie wanted people to be the latter of those two. In this philosophy, you become a more successful and influential person with each step forward after disappointment, especially if you learn from it.