July 2007 Archives

Brock Dubbels, a guest blogger on Education Futures, encourages teachers to use video games in classroom instruction. Dubbels, an 8th grade English teacher from Minneapolis, also teaches a course at the University of Minnesota called "Video Games as Tools for Educators." He believes the latest games, which create rich environments for students to interact with, can be valuable educational tools. If you are playing as a doctor, you will do the things that doctors do. And as you are acting like a doctor, the game gives you clues to achieve a win-state, in the form of feedback and performance assessment… ...


Coach Brown of A Passion for Teaching and Opinions is fed up with the sense of entitlement kids possess today, especially in the classroom. He believes early schooling is part of the problem: Apparently in 1986, California actually created a task force that focused on getting better self-esteem training for kids in schools. So began the "everyone's a winner" situation that we all dread. Kids would do awful in certain situations and constantly be told that they were doing fine. I find this constantly at the high school level, and it isn't all the parents fault. How can kids get ...


On Dangerously Irrelevant, administrator Linda Orozco describes what she and other California school leaders learned from a Thai monk during an international professional leadership program. The group of school leaders who traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand did not expect the orange-robed man, soft-spoken and barefoot, to understand the difficulties they faced at U.S. schools. But, they were inspired by the experience. Towards the end of our time together, he asked us to meditate with him. We closed our eyes and listened to him describe a happy place free of hate, violence and pain. He then filled the void full ...


Dr. Jan laments that educators are blamed for the problems in today's schools. She says the cause is faulty measurement of student progress, and calls for a radical redefining of educational goals: From the very first year of my educational practice, we (educators) have all been a bunch of losers who just weren't doing it right. ... My current school has gone from five consecutive years on the state's low performing list to number one in the state in five of six measured educational indicators; however, I am now beginning to believe maybe what we are teaching (and measuring) is not ...


Graduate students in The College of New Jersey’s education program are gathering valuable advice from experienced teachers in a novel way—by preserving their voices. Students compiled oral histories of veteran teachers who offered advice about conquering first-year teaching woes. On Artistry, Equanimity, & Power, Tabitha, an assistant professor at the college, posted the following excerpts as recorded by the students: “Most importantly, [veteran teacher] Anthony feels that whatever happens during the day, ends that day. If you have a bad day with a class, the worst thing to say to them the next day is, ‘We are not going ...


Hobo Teacher describes some unusual habits he's developed for dealing with his "teacher withdrawal": Why the other day I told an entire diner full of people to stay seated until I finish taking attendance. Plus, I keep setting a kitchen timer to 46 minutes to simulate the school's schedule.Also, check out why his yearning for order hasn't made him desperate enough to teach summer school....


Mrs. Bluebird of Bluebird’s Classroom details why she chose to take a “paid vacation” working at a summer camp for gifted students. Besides getting to visit with friends from her teacher-ed program, she's also looking forward to laid-back teaching lessons and the abundant supplies that she hoards for the coming school year: The classes are small, and you get time to actually do all that fun, hand's on stuff that I enjoy and the kids love. This year I'm teaching math, art, kites, and a new one on pioneers. I always ask to teach the last two weeks because, ...


NYC Educator, an ESL Teacher from the Big Apple, responds a New York Times article that says the schools chancellor will spend $106 million to reduce class size, a growing crisis in the city. According to the article, the funds, if distributed evenly, would reduce class size by an average of only 0.3 to 0.8 students per class. This clearly means, for the overwhelming majority of kids, it will have no effect whatsoever. Furthermore, it appears you'll have to be extremely needy for this money to reach your classroom. The fact is, many schools are so overcrowded they ...


CaliforniaTeacherGuy posts a letter to a superintendent explaining why he can't take a position at a school where he really wanted to work. The reasons are financial....


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