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Learning on the Road

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Traveling in a car is a great opportunity for me to read. Brought two books with me on this current trip to Savannah Georgia. Thought I would pass on a mini-review.

First, I've finished Inside Mrs. B's Classroom by Leslie Baldacci. It's the story of a career changer who enters the classroom for all the usual reasons. She is eager, and experienced in many things, used to dealing with lots of people and confident of her skills. Much like many of us who become teachers. And, like almost all of us, she struggled with school politics, limited resources, and student challenges. Interesting book. I could relate to her, but I don't know if I learned anything new.

Also finished Not Much, Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers, by Linda Perlstein. This one gave me some good insights into the minds and lives of this age group. Definitely worth reading. A lot of the book is devoted to how kids feel and think abut their teachers and parents. I have raised two kids of my own, so I could imagine my kids thinking the same things of me. And I can easily imagine students reacting to teachers and education with the attitudes described in the book.

What did I learn? I learned that middle school IS different from high school and elementary school. I also learned that these students feel very great emotion, and that part of their education has to be guiding them in how to handle intense feelings.

I'm trying to get ready for my new assignment as a middle school teacher. I'm learning everything I can. On the way home to Maryland I am studying my Spanish in preparation for a week-long class coming up.

One more book in my bag -- Harry Potter I'd tell you that I'm reading it so I can be current with what some of my students may have read, but this one is really just for me. Because reading is always about pleasure!

3 Comments

Check out "The Lost Tools of Learning" by Dorothy Sayers. It's a classica and harkens back to ceturies of thought about "Dialectic" students. Also see the "trivium charts" that explain the ways kids learn in these stages. You may know all this already - just thought I'd point in that direction.

Ed

I understand your frustration, I too teach students who mainly speak Spanish. These students are very powerful as they translate for their parents. We as educators are forced to go the extra mile by upping the ante-hence learning additional language to actively engage our students. I encourage you not to give up, even if you just get the basic conversational, they will appreciate the familiarity. I happen to speak Spanish which I learned years ago, but note, it you don't use it, you lose it.
Therefore, vamos a practicar la lengua todavia.
Buena Suerte.

I enjoyed reading your blog. I am a "student" working on my masters in teaching and I am 49 years old! So I feel like a young-oldster....

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  • gayle: I enjoyed reading your blog. I am a "student" working read more
  • N Freeman: I understand your frustration, I too teach students who mainly read more
  • Ed Lang: Check out "The Lost Tools of Learning" by Dorothy Sayers. read more

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