The history of this blog
2013 and 2014
In 2013 when Posterous shut down, I moved this blog to WordPress — and expanded its focus.
Most posts will probably deal with education in some way, but also other ideas of interest, from art to politics might slip in as a pause to reflect on various topics in order to play with the ideas and learn from them.
The notes he quoted were:
“Why is it that we are closing “failing” schools and propping up failing banks?”
“I am not against the teaching of skills. What I am against is turning all learning into “behavioral, observable objectives.” If learning is truly cognitive then it cannot always be measured and observed and placed within a systematic framework.”
I chuckled at the first quote’s irony and connected to the second quote’s reality immediately; how often have I thought this?
I teach; not in a computer classroom, but in the vision of classroom one usually gets with the word, “classroom,” yet probably not with the perfect students one places in the desks when imagining a “classroom.” I retweeted the tweet and clicked on the link to order view John Spencer’s kindle book “Teaching Unmasked.”
On my iPad Kindle App, the powerful words touched my heart as they read my mind. And John Spencer’s book is truly powerful writing in a style that engages the mind and brings focus to the real world of the classroom: the students; the teachers — the humility and the humanity of honest social engagement, drawing out and leading the learning — an example of what “educate” truly means.
So many times an article in a newspaper, blog, or journal either stumps me or inspires me as I reflect on its impact in my classroom. I share with my husband who says, “You should write about it.” But I’m just a teacher. I’m not at expert. As John Spencer writes, “a not-so-master-teacher.” I’m an unfinished teacher with a Master’s Degree, and learning daily to improve for my students.
After reading a few chapters, I realized the honesty and humility with which he told HIS story. It’s a story that every teacher needs to tell, and every teacher needs to share the impact policies have on their classrooms. Real classrooms for all kinds of students. Tell the tales of today. What works? What would work? What’s the big idea and the not so big solution? Because in the classroom, it’s the people and processes that matter. It’s the day by day conversations. We teachers have two stories: the stories of our classrooms, and the stories of the policies. We have two stories because the public and the politicians need the real, human, muddled story of how kids learn. And, because we are more than teachers, we have our own personal stories.
So that’s it. I’m not an expert. I do pause to reflect on the news and policies, the journals and lesson suggestions, and then move on to see how they play out in the classroom. I pause to play. I hope more teachers publish their classroom and policy stories. This is my beginning.
In this blog, after reading or watching something that inspires or stumps me, I will pause to reflect on the possibilities, and then play the implications for my classroom. Hence, pause2play.
The words will be my words, not those of my school district or colleagues. They may be messy and muddled, but they will be an honest portrayal of a classroom teacher’s attempt to make sense of a new education system. Please accept these words as reflections in a particular time and place on the teaching and learning process. [ See About ]
Note: John Spencer invites people to respond to his story at Teaching Unmasked. I highly recommend his book and his blog. And I thank William Chamberlain and John Spencer for inspiring me to begin this journey.
While both authors are in my “twitter” feed, that is our only connection.