Twelve Embarrassing Years of NCLB and RTTT: Time for Arne to Blame USDOE

 

 


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I teach full time, so I don’t have the time to research the issues, and this post sums up what we all might be thinking about: it is the DOE who’s been in charge of education — and look where it’s taken us. Schools are in neighborhoods, and it is those neighborhoods who should be deciding what is important for resources, curriculum and instruction, and community involvement in their schools for their students. I was especially concerned knowing that Arne Duncan has not taught in a classroom. How can you possibly understand the nuances of teaching and learning without having a classroom of jittery kindergarteners, of troubled teens, or of multi-national students before you to instruct for a period of time? And he has the audacity to blame everyone else. Of course, he’s apparently driven by those in the business world who want what? Employees for the jobs they are not creating? Or profits in the education businesses they will front? I know that is cynical and simplistic, but when education is attacked, including parents and students, then it’s time to step back and look at who’s talking.

 


Play…
This post by Mercedes Scheider reminds and demands of us that

Unlike many of the “pop-up teachers” nursed on the destructive doctrines of education privatization, traditional teachers are not in education in order to pad a resume on the way “up.” Traditional teachers are an indispensable part of the fabric of our democracy, and it is about time for Arne Duncan to recognize and respect that fact.

 

 

The ideas and links in this post are a good place to continue a conversation on our current focus in classrooms: improving test scores. Ask yourself, are you a score, a number? or are you a complex being with questions, talents, and intellect ready for thinking to understand the world? Will teaching to a test help you? Think about it: and support your schools and their fight against this madness.

 


PS: If you scored 396 and not 400, you did not meet the standards. You are at risk. You need extra help, not art, music, debate, drama, or advanced classes.

 


396: it means…. do you know? Does it really have meaning?

 

You may also like this by EDUCareNow: Learning as Belonging — Learning is a social activity, not a set of standards.

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What Is Really Important In Life

Pause to reflect…

What is important in life? Sure, we need to know ‘stuff,’ but it’s people and how we treat each other that matter more. It’s how we communicate and help each other. We can be trained in the tasks we want to learn, but it’s hard work to learn patience, caring, sharing, clear communication, working together.

 

Play to learn…
So the next time you, as teacher, get stuck in the hard spot where the skills must be taught, but the kids are in need, remember this awesome post by Susan and the Zach’s message.

Counsellor Talk : Creative Collaborative Connections

Shouldn’t we teach all students as if they were Zach? In #openspokes we have been discussing what is important to teach our young people. I believe Zach’s message of hope is one all teachers as well as students can learn from. At the heart of teaching should be teaching from the heart and Zach tells us what is really important in life. As a school counsellor these are the lessons that really matter to me. Lessons like those from  Zach that truly teach.

Zach is an amazing teacher. Here are some of his lessons:

  • you don’t have to find out you are dying to start living
  • most people live in the middle, but you don’t have to
  • be empathetic and compassionate
  • always look for the good in people
  • things are OK when you believe in something greater
  • what makes you happy is seeing someone else smile because you put it…

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Teaching Strategies for Underachievers

Pause to Reflect…

Sometimes in the classroom we wonder why students are not engaged; we may think the students are unable to do the work; we may simplify the ideas again. But this post shares another possibility: the lesson is too shallow, or the student is a perfectionist, or… other factors.

What can teachers do to engage the underachievers? Read the post by “Global #gtchat” to learn strategies for teaching underachievers.

Play to Learn…

I’ve found two posts today that will consume much time as I learn more strategies on Questioning (http://cybraryman.com/questioning.html) and more strategies and information about underachievers in this reblogged post.

Questioning engages students in the lesson and the content, which could work well with the strategies in this post about underachievers. As you consider either of these, which did you find most helpful? What else could we consider?

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Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT

Special thanks to Dr. Linda Silverman and the Gifted Development Center @GiftedDevCenter for sharing the article, “Strategies for Teaching Underachievers” (pdf) which I drew from for the chat! A full transcript may be found here.

In answer to our first question, “What characterizes an underachiever?”; replies included that “underachievers tend to have underdeveloped sequencing skills & high spatial abilities”, their “obstinance often masks their inability to do the work rather than unwillingness”, those with “high spatial strengths have a sophisticated sense of humor & understand complex relations & systems” and they “can become a problem in mainstream classes. More likely to be referred for behaviour/LD”.

The discussion then turned to “Why do students underachieve?” Krissy Venosdale @venspired said that, ” Work presented to them is often not “deep” enough; shallow work becomes mundane; kids check out.” Susanne @Susannewith5 added, “boredom, perfectionism scaring them from WANTING to perform, a lack of…

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The Other 21st Century Skills


Pause 2 Reflect:

The information above is from Jackie Gerstein. She has gathered an amazing set of resources related to what education should be — educate — from the Latin educere — to draw out / lead.  Educators draw out the best of students and lead them towards the possibilites those strengths will offer in a lifelong quest of discovery, learning, and gratifying work. Please follow Jackie on Twitter to keep up to date on other educational issues.

 

Play to Learn:

Please read and review her post, reblogged here for your convenience. Please visit Jackie’s post and share with as many educators (and politicians) as you can; it is that important. I plan to implement many of these ideas, some of which relate to the theories of William Glasser and Haim Ginott. Be sure to download the free graphic from Gallup about strengths-based educational focus (as opposed to a weakness focus). – “the path to winning again in education.”

Learn from the wisdom of Jackie Gerstein


 

User Generated Education

skills

Many have attempted to identify the skills important for a learner today in this era of the 21st century (I know it is an overused phrase).  I have an affinity towards the skills identified by Tony Wagner:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Accessing and analyzing information
  • Curiosity and imagination   http://www.tonywagner.com/7-survival-skills

Today I viewed a slideshow created by Gallup entitled, The Economics of Human Development: The Path to Winning Again in Education.

Here are some slides from this presentation.

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This presentation sparked my thinking about what other skills and attributes would serve the learners (of all ages) in this era of learning.  Some other ones that I believe important based on what I hear at conferences, read via blogs and other social networks include:

  • Perseverance
  • Resilience
  • Hope and Optimism
  • Vision
  • Self-Regulation
  • Empathy and Global…

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