I have not been posting at all in the last few months as I sort things in my personal life. I’m almost ready to get back into posting, but I’m considering moving to a different blog elsewhere. So, hold onto the thought! Things might change in the next few weeks!
If you don’t know about the Free Software Directory, do get acquainted! These softwares are created by professional developers who believe that software should be free, not making money for already wealthy companies.
There is a list of great educational software there. I’m testing out gcompris right now and so far, so good! I’ll let you know more.
It’s just so fun, and how many of us learned grammar, civics, and a whole lot more from Schoolhouse Rock? Just a quick trip down memory lane for us oldies 🙂
You know how you must have the latest technology or software? You don’t? Every once in a while, I get that urge.
Just discovered “Windows Live Writer“, which allows me to write my blogs in a Microsoft Office type environment. Looks fun so far!
WordPress actually has a pretty decent layout, but I just have to try something new, you know? Call it a hobby.
I will have to post more on this later. . . When I am more positive about it. Right now, all I have to say is
In order to keep my job, I won’t blog about this, but I think you guys can use your imagination. For the love of __!!!!!
Over the weekend, one of my students suffered a great personal tragedy. His house burned down with much of his family’s possessions. Luckily, everyone escaped unharmed, from grandparents down to his youngest cousins.
He held up quite nicely and worked hard today, though he was understandably distracted. I got counseling for him immediately, as well as spent the day making sure he’s okay and telling him that what he’s feeling is normal.
The school will do what it can to help. Got to call his family tomorrow. Forgot to bring his phone number home with me.
Normally, I get students telling me about shootings in the neighborhood, but never a house burning down. This is a first one for me.
UPDATE May 15, 2007
Very distracted today. Had a conversation with student. He expressed anxiety and fear that when he returns home, his temporary home will be burned down as well. He still completed his work, but things are starting to get to him.
UPDATE May 20, 2007
Haven’t heard a thing from the school about any support being provided to the boy or his family. Must follow up and remind folks because I’m getting used to people not doing their jobs unless I remind them to. I love it that not only do I teach kids citizenship and integrity, I have to teach adults as well. That’s sarcasm dripping off my fingers there, if you didn’t catch it.
I came from a peasant culture, where we talk very loudly. It is not considered cultured or even polite in American culture, but it is expected of peasants who work in large fields for generations.
I came to America as a refugee when I was four years old. I was a happy child, active, bright, highly successful academically very quickly.
One day, during a bus ride on a field trip, my teacher turned to me and said, “____, you’re too loud! Be quiet.”
From then on, I was called “thoughtful” and “shy”.
I pretty much stopped talking at school and at home. I continued to be highly successful, but…
I will always remember that moment whenever I open my mouth to criticize or correct a child. I can never know if today is the day that I say some thoughtless, meaningless words that will shut down a child for years or forever.
For those teachers who insist that content knowledge is the most important part of education, keep in mind Daggett’s Application Taxonomy.
- Level 1 Knowledge of one discipline
- Level 2 Application of that knowledge within that discipline
- Level 3 Application of that knowledge across disciplines
- Level 4 Application of that knowledge to real-world, predictable problems
- Level 5 Application of that knowledge to real-world, unpredictable problems
To be successful in life, which level is most important and most difficult to learn? Mere content knowledge is level 1, an important foundation, but certainly not the goal of education. The goal of education is to prepare our students for level 5, application of knowledge to real-world, unpredictable problems.
I’ll be gone for a week, finally taking that needed vacation to recharge before heading back to school. There will be no new posts as there will be no ‘net connection where I’m going! Imagine that!
In the meantime, please leave a message! *BEEB*
Keep an eye out for the students who periodically are absent from school with a “personal reason” excuse. Ask them and you may find that their answer is, “My mom says I have no clean laundry so I can’t go to school.”
I always have at least one student, sometimes two or three students, every year who can’t come to school because they have no clean clothes. They may be homeless, their parents may work many hours and can’t go to the laundromat regularly, they may not have the $10 or so to do the laundry this week, whatever.
There isn’t any point in lecturing the students, so don’t.
What you may be able to do is ask the school counselor to take the student to School Bell or a similar program. School Bell gives clothes, shoes, and backpacks to the neediest of the students.
This will give the student additional clothes that may just be enough to last them till the next laundry day, thus lowering their incidence of absences.