Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lit Trips

One of the arguments that I have been faced with as an educator is whether or not to entertain students as a way of reaching them.  This is my conclusion...yes I should.  Technology has been shaping the world and how our kids respond to learning.  I don't have to go through the litany of tech tools that entertain students. In saying that, if we want to be effective teachers, then we have to be open to using technology to entertain our students as well.  One old, but very useful tech tool is Google Lit Trips.  It based on the idea of taking a book and tracing the journey of the characters using Google Earth.   There are basically two ways of delivering Google Lit Trips:  creating a GLT as teacher or having students create them.  This provides a entertaining way for students to really engage in a book and truly relate to the places that the characters have been.  How wonderful it is to be provided with such a powerful tool that can virtually take them to a place that they probably have not traveled to before.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moving Forward

First off, I will diligently try to be more on top of my blog.  So now that the election is over, where does education rank in the view of Barrack Obama and his administration.  If we are going to get serious about education reform, we have to get serious about asking tough questions and placing responsibility where it belongs....ON THE STUDENTS!  Sure, there are without a doubt, some teachers that can be doing better, but that is not the majority.  If we want America to be at the top of education then the questions that have to be addressed is: Why do we still have summers off?  Why does schools have fixed times and not flexible times?  When will teachers be regarded as doctors and lawyers and be paid accordingly?  Why do want all of our children to be standardized tested?  Why do we allow politicians to make decisions about education?  Fund the schools and let individual school districts decide how to best deliver education.  I believe that competition is still what makes America great and allows the markets to work.  If education was left to individual school districts to make the decisions of how to run their district, then I could see how vouchers and school choice would be beneficial to parents.  Currently, it doesn't matter because, overall, students get the same education no matter where they go. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another School in the Wrong

If you haven't read about the students whose Valentines day cards got confiscated, you need to read this story.  I realize that there is a separation of Church and State amendment, but this is wrong.  It is one thing to take away things that can cause harm (ie. guns, knives, things with obscene language), but to take away a note that has a Bible verse on it is ridiculous.  If there is one thing that needs to be embraced, it is God and the message of love.  Why are we so tolerant of every other religion and culture, but when it comes to Christianity then that is offensive!  We are a country founded on the principals of Christianity, so that religion should be tolerated more than any other.  Schools are so ridiculous anymore.  It's no longer "Christmas Break" it's "Winter Break."  What will be next?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black History Month

I was teaching a class and we were discussing Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights as apart of Black History Month.  One of the students asked me "Is there a white history month?" This question got me thinking...Why do we celebrate Black History Month in 2012?  What will be next?  Will there be a LGBT month?  I may be alone in this, but I can see how this could seem like a put down to the Black community to have a month devoted to a race.  If we want to have racism end, we have to stop categorizing ourselves into races.  We have to think of us all as humans.  I can see categorizing ourselves based on the country you live in (American, Canadian, etc), but I don't think we are advancing as a society if we continue to place ourselves into categories.  I see this categorizing on everything from registration forms to job applications.  It just shows me that our society values the segregation and not unification.