Location: Texas, United States

I am a teacher with 33 years experience in public education. The purpose of this web log is to critically examine the present state of education in our great country and, particularly, in Texas.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Thoughts on another visit

Here are another gaggle of geese. At least so it sounds. There is noise hereabouts. Vibrant chatter bounces off the plaster walls. Teams of middle school kids explore a major topic. This is major work.

The internet technology class, 18 early teens are unaware that I am in the room. They are absorbed in their trail. They follow electron pathways in search of answers to big questions. One possibility is "start with sand on a beach to explain how it might pass through the complete rock cycle. Be sure to explain how certain processes such as, but not limited to, compaction, contact metamorphism, and subduction can change the form of the sand." To answer such a question is to absorb whole conceptualizations of natural law. Or consider this; "Offer reasons that would justify a group of people to develop a city at the outlet of a great river into the ocean even if there may be natural dangers such as extreme weather, disease carrying insects and flooding."

These kids were so many bulldogs pulling at a tattered rope. And, why not? They worried a puzzle for its solution. No muliple choice absurdity here. Just, dare we say it, fun. Out of their efforts newspapers, brochures, presentations and a myriad more types of products were forming. The tapping of keys spoke to the energy of small fingers bringing thoughts out from the blood, proteins and myelin of their brains. This is learning. Connections formed deep within the wondrous liquid stuff of their minds.

Like students at Harvard Med they worked the cases. And by working the cases they did, miracle of miracles, learn the details. These are the ones who will pass the states puny yardstick as one who hops across a crack that might have broken their mothers back.

Out of their grappling they will write, reason, compute, plan and create. Much like we who are not in the artificially contrived construction we call school must do every day of our lives.

I watch a bit more. I am thankful when a group asks me to sit with them. I lose myself in their work - learning. Thirty-one years teaching, two degrees and most of a doctorate and I came to learn with 13 year olds. Sometimes the miracle happens.


Blogger BT said...

Betty Tesh here with a few hints for new Teachers...

You're going to be a great teacher. You've got knowledge, enthusiasm, desire, motivation. What you don't have is experience.

And experience makes the difference between a potentially great teacher and a comfortably great teacher.

We've got over 68 combined years of experience to share, which is what we've done in...

"The Handy-Dandy Desktop Mentor."

No esoteric teaching methods. No field studies or carefully calibrated experiments. Just down-to-earth, helpful hints and suggestions to help you survive your first (few) years as a teacher.

We warn you about common pitfalls, give suggestions for getting along with fellow teachers, toss out a few classroom management techniques, offer advice on dealing with parents, and share secrets on organizing some of that "stuff" you've suddenly acquired.

If what you want is dull, dry treatise on pedagogy, or if you need a heavy meal of ibids and op.cits laced with quotes from learned professors of education, this book's not for you. It's quick and easy reading, a bit light-hearted, but as serious as an air strike about helping you bet the teacher you know you were meant to be.

A handbook for initially licensed, novice and beginning teachers that shares classroom management ideas, tips for getting along with educational personnel, suggestions for dealing with parents, and advice that good mentoring
teachers share for success in the classroom, written with humor by experienced educators.

As a new teacher, you won’t be doing battle with a supreme Evil like Sauron or traveling into the Cracks of Doom like Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, but like those two Hobbits, you are ‘expected to find a way...’ (Book IV, Chpt. 3) A way to make learning fun, but keep control of the classroom; a way to reach thirty different children with thirty different learning styles, a way to teach whole-heartedly while fielding a barrage of forms, procedures, expectations and instructions.

"The Handy-Dandy Desktop Mentor." is available at my site for new Teachers.

3:56 AM  
Blogger paymaster said...

Hey Blogger,

Your blog "Thoughts on another visit", leads me to believe you will find my information on our Best Career Wages site to be very beneficial.

Some of the not so common searches that found our extensive wages site included ...

Home Management Advisors Wages
Postsecondary Foreign Language Teachers Wages
Postsecondary Foreign Literature Teachers Wages
Postsecondary Forestry Science Teachers Wages
Postsecondary Conservation Science Teachers Wages
Postsecondary Geography Teachers Wages
Graduate Teaching Assistants Wages
Postsecondary Health Specialities Teachers Wages.

We have many hundreds of "essential to read" articles on wages and career topics in addition to many other popular subjects in our Average Career Wages site.

Best Wishes

9:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home