Name:
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.

2 Comments:

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.

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

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