2010 Goals

Back when I started this thing years ago, I often used it to process my thoughts and plans. So let’s give that a shot again. Below are some goals for the first several months of 2010. With me in school and doing my teaching internship, things are likely to change very rapidly, so I’m only considering the next four months for now. That’s when I graduate and the salad bowl of life is likely to get tossed again. Come May, I’ll look at these again and renew or make adjustments as necessary.

Where relevant I’ve tried to include deadlines for starting and frequency; the more specific and measurable a goal is, the better it is. Without further ado… Continue reading

Teachers Matter

Great article on teaching and what REALLY leads to student success.

more than any other variable in education—more than schools or curriculum—teachers matter.

Parents have always worried about where to send their children to school; but the school, statistically speaking, does not matter as much as which adult stands in front of their children. Teacher quality tends to vary more within schools—even supposedly good schools—than among schools.

via The Atlantic Online | January/February 2010 | What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley.

Tis a Lazy Sunday

Been forever since I posted. Of course, it’s also been forever since Kerri and I had the chance for a lazy Sunday. She’s snoozing on the couch, and I’m working on some philosophy homework. (Paolo Freire anyone?) Thanks to grandma for taking the kids last night.

School Daze

So, this week, the cat came out of the bag at work, so I finally feel free to talk about some exciting steps I’m taking. In the midst of what might turn out to be the next great depression; as the sole source of income for our family of five (plus Nigel); from a place of relative comfort and prestige in my little pond… I am making a career change.

I am going back to school in order to go back to school. First as a student; then as a high school teacher. Starting with this coming spring quarter, I will be attending Sinclair CC and U of Dayton to get my teaching certificate. If all goes according to plan, I should be student teaching this time next year.

It’s something I’m pretty excited about. If I knew then what I know now about myself, I think I would have gon this route as an undergrad. As it was, I didn’t. But I do now, and a variety of circumstances over the fall have given me the boost necessary to overcome my ordinarily high internal inertia. Kerri, too, is super excited, and my employer couldn’t be more supportive. (Aside from hoping I change my mind and stay, they’re being super accomodating.)

This week I registered for classes for the first time in more than a decade. I have six content courses to complete, and Sinclair is the most affordable way to get through them. I had everything all figured out over the weekend, and then I realized that the Sinclair spring quarter and the UD summer term, which is when I will begin my grad school education classes, overlap by a month. So, on Monday morning it was back to the scheduling board. I wound up pushing one class off to a future quarter in order to fit everything in and still have hours available for work. Still, for one month I will be taking a total of seven classes, five at Sinclair and two at UD.

What am I thinking?

¡Muy Interesante!

My friend is a high school foreign language teacher and a couple of her students came up with a brilliant movie for an assignment on the Carribean (or something like that.) It takes a while for the movie to download, and I understand the gag reel at the end is filled with a fair amount of English swearing. Still… you should check it out. (Here’s a direct link to the movie as well.)

I love the Benny Hill bit!

(If you aren’t interested in the gag reel, which I haven’t seen, stop when they get to the COPS inspired bust on the country road.)

What Can Samantha Do?

Samantha, Samantha, what can you do?
I can swim a race. Can you?

Samantha, Samantha, what can you do?
I can pick a flower. Can you?

Samantha, Samantha, what can you do?
I can read a book. Can you?

Samantha, Samantha, what can you do?
I can write a story. Can you?

Samantha, Samantha, what can you do?
I can tickle my Daddy. Can you?

(This was part of Samantha’s Language Arts lesson earlier this week. She was re-writing an existing poem that she read earlier in the lesson. I walked in the door for lunch as they were finishing up, which probably had an impact on the end. Now, I’m posting it before Kerri does.)