Florida Could End Teacher Tenure, Embrace Merit Pay : NPR

“The Times They Are A’Changin’”

This is inevitable, folks. The teaching profession is going to be radically changed in the near future, and I am inclined to think it’s an overdo overhaul. Let’s look at a couple of the specific ideas bandied about in the article, because I’ve heard those same suggestions several times.

Merit Pay seems like an obvious one to me. This is the sort of thing that every job field should embrace: Be paid a living, base wage. Do well, be rewarded; do poorly, face sanctions. Makes sense. Continue reading

A Teaching Challenge

Would you like a challenge? Try explaining the story of God instructing Abraham to sacrifice Issac to your six- and eight-year olds. Do this in a way that honors both God and the complexity of the story. Do this in a way that doesn’t resort to simplistic answers.

I think it can be done, but it’s a challenge.

Good Morning! Good Morning!

So, I’ve been at my teaching internship for a week now. It’s been a relatively easy start; mid-terms were this week, so everything was focused on exams for two days, grades for two days and a four day weekend. (Teacher’s had a workday with no students on Friday, and Monday is MLK Day.)

This slow start has been appreciated because the hardest adjustment has been getting up and out the door in the morning. It’s been more than five months since I’ve had to do that, and it’s taking some getting used to. (I can’t remember if I mentioned that I was laid off back in August. Probably not, but that’s fodder for another post.) In addition to recognizing the alarm each morning, I’m having to recalibrate how long I have to perform each of the “get-ready” tasks. I quickly realized that 45 minutes for the first cup of coffee is probably going to be too long. Such is life…

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.

The Real Mary Sunday School Class 3

Mary & Jesus 3OK, so I promised I’d answer the question, How do we pray and live out this story of physical liberation when we are not physically oppressed? This is something that’s been on my mind lately. During the Class, we wrestled with this. A few days earlier our home group/church (I’ll start talking about this soon… once I get back into a rhythm here.) went through a few passages of Scripture where the cry for liberation was also expressed, and we, too, struggled to identify with the cry. After all, we are by any sensible standard wealthy and free living in the USA. We suffer no great oppression; truth be told, we don’t suffer much of anything. So, how do we appropriate (Pardon the verb.) these passages and work them into our faith and Jesus-following? Continue reading

The Real Mary Sunday School Class 2

Mary & Jesus 2Well… looks like the networks are rearranging things once again, so I’m back. In the hour class I came out of chapters 2 & 3 of The Real Mary. Since this was my first time teaching at BCC, I was planning a one-off event at the end of which I’d float the idea of a 4-6 week class on the rest of the book. (I’ve got enough interest to look into it.) So, in keeping with the Christmas season, I kept to the pre-Nativity Story in Luke 1. Continue reading

The Real Mary Sunday School Class 1

Mary & Jesus 1So, I was one of those who got in on the ground floor for Scot‘s new book, The Real Mary. (I feel like I can call him Scot, since (1) I was a part of the push for this book; (2) I think we were able to contribute an anecdote to his previous book, Praying with the Church; and (3) I had no trouble remembering to call him Scot with one “t”.) Yesterday, I taught a class based on the first few chapters during both services at BCC. I was pretty nervous going into the morning. It had been a while since I’d taught, so I was feeling a little rusty. More than that, though, I was excited. Here was a chance to share what I’d been learning with my community. BCC has two morning services, and I offered the class during both.

The first class turned our to be mostly my support group: Kerri, a couple who are among our dearest friends, and one young lady whom I didn’t know. The hour went well, and my nerves settled…

…because the announcement made during the first service was effective. I had nine in the second class and didn’t know a one. No problem, though. The hour went well. One nice lady thinks I should teach a class every Sunday! I don’t know about that, but I’ll definitely look into something again.

Studio 60 is about to come on, so I’ll share what I talked about later.