From the Trenches

A view of education from where it happens.



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"A room without books is like a body without a soul."— Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Schools are so afraid of students misusing technology that, in my district, we’ve banned it almost altogether.  I’ve signed up just so I can see what the chapters say!  But wouldn’t it be cool if we could use the tools the kids already have and show them all they things they are capable of doing instead of what people did 50 years ago? I mean, we’re all computerized testing now, but we’re still showing kids reading strategies on paper.  Highlighting is great, but how do you apply that to a computerized reading test when the first time the kids see it on the computer is when they’re taking the exam?

Same thing here.  Someone showing the principles of photography on a tool that people actually use.  I mean, sure, the SLR and DSLRs are amazing (I love them, myself - I still have my 35mm Minolta from when I was an undergrad), but this is the tool in everyone’s pocket.  

Yay, for creative education!!!

jottingmatt:

College Launches Course Devoted to iPhone Photography
21stcenturyfluency.com

This is exact­ly the right idea - a col­lege course devot­ed to iPhone pho­tog­ra­phy. This type of pro­gram should be offered in high schools.

Teach­ing kids how to use tools like an iPhone (or other smart phones) to cre­ate art and express…

This is an excellent idea. I love the thought of teaching K-12 students to use mobile technology such as smartphones to express themselves through art and photography. Great read!

Always take time to be nice to your custodian. Mine is a truly interesting person who will go out of his way for me when I need something.

I must be on a kick, but man, the whole parenting thing is really getting to me lately.  This article from 2009 talks about how parents aren’t reading their kids classic fairytales any longer because they think they are politically incorrect or too scary.  One commenter said that she doesn’t like Jack stealing things from the Giant up that beanstalk, and that she “wouldn’t know what to tell her kids” about people dying in them.  

Really?  You are going to eliminate a chance to talk with them, to have them learn about an issue in an age-appropriate way that they may have to deal with in real life anyway?  THIS IS WHY THE SCHOOLS TEACH SOME OF THIS STUFF.  Because parents WANT to do it, but when it comes down to actually teaching their kids something or teaching them what they would like their own children to know about a certain topic, many parents CHICKEN OUT because they “don’t know what to tell [their] child.”  

Whether it’s about death, sex, drugs, homosexuality, etc., take the opportunity to TALK to your children about the issues that come up rather than avoiding the issues all together because you don’t know how to explain it.  Especially if you’re the type to tell the schools they don’t have any right to teach your kid about that stuff.  Man up, people, and be a parent.  

I try not to rant all that much, because too much is just toxic.  An incident over the weekend, however, needs to be addressed, because I think it goes a bit deeper than just a few kids doing a few bad things.

A few seniors got together over the weekend and “poo’d” in front of the main office, spread peanut butter and shaving cream everywhere, cut down at least one decorative tree that I know of, and graffiti’d several buildings and classroom windows.  Since the students were (once again) mine and were discovered in my class, my classroom was just a…hub of administrative activity.

What I want to know is when teenagers began to think that the only way to have fun is to break the law?  When I first began teaching a very long four years ago, one of my freshmen said, “But Miss, it’s how you show your individuality…like, everyone else is following the rules, so you don’t.  It’s just being your own person.”  I really want to know where this came from.

And when did senior pranks become so lame and lazy?