Monday, April 27, 2020

Distance Learning

A long time ago

Distance learning used take place take via mail. Hard to believe, but it is true. You could sign up for shorthand classes and all typing classes, and all kinds of classes where they would send you information, you'd read it. You would practice with fill in the blank, or multiple choice assessments, even essay questions where you would have to demonstrate your mastery of a subject.

To be continued . . .    In the meantime,

Friday, December 20, 2019

First Year teaching in Texas in the late 70s.

Lately, I've been following a teachers' help line FB page, and it's so encouraging sometimes, and then other times so sad. Classroom management is very hard to learn through practice or student teaching, so most classroom teachers have a baptism by fire as we used to say. Live and learn or crash and burn.  Sadly most new teachers rarely last 2 years, the last time I researched the topic.

I only lasted 4 because I was older than most 1st year teachers because I'd substituted and gone to graduate school for a semester. Substituting helps you see which schools have good administrators, office staff, teachers, and other strengths. To be a substitute, you usually don't have to be certified to teach in TX (although I was). I definitely was not certified to teach every subject to every grade level 6th-12th.

I'd been an English major and loved literature. But because I was certified in secondary education, I hadn't learned how to teach reading at all.  Of course my first assignment was teaching life skills reading to 9th graders who were reading at  a remedial (anywhere from 3rd to  8th grade).  This through me for a loop.

By the third week of school, I'd learned that we would be doing a lot of reading exercises where they used reference materials like a phone book or an encyclopedia. Of course there was a leveled SRA resource curriculum that was supposed to help, but it was pretty dated. By the end of the 3rd week, I though I might survive the semester. Then on Friday, I got word that due to enrollment changes, I would be starting at middle school on the opposite side of the metroplex.

That's when the real adventure began.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Principles of Adult Behavior by John Perry Barlow

These are much harder than the golden rule or the 4 agreements, but they provide more guidance. In his memoir, after John Perry showed these to Jerry Garcia, Garcia commented,"I hope your embarrassment insurance is paid up.
    1. Be patient. No matter what. 2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, never blame. Say nothing behind another’s back you’d be unwilling to say, in exactly the same tone and language, to his face. 3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you. 4. Expand your sense of the possible. 5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change. 6. Expect no more of anyone than you yourself can deliver. 7. Tolerate ambiguity. 8. Laugh at yourself frequently. 9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right. 10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong. 11. Give up blood sports. 12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Do not endanger it frivolously. And never endanger the life of another. 13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.) 14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them. 15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that. 16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun. 17. Praise at least as often as you disparage. 18. Never let your errors pass without admission. 19. Become less suspicious of joy. 20. Understand humility. 21. Forgive. 22. Foster dignity. 23. Live memorably. 24. Love yourself. 25. Endure.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017: NASA covers the August 21 solar eclipse live from coast to coast, from unique vantage points on the ground and from aircraft and spacecraft, including the International Space Station.