Category: education

Alphabet flashcards from Ed-U-Cards, 1970s.

Alphabet flashcards from Ed-U-Cards, 1970s.

Do your remember in elementary school your teacher would give…

Do your remember in elementary school your teacher would give you vocabulary words on Monday then quiz you on Friday? Yeah, this is one of those books of word lists you got taught and drilled on. Somewhere, first graders did use typewriters, this wasn’t a spelling test with paper and pencil. The course was developed in 1968, and this is a 1986 edition…. shortly after the typewriters were starting to be replaced with Apple // computers.

Flashcards for learning German, 1950s. Achtung! And they felt…

Flashcards for learning German, 1950s. Achtung! And they felt compelled to make a language that’s a challenge enough to learn the syntax of even tougher by using a High German gothic font for the German text.

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I Lie About My Teaching

Here is an interesting article I came across in The Atlantic. 

The story of a Teacher and how we portray our lives to others in the field. What are your thoughts? 

————————————————————————————————

I liked Devon. We were all first and second-year teachers in that seminar—peers, in theory—but my colleague Devon struck me as a cut above. I’d gripe about a classroom problem, and without judgment or rebuke, he’d outline a thoughtful, inventive solution, as if my blundering incompetence was perhaps a matter of personal taste, and he didn’t wish to impose his own sensibilities. When it fell upon us each to share a four-minute video of our teaching, I looked forward to Devon’s. I expected a model classroom, his students as pious and well-behaved as churchgoers.

Instead, the first half of Devon’s four-minute clip showed him fiddling with an overhead projector; in the second half, he was trotting blandly through homework corrections. The kids rocked side to side, listless. For all his genuine wisdom, Devon looked a little green, a little lost.

He looked, in short, like me.

Teachers self-promote. In that, we’re no different than everyone else: proudly framing our breakthroughs, hiding our blunders in locked drawers, forever perfecting our oral résumés. This isn’t all bad. My colleagues probably have more to learn from my good habits (like the way I use pair work) than my bad ones (like my sloppy system of homework corrections), so I might as well share what’s useful. In an often-frustrating profession, we’re nourished by tales of triumph. A little positivity is healthy.

But sometimes, the classrooms we describe bear little resemblance to the classrooms where we actually teach, and that gap serves no one.

Any honest discussion between teachers must begin with the understanding that each of us mingles the good with the bad. One student may experience the epiphany of a lifetime, while her neighbor drifts quietly off to sleep. In the classroom, it’s never pure gold or pure tin; we’re all muddled alloys.

I taught once alongside a first-year teacher, Lauren, who didn’t grasp this. As a result, she compared herself unfavorably to everyone else. Every Friday, when we adjourned to the bar down the street, she’d decry her own flaws, meticulously documenting her mistakes for us, castigating herself to no end. The kids liked her. The teachers liked her. From what I’d seen, she taught as well as any first-year could. But she saw her own shortcomings too vividly and couldn’t help reporting them to anyone who’d listen.

She was fired three months into the year. You talk enough dirt about yourself and people will start to believe it.

Omission is the nature of storytelling; describing a complex space—like a classroom—requires a certain amount of simplification. Most of us prefer to leave out the failures, the mishaps, the wrong turns. Some, perhaps as a defensive posture, do the opposite: Instead of overlooking their flaws and miscues, they dwell on them, as Lauren did. The result is that two classes, equally well taught, may come across like wine and vinegar, depending on how their stories are told.

Take the first year I taught psychology. I taught one section; my colleague Erin taught the other.

When I talked to Erin that semester, she’d glow about her class. Kids often approached her in the afternoons to follow up on questions, and to thank her for teaching their favorite course. Her students kept illustrated vocab journals totaling hundreds of words. They drew posters of neurons, crafted behaviorist training regimes, and designed imaginative “sixth senses” for the human body. Erin’s mentor teacher visited monthly and dubbed it an “amazing class” with “incredible teaching.”

Catch me in an honest mood, and I’ll admit that I bombed the semester. I lectured every day from text-filled overhead slides. Several of my strongest students told me that they hated the class and begged for alternative work. I wasted three weeks on a narrow, confining research assignment, demanding heavy work with little payoff. One student openly plagiarized another. I wound up failing several students who, in hindsight, I should have passed. Yet I know that this apparent train wreck of a class was, in truth, no worse than Erin’s.

That’s because I made Erin up. The two classes described above were the same class: mine. Each description is true, and neither, of course, is wholly honest.

I’m as guilty as anyone of distorting my teaching. When talking to other teachers, I often play up the progressive elements: Student-led discussions. Creative projects. Guided discovery activities. I mumble through the minor, inconvenient fact that my pedagogy is, at its core, deeply traditional. I let my walk and my talk drift apart. Not only does this thwart other teachers in their attempts to honestly evaluate my approach, but it blocks my own self-evaluation. I can’t grow properly unless I see my own work with eyes that are sympathetic, but clear and unyielding.

I had a private theme song my first year teaching: “Wear and Tear,” by Pete Yorn. It was my alarm in the mornings, my iPod jam on the commute home. The chorus ended with a simple line that spun through my head in idle moments and captured the essence of a year I spent making mistake after rookie mistake: Can I say what I do?

It’s no easy task for teachers. But I think we owe it, to ourselves if to no one else, to tell the most honest stories that we can. I’ll only advance as a teacher, and offer something of value to those around me, if I’m able to say what I do.

Source: The Atlantic

Share some feedback. What are your thoughts of the article? 

I Lie About My Teaching

Here is an interesting article I came across in The Atlantic. 

The story of a Teacher and how we portray our lives to others in the field. What are your thoughts? 

————————————————————————————————

I liked Devon. We were all first and second-year teachers in that seminar—peers, in theory—but my colleague Devon struck me as a cut above. I’d gripe about a classroom problem, and without judgment or rebuke, he’d outline a thoughtful, inventive solution, as if my blundering incompetence was perhaps a matter of personal taste, and he didn’t wish to impose his own sensibilities. When it fell upon us each to share a four-minute video of our teaching, I looked forward to Devon’s. I expected a model classroom, his students as pious and well-behaved as churchgoers.

Instead, the first half of Devon’s four-minute clip showed him fiddling with an overhead projector; in the second half, he was trotting blandly through homework corrections. The kids rocked side to side, listless. For all his genuine wisdom, Devon looked a little green, a little lost.

He looked, in short, like me.

Teachers self-promote. In that, we’re no different than everyone else: proudly framing our breakthroughs, hiding our blunders in locked drawers, forever perfecting our oral résumés. This isn’t all bad. My colleagues probably have more to learn from my good habits (like the way I use pair work) than my bad ones (like my sloppy system of homework corrections), so I might as well share what’s useful. In an often-frustrating profession, we’re nourished by tales of triumph. A little positivity is healthy.

But sometimes, the classrooms we describe bear little resemblance to the classrooms where we actually teach, and that gap serves no one.

Any honest discussion between teachers must begin with the understanding that each of us mingles the good with the bad. One student may experience the epiphany of a lifetime, while her neighbor drifts quietly off to sleep. In the classroom, it’s never pure gold or pure tin; we’re all muddled alloys.

I taught once alongside a first-year teacher, Lauren, who didn’t grasp this. As a result, she compared herself unfavorably to everyone else. Every Friday, when we adjourned to the bar down the street, she’d decry her own flaws, meticulously documenting her mistakes for us, castigating herself to no end. The kids liked her. The teachers liked her. From what I’d seen, she taught as well as any first-year could. But she saw her own shortcomings too vividly and couldn’t help reporting them to anyone who’d listen.

She was fired three months into the year. You talk enough dirt about yourself and people will start to believe it.

Omission is the nature of storytelling; describing a complex space—like a classroom—requires a certain amount of simplification. Most of us prefer to leave out the failures, the mishaps, the wrong turns. Some, perhaps as a defensive posture, do the opposite: Instead of overlooking their flaws and miscues, they dwell on them, as Lauren did. The result is that two classes, equally well taught, may come across like wine and vinegar, depending on how their stories are told.

Take the first year I taught psychology. I taught one section; my colleague Erin taught the other.

When I talked to Erin that semester, she’d glow about her class. Kids often approached her in the afternoons to follow up on questions, and to thank her for teaching their favorite course. Her students kept illustrated vocab journals totaling hundreds of words. They drew posters of neurons, crafted behaviorist training regimes, and designed imaginative “sixth senses” for the human body. Erin’s mentor teacher visited monthly and dubbed it an “amazing class” with “incredible teaching.”

Catch me in an honest mood, and I’ll admit that I bombed the semester. I lectured every day from text-filled overhead slides. Several of my strongest students told me that they hated the class and begged for alternative work. I wasted three weeks on a narrow, confining research assignment, demanding heavy work with little payoff. One student openly plagiarized another. I wound up failing several students who, in hindsight, I should have passed. Yet I know that this apparent train wreck of a class was, in truth, no worse than Erin’s.

That’s because I made Erin up. The two classes described above were the same class: mine. Each description is true, and neither, of course, is wholly honest.

I’m as guilty as anyone of distorting my teaching. When talking to other teachers, I often play up the progressive elements: Student-led discussions. Creative projects. Guided discovery activities. I mumble through the minor, inconvenient fact that my pedagogy is, at its core, deeply traditional. I let my walk and my talk drift apart. Not only does this thwart other teachers in their attempts to honestly evaluate my approach, but it blocks my own self-evaluation. I can’t grow properly unless I see my own work with eyes that are sympathetic, but clear and unyielding.

I had a private theme song my first year teaching: “Wear and Tear,” by Pete Yorn. It was my alarm in the mornings, my iPod jam on the commute home. The chorus ended with a simple line that spun through my head in idle moments and captured the essence of a year I spent making mistake after rookie mistake: Can I say what I do?

It’s no easy task for teachers. But I think we owe it, to ourselves if to no one else, to tell the most honest stories that we can. I’ll only advance as a teacher, and offer something of value to those around me, if I’m able to say what I do.

Source: The Atlantic

Share some feedback. What are your thoughts of the article? 

When you’ve waited just a little too long to take that bathroom break …When your lesson plan turns…

When you’ve waited just a little too long to take that bathroom break …

When your lesson plan turns out perfectly …

“Thanks, brain.”

When they announce the first snow day …

When you have that breakthrough moment with a student 

When the district adds one more PD to your schedule …

When the kid in the back row wakes up and realizes the bell has already rung …

When they tell you you’re the best teacher they’ve ever had …

“Aw, shucks.”

When cold and flu season begins …

When they tell you they forgot their homework …

“I weep for humanity.”

When that one teacher keeps raising her hand at the PD …

“Are you listening to yourself?”

When they ask if they earned extra recess (after being totally off the hook all day) …

“No.”

When you describe your parent-teacher conference schedule to a non-teacher …

“OMG, right?”

Source: Buzzfeed

Regular

When you’ve waited just a little too long to take that bathroom break …

When your lesson plan turns out perfectly …

“Thanks, brain.”

When they announce the first snow day …

When you have that breakthrough moment with a student 

When the district adds one more PD to your schedule …

When the kid in the back row wakes up and realizes the bell has already rung …

When they tell you you’re the best teacher they’ve ever had …

“Aw, shucks.”

When cold and flu season begins …

When they tell you they forgot their homework …

“I weep for humanity.”

When that one teacher keeps raising her hand at the PD …

“Are you listening to yourself?”

When they ask if they earned extra recess (after being totally off the hook all day) …

“No.”

When you describe your parent-teacher conference schedule to a non-teacher …

“OMG, right?”

Source: Buzzfeed

themathemagicalteacher: What it’s like being a teacher.

themathemagicalteacher:

What it’s like being a teacher.

themathemagicalteacher: What it’s like being …

themathemagicalteacher:

What it’s like being a teacher.

10 Things Experienced Teachers Want New Teachers to Know

Oh hey! We haven’t posted in a while but came across this great post for new teachers on Mashable. Check it out below! 


The first day of school is nerve-wracking for students — but it’s even scarier for new teachers.

When you’re facing a whole room full of bright-eyed students whose future is in your hands, it’s an empowering and totally terrifying feeling. Like any practice, it takes time and experience to learn your way around the classroom. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a few words of wisdom from experienced colleagues.

A few seasoned teachers at Math for America provided tips that first-time educators should know. But even seasoned teachers could benefit from these pieces of advice.

1. Be yourself.

Be a well organized, fiercely boundaried, teacher-shaped version of you, but be yourself. They can smell a faker a mile away.

2. Keep a teacher journal and write down all the great things that happen in your classroom.

Because some days you are going to feel like the worst teacher on the planet. Some days that kid is going to get to you and you’re going to fly off the handle. Some days you are going to want to walk out the door and not come back into your classroom. Ever.

You are going to need to look at those moments that made you laugh, made you smile, made you so proud of them you felt like your heart was going to burst, and made you remember why you signed up to do this amazing, exhausting, fantastic job in the first place.

3. Don’t yell.

Seriously, don’t. Because that one time the whole year, where you actually need to yell to communicate emphasis, it needs to count.

4. Work it out.

Lesson planning will drain your mental energy. Students will drain your emotional energy. You’ll have to channel your physical energy somewhere. Take up running on the weekends or cycling in the afternoons. Yoga also works well, but taking up boxing may be more efficient.

5. Say their names.

One strategy to learn all of your students’ names is to use their names often in the first few days of class. The more you use their names, the easier it will be to memorize them all. After class, you can use a seating chart and rehearse which students sit at which tables/desks so that you will associate a desk with a name and a face. Teaching becomes easier when students feel comfortable in your classroom. (Obviously don’t make them too comfortable.)

6. Sleep.

Establish good sleep habits. There will always be something left undone at the end of a day. Make a list for the next day and let it go for the night. If you don’t sleep well, you will have the same amount of work the next day but it will be a lot more overwhelming.

7. Assemble a think tank.

You will need people to bounce ideas off of and to engage in meaningful discussion about pedagogy and classroom management with like-minded people in your situation. It has a few effects: a. It lets you know you are not alone, b. others can see what you cannot, c. collaboration is stimulating and d. someone else might pay for beer.

8. Stick to routines.

Nervous about the first day? That’s normal. First impressions are important, but what’s more valuable is how you reinforce your routines during the first few weeks (and months) of school. Choose routines that are short and easy to do. You’ll forget how to execute long routines when you are managing a room full of children.

9. Remember how hard it is to learn something new.

Learning isn’t instant. Teach students that deep, meaningful learning takes time and effort. Tell them how long it took you to learn something like swimming, skiing, cooking, spear fishing, etc. Students often think that if they don’t learn something right away that they’re not “smart” enough.

10. Forget about yesterday.

Some students may test your nerves today. Don’t hold grudges; tomorrow those same students may be amazing in class. Though they made you angry yesterday, show them your smiles today. Smiling makes us all happier anywhere – it’s scientifically proven.

For the link to the full posting check out Mashable