Friday, March 30, 2012

Shotgun of Articles

If you have the time to read some, or at least one of these, I highly suggest you take the time to. Who knows, perhaps it will inspire you to write your second (or first) blog post for this week.

First off, we have a scary growing trend of parents taking out loans in order to send their children to either private schools. For Kindergarten.

Bullying is still a HUGE issue, despite how many different approaches we've tried to take in order to prevent it, and as such needs more attention then we give it credit for, which is a lot.

Disturbing news in the sexual harassment front, with up to 10% of students having the potential to have been sexually abused by their instructors, which to me is just sickening.

The rant I had gone on earlier this semester about the teacher fired for her Facebook comments about drowning kids now has her job back, as her firing was overturned. I'm relatively speechless.

Finally, this article is just unbelievable. I don't really know how a teacher could create these kinds of math problems for small children to have to complete. I'm a college student and I don't feel comfortable with #15 and 20. It's almost like he wanted to be fired at this point. It's also from a homeschooling site.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Accommodating Diverse Learners

Recently I have started to try to learn sign language basics in order to be able to better reach students who may have disabilities in order to both help them and to aid my own flexibility for job placement. My cousin works as an after school care instructor for middle school students through the Salvation Army headquarters in Pittsburgh, and has run-ins with many different types of children during the course of the week.  This essentially motivated me to attempt to begin a journey to learn about different disabilities and how I can help accommodate them in order to make the best of whatever situation arises.

I had Spanish in high school and taught myself a very, very limited amount of German and Swedish, yet these were easy compared to the amount of concentration that sign language is currently tasking me with. I figured if I get a job in the south-west, Spanish would be of immediate use as well as being able to communicate with students with hearing issues.  However, this is a lofty dream, and perhaps may not come to complete fruition depending on how frustrating it becomes in the long run.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Purpose for Teaching

I apologize if anyone is offended by this, but it is not meant in bad taste, but rather as my own frustration with the issue.  I will attempt to be as rational and polite as possible.

Recently, a woman was fired for badmouthing her students and wishing death upon them via a Facebook status update. I don't think I need to go in depth on why this is wrong on so many levels, so I shall refrain.

However, what I will launch on a tirade about is that people like this are the ones instructing children we may know or care deeply about, let alone the next generation of children that we don't who will never deserve to have death wished upon them by another human. I honestly could care less if it was a bad/long/stressful/unpleasant/terrible day. If you are in a position of the public educator, you had better be there for a reason. Honestly, if you have gone through the education path solely because you want to have summer or major holiday vacations off then I don't want you teaching my future children. I want someone who is in it for their passion and drive to work with students, growing humans- children.

It is so frustrating to me that a position aimed toward shaping someone's life and belief of reality would either be in it for selfish gains or was unable to handle the stress that we all should know accompanies the job. I absolutely adore all of the children that I have ever worked with, no matter how difficult it may have been. Granted, we all have our moments where we reach our limits. When we do, for the love of all things please take it out in a non-destructive, non-violent, non-public way. Find a small amount of enjoyment in something and return to how things should be. If teaching is a miserable job then you may want to consider either not continuing down that path or reanalyzing life in a hurry.

I apologize for the rant, but I just thought I should get my voice out there, and I know others are thinking the same thing so I suppose I should be one to make it known to others.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Relating to Children

As silly as they may be, if a teacher incorporates a meme into a lecture or powerpoint presentation, I feel that it would greatly return attention to the presentation as the children would want to find the "Easter Egg" that is there for them.  While I'm sure that not everyone has heard of a meme before, there is an entire site dedicated to the production and sharing of them which you can find here, but I suggest you look through whatever it is you may find interesting in order to understand exactly how they are supposed to work. While I know it is incredibly informal and it is relatively risky in terms of introducing something that children go wild over, I feel that the familiarity of these would greatly help with student attention spans. 

Using them on a variable interval, say having one at the beginning and end one day, one just in the middle the next, one at the end after that, etc. so that they will never know where it is, allowing for them to potentially keep watching in order to be able to enjoy it. Also, I think that children learn much better through association with things that they already know. If they can relate to having seen a Paranoid Parrot meme, and the teacher can insert something like a current healthcare issue or a current craze in society with a sociology class, then I think they will be able to recall it better.

This is just me, and trying to find insane ways to implement things I thoroughly enjoy into lesson plans, and of course I feel like it wouldn't fly in a formal setting, but heck, why not. Rage comics could be the next generation's graphic novel, and perhaps for creative classes this could be utilized effectively. Who knows?