Monday, December 22, 2008

PreService Teacher Exams

What a confusing endeavour we have to weave through. First it was the Praxis which I have completed but now I understand that I need to retake the required teacher tests because our state has changed the rules to meet some higher standards. So I have to hand over some more large amounts of money to retake the tests I have already passed to meet the qualifications to become a teacher. Am I complaining, well sort of; my brothers are engineers and I don't see them taking these tests to qualify to design computer chips or design the very airplanes we fly. What gives?! And don't get me started on the salary differences -like my brothers I am going to do what I love but unlike my brothers I am fortunate not to need the money. Still, while I mold the minds of our youth, they build items the youths use or fly on to visit their family. Whose education is being tested more?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Washington DC's Education Cyclone

As many have read or heard, Michelle Rhee has been quite a topic discussed around school districts, Time Magazine, and The Atlantic Magazine. She is determined to change American Education through her agressive tactics. Yet she has only three years of teaching experience; that is usually just enough time for teachers to get "grounded" in their profession. She is chaufferured in a black SUV, carries two BlackBerrys, and a cell phone - that is enough money for new textbooks there. In Time magazine, it mentions she evaluates a class for only two minutes and walks away saying the teachers spend too much time chitchatting. How are teachers suppose to bond with students. Teachers are not to be robots and just dive right into the "real work." Some of these students may only receive positive adult interactions from their school teachers. In the article, she comes across as rude - she reads her BlackBerry while speaking with those around her. She walks out of meetings without a comment and she seems to dismiss anyone whose opinion differs from her. And as her quote noted below, she does not seem to take outside influences as obstacles to a student's education.

A quote from Michelle Rhee is “As a teacher in this system, you have to be willing to take personal responsibility for ensuring your children are successful despite obstacles. You can’t say, ‘My students didn’t get any breakfast today,’ or ‘No one put them to bed last night,’ or ‘Their electricity got cut off in the house, so they couldn’t do their homework.’”

Want to learn more? Read

Does she really think this can work?


This is a pretty good video on some classroom management ideas. Watch it you might learn something.

Tips & Tricks for Classroom Management

Monday, December 1, 2008

Good Deeds: The Backlash
Many high schools in America require students to have service hours in order to graduate. The weekend before last I volunteered for a non profits auction and there were many high school students present. While talking to these students I learned that they 1 were not really interested in being there and they would rather be doing something with their friends and 2 that they were only there because they had to have the hours to graduate and this nonprofit would look good on a college resume. This disturbed me. What good does it do to force students to do community service? If the students heart is not in it then what are they learning? I was reading this article in the New York Times about how some schools are reducing the number of hours and how these hours have to be applied. The New York schools have some pretty good ideas. Maybe other school districts need to take a look at their programs.