Archive for February 2007

The under rated value of attitude   Leave a comment

I think education is meant to be a service to all young people in our country. Unfortunately, our forefathers did not list in the Bill of Rights that every student has the right to an equal education. Nonetheless, giving a basic education to all youngsters seems a pragmatic approach to insuring that as these folks grow older they will care for themselves and those around them; in other words be good global citizens.

I read an article today at NPR, that really hits this nail on the head. It’s a study pointing out that when you make children aware their intelligence will grow if they tend it – they do tend it. For me, understanding that means recognizing the ground floor in the institute of education. Yet, leaving it just to teachers to sort out the how’s/why’s of having students understand this study becomes a daunting task. Parents need to take it on too. The trick is, can we instill in young students this power of their own perception without blaming, shaming or guilting ‘em into it?

We need to work on this as a collective whole. Instead of forcing young students into verbal corners about why they should do homework, we need to take time to have them understand they are building their intelligence … day by day … every time they make an effort and when they sweat the tough stuff. This will take time and patience; two ingredients every household seems to be lacking today in our rush to stay afloat. Without this type of ground floor installed, students will have a tendency to continue negating what school is really about: building life skills for the future.

Read the study here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7406521

Posted February 19, 2007 by Jack in Instruction

School environments – are they healthly?   Leave a comment

As a teacher I understand the importance of education; however, I am not sure we cover all the basics students need. For example, when do we teach them about the criticality of a healthily environment? I know as a biology teach that we have 6 weeks to cover ecology, which doesn’t leave much time for drilling down on the how’s, why’s and what’s of being environmental stewards. Yes, there’s time in class to discuss the importance of recycling and share some facts, like the hundreds of years it takes for a plastic diaper to decompose. It would be better if we can instill in students the importance of environmental friendly behaviors so they can practice them – but that takes time and it’s not a “Standard” in our District.

Looking from a whole different point of view, what about the status of our nation’s school buildings? I know at our school we have one very old building. Teachers that have been in that one for years swear its’ air system is spewing bad stuff. I don’t mean to point fingers, I am simply saying I don’t think there is a procedure in place to check the health of school buildings….and that scares me. One think for sure, schools carry lots of germ and bacteria. If you need the evidence …. look at the the sick sniffing, coughing, blurry eyed students traveling the halls every day.

On another approach all together to the environment in schools, why hot have facilities produce an income. Here in AZ we have lotsa sun. Why not put some solar panels on the schools? They will be active all year long. Surely in the summer, when school is closed, they can produce energy that will be sold back to the utility company. Better yet, the students can work on these projects. Doing that they obtain life skills, learn environment stewardship, and help the school economically. It’s time to get out of the box on how we think about school environments.

We need to make sure our students have healthy buildings and we need to help them understand the necessity of being environmental stewards.

Posted February 15, 2007 by Jack in Instruction