Sunday, June 24, 2012

To Pass of Not to Pass?

To Pass or Not to Pass?  The End of the Year Dilemma
by Colette Marie Bennett
Education Week Teacher June 19, 2012

This is a story about an English teacher with a bright student who left assignments incomplete and did little classwork.  The student would lose materials and lost interest in editing or revising any of the work she did complete, although she demonstrated she was quite capable of writing at grade level.

While in class the student participated.  She often had insightful comments about the story they were covering  at the time, and she encouraged all students to participate in the discussion.

Her teacher said that she "cajoled, teased, chided, scolded, and threatened the student into completing work."  I don't find that to be a productive teaching method.

If find this teacher's philosophical/moral question - To Pass or Not To Pass - irrelevant.
If I were this teacher, the question I would ask myself is: How can I engage and reach this student?
What is this student's learning style?  Maybe she's bored with presenting her knowledge in written form.
What method of presentation would be of interest to and a challenge for her?  Creating a play?  Creating a movie?  Writing a song?

From this article it sounds as though this teacher is stuck in the same old method of teaching that's been failing our kids for a generation - everyone needs to conform and perform according to a predetermined, cookie-cutter model.

Hopefully this student can be recovered by another more insightful, thoughtful and innovative teacher.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Through the Bully's Eyes

During our radio show on Bullying with Vicki Abadesco, I realized that I was approaching the issue from the perspective of receiving bullying.  Vicki, however, approaches the issue from the perspective of the bully.

Once I understand what's going on in the bully's life, the label of bully comes off and I can feel more empathy for that child.  Not that it negates what happened to the child they were bullying, but it puts the situation in a different perspective.

When Vicki talked about finding out what is happening in the bully's life and empathizing, I immediately felt a wall of resistance fall and I was able to empathize with that child.  This helped me to undo all of the teasing I received as a child.

Vicki's response: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings.  Your experience is exactly what most young people feel.  When they walk around with "why is the bullying happening to me" and internalize all of those feelings of hurt, rejection, anger, confusion, sadness, etc. they don't really get an answer to that question.

When victims hear about what someone is going through - the labels fall away from both the bully and the victim.  There is empathy from and with both sides and the playing field is evened out.

Hear Vicki's entire interview about bullying at:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Does a Cyber Charter School Fit Your Lifestyle?

Does a Cyber Charter School Fit Your Lifestyle?

A cyber charter school has on-line curriculum for the homeschooling parent combined with an online teacher for back-up and testing preparation.

The benefit of this for your children is that, while they have to meet the state testing standards, parents can allow their child to progress through each item on the curriculum at the pace that suits them best, and also ensures mastery on all the subjects studied.

This also allows your children to learn in the style that best suits them, and further enhances the practice of Student Led Learning.

This method of teaching can develop in your children a wondrous love of learning, and the ability to discover and master anything they will ever that to deal with later in life.

The big bonus is that Cyber Home Schooling can allow families to be flexible in meeting all of the needs of each member of the family.