Sep 12, 2010
Comments Off on Is it time for the revolution…

Is it time for the revolution…

As I was reading Dan Ariely’s book, “Predictably Irrational” this quote jumped out at me:

“We should probably first rethink school curricula, and link them in more obvious ways to social goals (elimination of poverty and crime, elevation of human rights, etc.), technological goals (boosting energy conservation, space exploration, nanotechnology, etc.), and medical goals (cures for cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc.) that we care about as a society. This way the students, teachers, and parents, might see the larger point in education and become more engaged and motivated about it. We should also work hard on making education a goal in itself…” (Ch. 4, 36)

This is one of the key pieces that we keep skipping over in many of our ideas and “high yield” strategies. We, as a group of professionals, continuously spin our wheels with new directives that fail to address the major issue. School is barely relevant. By turning the ship around and recognizing the social, ethical, and technological world that our students are living, we can engage them.

It is time that we tell our students the truth, writing an essay is not important. Being informed citizens, understanding how to argue effectively, how to stand up for your beliefs and how to attract an audience to your message (corporate or social), that is what is important. Yes, an essay can do that for you, however, so can YouTube, a well-executed Twitter update, a blog entry, a protest, a face-to-face discussion. Let’s stop pretending that the same assignments we have been doing are good enough.



I think it is time to truly become a profession.

So, is it time for the revolution? Who’s in?

Sep 12, 2010
Comments Off on Is it Time for a Revolution?

Is it Time for a Revolution?

As I was reading Dan Ariely’s book, “Predictably Irrational” this quote jumped out at me:
“We should probably first rethink school curricula, and link them in more obvious ways to social goals (elimination of poverty and crime, elevation of human rights, etc.), technological goals (boosting energy conservation, space exploration, nanotechnology, etc.), and medical goals (cures for cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc.) that we care about as a society. This way the students, teachers, and parents, might see the larger point in education and become more engaged and motivated about it. We should also work hard on making education a goal in itself…” (Ch. 4, 36)

This is one of the key pieces that we keep skipping over in many of our ideas and “high yield” strategies. We, as a group of professionals, continuously spin our wheels with new directives that fail to address the major issue. School is barely relevant. By turning the ship around and recognizing the social, ethical, and technological world that our students are living, we can engage them.

It is time that we tell our students the truth, writing an essay is not important. Being informed citizens, understanding how to argue effectively, how to stand up for your beliefs and how to attract an audience to your message (corporate or social), that is what is important. Yes, an essay can do that for you, however, so can YouTube, a well-executed Twitter update, a blog entry, a protest, a face-to-face discussion. Let’s stop pretending that the same assignments we have been doing are good enough. 

I think it is time to truly become a profession.

So, is it time for the revolution? Who’s in?

Sep 6, 2010
Comments Off on Chinese Proverb

Chinese Proverb

Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.

Sep 6, 2010
Comments Off on My Goals for this School Year

My Goals for this School Year

This is an incomplete, unsorted, yet fully considered list of my goals for this school year. It is hard to really put this together and to make it feel complete, however, I’ll do my best to put something coherent together.

Teach completely paperless — that includes assignments submitted to me, notes, assignment sheets and an attempt to eliminate school memos, permission sheets and all the other extraneous paper that I wade through everyday. I’m almost there after my success of last year. I’d like to ratchet it up a little. One limitation I’ll deal with is the diminished time my class will have in a computer lab. I’m going to find a solution for the timing issue.

Remove quantitative grading from my practice — portfolio building, parent involvement, better assignments, immediate feedback, student progress awareness, continuous conferencing with students and work that is geared towards a ‘real world’ audience. The documentation and the research is all out there, yet we are stuck in our ways when it comes to the numerical value we give everything, I’m going to try to break this trend. I’ll be writing much more on this major adjustment to my practice.

Citizenship building — trying to integrate real world experience, recognize global and social effects of our choices and to make students responsible for/to each other. Anchoring everything we do in the classroom to the ‘real world’ and more importantly the effects our decisions and actions have on the world.

Community of Learners — each class to exist as a true community, past the typical teenage dramas, recognizing and using the strengths of all. My plan is to really re-frame the idea of the classroom, away from me and instead spend alot of time reconfiguring the web in the classroom. This may be challenging, but oh, so worth it.

Focus — not to let the drama of the English department, school and anything else derail my plans and my focus. This goal is less about my practice, but more about my sanity and my effort to eliminate negative vibes and building momentum.

More to be added, however, this is the first sketch…

Aug 3, 2010
Comments Off on My energy, focus and passion are rooted here for right now.  I have raised over $12,000 for cancer treatment and research so far.  My goal is $20,000.  I’m getting there slowly. It is amazing to me just how many people have been exceedingly generous.  From strangers on the street when I’ve been out riding in front of Starbucks to my family and friends.  Just incredible.

My energy, focus and passion are rooted here for right now.  I have raised over $12,000 for cancer treatment and research so far.  My goal is $20,000.  I’m getting there slowly. It is amazing to me just how many people have been exceedingly generous.  From strangers on the street when I’ve been out riding in front of Starbucks to my family and friends.  Just incredible.

Ride with Lance

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