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Preparing for the future

Ever wonder why student scores remain stagnant? Ever wonder why schools, and students, are measured by assessment data? Wonder about the implications of over reliance on these measures? In his recent article in The Telegraph writer Iain Kilpatrick dissects the conundrum that is modern schooling by exploring the conflict between what is taught in school and experience in the workplace. There is somewhat of a ‘production line’ mentality to our education system – ringing bells, children educated in batches based on date of manufacture (their age), siphoned off into separate subjects and separate facilities. For most employment situations this structure is at odds with what workers could experience. In fact, we do students such a disservice by forcing them into conformity that they won't know what to do with themselves once they find themselves out of school and into a job. Having grown ups telling […]

Respect- earned not demanded

When I started teaching I didn't have much experience managing a classroom. There were some pretty epic battles and, honestly, I could have done much better with more empathy towards my students. This introspection only comes from fourteen years of reflection. I wish I could meet those students again, offer an apology and turn back time to be able to have another go at teaching them. Distilling it down, the thing I regret most is misunderstanding respect. Respect isn't something you demand. It is something you earn. For example, I remember having trouble with one of my classes- the last period of the day. They refused to sit down and start their class work. So a kind teacher recommended that I try giving a warm up activity that I graded and was worth five points. At the time it seemed like a great idea, and […]

2 Things kids could learn from watching Super Bowl 51

A seemingly improbable upset with the super successful Patriots down and out for most of the game was riveting to watch. The up-and-coming Atlanta Falcons seemed as though they were steamrolling their way to victory with both passing and rushing success combined with prime defense that was effective in forcing critical turnovers and sacks. Kids across the country tuned in with their families to watch the big game. Superficially, a sporting event such as this one doesn't seem like a great place to learn meaningful life lessons but as I tried to drift off to sleep after the sudden death overtime I though about these meaningful lessons: Perseverance Say what you want about the NE Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, but the guy just didn't give up . He faced a lot of pressure. Besides being the “big game” of the year, he was poised to […]