Monthly Archives: March 2011

Teacher’s Blog Spot

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Posted by Melania Paduraru, 03/13/2011

The world is changed. I feel it in the classroom. I feel it in the materials. I smell it in the methods. Much that once was is lost, for few now live who remember it.

It began with the forging of the Great Nets. Three were given to the Governments, immortal, wisest and strongest of all beings. Seven to the Military, great craftsmen and warriors of the mountain halls. And nine, nine Nets were gifted to the race of Teachers, who, above all else, desire knowledge. But they were, all of them, deceived, for another Net was made. In the land of the States, in the fires of NASA, the Science Lords forged in secret an InterNet, to control all others. And into this InterNet they poured their creativity, their knowledge and their will to dominate all life. One InterNet to rule them all.

One by one, the free peoples of Earth fell to the power of the Internet. But there were some who resisted. A last alliance of Teachers and Governments marched against the armies of the Internet, and on the very slopes of the WWW, they fought for the long-forgotten freedom of Earth. Victory was near, but the power of the Internet could not be undone…

Adapted from “Lord of the Rings – The fellowship of the Ring”

The world of teaching is changing. The world of pupils and students as we know it is gradually becoming a mysterious realm. What can we do? Teachers are facing a renewed challenge: to adapt or not to adapt to these changes? Changing often sounds scary! Losing the old ways, the warmth of routines, getting off the beaten track and … learning??? … again??? …

We’re definitely going to become “digital immigrants” in this world of “digital natives” = our own children and students! There’s no other way!

“… the power of the Internet can not be undone! …”

Let’s start by getting to know “our enemy” and then we’ll make it work for us!

Deconstructing Teaching

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[…] In America, doctors, lawyers, generals, actors, television people and politicians are admired and rewarded. Not teachers. Teaching is the downstairs maid of professions. Teachers are told to use the service door or around the back. They are congratulated on having ATTO (All That Time Off). They are spoken of patronizingly and patted, retroactively, on their silvery locks. Oh, yes I had an English teacher, Miss Smith, who really inspired me. I’ll never forget dear old Miss Smith. She used to say if she reached one child in her forty years of teaching it would make it all worthwhile. She’d die happy. The inspiring English teacher then fades into gray shadows to eke out her days on a penny-pinching pension dreaming of the one child she might have reached. Dream on teacher. You will not be celebrated. […]

From “Teacher Man”, 2005, by Frank McCourt

vs.

What Teachers Make, or
Objection Overruled, or
If things don’t work out, you can always go to law school

By Taylor Mali
http://www.taylormali.com

He says the problem with teachers is, “What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”
He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say about
teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite company.

“I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor,” he says.
“Be honest. What do you make?”

And I wish he hadn’t done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won’t I let you get a drink of water?
Because you’re not thirsty, you’re bored, that’s why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, “Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?”
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

Taylor Mali’s profile on TED  http://www.ted.com/speakers/taylor_mali.html

Slam Poem Video  http://www.ted.com/talks/taylor_mali_what_teachers_make.html

Poem transcript  http://www.taylormali.com/index.cfm?webid=13