You’re a Socialist…

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IF YOU, YOUR PARENTS, OR YOUR GRANDPARENTS…

  • receive Social Security,
  • are on Mediicare,
  • are on Medicaid,
  • went to public school or college,
  • drive on public highways,
  • have your house protected by a fire department,
  • are protected by the police,
  • drink safe water,
  • use a sewer system,
  • use safe medication,
  • eat safe food,
  • use a safe banking system,
  • believe in Christ,
  • etc.

YES, YOU ARE A SOCIALIST.  And, when the President or any other politician accuses anyone of being a Socialist, know that they are attacking you, your parents, your grandparents and your children.

The “Curriculum

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If you are lucky the curriculum will be written to include behavioral objectives.  If not, rewriting them in forms of behavioral objectives including means of measuring accomplishment is the first step.  The following is only one way this can be set up.  It identifies the objective, provides individualization, collaboration, measures progress towards completion and final completion.

Each student has an index card (or on a spread sheet) upon which they are checked for each behavioral objective.  I prefer the index card as they may be given the card, but if your school has or allows smart phones or ipads they would work too:

(Date,    John Doe,   Objective,    Activity,     %Completed,    Completed,    Comments).

I prefer using index cards and then entering completion in the grade book if required. 

Eighth grade and above I give the students a list of all the objectives and allow them to choose the order of addressing them.  I discuss and help them decide how they will demonstrate completion or proficiency.  In addition I recommend they form a group who will be working on the same objective.  I paper clip the index cards together for those working in a group together.  During the class period I circulate among the individual students and groups providing guidance in achieving the objective so that I can evaluate percentage of completion or those completed. I explain that it is not a competition 

If the school district requires a letter grade on the report card, we as a class decide how many objectives completed will translate to an “A”, “B”, “C” or “D”.  There is no “F”.  Some districts have a mandatory curriculum calendar so that if a student moves from one school to another he or she will be in the same place in the curriculum no matter which school they are attending.   They then use standardized tests based on that calendar.  If you find yourself in one of these districts you will pretty much need to disregard individualized instruction, collaboration, and measurement based on progress.  If you are a seasoned experienced teacher, you might be able to use this method and then teach to the district test.

Sometimes you need to identify a district mandate as asinine and work around it.  In one district the administrators went to a conference and heard about the use of “word walls” to teach vocabulary.  They then mandated their use district wide k through 12.  In this system there were ten words posted on the classroom wall per week and each day prescribed lessons were to be used to teach them.  These lessons were to be identified in the teacher’s lesson plans.  Money was spent to purchase nylon cloth “flags” with pockets where the words for the week were displayed.  Part of the teachers evaluation would be on the appearance of word walls in their lesson plans and use of the flags in their classrooms.

A good system for elementary grades, maybe.  A high school economics teacher pointed out that it would hardly work with his classes where there could be twenty new terms a week and there would not be enough time to implement this system and cover the curriculum.  He was told there would be no exceptions.  He put up his expensive nylon flag with each of ten of his vocabulary words in their slot.  He left those same words up until he was observed.  He taught those words as part of the lesson as directed.  After the observation he displayed ten new words in their pockets on the brightly colored nylon flag till his next observation.  Sometimes it is necessary to bend the rules in order to teach.  Unfortunately that’s the way it is, and you will need to choose between teaching and doing what the administration dictates.

DAY 1 NEXT TIME

New Teachers Part I

 

IMG_0715You’ve taken the education courses, content courses, psychology courses, statistics courses and ESOL courses.  You’ve completed the practice teaching.  You have your certifications.  You have your first position.  You’ve gone through new teacher orientation.  You have your curriculum guide.  You have your curriculum calendar.  You’ve made your lesson plans. 

Within a month you will find yourself tempted to teach the way you have been taught by your teachers.  This will be a continuing temptation throughout your career.  Why?

You are facing the dichotomy of using what you know about the learning process versus the school district’s curriculum and curriculum calendar.  For example, we know that effective concentration for the brightest is about twenty minutes, and your class period is sixty minutes.  You will have twenty five to thirty students whose abilities and life experiences range the full spectrum, but you will be expected to individualize instruction or PLP for each.  You will be expected to follow district wide dictates to be applied K through twelve when they are only appropriate for k through sixth.  You will face learning objectives that are obtuse and don’t define measurement.

To survive, you will be tempted to teach the way you were taught because the system you are working under is unchanged from when you were a student.  To obtain that “exceptional teacher” designation, you need to teach the way you were taught.  You will find yourself the square peg in the round hole screeching silently as you are forced to fit.

SOLUTIONS beginning in part II..

Live, Grow, and Prosper?

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I understand how you can refuse abortions by this legislation, but please list the laws that allow a child to grow. Are we talking about food stamps, Medicaid, early child hood education, school funding, teacher education?

What laws do you have to enable them to prosper? A guaranteed living wage, universal medicine, free tuition, vocational training, and certified and trained teachers?

What is your state’s ranking in these areas? If your state is in the top 10%, help us in other states learn how to help a child grow and prosper.

If your state is not doing these things then you are plainly only interested in the fetus and not so much interested in the child that is born.