I was on the treadmill at the YMCA and the gentleman next to me was on his phone. Apparently, he uses his time on the treadmill staying in touch with family and friends. Of course, I could hear his half of the conversation (another topic for another time).
This time of year is all about rest, recreation, recovery – spending time with our families and reconnecting. It is also a time of resolution. We look forward to the new school year as a fresh start, an opportunity. I am suggesting we commit to carrying our summer family time into the school year. We are all incredibly busy. Parents are often working two jobs and kids are participating in summer activities, in addition to work and vacations. We often don’t eat meals together, and we sometimes don’t see each ...
Summer usually means a respite from the regimented demands of the school year. No more nightly homework, endless projects, after-school activities, or lunches to pack. However, summer brings its own new responsibilities: cams, sports, swim lessons, and a lot of “free time” – often unsupervised – for our kids.
Summer is upon us, albeit rainy, and I embrace the break much as every student. However, I must reiterate that learning has to be reinforced over the summer. Without some type of conscious effort to practice and maintain skills, students lose on average 20% of what they learned during the school year. I don’t recommend hours and hours a day. I do recommend something.
My school year has ended: the high school wrapped up June 5th and the college ended June 11th. Typically, these early weeks of summer are spent shredding or filing stacks of papers, pulling weeds, meeting friends for lunch, and reflecting: What did I do well? What can I do better? What can I do differently? But this summer is different. I’ve already begun working on next year!
As I’ve written before, most of my students at the college are adults working at least one job and raising at least 2 children. So in their writing class I asked them to tell me what it takes to be a good parent.
One of the nice things about being a teacher is that you are always learning. Last quarter I had two deaf students in my math and reading classes. They were amazing men with lots of interesting stories in their lives. They also had a wonderful attitude and huge motivation.
One of the nice things about being a teacher is that you are always learning. Last quarter I had two deaf students in my math and reading classes. They were amazing men with lots of interesting stories in their lives. They also had a wonderful attitude and huge motivation.At some point in the quarter, we were discussing the differences between their, there, and they’re, and their interpreter pointed out that if you’re deaf, those words aren’t a problem because they each have their own sign. I had never thought about ...
When the research came out a few years ago showing that the adolescent brain is still under development into their early 20s, most high school teachers weren’t surprised. Many of us were relieved, as it helped us understand some of the strange behaviors and choices we would witness in many of our students. It’s actually biological: their sense of right and wrong, their understanding of appropriate boundaries, their sense of how to determine if a situation is safe or unsafe – these are all skills that are not yet honed ...
Last night I assigned my adult writing students the following topic: What does it take to be a good parent? My students range in age from 20 to 65. Most, but not all, are parents, so I anticipated that some of them would balk at the question. I also suspected that there would be a wide range of opinions. Once again, I was wrong in my assumptions.
This is the time of year when students are stricken with spring fever and teachers are experiencing the pressures of the end of the year. High stakes testing is imminent, and everyone’s pushing to meet goals and complete the curriculum. So how do we all survive? How do we make sure grades don’t drop, graduation requirements are met, students keep up?
Scheduling the SAT or ACT is another important decision that you need to make with some intention. I suggest that students take these tests in the spring, when their math courses are nearly complete. The content of the math has gotten a little more difficult, so it’s important to have as much of the content complete before taking high stakes tests. The spring presents its own challenges, however, as students are tired, prom is almost always the same day as the SAT, and motivation may be at a low. Seniors ...
Last week’s column elicited many positive and helpful comments, particularly from a local teacher who did not want me to share her name. She did say it was okay to share some additional ideas for how parents can be involved in the school. Here are some great ideas.
In a recent conversation with the headmaster of a local school, he mentioned his frustration that as kids progress through the grades, he sees less of the parents. So I thought it time to revisit one of my most important tips: if your student is in middle school or high school, you should be more involved than you were in elementary.
Recently I joined the Adult Basic Education team at Wenatchee Valley College teaching reading, writing, and math. I was a little nervous at first because I was facing a room full of students ranging in age from 20 to 67 and skills from 1st grade to college. Fortunately, 40+ years of teaching prepared me for the challenge of individualizing lessons, teaching, and approaches. What I wasn’t prepared for was the commitment, enthusiasm, motivation, and respect these students displayed.