How to Teach
This is the best movie I have ever seen.
It's about a basketball team in the inner city of Jersey. The school is a financial mess. They don't have a gym. The kids come from broken homes.
And they have won 23 state championships in 30 years.
If you care about education, you want to watch this movie. If you are a coach, you want to watch this movie. If you are an athlete, you want to watch this movie. If you are a human being, you want to watch this movie.
If you think miracles don't happen anymore, you must never have watched this movie. Buy it (proceeds benefit their school), watch it, and then tell other people about it. The movie website is http://www.thestreetstopsheremovie.com/
My favorite quote: “I seem more annoyed at your failure than you do.”
I never thought of myself as an artist. To this day, I draw stick men that would not get awarded an honorable mention at a kindergarten art contest. I eventually resigned to the fact that I must be a scientist because I am good at math and because I think Shakespeare’s writing is boring. I always thought that these two qualities (good at math and bored by Shakespeare) thrust me into an inevitable life of crunching numbers and talking about graphing calculators for eternity. Read more »
There is a “teacher crisis” in America because the number of people preparing to be teachers is significantly under the projected number of teachers that are needed. This is already true in math and science, where teachers with this skill set are highly sought after and given significant federal incentives (scholarships, loan forgiveness, etc.) to pursue this path. The question, then, is how to get more teachers into the field, and once you get them to pursue the field, how do you best prepare them?
One suggestion is to take people who already know something and have spent years in many different industries (business, government, law, etc.) and just get them into a classroom. These people already have the skill set, they already know content and even better, they know how this meaningful content can be used in the real world in which they worked. They have what many teachers do not have: experience with the application of knowledge. This experience is priceless.
But some people (usually professors in the Education Department of some University) don’t want these people to teach until they have taken 20 credit hours of pre-requisites and spent $30,000 on university classes. Furthermore, these people have a significant voice in the creation of licensing standards, and therefore, they are in a position to oppose non-standard routes to licensing.
This is a problem. Read more »
Schools play an odd role in society. They fulfill many different functions for many different people, but perhaps their most important function is to provide an environment of learning. However, there is a fundamental (and irreversible) flaw to schools that inhibit the level of learning that can occur within their walls. What is this flaw?
School is not real.
School is only a simulation. Read more »
Last week, I heard that President Obama was going to be delivering an address to students and that students “had” to watch it and that there was going to be a “mandatory lesson plan” that “would ask students to think about how they could support the President’s policies”. Ok, so that alarmed me. I didn’t think the President should be sending out lesson plans that involve students exploring ways to support the President’s policies. That smells too much like a dictatorship, and I don’t like dictatorships.
So, what did I do? Did I go turn on my radio and listen to what other people were saying? Did I run to my newspaper and read the editorials? Of course not. I just went online, read the text of the speech, and then came to my own conclusion, a conclusion based on facts and not on opinions. Read more »
I have had the privilege of observing many teachers in my time in education. This was borne out of necessity because of the fact that I wanted to improve as a teacher but I had no idea what to do! So, I would just go around and observe any and all teachers. Sometimes I would ask permission and sit in on their class during my prep, and other times I would stalk outside their classroom and listen to what was happening and occasionally sneak a peak through the door or window. After conducting so many planned (and unplanned) observations, I have discovered that the ONLY variable that matters when evaluating the efficacy of a teacher is... Read more »