Posts Tagged ‘Education News’

Autistic Boy Gives an Inspiring Graduation Speech

July 20, 2013

 

 

As we leave here today I have a challenge for all of you. We are all different. Not less, just different. We all have things we’re good at, things we need to work on, and things we need help with. Whenever you see someone else who is different, instead of just judging them or being a bully, I challenge you to offer help and treat that person with the kindness you have shown me over the last six years. Remember, all of you can make a difference in someone’s life. You’ve already made a difference in mine.”

 

 

Click on the link to read my post on Girl Banned from Museum because Her Wheelchair May Dirty Their Carpet

Click on the link to read my post on Disabled Children: A Missed Opportunity for Us All

Click on the link to read my post on Meet the 14-Year-Old on his Way to Becoming a Nobel Prize Winner (Video)

Click on the link to read my post on Treatment of Autistic Children Says a Lot About Our Failing System

Inviting the KKK to Your Classroom is Irresponsible

March 20, 2013

Ku Klux Klan Holds Annual Gathering In Tennessee

The KKK do not need to be given a platform to speak to impressionable children . Whilst I agree that students should form their own political and philosophical views, inviting hatemongers into the classroom is not the role of a teacher,

I don’t understand how some teachers feel that by inviting KKK members and neo-Nazis, they are achieving anything constructive. Surely they should invite inspirational people who embody respect and tolerance instead:

Popular knowledge suggests that hate is learned, like writing or reading. So who is the most effective teacher, and what happens when professors and teachers invite hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and the Westboro Baptist Church into the classroom?

The answer, of course, isn’t simple. An engrossing piece from the Washington Times’ Tim Devaney describes the rise of this teaching tactic in some schools.

Randy Blazak, a sociology professor at Portland State University in Oregon, told Devaney that he brings neo-Nazis into class because they humanize a hatred so extreme that students often consider it separate from humanity’s capacity — like a relic of some past time that’s carried to this day by people who no longer understand it. This lesson is a big day in a syllabus that considers the role of extremism in broader society.

“It’s a good idea to know what’s out there,” Blazak said. “They’re not monsters. They’re human beings, wrestling with their own issues.”

It’s this passion that may scare students into grasping a lesson that otherwise wasn’t considered so close at hand.

“We can agree that Nazis are the bad guys in history, but how much are you like that Nazi in your biases?” Blazak said.

The teaching technique exposes a raw nerve in a country where students are suspended for eating a gun-shaped Pop-Tart, tweeting about a teacher’s car, writing about an attraction to a theoretical teacher in a creative writing assignment or simply trolling on YouTube.

A teacher was placed on administrative leave in 2010 when she allowed four students to dress in Ku Klux Klan costumes for a class presentation on American history. Students complained to their parents and a national scandal ensued. A similar story unfolded last year in Las Vegas, except that the teacher wasn’t punished.

What do you think? Should teachers animate members of hate groups to show students up close an ugly dimension of human behavior? Or should schools create greater distance between their students and these ideas? Are students and schools mature enough to adopt such teaching methods into a larger curriculum?

 

Click on the link to read Could This be the Most Violent High School Test Question Ever?

Click on the link to read Six Valuable Steps to Making Positive Changes in Your Teaching

Click on the link to read 10 Art Related Games for the Classroom

Click on the link to read 5 Rules for Rewarding Students

Click on the link to read Tips for Engaging the Struggling Learner

Click on the link to read the Phonics debate.

Even Prisoners Don’t Have to Beg for Toilet Paper

January 29, 2013

paper

 

Can you think of anything more demeaning and utterly disrespectful than making students who need to go to the toilet first report to head office to sign for their own toilet roll?

An eastern Pennsylvania high school says vandalism forced it to create a policy in which toilet paper has been taken out of the boys’ bathrooms.

Boys at Mahanoy Area High School now must go to the school office to request toilet paper and sign it out. Principal Thomas Smith says that’s helped solve a major problem of intentionally clogging toilets that’s been going on for two years.

Smith says boys must sign out the toilet paper and then sign it back in. But the Republican-Herald of Pottsville reports (http://bit.ly/X3shAR) some parents are protesting the policy.

Parent Karen Yedsena says some students are too embarrassed to go to the office to get toilet paper and are going home sick instead. School officials say they aren’t aware of any such problems.

Click on the link to read What’s Next? A No Breathing Rule?

Click on the link to read Students are Continually Treated Like Prisoners

Click on the link to read How About Punishing the Students Who do Something Wrong?

Click on the link to read Potty Training at a Restaurant Table!

Click on the link to read Mother Shaves Numbers Into Quadruplets Heads So People Can Tell Them Apart

 

Fired For Challenging an Imperfect System

August 9, 2011

The scariest thing about education today is not that it doesn’t seem to be nearly effective enough, but that those that challenge conventions and think outside the square get castigated for their opinions.

I have a great deal of respect for teachers that do things differently, whether their methods work or not.  Experimentation and ongoing reflection is necessary at a time when curriculums all over the world seem stale and soulless.

Firing a teacher for daring to point out the flaws in our system is not acceptable:

New York City teaching fellow Alice McIntosh is fighting for her job at a District 75 school in the Bronx after receiving unsatisfactory ratings from her supervisor – even though she was given glowing recommendations from parents and peers after her second year of teaching.

“Ms. McIntosh should have gotten an award,” said Theresa Smith, 47, whose daughter Vernisha suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Instead, the experienced educator was fired, she said.

Assistant principal William Green, who gave McIntosh satisfactory ratings during the 2009-10 school year at P10X in Throgs Neck, deemed she was unfit to teach this past school year.

“I asked, ‘Why are you U-rating me?'” McIntosh recalled. “[Green] said, ‘I’m not going to get into that right now. I would suggest in your next job that you be more of a team player.'”

A city Department of Education spokeswoman said she could not comment because she was unable to reach Green.

So what did she get fired for?  Merely pointing out the bleeding obvious:
McIntosh said that, as a literacy teacher at the special-needs school, she openly challenged the curriculum and used books she thought were less outdated.

According to observations during the 2010-11 year by Green, her methods appeared to work.

“The teacher activates prior knowledge and incorporates it into the new lesson…. The teacher conducts an excellent development of lesson with clear expectations,” one review reveals.

But that same review was used as a basis for her poor performance, which charges she flunked in “planning and preparation of work” and “control of class.”

Green also cited grounds for the dismal ratings from the 2009-10 school year – when McIntosh received glowing reviews.

It appears that Ms.McIntosh’s great crime was that she was prepared to do things differently in a system where conformity is expected and change is frowned upon.  You are not considered a team player if you are critical or ignore traditions.

This is what is going to be the result of the stinking teacher evaluations.  Teachers who conform and play it safe will keep their jobs, while teachers who challenge the system and try new things will be given a cardboard box to collect their belongings.


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