Time Flies

julio

One drawback to having children later in life.

Advertisements

Balanced Diet

balanced

Have you seen the stuff our students eat? There is no actual food in many of their choices. Kids need a healthy, balanced diet to function properly. Let’s encourage healthy choices and teach them about fat and calories now. The obesity epidemic shows no sign of slowing!

Figure Modeling

nude

Why won’t anyone criticize the stretch pants trend? The students are coming to school NUDE. Someone asserted that if a student came to school nude with a painted-on outfit, probably no one would say anything.

I don’t think the dress code actually says students must wear clothing to school. Maybe the dress code is written so that the description of stretch pants is within the acceptable parameters. Maybe people are afraid to say anything because they don’t want to be accused of being perverts. Maybe no one wants to inhibit anyone’s self-expression. Maybe people fear the consequences of the women’s rights movement. But someone needs to say something because kids should not be sexualized. School is for learning and the dress code should encourage this. Also, these pants are nasty. Maybe they’re a health hazard or something.

The issue isn’t that the larger students are wearing them. It doesn’t matter to me if the student is in good physical shape or not. I don’t think people should wear stretch pants if their shirt does not cover the derriere. It’s not appropriate for a school setting. As someone once said, “Fabric wasn’t meant to stretch that far.”

 

Attitude Matters

cant do this

I try not to get upset when students do not fulfill their potential. I try not to take it personally when they make poor decisions. But not many things irk me more than a student who is perfectly capable of doing an assignment who gives up and does not even try. My own children are not allowed to say “can’t.” Really, they get punished for saying those words. Attitude matters.

Olympic Singles Whining

whining

I was thinking: what sport should be added to the Olympics that my students could do well — even medal — in? If whining were an Olympic sport, high school students would dominate. Of course, I would probably qualify, too.

Do Your Job

how can i do my jon

What if you worked at a company that designed, produced, and distributed software? The company would have designers, engineers, manufacturers, a distribution chain, etc. What would happen if the designers didn’t submit a design? Or the engineers didn’t bother to write the code? What if the manufacturer didn’t feel like manufacturing the product, or someone along the distribution chain had a bad day? People would get fired, or the company would fail and everyone would lose their job.

A teacher is paid to teach. If a teacher requires students to read so they can do a lesson the next day, like a discussion or activity, then what should the teacher do if the students don’t read? Many people would say, just read it to them. The argument is that students are not capable of reading on their own — they won’t do it, they can’t understand it on their own, or it won’t interest them. (Better just to let the benevolent rulers interpret the laws and rules because the common people lack the education and expertise to understand on their own. We will just tell you what it says and means, don’t hurt yourself trying to think!) Even if the teacher did do this, it takes a long time to read a book aloud.

Well, maybe the teacher can “dumb it down” without calling it “dumbing it down.” Here are some chapter summaries, or here is an important passage to read, or — here, let me tell you what happened so you don’t need to do anything on your own. That’s kind of like college where you never had to read the homework because the professor just summarized it all and gave you organized notes on it the next day. I’ve tried to entice students into reading by giving them part of the story in class and leaving off at a point of great interest or climax to try to build up suspense, but the next day no one ended up looking in the book; they just wanted me to tell them the answer.

How about quizzes or cloze activities or a graphic organizer? How about working with a partner or a team? How about an open-book assignment so they can just look up the section in class? The bottom line is, no matter what you plan for the next day, you won’t be able to do the activity if it depends on students reading. Or maybe it’s just me…