I was worried Daughter L was oversleeping today but it turns out it is senior skip day at her school :). I remember my senior skip day, 31 years ago (:() — I played golf. THat was just a few weeks after Jack Nicklaus had surprised the golf world by winning the Masters in his 40s. That was the year I loved golf so much I golfed 3 times a week (walked on as a single on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and I was starting to play well enough that the golf coach asked if I’d consider playing golf, not realizing I was a senior. Funny how much I loved it then – I don’t feel that way at all now. I don’t know how you can have soo much passion for something then none at all.
Whether it is a new strategy, new product or whatever, teaching is really important in Corporate AMerica. But so few corporations are good at actual teaching. They barf up information in an hour or a day, then expect us to learn it on our own. There is no reinforcement, check for understanding, etc. When I taught, I gave what I needed to teach in 10 minutes, spent a period of time reinforcing it, then continued to loop back to it. This never happens in Corporate America. How much productivity is lost by this?
When I was a high school teacher, I tried to lead by example. So, if my students were doing something, I did the same activity. For example, if my students were watching a movie, I watched the movie (even if I’d seen it 100 times before). If my students were working on a class project, I was working with them on the group project (by going group to group and sitting with each group). And if they had silent reading, I read a book too. Never ever did I grade papers or do prep for another class while class was in session (as my mentor teacher said, if I am telling the students something is important but then not doing it myself, I’m sending the wrong message – so i tried to model the same behavior, and I feel like it helped me build bonds with my students). But I am thinking of one time in particular during silent reading, when I was reading along with my students but the book I was reading was hilarious (it might have been Confederacy of Dunces) so I kept chuckling; I noticed (out of the corner of my eye, since a teacher always tries to keep the peripheral vision going for obvious reasons 🙂 ) the students exchanging smiles then one finally said, not unkindly, “We can’t concentrate because you are laughing.” Then the entire class laughed. I loved that moment. It was a tender moment and thinking of it makes me miss my students. Those students were 16 at the time, and would all be in their 30s today. Wild to think about. But that moment is frozen in time in my memory.
I had a vivid dream last night that I’d re-accepted a teaching position at the high school I used to teach at. In the dream, I accepted the position and was teaching Freshman English a few minutes later, but had not yet quit my former job or told Wife M. I was slightly worried about our finances but figured I’d worry about that later. I felt very confident about assuming control in the classroom with no notice, and was explaining to the kids the exciting new changes I would be implementing. It was a very vivid, memorable dream.
According to a CDW study reported in TechEd, 67% of IT Solutions for schools are in the cloud, including email, collaboration applications, Disaster Recovery and Business Apps. This has increased by 42% in 2 years and will continue to rise to almost 75% (from current 67%) over the next 3 years. The primary drivers are improving student performance and instructional time quality, and the largest concerns (budget, security/privacy) are becoming easier to overcome according to school IT folks.
Standing here at the bus stop, beneath a hazy sunrise with literally a silver colored sky above me, I have a momentary understanding of why a poet might write poetry. I feel a rush looking at this, and a poet probably needs to channel that rush. Unfortunately, I am no poet (not really). In college, when I took a poetry writing course to improve my descriptive writing skills, I was obviously a hack when it comes to poetry 🙂
It is game day. All across the country college football players are dressing in their uniforms. But other types of players are dressing today too — for example, the band members (and cheerleaders, etc.). Today son R appeared in his snappy band uniform. He is tall (6’1″) and lean, and looks sharp in his uniform. I hate to say the word proud, but I am happy for him. And I am excited for me. I am as happy — in fact happier, since it is safer — if he were playing on the football team. I was more of the jock, so always thought of sports from the player perspective, and it is fun to see the excitement from the band perspective, too. For him, it is opening day as much as for the players.