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?
I taught high school for only a few years, but lost three students along the way. One died of suicide (which was perhaps the worst day of my life), one died of a freak illness and another died in a hiking incident. It has been nearly 20 years, but rarely a week goes by that I don’t think of them and feel for them. I can still see and hear each of them, and I will (barring brain damage) never forget them.
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.
Drove Son R to his band today. Usually he busses, but sometimes on Saturday mornings he asks for a ride, and since traffic is light early on Saturdays and since it gives me 20 minutes to hang out with him, I don’t mind and in many ways enjoy it. Today, in the car ride, I asked, “What is something that someone like me who has never been in marching band wouldn’t know about marching band? Give me some inside scoop on something that is interesting that I wouldn’t know.”
He said each instrument group tends to have a particular personality type. He said that is true in all marching bands he has been in, so it seems to be universal. For example, trombone players tend to be a little crazy (as in class clown crazy). And trumpet players have strong egos. And drummers tend to be wild and noisy. And flute players are introverted. And many horn players (e.g. French horn, melophone) are easygoing. He said its funny because often the type of person you’d think being in an instrument group is often true. It is not completely universal (i.e. exceptions) but that is a general trend he has noticed…
That reminds me of when I was teaching, and how different class periods and classes and class groups would have distinct personalites. I always thought that Debate classes were (surprise!) boisterous, English classes (assigned general requirements classes) were bored/apathetic, and Film Study had the students hoping for an easier credit 🙂 For high schoolers, first period tended to be a little more quiet and sixth period a little more distracted. I had to take into account time of day, and class personalities (i.e. each class had a separate personality, often influenced by just one or two students, so if they were gone the classs was vastly different) when I planned out my lessons, which I generally did a week in advance. I also tried to keep an ear out, so if I was planning a major project for the students and overheard that they had other major projects in other classes, I’d postpone or adjust the proejct so as not to overload them. That was a lesson I learned (the hard way) my first year teaching, to not overburden students – I got more loyalty and better results when I took into account what their overall workload was…
When I taught, I taught block periods, meaning I had kids for 90+ minutes at a time. I loved it, as it gave me a lot of time to build flow and to incorporate different things into a single class. Plus, it also gave a natural life-like flow to class versus a choppiness, and one of the great benefits to that is I got a chance ot know my classes and students better on a human level. Also, one of the things I learned the hard way was that every single day the lesson or class activity had to be interesting, *especially* in a block class, or I was screwed (teens forced to sit through a boring lesson for 90 minutes can do interesting things to keep themselves occupied, especially when a non-intimidating teacher like me is in front of the class 🙂 ). Anyway, one of things i loved was having an idea the night before, and incorporating it into the next day’s lesson. For example, in Stranger Things there were a lot of allusions to various 1980s films including ET. So what I might do if I were teaching English today was show 2 minutes of the bike scene from ET and then 2 minutes from the bike scene of STranger Things, then ask the students to compare the two. I would then explain that this was a type of allusion, that Stranger Things was alluding to (or pointing to or borrowing from) ET; there is a 10% chance a student would ask about allusion versus pirating, which could lead to interesting conversation and a secondary/smaller lesson. I always found that video – even just a 2 minute clip was a great way to teach the less tangible concepts in literature like symbolism, theme, allusion, etc. Inevitably when I did this there would be one or two C or D students who would say, “Oooohhhh.” Anyway, I always loved moments like that, where I could quickly illustrate something with an interesting or fresh medium in less than 10 minutes. I miss those moments 🙂
Dexter’s sister looked up to Lunde. She liked him, and respected him. She was learning from him. So I was disappointed when he slept with her. No, I’m not disappointed in the script/writing – if anything, it would be expected. But I am disappointed in the character. Maybe it is my teaching background, but when I mentor a young woman, especially one who works for me, I’d never defile that special relationship with sex. I feel like people need safe relationships, one where they don’t have to worry about sex, and a mentor/mentee relationship is a special one that in particular needs to stay away from that.