Archive for January, 2014

Need for Talent

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

I’m sitting here in a plane somewhere between Atlanta and Kansas City just observing those around me.

There isn’t too much on the ground, well, I’m seeing clouds right now, so there really could be anything down there. Anyway . . .

I teach in a building where we have several students who are bilingual. It amazes me each time I get to watch them translate to their parents for me. I’m also amazed at how they can have conversations on the phone, switching from English to Spanish without stopping. Each time I complement those students on the awesome talent that they have, one that I don’t possess.

Today on my flight there was a couple sitting behind me who don’t know English. When the flight assistant was asking them what they wanted to drink, she wasn’t able to communicate with them and asked for another flight assistant to help out.

I guess what I’m thinking is that I wish students who are lucky (yes, I believe lucky) to have parents who speak one language, yet go to school in English, knew they talent that they have. In our world today there are so many jobs and companies needing these bilingual speakers. However, I see so many of these kids not caring about school and thinking they don’t matter.

What can we do to help them see the need for their talent? What can we do to help them refocus and start to find a job?

I live in a small (about 25,000 people) city, and it isn’t easy for some off these kids to see the need for this. I would love to get them out and really see where their talent can be used.

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Are Kids Dumber?

Posted: January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I was asked by someone in their 80s,  “Do you think kids are getting dumber?”

I sat thinking for a bit on how to answer this question. Are kids getting dumber? Well, I told her that I feel it’s not so much getting dumber, but becoming more lazy. Kids don’t have to memorize anymore.

She went on to tell me that when she was in school they had to memorize a poem every week and on Friday recite it as well as tell what it meant.

I shared how now students still research and tell about poems, but don’t really memorize.

One of my biggest pet peeves is students constantly reaching for their calculator. I shared how students will reach for a calculator when trying to multiply 6 and 7, and I’ll grab it before they have a chance. Kids have become lazy. They don’t have to think.

Yes, technology is great! Yes, students have access to whatever information they want 24/7, most of them in their pockets. Could you imagine carrying a set of encyclopedias, a dictionary, heck, the entire library in your pocket when you were their age?

I think it’s great that students have this access at all times. But does it make them dumber? Does it make them lazy? What is your definition of “dumber”?  What is your definition of “lazy”?

Please share your thoughts so I can share back with others who may have this question.

 

As a final word, when I was titling this, I forgot the “b”. Please don’t let that influence your thinking.

It’s January!?!?!?!?!

Posted: January 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

Alright, to start out, I want to say that I’m not bragging, just making an observation.

Back in August I knew that I was going to heading to Florida in January. What I didn’t know is that I would be going during one of the coldest times in the United States. Take a look at the map of the current temperatures of the country.

Well, I’m down here in southern Florida and if you take a look, it’s in the high 70s here. It’s crazy. I’m from Eastern Kansas and I love my winters and the snow, but I’m delighted to relax and just enjoy some sun.

Being down here one can forget that it’s January 5. You can forget that your friends and family are just freezing.

I hope everyone stays safe and warm. I hope the following picture can help you enjoy some sunshine.

Elementary Thoughts

Posted: January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

A couple of days ago I was getting my haircut. The station next to me had a little boy sitting in the chair. The hair dresser asked him some questions about school. He said he was 8 years old and that he liked Science. The hair dresser started asking him about what he was learning in Science and he said they don’t really have Science.

That troubles me. Science is a hands-on and gets kids excited, but we are so focused on Reading and Mathematics that Science and Social Studies gets pushed aside. I don’t like it. It needs to change.

We also don’t need to make state assessments for the two subjects to see that they are being taught, just teach them. Let students read and do math within those two subjects. We have to get away from Reading and Mathematics and testing constantly and start teaching students everything again.