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Showing posts from February, 2015

Snow Day!!

In spite of the fact that I would rather have sunshine and rising temperatures, I was so delighted to have a snow day today.  After I received the call, I informed the two teenagers in my house who happily grunted.  Then, I gleefully jumped back into bed.  After a brief doze, I got up and ate waffles.

Let's read the paper!  Do you want to play Wii?  Can we go sledding?

Had today been a normal Tuesday, I would not have had these options.  Part of me felt guilty for saying yes to all of the above.  And for making hot chocolate, taking a brisk walk through the neighborhood and watching TV.  The truth is, I had lots to do.  The reporting cycle ends soon, I am working to tweak the school schedule with a committee and the summer program I run needs some attention.

The guilt eventually gave way to productivity.  I had intermittent fun all day - which allowed my brain to just take off.  I saw new solutions, got new ideas and, in the end, had a productive day.

I spent a lot of time wonde…

I Don't Shine If You Don't Shine

Blogging is a selfish act.  I blog for myself.  While it pleases me when others read and comment on my blog, I write because it helps me make sense of the day, my students, my plans and what really matters in life.

Teaching can be selfish, too, if we are not careful.  Sometimes teachers can get wrapped up in the lesson, the need to be in charge, or a desire to be in control and forget that teaching is really about the student.

My brother is dyslexic, only he never bothered to tell anyone until he was an adult.  He is also creative and hilarious - a combination that can be disruptive to traditional classrooms.  Not that long ago, he told me a story about when he was in 1st or 2nd grade.  It was the first week of school and he was nervous.  He was trying to make sure the pencil fit in the groove at the top of the desk when it fell.  He picked it up, but it fell again.  After about the third drop, the teacher noticed.  She was annoyed and said something like, "I guess we all have t…

How do we measure success?

A student had to take an standardized assessment today.  He ended up with the highest score of the day.  We fought about it off and on.  "Why do we have do do this?," he asked.  "I'm gonna fail," he said.

I wasn't sure how to answer the first question in way that either of us was comfortable with.  But I was certain that he was wrong about the second.

Fortunately for both us, we had lots of flexibility in terms how long he needed to finish.  We stopped and started a few times.  In the end, I had to persuade him that he had done well.

I accept the need for having to take a standardized test every now and then.   I accept that progress matters.  But as the teacher of students who work super hard, but sometimes their effort doesn't translate to a high scores, I wonder.  How do we measure success?   As a hard core perfectionist and the mom of two hard core perfectionists, I wonder.  How do we measure success?

From either perspective, today's exercise …