Search This Blog

27 June 2011

Bootycams! Really?

There is a retailer in California that has installed cameras in dressings rooms allowing customers to see their "rear views".
I'm sure a producer will soon latch on to this and assemble a celebrity panel to rate each view.
The American public, of course, will have the final vote in selecting each week's winner.
First the people of Wal-Mart, now this.
Why not put cameras in classrooms. I'm serious. Law enforcement has successfully utilized video to decrease litigation costs and improve training for their officers.
Let's start using these technological advances to better the education of our youth and create learning opportunities for educators.
Out with the Bootycams, in with the Classroomcams!

Greg Schnagl

15 February 2011

Fund the Art of Inquiry

It was hard to diagram the direction my questions would lead the lesson on contractions with 'not'. My student teacher understood, but I was more confused then when I started. I realized how important it is to train new teachers how to question. Lawyers are taught and provided many hours of written and oral practice. Investigators are trained in the art of interrogation. Counselors of all genres are provided with instruction in using the right question at the right time delivered in the right way to solicit a given response.
Yet, teachers, tasked with eliciting specific thoughts within our students each an every day, are not taught how and when to ask questions. We are told of the taxonomy and given lists of action verbs to begin our statements, but nothing regarding inquiry.
Not all the issues with education today are related to budgets. I believe many are related to preservice and inservice training opportunities.
Professional development in the creation of more effective educators is the key.
Quality spending before increased allocations, I say!
Educate the educator in the areas of greatest impact on student learning.
Learning how to formulate and administer a deliberate sequence of questions is one of the areas we should be funding in earnest.

09 February 2011

Do Not Teach, Educate

After nearly twenty years in the business, my hope is that I will not be remembered as a teacher. To teach is to cause to know. It is delivered in single servings void of context. Applications are prescribed.

In contrast, to educate is to persuade to discover. To guide a student to self prescribed application. It is to cause to analyze, to synthesize, to inquire.

In my next twenty years, it is my hope that I will be remembered as an educator.

02 February 2011

The Sun

What a difference the sun makes. 
I opened the blinds in my classroom and all the sunflowers turned their heads and soaked it in. 
I simultaniously felt more relaxed and invigorated. 
So refreshing to see the sunlight.
What a difference that sun makes.

01 February 2011

Excused Reservation

I've spent the last year focusing on sharing my opinions more frequently and without solicitation. Yet, I still grapple with the concepts of self-promotion and dialogue generation. My pov on self-promotion is that its intent is for self gain. Whereas with dialogue generation you are sharing personal anecdotes to support your opinion thus stimulating conversation among those present. It is a gift with the only intent being that of a continued exchange.
In sharing my opinion in various settings I still limit myself. I govern the back story, summarize the plot or leave out important details.
I find excuses to act with reservation.
Am I just being polite or am I short changing the recipient of my ideas.
Do I decide for them to heed my ideas as credible?
What am I so afraid of?