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Showing posts from April, 2014

Serving Others Still A Constant In The Changing World of Education

With so much changing and evolving daily in education, as well as the world as a whole, we are naturally also looking for the constants. What are things that will seemingly always be relevant to the success of those working in and experiencing EDUCATION?

     I was recently reminded of one of those constants. It’s really one of the foundational themes for those that work in education. This is the idea that we are SERVANTS. Our mission, our passion, our purpose and our calling have to be based on the overall idea of serving others. Education is a service-oriented endeavor.

     With educators, or anyone working in education, this appears to be the simple dividing line. Educators and employees of educational institutions who view themselves as serving others tend to be more successful, happy, respected and fulfilled. Those that often get in trouble (moral or legal indiscretions), or whom have large amounts of dissatisfaction, tend to be those that have forgotten whom they se…

It's Simple....Make School More Real

A number of years ago, a science teacher colleague of mine asked an elegantly direct, but poignant question. He said, “Why can’t all school be more like sports and performing arts?

     At first, I thought he was just referring to the engagement aspects. In addition to those huge advantages, he was also referring to assessment aspect.

    Why did sports and performing arts work so well for so many students? The answer is that they were REAL.

     Yes, they had to practice or rehearse, but there was the game or the performance. There was a real assessment in the end. The result of the game, concert, show, production or performance was understood by all; including participants and spectators. That’s right, the assessment was not only REAL, but it was public. And being public makes it more REAL right?
     So, are sports and performing arts the only areas in school that are traditionally REAL? No, but they are probably the most universal and easily recognizable. But think ab…

Students Have Only Gotten Better, Not Worse - We Should Quit Blaming Them

As an educator, it has always bothered me when another educator makes blanket negative or critical proclamations along the lines of “students are just lazier than when we were in school” or “students are not interested in learning or working.”

     Indeed, I have also been bothered when people from one generation make fun of a younger one just because things are different or have changed. As an example, the older generation is always disgusted with the younger generation’s music, dancing, clothing styles and more. This is normal and predictable.

     But when it comes to education, these types of statements or ways of thinking are more damaging and dangerous. Teachers should know better. Are students often lazy, unmotivated, uninterested, disengaged and even seemingly apathetic? Sure, they are. Were we not the same when we were students? If one’s memory is lost, then let me reassure you that we all were lazy, unmotivated, uninterested, disengaged and even seemingly apatheti…