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Lately, I’ve been dreaming about my students on the Big Island. It must be some withdrawals or nostalgia for the days in the classroom. Memories hit me the hardest because I sift through so much material for work…great material that my mind sometimes still creates “would-be” lesson plans. I guess teaching will always be in my veins.
In any case, this morning at the newsroom, our station was playing an ABC special, highlights from School House Rock. SUCH brilliance.
I’ve pasted the link above, but really, this should have been a part of my lesson plans…
I realized that the good stories were affecting the organs of my body in various ways, and the really good ones were stimulating more than one organ. An effective story grabs your gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race and your lungs pump, brings tears to your eyes or an explosion of laughter to your lips.”
— Christopher Vogler (via observando)
Textbooks are full of useful information and handy to have around when you need to look up a fact. Memorizing facts is not as important as knowing how to ask questions and how to synthesize information to formulate an answer.
When we plan out our courses—and our entire curriculum—we should keep this in mind: How much of the information that we are going to cover do the students really need to know? How much time do we devote to making sure students know when they need a fact and how to look it up? Finally, and most important, do our students know what to do with the facts once they find them?”
In the very act of writing I felt pleased with what I did. There was the pleasure of having words come to me, and the pleasure of ordering them, re-ordering them, weighing one against another. Pleasure also in the imagination of the story, the feeling that it could mean something. Mostly I was glad to find out that I could write at all. In writing you work toward a result you won’t see for years, and can’t be sure you’ll ever see. It takes stamina and self-mastery and faith. It demands those things of you, then gives them back with a little extra, a surprise to keep you coming. It toughens you and clears your head. I could feel it happening. I was saving my life with every word I wrote, and I knew it.”
— Tobias Wolff (via observando)
Let there be mud on your clothes, nails in your boots, ink on your skin, pain deep inside you. Let it grow and don’t be afraid.
Start with your own story.
— Green Witch by Alice Hoffman (via kvtes)
I really love language. I love it for what it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and the delicacies of our existence. And then it allows us to laugh, allows us to show wit. Real wit is shown in language. We need language.”
When an excellent principal is hired at a high-poverty school, time for teacher training and collaboration increases, student test scores rise by 5 to 10 points annually, and ineffective teachers begin to leave—yes, even under today’s often overly restrictive tenure policies. When a good principal departs, the progress unwinds and student achievement drops. In short, principals have a unique power to multiply the effects of good teaching and help close achievement gaps.”
Saw this and immediately thought of how grateful I was to have worked under such an amazing principal. Yes, it does make a huge difference. Even general employment happiness too