Blue Serials (October 4th, 2015)
Fall is falling, teachers keep teaching, life keeps doing whatever life does, and even though bloggers are bloggering, you may have missed something good this week.
No worries, my Eleven Faithful Followers (#11FF) - I'm here with essential highlights and thoughtful framings. I do this to serve you, the reader - and... it helps reduce the amount of new content I actually have to create myself to keep this blog active.
What, you think I got nothin' better to do than sit around blogging all day? Some of us WORK for a living over here!
Part One: Painful Realities
"On Standardized Testing" by Olivia Fantini - if you don't know @ButtonPoetry, you should fix that immediately. Oh such speakifying!
School District Size; School District Spending – Rick Cobb's OkEducationTruths is required reading in #oklaed. Here he breaks down the latest babble-slander from the idealogues against public education, analyzing them with such clarity even I mostly understand. My personal favorite moment: "I’m no economist. I’m just an administrator who wrote his dissertation over Oklahoma school district expenditures, with a focus on economies of scale and diseconomies of scale. If you were one of the 12 people who read it, you would’ve been dazzled with passages such as this: ....... Ok, none of it was really exciting. It’s a dissertation." If you don't follow @okeducation on the Twitters, you're a big stinky doo-doo head who doesn't care about the children.
Will The Real Ms. Smith Please Stand Up? - Mindy D of This Teacher Sings continues her reality-sharing regarding #oklaed teacher pay by sharing some of the reactions and feedback prompted by her previous post on the subject. It's not whining if it truly hurts; we're losing teachers who want to be in the classroom for all the best reasons, but end up in either other states or other professions over selfish things like protein, or not getting their kids' entire wardrobes from Goodwill. Best quote: "'Teachers aren’t in it for the money,' they say. They’re right. We aren’t... But we didn’t take a vow of poverty." Follow @MrsDSings on the Twitters. Play nice and she might even follow you back.
The EdReformers Stratagem - Rob Miller at A View From The Edge may be giving in to the dark side. One of the most positive, reasonable voices of #oklaed, it's almost disorienting how bluntly he calls out pseudo-#edreform, mis-funding, and faux accountability from high places. Is the bizarre clusterfoolery of recent years merely laying the groundwork for a larger narrative of public school failure and teacher apathy in order to justify a new edu-order? Surely not... it's inconceivable in this day and age that we'd allow our economic or political leaders to manufacture or distort crises in order to justify their self-interested maleficence! Follow @edgeblogger on the Twitters for more crazy conspiracy theories which oh-my-god-are-probably-true.
Part Two: It's All About The *sniff* CHILDREN...
5 Ways To Make Homework Meaningful and Manageable - Angela Stockman on Brilliant or Insane does such a nice job of 'slap you around' attention-getting without becoming that annoying lady from out-of-state who led that horrible PD day in your district awhile back and you all made fun of at lunch. Here she challenges the value of some types of homework without making me roll my eyes. I'm still so totally edu-crushing on her. Follow Stockman ("May I Call You 'Angie'?") on the Twitters at @AngelaStockman and ask her if she likes me back - check 'yes' or 'no'.
The Energy Cost and the Power of Empathy - P.L. Thomas, aka The Becoming Radical, can be mighty insightful for someone with so many degrees. He makes a very accessible case for introvert awareness - it's not being 'soft' on kids to recognize when more volume, more people, more activity, isn't the yee-haw for some of us it might be for the majority. As a long-time shunner-of-groups myself, I very much appreciate his message. Follow @plthomaEdD on the Twitters - but don't take it personally if he slides away to recharge from time to time.
Students Should Be Able To Show What They Know (?) - "There is a huge difference between 'How do I figure out if this student understands?' and 'How do I make this student prove to me he gets it?' The first is a valuable approach; the second is the first step on the road toward wasting everybody's time... The more we demand that students put on a show to prove to us that they Know Stuff, the more we will design artificial tasks that demand a set of skills and knowledge entirely different from the skills and knowledge we really want to measure." Pith, thy name is Peter Greene of Curmudgucation. No wonder he can publish a blog anyone can read for free anytime, and still I gladly bought several hard copies of his book - Curmudgucation: What Fresh Hell. So should you. At the very least, follow @palan57 on the Twitters. You'll be a better person for it.
We opened with @ButtonPoetry, and we'll finish there as well. I never get tired of this one. I say with no irony and only minimal humor that if I could help my students become pelicans, I could die knowing we won. That they won. That it worked.
Justin Lamb - "The Pelicans" (*language warning*)