One of the occasional re-posting of posts I wrote over a decade ago that I find to be still applicable. A sense of Hope is one of the most crucial factors in preparing all learners for their future.
from early 2007...
Growing up in the 70's in Wheeling, WV there were not many options when it came to listening to the radio, and they were pretty well limited to the AM side of the dial. There was a country station and a couple of pop stations; occasionally when the weather was just right, you could pick up an FM station or two from Pittsburgh and hear some "good" music.
One of the things I discovered upon moving to Texas was Willie Nelson. I was listening to one of my Willie cds this morning and this song just grabbed my attention. Here is the second verse and chorus:
I married Rebecca back in '77
And I still love her, and I guess
she loves me too
We go to church on Sundays
'cause we want to go to Heaven
Me and my family, ain't that how
you're supposed to do
But, I'm tired, Lord, I'm tired
Life is wearin' me smooth down to the bone
No rest for the weary, you just move on
And I'm tired, Lord, I'm tired.
I think Willie describes a world without a real sense of hope, and certainly a world where the idea of an abundant life doesn't exist. In the life he describes, you do the best you can to fulfill your duties and responsibilities, and hope it was good enough to earn a reward. How many people wear themselves down struggling through life with little or no sense of hope?
Grateful living is important in the world because in our constant pursuit of more and better we can easily lose sight of the riches that lay right in front of us and within us. ~ Guri Mehta
A final New Year reflection - I've chosen Gratitude as my #OneWord2019. (Last year's was Courage) As defined by Wikipedia, "Gratitude, thankfulness, or gratefulness, from the Latin word gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’, is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/or similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, favors, or other types of generosity"
Robert Emmons, a leading researcher on gratitude, argues that gratitude has two key components:
Research indicates there are a number of benefits to developing an attitude of gratitude, some of which are described in the following video.
I live a life of abundance - family, material blessings, work that matters, co-workers who inspire, health, and too many opportunities to count; I choose to be grateful.
May not seem obvious, but another New Year reflection...a post I wrote in July, 2006...
The major league all-star game was held in Pittsburgh tonight and fittingly, Roberto Clemente was honored. Clemente, one of my boyhood heroes, played for the Pirates from the mid 50's until 1972. He died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve, 1972 while taking supplies to the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. Clemente was a great player, a hero both on and off the field. He was known for playing the game of baseball with a great passion that could only be matched by his unrelenting commitment to making a difference in the lives of those in need.
I grew up a Pirates fan and remember countless nights lying in bed listening to Bob Prince and Nellie King announce the Pirate games on the radio. My favorites were Clemente, Bill Mazeroski (who escorted Vera Clemente onto the field to receive tonight's award), and Willie Stargell. I was 14 when Clemente died, and will always remember the moment when I learned of his death. I had a paper route at that time, and had decided to deliver the New Year's Day papers before I went to bed so I wouldn't have to get up early to deliver them the next morning. The truck dropped off my bundle of papers around 1 am and there was the headline: Clemente Plane Missing. The next day the news was confirmed; we had lost a hero.
In 1973 baseball began awarding the annual Roberto Clemente award to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. Tonight baseball remembered a true hero.
As lists and resolutions abound at this time of year I choose to reflect on 2 sets of life guidelines from authors that have been influential in my life - Robert Fulghum and Max Lucado...
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put thngs back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
– Love God more than you fear hell.
_ Once a week, let a child take you on a walk.
– Make major decisions in a cemetery.
– When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
– Succeed at home first.
– Don’t spend tomorrow’s money today.
– Pray twice as much as you fret.
– Listen twice as much as you speak.
– Only harbor a grudge when God does.
– Never outgrow your love of sunsets.
– Treat people like angels; you will meet some and help make some.
– ‘Tis wiser to err on the side of generosity than on the side of scrutiny.
– God has forgiven you; you’d be wise to do the same.
– When you can’t trace God’s hand, trust his heart.
– Toot your own horn and the notes will be flat.
– Don’t feel guilty for God’s goodness.
– The book of life is lived in chapters, so know your page number.
– Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.
– Live your liturgy.
To sum it all up:
Approach life like a voyage on a schooner. Enjoy the view. Explore the vessel. Make friends with the captain. Fish a little. And then get off when you get home.
-- Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm
For the immediate future, what we can best tell about the most effective teachers is that they will help students most by accentuating facilitation of the thinking, problem solving processes that help them learn how-to- learn.
So ends the 2-part article The Changing Roles of Teachers by Stronge, Grant, and Xu.
One of the first things you'll note about any classroom management strategy, whether it includes a focus on technology or not, is that it really is a good classroom management strategy no matter what's happening in that classroom.
So begins the instruction in the video Classroom Management in a Technology Infused Classroom by the Waukesha Tech Integration Team.
The article How Deeper Learning can Create a New Vision for Teaching lists the following competencies when defining Deeper Learning:
A watershed moment for me occurred at the annual ISTE conference several years ago when I heard Ian Jukes relate Moore's Law to what he described as the "exponential rate of change" in educational technology. I was able to let go of the concept that I had to keep up with all the new tools and devices.
The exponential rate of change also applies to the amount of information/content in the world. Clearly, the role of teacher as source of content is no longer applicable - if it ever was. But the role of teacher is still significant in the learning process. This quote from Jenny Pieratt's article in a recent edition of ASCD's Education Update sums it up well: For a new PBL adopter, this instruction may look pretty similar to what was done traditionally—perhaps a science lab, maybe a mini-lesson or short lecture, or even a video or webquest. It is my observation that with more experience designing and facilitating PBL we begin to see less traditional, "stand and deliver" approaches to instruction, but that shift is hard, and we need to give teachers the time and space to let go of the things they behold. As they become copilots to students' deeper learning, teachers will undoubtedly become more committed to nontraditional teaching practices, but we need to be sure they experience success first. Avoiding anarchy by upholding their important role in the process of learning is crucial!