Thursday, February 23, 2006


I cannot believe the people that I get to work with. I am amazed by what you all do on a daily basis. Walking by your classes and seeing you with the students I am reminded about why we do what we do. I consider it a great privlidge to work at this school, on this team, in this department and to call all of you my friends.

Thank you for what you do for me and the kids!


Well, I did not think that it would happen. I am going to Japan this summer. I tied my application to the blogging process. What I mean by that is I am going to try to:

1) Use the blog as a journal for my experience.
2) Use my class blogs next fall as a way for my students to experience education in Japan.
3) Keep open lines with the people that I meet on this trip through the blog.

I am not sure what the trip really looks like.....

I am not sure what the blog will look like....

I think this is what my students are feeling when I give some of these assignments. I guess that the teacher can be a life-long learner also.

Friday, February 17, 2006


When will we get to this point?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


"Don't count crayons......Just color" -Mark Sharenbroich

At the assembly today, the students heard a lot about choosing their own path in life. It involves living and loving and not losing the joy of learning. It seems that this talk fits right in with the things that we are trying to "fix" in education. I am going to start thinking of this as an educational improvement group and not a reform. I am not even sure if the CIT group (from the grants) is actually a reformation group. It seems like more often, I am trying to tweak the things that I am doing in the classroom and not totally redoing them. I need to try to focus on the positive a little more.

In the book Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi states:
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to
its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and
worthwhile. [3]

...optimal experiences add up to a sense of mastery - or perhaps better, a
sense of participation in determining the content of life - that comes as close
to what is usually meant by happiness as anything else we can conceivable
imagine. [2]

What I seem to be trying to do in my classroom is figure out what the "flow" should be.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."

How can we get students and teachers to actively seek what they truly find imporant and enjoyable? When there are so many students in one class, that have different interests and abilities, can we reach them all?

The students that I talked to today said that they see me as the type of person who does not "count the number of crayons but just likes to color". If I can get my students to start thinking this way then I think I am changing the eduactional system for the better. If students seek what makes them happy in their studies then that is where I hope they will be at this point of the journey (I choose not to call high school the "end" of the journey but it is just another point on the map).

So, I will continue to try to figure out how to get the students to be the captain and driver of their own ship while I serve as the mechanic. Needless to say, I will continue to find ways to make school enjoyable for students and try to reignite the fire that they had when they raised their hands in first grade.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Back At "It".

Okay, after a week of non-posting, I have recovered and am back at it.

This past week was interesting.

On Monday, I returned to my classes after sending them to the computer lab, with a sub, to investigate the bonding of atoms in molecules. Even with guided questions and web page suggestions, they did not spend much time trying to figure out the material for themselves. They even asked if they were going to " get points" for doing the activity. (ARRGH!!!) Will this be easier if I start it earlier with them?

In lab, I watched a lot of copying and not much comprehension.

Test on Friday. Same results as last year. New methods tried. Refinement needed in lessons. Will I figure this out? I mean the constructivist approach to science education. Is there an "Idiots Guide To" out there? Will students continue to ask me to teach them the material that is in the text? I understand that they might need clarification but "spoon feeding"? I mean come-on.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


So, I set up a computer activity for Friday. My only concern is that there will be a sub here. I know that the kids that are doing the activity should have no problems but I still worry. I wonder if this will get better as I have them do more of their own learning? I know that this just another something new and it will go fine but I sill wonder.