A few weeks back, the folks at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good blog published an article entitled “Nine Things Educators Need to Know About the Brain.” The article is excerpted from Louis Cozolino’s new book, The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment and Learning in the Classroom. Cozolino, a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, wants educators to know these nine recent insights about the brain…
I may be a bit old fashioned when it comes to my philosophy on education. And while the jury is still out, I do remain uncomfortably curious about what a Common Core future means to young learners. My initial reaction sees a narrowing of the curriculum, and I feel like lodging complaints like an old man subjected to rock and roll music. Get off my lawn, you scamps!
It’s time to do a seasonal check-in. Some of you have had your spring break. Others are still longing for it. Your students are either going stir-crazy from a long winter or they’re distracted by the onset of spring sports and warmer weather. (My apologies to any readers from the southern hemisphere who are enjoying autumn and the coming of winter.)
Regular readers know that math and I get along about as well as oil and water, or perhaps open flames and gasoline. However, I do find it fascinating that the Common Core State Standards have what is called the “Standards for Mathematical Practice.” These are eight types of math expertise teachers should look for in their students—no matter the grade level.
What traits must a teacher have? I asked and you delivered.
The inner-city school in which I taught in Massachusetts was built at the turn of the 20th century. My classroom had a single electrical outlet. And I am fairly certain the building was heated by Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel. A few towns away, where I lived, my sons’ elementary school had opened early in the 21st century. I don’t need to tell you the difference was so vast it could only be measured in light years.
[Were] it not for the gentle prodding of this editor’s editor, my blog posts would be rife with multisyllabic words that might have some among you running either to the dictionary or simply away from the Upper Grades Exchange. So you can imagine how much I enjoyed teaching middle school vocabulary classes! (Ask me sometime about the one occasion when I told my eighth graders it was time for them to go masticate in the cafeteria.)
Meanwhile, as the school year rolls on, some of us need to be refreshed. How do you keep the flame of your passion for teaching burning bright? Inspired by the folks at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley, here are some suggestions…
I’d like to hear from you. Would you provide one, two, or three of the top traits you think every teacher should have? Let’s compile a list and see if we can create the Nearly Perfect Teacher!
We’re just a few days away from Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2, and how are we to mark this special day in English literature when the good doctor is too often thought of as a “wee kiddies” author? Get your upper grades students into the spirit of Seuss not as readers, but as writers!« go back — keep looking »