Monthly Archives: June 2011

Grease and other summer movies-

My school age students (k-12) are visibly relaxing this week- are yours?  June always reminds me of the importance we place on ritual: tests, final projects, exams, reports and ceremonies.  One of my rituals is to get out a stack of movies that are set in a school, and just indulge in a few, and remind myself how Hollywood simultaneously manages to glamorize the teaching profession while bashing administrators and capturing the essence of why so many of us do teach- ’cause the students are great!  The students are great even when getting into trouble, talking back, periodically dropping out, and behaving nastily towards each other.

This past year I have been both administrator and teacher, and the two hats require quite a bit of juggling.  As I prepare for summer students I find myself wondering why I so enjoy teaching through the summer- the pleasant weather? the students appearing less pressured? the knowledge I have that, with longer days, students will get it all done within the shorter time frame?  Yes and one more- the fact that the preparation will have its effect long-term, and that as each student grows toward his/her “eureka” moment, the maturing, which inevitably takes place over the summer weeks, will also result in a better use of time over the upcoming fall/winter-school year.

Hope everyone manages a little bit of romance, a little bit of change, a whole lot of learning, and the chance to grow, like the flowers and the grass and trees, upwards …

Best wishes as always-

Are you really, really, really good at what you do?

     Are you really, really, really good at what you do?  DO you remember how, when young, repetition of words for emphasis brought the meaning home?  I was reminded of this by a student whose questioning about repetition throughout an essay had me jump up and find some strong examples of when and how an author effectively repeats a thesis, the theme, or even a symbol to keep the reader focused on the author’s purpose.  Why then are so many of us hesitant to use this technique?  Instead of scrounging around for a hundred different ways to say the same thing, focus on a clear way of describing and discussing your main point. If you highlight your thesis statement as you work on your essay, your writing will become more focused and your argument contained.  TRY it- then practice- and become really, really, really good at what you do-

  Achieve Learning Ideals- work with Ali  call 647 348 8436