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Posted by on in General

 

That turkey is such a show-off, just like the one in this parable. I love teaching with parables, stories which illustrate moral or religious lessons. Here's a grand one, just in time for holiday family, friends and fun. And there is a moral to look for.

Turkey and Parrot, A Thanksgiving Parable 

I hope you enjoy this simple little, yet super funny story, perfect for your Thanksgiving festivities. Traditionally my family has always shared stories, our thanks of course, made plenty of toasts, and I always wrote plays for the kids.

Once in awhile we found something really fun to share at the table; this one came to me a long time ago from a friend, then I recently sourced it to a book called “All Kinds of Humor”, 2012, so after revision, I am re-posting. The author Dennis Clark wrote it in 1996. Maybe it's familiar to you, there were a couple variations. Anyway, here goes. Get your grin on, and maybe some life lesson may pop into your head. 

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Posted by on in General

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On Optimism:

 

As a cancer survivor, I can assure you that the only

thing that saved me was a small voice inside of me that

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Just my Opinion, but….

JUST SAY NO to standardized testing. It’s time. Right before elections it’s turning into a political football, local, state and federal. At the national level, the leap to ‘for profit’ schools, slaps us into the face of reality.

Tests. Lower the bar, fix or dump the tests? A conundrum. Is the bar too high? If no kids can reach that bar, what’s next? Same thing, same results, right? Or what? Is this the way to judge schools, teachers and children’s future success in our changing landscape? Does rigor insure academic success? I think not.

Something is more than a little off kilter, the ship is going out to sea in the wrong direction. In fact, we are bailing water out of this boat. New ship needed! Let’s stop being on the Titanic, rearranging deck chairs.

Because I am an optimistic person by nature, and always see the good in things, or nearly, I am confident we can turn the tide here, as a collective voice. Because policy makers usually have not been teachers, or even spent any time in a classroom, the new wave of teacher educators running for political office at all levels is heartening.

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Posted by on in General

Celebrate your freedom to read. Read a banned book! That's right, celebrate your freedom to read. It's an important freedom, and it's protected by the First Amendment. Celebrate the right to read which books we choose. Censorship is censorship. There's a fine line between challenged and banned books. Sometimes it's fine and, sometimes not.

Banned Books Week, promoted by the American Library Association and Amnesty International reminds us freedom is not easily maintained. We must retain our ability to think, reason and have access to thoughts different from our own.

Banned Books Week, Sept. 23-29 '18, is really about perspective. What you think is offensive, may not offend me, and vice-versa; who decides? I mean, who decides what we can read, as children and later as adults?

Books are still being banned. In 2018! Really. As of this writing, I have not been able to find a simple definitive figure for the number of books challenged and banned this year, on the ALA website, which I find disappointing. 

Well, in truth, the law actually already decided this very issue. Based on the First Amendment, librarians may not restrict any materials; in regard to children, only parents may do so. In Texas v. Johnson, ('89) Justice William J. Brennan gave this opinion: "If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea solely because society finds that the idea itself is offensive or disagreeable..."  

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Posted by on in Literacy

 

THIS. I read that 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills. One in five adults, two thirds of them, women. Not so bad, or staggering, depending on our perspective. Sobering, 60.7 million children are out of school and more drop out. Is this acceptable? As a nation of readers, we believe that the joy of reading is a joy forever. But we know, that reading generally leads to better jobs and ability to cope with an ever changing political and social environment.

There are several kinds of literacy, perhaps we are considering math, science and other disciplines. For my purposes here, let's stay with the notion of literacy as being able to read, write and master basic language needed for daily life.

However, Literacy Day actually casts a wider net, celebrating advances and needs remaining in math, digital competency, technical skills and softer skills needed for success in today's rapidly changing economy and every day world of work.

Today, September 8th is International Literacy Day, or World Literacy Day. In 1966 United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Sept. 8th each year as International Literacy Day, focusing on literacy for all. First celebrated in 1967, the day highlights the need for literacy in many facets of daily life.

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