A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My mantra for the school year next is...


So, I am in my classroom working on cleaning and curriculum.

Many of you will say, ewwww.

However, I like being in my classroom.

It's quiet. It's where all my toys are. There is a focus I have here that I can't replicate anywhere else. It is also place with great memories. I love musicals and saw a great production from Music Theater Wichita last night. (BTW-if you are in the ICT area, go see the show!) I like performing and so sometimes play the 'what if' game after a show. Last night, I played the game for a few minutes but then reminded myself that, while I like performing, I love teaching. I love what I do and the kids I teach and the parents and staff I work with. Is everything perfect? No. But love? yes.

As I was going through files today, I was watching a documentary on Bill Watterston, creator of Calvin and Hobbes. The trailer for the documentary is below, its website, here.


I have to admit that Calvin and Hobbes is my second favorite comic strip, after The Far Side. However, that might be more timing that anything else, The Far Side came out when I was still in school; I wouldn't really see Calvin and Hobbes until after the anthology books came out in the early 90s. My favorite The Far Side cartoon, you ask? (We'll take this rabbit trail because it has a story behind it.)
Ok, when I was in college I wrote a paper about hell. I contacted the folks that owned the license to Gary Larson's work and they gave me permission to add his hell-themed cartoons in my paper. I had to properly cite the cartoons, which I think impressed the professor as much as my erudite thoughts on the hot place bad people go. Another hell The Far Side you ask for, ok...

You're welcome.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post...

The Calvin and Hobbes cartoon you see above is the last one to appear in newspapers in on New Years Eve, 1995. The documentary does a nice job of analyzing Watterson and the strip so I will leave it to them, but I was struck by this strip not as an ending, but a beginning.

Let's go exploring.

Isn't that what edumacation is? At its core?

There have been a lot of discussion in my circles about outcomes. What do we want kids to be able at the end of the school year. What content do they need to know? What skills do they need to possess? What is appropriate developmentally? What best prepares them for their next step in a college preparatory school? These are all fair questions and I like that we are discussing them. However, in these discussions, I need to remember that I learn best when I am motivated and curious and fearless. So do my young charges.

As I go through files and look at what I'll teach next school year, I have that cartoon on my white board as a reminder.

Let's go exploring.


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