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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Days Before the Day Before...

Rock-em Sock-em: The 'ideal' of America in conflict with the reality we have to live in.
As I headed into my classroom, I left my sons at home asleep this morning for probably the last time this summer. Our first report day as a teacher was last week and we had a couple good in-service day. For those of you who think that there is no such animal as a good in-service, I have seen one and I refuse to settle for less in the future. Day one had a speaker from Washington University, Jill Stratton. She talked about flow. Flow is the idea around working at high capacity--in the zone, if you will. She was high energy and engaging and what she had to say resonated with the staff.

The next day, we talked about learning modes and differentiation. For the non-teachers thinking of hari kari, think about the way you learn best. Do you understand things better when you see things; when you touch them; or when you hear them? Learning modes and differentiation is all about helping students learn in their best manner. Its also about helping them develop skills to adapt when their best mode isn't the mode being used. The presenter, Rick Reed, is a teacher in McPherson, Kansas. He is high energy, has a great sense of humor and has an interesting resume. He is a Madison Fellow who teaches AP Government, but went back to get a Special Education certification so he could be a better teacher. He teaches AP in a manner that is intriguing. I've already made plans to visit his classroom to watch him in his natural habitat. he did something I hadn't seen, before. He got teachers on the second day of an in-service to play at three in the afternoon. they were fully engaged. My colleagues are passionate about their crafts and want to be the best teachers they can be, but day two of an in-service is usually grueling; it was the most engaged I've seen from a school training ever. Impressive.

Friday was the Ice Cream Social. Kids received their schedule, decorated their lockers and generally caught up with each other. It was fun to see kids back in the hallways again. It was also nice to have my classroom around. I still have loads of stuff to get done before all of the kids are here on Wednesday, but the room is ready. The rest will come if I can find my zone. That will require me getting off this blog, so...

In case you are wondering, Mr. Madison took a tumble a couple years ago. The company who makes them has him in their 'retired' group. Have been looking for a new one, but to no avail. I tried to glue him but his legs aren't having any of that.

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