Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Evan asked me if I was going to blog . . . what to say? . . . I think it's probably time to get internet at home again, since the state of Evan's desk does not help my creative writing processes.

Today I did 5 lab stations demonstrating Newton's first two laws of motion . . . the law of inertia and the Force = mass x acceleration equation. If I threaten the kids within an inch of their life, they do pretty well, particularly in such a cramped space as my room. I think the students are beginning to actually retain more and hopefully connect what we've been talking about all year.

I'll have had four observations in my class in the past two weeks by tomorrow. I really enjoy the actual teaching part of what I'm doing, so I don't really think about it much. But it also seems like a lot of the problems I was dealing with earlier are more 'tolerable' now. Maybe I'm just getting meaner. :) I think the kids are more concerned about them than I am. Although yesterday I got so mad in seventh hour my ears were actually hot. That doesn't happen very often.

I think a real disadvantage to public schools is the disconnect between all the subjects. Not just math with science, but math with literature or history with music, etc. How many times have I heard a student exclaim, "This is just math?!?" No, it's not just math -- it's math in your hands, concrete and comprehensible. The great thinkers of history are ones who could comprehend the broad scope of knowledge and integrate that into a particular field or break new ground with old concepts. I can see the wisdom of some teachers today teaching their textbooks 'backwards' by beginning with the bigger picture and working into the details. My deductive mind has to think through this approach very slowly and carefully, but I defintely see the potential. And this is the beauty of a liberal arts education. We focus so much on knowledge retention but very little on the skills to deal with it. But this is also very dangerous and I'm not sure the goverment should telling me how to think anyway.

Well, that's enough for now. Wednesday night means fast food supper and home late to work on tomorrows lesson. I'm getting hungry.


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