Saturday, January 21, 2012

 I was thinking the other day of the great waste in the world. How so many people in this
Image by wpwend42 via Flickr
world spend the majority of their waking hours using all of their energy and resources to survive.
I wonder sometimes if the cure to cancer might be sitting in a refuge camp in Darfur. Perhaps the inventor of a FTL engine is selling drugs because she can't get a scholarship to college. It could be Einstein is throwing a rock at a tank in some desert. Who knows. Perhaps the next Bill Gates will be in India. She might have been here
We just don't know. I got into education because I saw it as an equalizer. A poor child with an education can compete with the son of a rich man. Almost, perhaps the 1% is exempt. Now if we can just convince our children to wait and be good for about 20 years or so, then they too can compete on equal footing. As long as they can find the seed money to invest in and develop their ideas. 
Well maybe we need to reevaluate some priories. 
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Random Thought

Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr
Look I understand math pretty well. I like math and tend to get excited about the nitty-gritty details about what is happening and how to teach it at a very granular level. 

I am not an English teacher I don't get excited by the granularity of the mechanics of writing I just do it. Examining student work for the exact level they reached and teaching to that exact level is not fun and tends to be a lot of work

Should our teaching be all about drilling down using data to find out exactly where students are deficient and correcting that? Does that take all the art, all the love out of teaching? Is it possible that the tests are that accurate?Do I need a test to tell me that information?
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Monday, January 2, 2012

The World has A Long Tail

What I want to say when the interviewers ask “What makes you the best fit for the job?” is:

You’re asking the wrong question.

There is no fit for the job of leader. Unless, that is, you want to keep things going exactly the way they are. The world is changing, it has changed profoundly just in our lifetime and the pace of change is increasing exponentially. Sure, we can prepare our children for today’s world or even yesterday’s world and most of them will be fine. 70, 80, maybe even 90% will earn a decent living, raise a family, grow old and die without experiencing true hardship.

The long tail

What if hard times hit? Times like we are in now. Will our students be able to recover from being knocked down? It is said that most people who lose their jobs in a recession never recover. Sure, eventually they will get another job, but they may never reach the same pay scale again.

Do we want to set our future up for that crap shoot? Don’t worry kid, these cyclical downturns actually only affect 30% of the population, the odds are in your favor. (percentages pulled out of thin air, please don’t quote)

My father, my uncles, my older relatives decried the loss of a job for life. Some folks are still fighting that battle, but it has long been lost. People of my generation, people who are working now need to be ready to change adapt and seize the day. We can expect to change jobs often and even change careers on average about 5 times.

What about the next generation? Call it the entrepreneurial generation. They need to step up and create their own opportunities. People of my generation decry the loss of good solid jobs that allow us to earn a living wage. The fight continues, but it is a losing battle. As our parents were surprised that they couldn’t count on a job for life at a major company we can no longer count on making enough money just by working for someone else.

What will happen to our children? What will happen for the generation growing up today?

See, I don’t want to fit in to what you are doing today. I don’t want to be the best fit for the job. I want to prepare our children for the world as it will be when they grow up. I’m not sure exactly what that will be, but I am pretty sure success will hinge on the ability to create, adapt, and recognize both opportunity and quality.
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