I was never really fond of the word “class” in referring to being enrolled in a series of lessons. It’s seemed a bland, confusing word. The word comes from the Latin word classis, meaning a division of people, which is why we use the word to refer to groups of students as well as groups of people based, sort of, on income. It’s also why we use it as a noun to refer to someone as “having class” (meaning, we assume, high class). Continue reading
Today I’m featuring samples of work done on Glogster, a free web tool you can use to create a digital collage. As a teacher, I find that tools like this one help students to learn to use digital interfaces to create simple, artistic projects that demonstrate their understanding of a subject while adding variety to assessment.
Creative Writing and Journalism—Mrs. B
In my second half of high school, I sank my teeth into writing endeavors under a single teacher who would come to be one of the most influential teachers I would ever have: Mrs. Barbour.
11th grade: Mr. Bolte.
Junior year began the actual IB classes, incredibly rigorous examinations of difficult literature. We had to think more critically than ever before. Some of my friends were full IB, all 4 core classes plus like 2 or 3 extra being IB level. I would have died. And because I was not full IB, I felt the pressure to display my intelligence to my peers. But I also still wanted to be a goofball.
10th grade: Mrs. Carter.
I did not like Mrs. Carter. This is important, because she was the first English teacher I decided I didn’t really care for. It wasn’t because she wasn’t good. She cared about us tremendously, employed creative means to educate us, and was always positive. But it’s important for me to know why.
8th grade: I was a big dog on middle school campus. I felt both able and allowed to be mischievous. And throughout most of the year I had mixed feelings about Mrs. Humphrey, the short, stern-faced, saccharine, classically PTA-mom-like teacher of my final middle school year.
“Do we have to read a book this year?” Any fool who loves literature cringes at the expression from a student who doesn’t want to read.
An apple—that sweet symbol of education: Knowledge, as many have depicted it as Eve’s forbidden fruit; Nutrition, in mind and body; Red, the color of exes on wrong answers and of the weight of test grades; Folk patriotism, as Johnny Appleseed’s token gift; Autumn, when school activities begin; Frontier Heritage, the rustic nostalgia of the little schoolhouse in the country; Well-roundedness, like the Greeks, like the Renaissance; Social Support, as the apple was one of the gifts given to teachers by parents to feed them; hard cider, because alcohol is a common use of retreat from the stress of teaching.
Momentum builds in Richmond for SOL reforms
Let’s hope reform happens. The current SOL testing is counterintuitive to the goals of educating children to be rational, functional citizens. The practice is unsustainable.