I was hoping to get more posts up this semester but I ended up being a bit pressed for time. The first semester went very well and I made it to all classes bar one when I’d been in Seattle the weekend before. I had a harder time keeping up with a voluntary fieldwork placement that started at 9.30am. Mornings are generally a bit rough and I can’t commit to anything long term that starts too early. For this reason I’m thinking about starting an after school program when I finish my degree. By the time lunchtime comes around I’m a bit more alert and ready for the day. I kept up with all assignments and readings this semester but it certainly takes more out of me than it used to. I’m really enjoying the course, more than I thought I would, and so when I’m focused on topics to do with education, language and literacy education in particular I focus less on other issues like back and knee pain. Social events also help me turn away from physical complaints but like with everything now it all takes more out of me.
I’ve been keeping up with the Common Core debate and corporate education reform and that takes up some time. I won’t get into it all now but suffice to say that for the sake of big bucks corporate reformers such as Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education under Obama) and others are selling disadvantaged children down the river. There is a strong counter movement which is building in force but if money and energy could genuinely be spent investing in education rather than making test makers wealthy we would be so much further ahead. The most committed teachers are the often the ones at greatest risk of losing their jobs because they question the status quo, encourage critical thinking and understand that there is no one size fits all.
I’m attaching some links to some papers I wrote over the course of the semester so please read if you’re interested. The self-study paper was meant to be a self-study of my teaching but as I didn’t do any teaching this semester it is a theoretical paper not a practical one. I’m pleased with what I put together though and that’s the most important thing. With such a strong focus on reading assessments I worry that independent writing will take up less and less classroom time. For more…
To move from one article to the next you have to scroll to the bottom and click on the next/previous pages. I’ll try to get it so that appears at the top but for now it’ll do.