Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teacher should do more

Sometimes I find articles that support the idea that teachers should be able to bridge the achievement gap despite their student's background and should get to know their students on a personal level. I want to know how I am supposed to accomplish this in a 45 minute period teaching with the CA state standards. Sure I could accomplish more with my students, but how much of my own free time do I need to give up to reach out to parents and students to accomplish this? How is this fair to the teachers?

Family Conflict and Student Achievement

How many teachers can relate to this story?

Robert Pondiscio at the Core Knowledge blog recently summed up the findings of a new study on the impact of family conflict on student achievement:

Children from troubled families perform “considerably worse” on standardized reading and mathematics tests and are much more likely to commit disciplinary infractions and be suspended than other students, according to a new study. Writing in Education Next, Scott Carrell of UC-Davis and the University of Pittsburgh’s Mark Hoekstra offer evidence that “a single disruptive student can indeed influence the academic progress made by an entire classroom of students.”

Robert adds his own thoughtful interpretation of the study's findings:

Poll teachers in struggling schools, and I will wager a substantial amount that classroom disruption is identified consistently as the primary barrier to student achievement. Yet it is consistently glossed over or dismissed, typically attributed to a teacher’s lack of classroom management skills. I have long believed that the time on-task lost to disruption and behavior problems is almost certainly one of the under-discussed root causes of the achievement gap. This study does a great service by confirming what many teachers and parents have intuited for years: disruption matters and has a negative effect on all students.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mommy Instinct

As a mom, I have learned a lot about “mommy instinct.” However, as a new mom, I sometimes feel like I need to resort to a book instead of trusting my instincts. And most of the time, my intuition was correct the first time. So I’m getting better at letting go of my analytical side and learning to go with my first instinct. I’m still not 100% confident in my mommy instinct, but I am getting better. Here is the article I am referring to:

“Intuition is not some special power that other people have. Everyone is intuitive, including you—much more than you’ve ever been told. Especially during times of change, you can count on this gift of inner wisdom to give you the right answer.

We’re so quick to follow the advice of friends, family, doctors and other people whom we imagine are more knowledgeable, more powerful or more charismatic than we are. But you’re the only one who truly knows what’s right for you. Whenever you feel an uncomfortable nudge in a direction other than the one you’re following, listen to it. Your intuition is letting you know something is wrong. Just the opposite, a deep inner peace means everything is okay.

Your feelings or intuitions won’t always match up with what you’re thinking or what you want to believe, but they’ll always tell you the truth.”
© 2009 The First Thirty Days, Inc.

Where Did My Time Go?

I was reading “One Small Step to Greater Happiness,” and it reminded me how becoming a mom has made me feel like I missing out on doing things I could have accomplished more easily without a baby. Like going out when ever I wanted to, being away from home longer, planning a vacation, keeping the house organized, working in the backyard, and pursuing my hobbies. But at the same time, I reflect on how much more fulfilled my life is with my son and I think, “What did I do with my life before the baby?” Now I get (almost) the same things done in half of the time because I operate on “baby time” now. Here is the article I was referring to:

“If you want to be happier, let go of that feeling that you’re missing out. As one spiritual teacher said, you could sit on the side of the road for five years and your destiny would still find you. You aren't missing out on anything.

Stop worrying about what your life would have been like if you had chosen a different college, career, spouse, neighborhood or weekend activity. You’re already sipping margaritas in Puerto Vallarta—forget the connections you could have made at this year’s conference.

Wherever you are, let go of that persistent, nagging doubt that you should be somewhere else—that you would have been better off if you had chosen the other option. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be right now. Focus on that moment and enjoy it.”
© 2009 The First Thirty Days, Inc.