The Great Courses (The Teaching Company) has made available some videos with different information about various spring rituals, including one on a Botticelli painting and another on the spring sky. My favorite is Chaucer’s Spring Pilgrimage.
I heard Martha Stewart interviewed on America’s Test Kitchen this morning and she said something that resonated with me. She commented that since her grandchildren have been born she feels a sense of responsibility for “making the future a good place for them.” (Find the interview HERE starting at about the 13:29 mark). Of course, I don’t have children, but I feel this sense of responsibility when I look at the students I see each day.
I want these students to learn more than a skill. Anyone can learn a skill. I want them to become good thinkers who can in turn shape a good future for their own children. The only way they can learn both the hard skills of their vocation and the soft skills of life is if their instructors and advisors effectively model and teach all of those skills.
When I say I am passionate about education, I guess that is what I really mean: I am passionate about making the future a good place. What I am discovering is that not everyone appreciates my passion. Some see my insistence to personally and professionally improve and grow as overbearing. Some think requests to adhere to known standards and techniques that create good educational outcomes as micro-managing. I am learning that even though I make the same requests of everyone some will think I’m singling them out.
I am beginning to understand why Martha Stewart is so often hated. An insistence on excellence—on building that better future—is not welcomed by those who would rather not push themselves to become better and better. Perhaps they are fearful of change. Perhaps they have personal issues that hold them back. Perhaps past disappointments have caused them to retreat into mediocrity.
I can’t know what another person is thinking, and I can’t force someone to want to better themselves. All I can do is to continue to develop myself and encourage others in my life (both professional and personal) to join me on the (sometimes painful) road to excellence. And I realize that some will choose to go a different route. And that’s okay. My hope is they will find the place and the people with whom they will flourish.
The assignment was to make a graphic organizer, perhaps using a table in Microsoft Word. Sounded kinda boring to me so I made a poster size “vision board” as a map to my Ed.D.
I know several young women and men graduating from high school and college this year. In today’s world one of the best and most useful pieces of advice a graduate can receive is to review and clean up her social networking profiles. Although it may appear to the Millennials and Gen Texters that folks from older generations don’t have the tech skills or the interest to check them out online, your need to understand that not only will future employers look you up to see what they find but that what an employer finds online will very likely come into play when making a hiring decision. If you seem like a chronic complainer, a late-night party goer, a foul-mouthed hot head, a sickly slacker, or a whiny troublemaker, you’re hurting your chances of finding a job.
If you don’t think that’s fair… too bad. That is life in the 21st Century. The technology that makes connecting with others and expressing ourselves so easy also makes it easy for employers to determine if you would be an employee they want on their payroll.
Here are a few tips to help create an online image that makes you look professional and hire-worthy:
- Lock down your privacy settings so only friends can see your posts and photos
- Yet, that’s not enough – photos and posts that seem anything other than positive, friendly, professional and/or family-friendly should be deleted
- While your adjusting those privacy settings, consider not allowing others to tag your or check you in – don’t let your hard work at cleaning up your profile be undone by your friends
- Build a simple website that highlights your education, skills, volunteerism, etc. and shows why you’ll make a great employee (register some variation of yourname.com as the URL)
- Create a LinkedIn profile to showcases your education and experience
If all that sounds like too much trouble, take a moment to daydream about working at a minimum wage job… now, daydream about working at professional job in a field that interests you. If you like the looks of of the second daydream better, take the time to prepare yourself online and offline to achieve that goal.
Homeschoolers this week have come under attack in Oklahoma. Two bills have been presented in the state legislature to intrude on parents’ freedom to educate their children in the manner they deem most suitable. The rationale (weak excuse) given for these bills is that some parents say they are homeschooling when they really are not. This is true. However, many more parents send their kids to public school and don’t care one way or another whether or not the child is learning — I can take a quick walk around my neighborhood and introduce you to dozens of children who are not technically abused, but who will most certainly face a lifetime of difficulties because their parents (or parent, very often there is only one in the home) take no interest in the child’s educational welfare.
Perhaps before Oklahoma legislators start cracking down on homeschool families (a minority within our educational system) who are producing bright, well-adjusted, well-educated, literate and active members of society, they should consider a major revamping of the public education system. First on the list might be returning school control back to the communities they serve and dismantling the burdensome and costly administrative offices. Then they could allow school choice. Then they could tell the Federal Department of Education to take a hike because our communities know what is best for our children — not some bureaucrat in Washington. I’m dreaming of course, the teachers union will have none of that. They are heavily dependent on federal dollars flowing into the school system based on how many students are enrolled. Homeschoolers are well aware that their children represent federal dollars “lost” to the behemoth which is our public school system.
Here are links to news stories about the two proposed bills. Forgive me in advance if they soon go bad. I can’t control when the media outlets ship them off to the archives:
Fox News Video Story (I know the family in this story)
Daily Oklahoman Print Story
You can also stop by the Oklahoma Legislature page and voice your concerns or read the bills. And, if you’re really concerned about the state of public education, keep up-to-date on education freedom topics with Neal McCluskey at the Cato Institute.
I saw a button that said: “One Nation, Under-Educated.” That has to be the smartest button I’ve seen in a long time. Now, some may say I’m a bit over-educated, considering my main interests involve talking to chickens and weeding flower beds. However, it seems to me that if more people would take time to educate themselves — and they don’t have to enroll in formal programs — then the country would be much better off. I was a bit frightened by the surveys after the election that showed just how little the voters knew about the candidates, the campaign and how our system of government works. How in the world will we ever find solutions to real problems if the voters don’t have a clue about the problems or the people they elect to solve problems?
Our public school systems aren’t any help in educating the populace. The whole system is controlled by 1) bureaucrats elected by an uninformed voter pool and 2) a teachers union that financially supports said bureaucrats. They have no interest in accurately educating young people. They are better served by maintaining a system that turns out uneducated folks who will continue to vote on issues and for politicians that they really don’t understand.
Citizens need to take control of their own education. If parents can’t homeschool or put their kids in private school, they need to supplement their education with books, movies and newspapers that challenge and correct the “politically correct” information that is championed by the schools. Adults need to read, read, read. Did I mention read? And I don’t mean only read the things or writers you agree with. Read widely. Cover as many topics as you can. Take it from this formal journalism student — don’t believe one word of what you hear, see or read in the media. Check it out for yourself. You’ll be surprised at all the things those professional journalists choose not to tell you!
Maybe some day we can become “One Nation, WELL-Educated.”