Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jamie showing off his ipad

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

3 Documentaries On My "Must See" List This Summer

There are three movies, around American education that should make things very interesting. While there have been many books written about the "one size fits all" factory model that I see as outdated, I am personally hoping that the movies get people to think more about our lack of innovation and systemic problems going on in schools.

To be clear, I don't blame teachers, but believe they should be some of the loudest advocates for change. I realize that I am young and still have much to learn, but one of my goals and passions in life is to see schools be better places for kids and teachers (as well as others)... more motivating, more engaging, more hopeful environments.

I embedded some of the trailers for these movies which all should be out this summer. I will try to follow up with thoughts later, but would also love to hear your reactions... along with any other documentaries that may be coming out around education.


Friday, June 04, 2010

End Of the School Year Reflection

Whenever the end of the school year hits, there is something in my body that signals relief. Call it classical conditioning, but summer is never really hear until the school year ends. Sadly, like last summer, since I am not teaching at a school, summer will be a very busy time for me.

A few things cause me to reflect as the summer season moves in:
  1. Cain completed his first year (8th grade) at a MNCS which help provide him a new sense of self. While he still has a lot to work on (as we all do), as a parent I am happy to see him be less stressed out about school. The new environment held true to everything I hoped it would. His engagement and hope (measured by the Hope Survey) definitely increased. I wonder if they will let me see the anonymous data? ;-)
  2. I have been working on a new found lifestyle when it comes to food. On Sunday, it will be 9 weeks since I have eaten meat or drank milk (I can't say I am dairy free because I have eaten pizza a few times). While I am not yet pushing my new lifestyle on others, reading books like: Fast Food Nation, Omnivores Dilemma & Skinny Bastard (which ended up being more about what you should eat) and movies such as Food, Inc. & Super Size Me prodded me to try to make some changes. Honestly, I miss meat a little, but not nearly as much as I thought. Cutting out meat gets me to eat more vegetables and also contribute less to the synthetic industrial food chain. I highly recommend rice milk or soy milk to replace milk. I am losing weight, feeling better physically and mentally... and I am not even on a diet. Lastly, I have found out that buying food that is decent is not nearly as expensive an endeavor as I assumed.  I do drive a little further now (shopping mostly at Trader Joe's and Food Coops), but it is well worth it. Tofu isn't that bad either, if prepared right. I am still working on the cooking it myself methodology.
  3. Broden and Cain finished school. Broden is now a 2nd grader and Cain will enter 9th next year. I am getting old quick which I will have a reminder of next week.
To all you students out there, remember, just because it is summer doesn't mean that you should take a break from learning. I want to learn until the day I die, but I have to admit, I take breaks too. 

Until next time,