Friday, October 10, 2008

Curvy - In a Roundabout Way


Earrings have curves. Women (are supposed to) have curves. Road and vines have curves. I suppose the French have curves too (sorry, had to throw in a little artist humor there!).

Learners have curves, too.

It doesn't matter if you're old, newborn, or in school. Anytime you learn something new, there is a serious learning curve going on. Today has been one of those days for me. And I loved it!

The day started as an Institute Day for the teachers in our county. This means that all teachers employed in my county get together at a host high school and attend workshops of various topics. Of course our county is so large that there had to be TWO venues - one for K-5 and one for 6-12. Of the many workshops offered, I attended on on RTI (Response to Intervention), a new initiative here in Illinois that is sort of a backlash to NCLB. Don't get me started on that one! The other was a seminar on conducting a Socratic Seminar in your classroom. Now that would be cool - an alternative assessment that actually gets the kids to think on their own and not just memorize the 'right' answers! Finally a chance for the kiddos who can't seem to take tests well to outperform those A-list kids. What a boost for the self-esteem.

But I digress. Where was I?

Ah, yes. Learning curves. This evening, after packing for our camping trip tomorrow, I logged on with the innocent intention of checking my email. In the process, I learned about Twitter, I vistited some great blogs, like this fellow jewelry maker, Elleabelle. I visited my Etsy site and added some more items, and I visited other Etsy sites that have much more traffic than mine in order to glean some marketing ideas. This internet business is such a new and HUGE learning curve for me and many (most?!) of the people in my generation. Let me just say right now that I will NEVER join Twitter. Who has time for that? Like I'm going to stop teaching just to send a text "just busted Taylor for copying...again" so that my friends and coworkers can stay tuned. As if I really am interested in the blow-by-blow lives of people I've never met!

Sorry. *deep breath*

All in all, I learned a lot today.

Everyone has the right to learn. As teachers, that is our basic tenet, and we strive our hardest to ensure that everyone learns. It's just that making each lesson unique and fresh and entertaining is tiring. And some days I'm not sure that I've reached a single soul. When today's lawmakers keep putting more and more requirements on our plate, and not providing anything to make it easier, it's no wonder that most teachers don't make it past the first three years. *frown, sigh*

But I'll keep plugging away because that's what I've learned to do.

Pastel (and whatever) Guy