Read Alouds: This week we had three read alouds. Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland (ISBN-13: 9780142402825), All Cats have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann (ISBN-13: 9781843104810), and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (ISBN-13: 9780060256654). Miss Smith’s Incredible Story book was a very entertaining and actually pretty cool book. It incorporated a lot of different characters from various fairy tales which was interesting. Teachers could use this book to get kids excited about an upcoming fairy tale lesson or to start a discussion on famous fairy tales. All Cats have Aspergers Syndrome was a quirky little story that describe symptoms of Autism but put them with pictures of cats. It tied in nicely with the wrap up of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. This would be a good book to read if you had an autistic child in the class so other students may better understand the afflicted students obstacles. Lastly, The Giving Tree a Shel Silverstein classic. In order to be considered a graduate of elementary school I believe you must have read this book. It tells of taking something for granted but also unconditional love. It is a classic and will remain to be one of the staples of read aloud stories. You could have the kids make their own giving tree and say all the things they are thankful for. Then paste these things onto the tree like apples, this could make for a fun year-long activity.
This week in Teacher Cadet we have continued our study of Special Education and Labels. Were studying the government statutes that have been implemented in order to insure that kids with disabilities receive an equal and fair education. Miss Anne-Marie Taylor, SC Teacher of the Year 2008, came to speak to us last friday about teaching in special education. From what I picked up, it is a very rewarding career that allows you to individually work with children. It is the job of a special education teacher to make a positive difference in these children’s lives, and Miss Taylor has done a magnificent job doing that. A field trip is in the works to go volunteer at the Special Olympics which I think would be a great opportunity to put some of what we are learning to use. This friday Claire and Byronica came to speak with us about their disabilities. Both of those girls have courage and strength beyond reproach and I am lucky to attend school with such successful and driven individuals.
New York State is considering releasing the report cards of over 12000 teachers this week. It is very controversial and the Teachers Union is taking a strong stance against it. Personally I believe these reports should be released for two reasons. First it keeps teachers in check. Some teachers, not all, slack because they know they can do just enough and thats it. They are not teaching for the right reasons and therefore have no reason to strive to be the best. Second, Parents and Students have a right to know about the teachers performance, when one goes to make an investment in anythings they usually do some sort of reasearch. I think investment in education should be no exception to this.
Quote of the Week:
Moral of the Story, never stop learning. Learning does not stop after high school or college. One must constantly strive to learn more and increase their intelligence. It my generation lives with this mantra then I think we will lead successful lives.
When Byronica and Claire came to share with us on Friday I observed something you don’t usually see in the average teenager. Not only did they possess a heightened level of maturity, both also had a sense of respect for themselves kind of like a heightened level of self-esteem. Even though they have a tougher time at doing somethings than the normal teenager, they “don’t let anything stop them”. Both possessed a level of bravery that humbled me to the point that I felt like I needed to make some changes in my own life. One things for sure, this year teacher cadet graduating class is going to be a special one.
This week was pretty good. A family friend from the Netherlands, specifically Holland came to visit. His name is Mike Astro and he is a 21-year-old university student from Northern Amsterdam. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well and have introduced him to a lot of American things over the week he has been here. Most importantly, Cracker Barrel breakfast and College Football. This summer I plan on backpacking across Europe and I definitely will be making a stop in Amsterdam, from what I hear from Mike it is sure to be a good time.
School wise Im doing really well. I got a breath of fresh air because I was able to drop Physics and now I am just enjoying every second of learning and cherishing every second of being with my friends.