Friday, October 20, 2006

Some quick thoughts

After an enlightening conversation during my off period today with another set of teachers I have to ask the following set of questions:

(1) What makes a good teacher? Dedication? Content knowledge? Education? A little bit from column A and column B?

(2) Mr. Chips from the blog ( that new or even prospective teachers should spend their first year as a substitute teacher before they get hired on as a full-fledged teacher. (Though, not at the rate they pay them in Rapides Parish.) Having spent two years in the trenches, I agree with this in some cases. No amount of education courses can give you the real life experience of classroom management like being a sub can.

(3) For the English teachers out there: What schools of thought best allow for the development of students? Some believe in a straight prescriptionist program-unlike myself-while others utilize more proactive forms of composition theory such as cognitive based pedagogies or the decentered classroom (my personal favorite). Where do you fall?

(4) A news story from the Washington Post reports that students at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland are required to wear color-coded IDs. Colors range across the spectrum and are used to designate each person as part of the 11 groupings that encompass the school. (

(5) What are we lacking in Rapides Parish that would help lift the educational system? What are out strengths?

(6) And lastly, What role does politics play in the internal affairs of the modern public school? Is this ultimately a good thing? How does it shape a good school and how does it affect a low performing school?


Blogger Pawpaw said...

Is this a test? Goody! (Please take these comments with a modicum of humor. I'm not trying to put you down, just whiling away an hour.) For the record, I'm not an educator, but I spend a lot of time around the schoolhouse.

1. All of the above, with a good sense of humor. The ability to listen is a good attribute. I've known great teachers with little more than a B.A, and I've known barely passable teachers who were educated past their intelligence.

2. I thought that was what student teaching was all about? Granted, there is no substitute for experience, but we have laws against involuntary servitude.

3. prescriptionist program? pedagogies? decentered? Speaking plain English would be a good start.

4. If we could get our students to simply wear ID's, it would be a big help. I don't think color-coding is a great idea.

5. "What are out strengths?" Proofreading. We're great at proofreading. You should see some of the boners I've typed.

6. Politics is the art of the possible. Insuring that I get my good night kiss from my wife is politics at its most basic level. A strong administrator who is able to get all her staff on board with a workable program is virtually guaranteed success.

Welcome to Blogging. I'll check back in from time to time. Keep writing.

10/21/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger CenEd said...

Hola pawpaw! I've read your blog before and find it to be pretty good. Thanks for taking the time to read mine.

10/21/2006 03:12:00 PM  

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