Friday, November 16, 2012

Blog Post #12

For this week, Dr. Strange has us making our own blog post. After much deliberation of how I wanted to do this, I found a great blog post, and it did can be used for all grade levels. After which I found a video by Sir Ken Robinson dealing with the same subject.

The instruction would be this:
1. A. Read this blog:
Engaging Parents: An Elementary Teacher's Field Guide
Summarize and describe your thoughts and reactions.

B. Send Gaetan pappalardo (@gaetanp ) a thank you Tweet. Mark it #edm310 so I will see your Tweet.

2. Watch this video. You can start at 35mins into the video. :
Sir Ken Robinson - Educating the Heart and Mind.
Summarize key points and relay your thoughts.

Follow the requirements in Writing A Quality Blog Post.

My assignment

gaetan pappalardo
Engaging Parents

Gaetan Pappalardo caught my attention by his first paragraph in Engaging Parents: An Elementary Teacher’s Field Guide. He talks about how he loves watching new teachers. How new teachers are pretty much running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Another thing I liked is that he was honest. In the next paragraph, Pappalardo said that the beginning of school meetings with parents may be the only time teacher will see or speak to parents. Teachers need to take advantage of this. This is the basis of his blog post.

He continues his blog by saying that parents do not care about teachers qualifications. Pappalardo follows this by saying that “Parents value how a teacher makes their child feel, over if he/she remembers the capital of Utah.” Parents want their child to be valued and loved in school. Pappalardo then brought up the obvious point that love is not the “in” thing right now. The “in” thing is getting the numbers in standardized test scores which will case less of the love. So what is the answer? Pappalardo does not know, but he believes that a part of it has to come from parents. Yet all this has to start with dialogue. He ends his blog saying that he will post one positive tweet a day. He shares all his hash tags so you can do or follow them.

I really liked the picture he gave of first time students. I know that the teachers he describes, in part, will be me. I found it surprising at first that parents do not care about teacher’s credentials. I feel like this whole blog post is like Pappalardo says “a hippy moment” but if more than two people are saying it, one of them being the Dali Lama. Then it has to be true.

I feel as though teachers are on such a tight teaching schedule that they do not have any time do to activities let alone make sure that the student feels loved. Not to mention in some places a teachers are not even allowed to hug the younger elementary children because it is not professional. That is not showing the love.

As for parents having the power, I totally agree. I think teachers have been complaining about this since it started and we still have standardized test. If parents were more active in the dialogue or more parents were active in it, then more people may listen.

sir ken robinson
Sir Ken Robinson - Educating the Heart and Mind

“Most people have no idea what they are capable of.”
Sir Ken Robinson says that the dropout rate in the US is 40% in his video “Educating the Heart and Mind”. He continues by saying that the suicide rates, especially in people from 15-20, are in historically high rates. Young men are four times more likely to commit suicide than young women. Suicide is also the 4th highest cause of death in the world. He continues with more statistics about people in jail or going to jail and unemployment. One that startles me is that 900,000 cases of ADHD were misdiagnosed in the US.

Sir Robinson touches on the creativity that he talked so strongly about in the TED conference, but his main objective here was to talk about the empathy of humans. He says that “we shut empathy off so we can do things that are unimaginable.” The reason that people are so lost and depressed is because they lost their connection to themselves. They have no sense of themselves.

What does this all have to do which education? Sir Robinson says it is part of the problem for this, and it also needs to be part of the solution. What do we do about it? First to recognize that education that is personal. Sir Robinson suggests Alternative Education, although he thinks that it is funny that it is called Alternative Education. The second is that arts need to be a part of education. Music and art is how we experience our own individuality, Sir Robinson points out. The third and final is mindfulness or to focus in on themselves, to have the children practice a form of meditation essentially.

Sir Robinson’s first point has the same problem that Gaetan Pappalardo’s blog pointed out, standardized test. It is hard for a teacher to make education personal while the pressure. It is not impossible. Many great teachers do a fantastic job at it, but I believe it is at the core of our problem. Teachers are not allowed to teach to the students but to the test.

I think that a good point that Sir Robinson pointed out that in this technology age especially after learning so much in this class we need to remember that children are not data driven. I do not mean I am not going to teach with technology. I am so excited about the prospect of it. I mean that we need to use technology as a tool and be able to teach the whole child.


  1. Maria,

    I love this idea for a blog assignment and I enjoyed reading your blog post! The only error that I saw in your post was;

    "The thirds and final is mindfulness or to focus in on themselves. To have the children practice a form of meditation essentially."

    I think if you would have used a comma before "to" instead of a period, making this another sentence that it would be correct.

    Your blog post was great! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!


  2. Thanks Keely! I went back and forth on that sentence. Have a great Thanksgiving too!!

  3. Maria,

    These two videos speak the truth! These are the problems with our educational system today. We are slowly but surely making the right changes though so hopefully the 40% dropout rate will drop and students will enjoy going to school one day!