Life’s a carnival

Bellringers is hosting the willy-nilly edition of the Education Buzz carnival.

Be Tough or Be Soft? starts with a student teacher’s question:

Am I just a bleeding heart as I’ve so often been called? Do I need to toughen up? I know this is a rough area I’m working in, but I still believe these kids deserve a little more compassion. I think that small steps should be celebrated not condemned for not happening sooner.

It’s tough love, responds Pat on Successful Teaching. Experienced teachers try to prepare newbies for hard times, knowing that the unprepared will get disillusioned and leave the profession.

I think your compassion will help the students see you as a caring person and that is never wrong. But don’t let them take advantage of you and don’t try to be their friend. I have seen too many young teachers work too hard to be friends with their students and things can go very wrong that way. Students have enough friends but not enough good teachers.

“Don’t give up on us veteran teachers,” Pat writes. “Remember that you have a perspective that even we can learn from. You are necessary to remind us why we went into teaching and how important our job is.”

Life’s a carnival

The Education Buzz is back at Bellringers with a State of the Carnival theme.

People With Small Vocabularies Also Have Small. . . . Brains writes Mamacita, who’s angry about people “dumbing down the vocabulary in classic literature.”

The only person who has the right to change a piece of writing is the writer. Period. If you are so over-sensitive and culturally illiterate that you are offended because back in a certain period of history, people spoke and acted in a particular way, and you don’t want anybody to know about it because it hurts your feelings even though it was quite ordinary for the times, and you’re unable, due to your low brain cell count, to create a valuable lesson with such facts, you’re batshit stupid. I pity your poor children. I hope you’re not a teacher.

And if you belong to the school of thought that still thinks that “soporific” is a word that small children can’t handle and you want it removed from Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” there are no words in any thesaurus to adequately describe your ignorance.

Bring parents back into the schools, writes loonyhiker at Successful Teaching.

“Welcome to the world” is the theme of this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling, hosted by Misty at Homeschool Bytes.

Carnival of Education

Successful Teaching is hosting the hiking edition of the Carnival of Education.

Carnival of Education

Welcome to the Carnival of Education. The theme is: We don’t need no stinking theme! It’s too much work to impose a spurious commonality among very diverse posts.

Cultural differences make it hard to compare U.S. schools to European and Asian schools, writes Michael Mazenko on A Teacher’s View. He quotes Dr. David Ho, the researcher who invented the “AIDS cocktail.” Ho went to elementary and middle school in Taiwan, high school and college in the U.S.

He has noted that if he’d stayed in Taiwan his whole life, he never would have made the discovery. Likewise, he explains if he had been born in the US and always educated here, he never would have made the discovery. It was the rigid style of the early years in a Confucian system that gave him the discipline he needed, as well as the more “open” and diverse style in the US that encouraged questioning and creativity (yes, through electives) that allowed him the solid foundation and insight necessary to make one of the 20th century’s most significant medical breakthroughs.

Is homework just busywork? Mathew Needleman looks at the question on Creating Lifelong Learners.

Practice like you play urges Mister Teacher at Learn Me Good.

Education shouldn’t be an assembly line, writes Loony Hiker on Successful Teaching. But there are things educators could learn from Boeing’s manufacturing process, LH adds.

At The English Teacher, Scott Walker thinks raising expectations isn’t enough. Students need to be taught phonics, grammar and the classics.

Having raised a daughter who loves to read, Why Homeschool’s Henry Cate is surprised by British complaints that literacy lessons have created students who “lack the stamina” to read books.

“Troubled and troubling” Stephane is Failing the Poem at Classroom as Microcosm — and Siobhan Curious is nervous about his ambitions to be a commercial airline pilot.

SchoolGate’s Sarah Ebner, who writes for the Times of London, explains why  students should learn about kings and queens, not just about Florence Nightingale. Her seven-year-old daughter thought history was boring till Mum told her “about the Tudors, from Henry VII to Elizabeth I and added in James I for good measure.”

When I told my daughter that the next story we would cover was about a king who got his head chopped off, she was desperate to hear about it NOW. She didn’t say that about Florence Nightingale.

As a history buff — with a special love for the Plantagenets — I agree. And I would have welcomed a little Florence Nightingale in my day instead of memorizing the three principal products of every country in Latin America and every province of Canada.

Denise’s daughter dislikes math, but Buddy Math — taking turns with Mom — works for her. Let’s Play Math hints:

When it’s my turn, I work slo-o-owly. I pause frequently, hoping to give her mind time to skip ahead of me and predict my next move. Sometimes, she will even jump in and finish a problem for me.

Brain teasers can improve your concentration, according to Sharp Brains.

As a former music teacher, Nancy Flanagan was enchanted by a video of 200 people at Antwerp train station dancing to Julie Andrews’ “Do Re Mi.”  According to Nancy, who blogs at Teacher in a Strange Land, Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Who knew the old guy had it in him?

At A Ten O’Clock Scholar, Kerry offers Art Links for Homeschoolers.

On the technology front, Larry Ferlazzo offers tips on the best places where students can create online learning/teaching objects for an “authentic audience.”

I blog on two Utah fifth graders who created an all-too educational experience for their audience: They figured out how to bypass their classroom computer’s filter to show porn to their classmates. Police are threatening to file felony charges against the 11-year-olds.

TweenTeacher is teaching her students to Twitter.

The rules for joining the Literacy Club have changed in the digital age, writes Angela Maiers.

Using a computer program to evaluate students’ writing is wacky, writes Kristian Bland at Coquetting Tarradiddles.

For those teaching science, Dead Birds Do Tell Tales, writes GrrlScientist on Living the Scientific Life.

Wild About Nature reviews a book called What Seeds Are These?

How do teachers build the fortitude to keep reaching for “unreachable” students, asks Angela Powell on The Cornerstone Blog.

Self-esteem isn’t bad if it’s based on academic achievement or good behavior, writes Old Andrew on Scenes from the Battleground. However, teachers are lead astray when they attribute bad behavior to insecurity:

Most of the time when a teacher concludes that a badly behaved boy must secretly hate himself what the teacher actually feels that he should hate himself if he has any sense.

Teachers, are you too busy grading papers to go to the faculty room? On Stories from School, Travis Wittwer urges new teachers to hang out with colleagues, even if it means listening to a recap of Dancing with the Stars.

Fear the Tsunami of teacher retirements, writes Dave Saba of ABCTE.

The British government is trying to “fast-track” laid-off workers into teaching jobs. Robert Reid is dubious that ex-bankers will make good teachers.

In deciding whether to fund D.C. vouchers, congressional Democrats must decide between helping the poor or helping the teachers’ unions, writes Matthew Ladner on Jay P. Greene’s Blog.

Federal programs rarely die — except for D.C. vouchers, writes William Schimmel on No Cynics Allowed.

Weak on reform, Milwaukee may be unable to compete for education stimulus dollars writes Liam Goldrick of The Education Optimists.

Ed Week’s Mary Ann Zehr wonders on Learning the Language why the administration hasn’t discussed its English Language Learners policy.

John Wills Lloyd of Teach Effectively! analyzes a study showing Experience Corps tutors boosted reading scores significantly.

Japan’s gender gap looks a lot like ours, notes Curriculum Matters: Japanese girls are much better in reading; boys are somewhat better in math.

In “That’s Racist,” posted at Right on the Left Coast, Darren wonders why normally super-sensitive students didn’t protest a student newspaper cartoon about North Korean missiles that made fun of Korean accents. The cartoonist was Korean-American — and Asians aren’t “an aggrieved class” in schools.

On Bellringers, Carol writes about taking her journalism students to Journalism Day at the Dallas Morning News.

Martha, the Test Grader is having a very bad day, writes Jim McGuire at The Reading Workshop. Do you want her reading your test?

Student Jason Oller of Jason’s Perspective wants a much longer school day.

LeaderTalk examines What I Think I Say vs. What I Think Others Hear.

R.J. O’Hara of The Collegiate Way wonders if the charter model could be used to create small, independent, residential colleges within large, impersonal universities.

At Teaching All Students, Patrick has a crazy idea that disabled students can learn about desert biomes.

That’s all for this week. Have a Happy Tax Day. Carol at Bellringers is next week’s host.  Submit here to join the carnival or email her at mybellringers@gmail.com.  The deadline is 7 pm (Central) on Tuesday.