Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blog Post 10

Word Inspire on the beach

Do You Teach or Do You Educate?

The question of do I teach or do I educate is a hard one for me to answer this early in the game. It is easy right now for me to be able to show someone how to do something and make known the facts of things. I can easily instruct you in a given subject. I think that Dr. Strange refers to this as burp-back education. I do believe that that is where I am at right now. My goal is to move past that and become an effective educator.

The video defines an educator as one who is able to enlighten, empower, and inspire students. Those are powerful words. These are qualities that I want to acquire. I believe that it will come in due time when I gain more confidence in the material that I will be teaching. I do think that I am someone that my students already trust. That really means a lot to me. Rafe Esquith noted that trust between students and their teacher is very important. I hope that one day I will be able to guide my students in a positive manner and introduce them to things they have never imagined and encourage them along the way.

I really enjoyed this video. The simplicity behind it had a powerful message. This one has really got me thinking.

Dancing pencils

Tom Johnson’s: Don’t Let Them Take the Pencils Home!

It truly amazes me that an academic specialist would go to the extreme of blaming low test scores on the mere fact that students take pencils home. Gertrude bursts into Johnson’s classroom to rant about what she has found in one article. Gertrude is obviously not a critical thinker. One study is not enough to show a correlation between test scores and pencils. I think the thing that frustrated Johnson the most was the fact that she is trying to put a Band-Aid on the real problem.

The fact of the matter is, in the low-income area that he is teaching in, parents and students don’t realize what a powerful tool a simple pencil is. A pencil is something that can be used to express one’s thoughts and be used as an instrument of learning. It can also offer an opportunity for a student to be creative. To hinder our students from learning is not what we are called to do. Just because one article states that taking pencils home is the reason our scores are low, doesn't mean that you should go to the extreme of not letting them take their pencils home. This was just a last ditch effort to blame the real problem on other things.

I’m glad to see that Johnson stood up for his students and will continue to encourage them and their parents in the learning process. We need more teachers like him.


  1. "This one has really got me thinking." Great!

    You missed the metaphor. Read these three posts from last semester which will explain Tom Johnson's post (and a lot more as well).

    Metaphors: What They Are and Why We Use Them

    Metaphor Discussion Update

    Everyone is Thinking About Metaphors

  2. I really like that you admit your inexperience in teaching and realize that you have a large amount of information to learn before you can truly analyze yourself as a teacher. Keep that attitude of being a constant learner as you progress through your career. As teachers there is always something to learn and incorporate into our lessons. Great Post