In a recent blog post, Joshua Gibbs suggests that “What the Coronavirus Means for Classical Schools” is nothing less than a test of their true worth. That test lies in schools' potential temporary transition to remote learning. If students can receive remotely everything which their teachers would have sought to give them in class, then, Mr. Gibbs suggests, the school may not be offering the education it ought to.
If I were not a Christian, Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad books would be my holy scripture. When I meet a sane adult, I assume his sanity comes largely from having heard Frog and Toad stories in his youth. Yesterday, I read my sophomore humanities students four stories from a Frog and Toad anthology. It would be impolite to assume you, noble reader, are not intimately familiar with all the Frog and Toad stories, but, in case too many years have elapsed between today and your last reading, I will briefly describe the four stories I read to my sophomores:
April is World Autism Awareness Month, but I wonder if anyone in North America is truly unaware of autism. With a reported 119.8% increase in identification and 1 in 68 children in the United States currently diagnosed with autism, most of us in North America are aware. With a master’s degree in special education and K-12 lifetime teaching certifications in learning disabilities and behavior disorders, I sometimes wonder if we over-identify autism in the United States, but I never doubt that autism exists.
Have you ever googled “quotes on writing?” If so, you probably came away from your search wondering why anyone would choose to be a writer. Consider what Hemingway said: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Or Robert Frost: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” Or Thomas Mann: “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
Reading is a complicated activity. Sometimes we do it for edification, other times for pleasure, sometimes simply to fulfill an assignment. Sometimes a combination of all three. Some of us mark up our books; others long for the pristine unmarked pages of a brand new edition. Some of us take pride in our personal libraries and are perpetual collectors, while others among us haunt public libraries until the locals know us by name. Some of us read quickly and move from book to book rapidly, while others go slow and steady.
Earlier this month we shared some reflections from teachers we trust on the habits that every great teacher displays. Now we want to flip that around, so we asked around to find out about the habits that every great student displays. Here's what we found out.
As the new school year encroaches upon the last, lingering days of summer, it's easy to be overwhelmed at the prospect of new lesson plans and new students, at long days and assessments galore. It's easy to get bogged down in the minutia of planning to teach, thus losing sight of the big picture. So to help us focus, I asked some of our expert-teacher friends what habits all great teachers display. Here's what they said:
I'd like to broach the topic at hand by pointing to a poem that articulates the deep sorrow and ache of the Modern Man: William Wordsworth's critique of the world caused by the Scientific Revolution, "The World is Too Much With Us.”