Question: As a teacher, would you adjust your estimation of a child’s potential if you understood the effect of stress on learning and memory and you knew the child was living in a stressful situation?

All of that is true … for some random sample of people. Yet I just made it up here while I was typing … without any student at all in my mind. For this student, it is completely made up based on statistical data and psychology research that is not designed to pinpoint exact conditions in exact students. Continue reading Question: As a teacher, would you adjust your estimation of a child’s potential if you understood the effect of stress on learning and memory and you knew the child was living in a stressful situation?

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Question: Teachers, what are your ideas for dealing with troublesome young students (school leadership hasn’t been very helpful)?

The handy thing is that teachers can setup a classroom management system in class that doesn’t require much admin support. I’ve done it for nearly 20 years. Planning ahead, deciding what you will and will not accept, and following through even when you are tired. It gets better with practice and time. Continue reading Question: Teachers, what are your ideas for dealing with troublesome young students (school leadership hasn’t been very helpful)?

Question: What do you think gives us hope that all of us will lead happier lives in all of our days?

Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. I think optimistic people have always had hope and we always will. But hope is a portrait on the wall. It is just hanging there looking pretty and we really cannot make the portrait larger or the colors more vivid. It is what it is. It is just a feeling, devoid of any attachment to reality. Continue reading Question: What do you think gives us hope that all of us will lead happier lives in all of our days?

Question: Why aren’t test scores going up?

The short answer is:

Test scores don’t matter. They don’t matter to students. They don’t matter to teachers. They don’t matter to parents. They don’t affect the job market, college, our culture, or our country. We didn’t have them when the first steam engine was invented. We didn’t have them when the polio vaccine was invented. We didn’t have them when we sent humans to walk on the moon. We didn’t have them for 5000 years of recorded history and yet we got to the 1983 publication of “A Nation at Risk” just fine without them. Test scores don’t matter. Continue reading Question: Why aren’t test scores going up?

Question: Does inspiration mean that we have been inspired by ourselves? For example, I am inspired from my teacher. Does it mean that I will also become a teacher like him?

One definition of inspiration is: the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.

One way I like to think of it is: a person who can take my thoughts on a journey that takes new brain connections to complete. Inspirational people force us to see the world in a new and wonderful way, often for the rest of our lives. Continue reading Question: Does inspiration mean that we have been inspired by ourselves? For example, I am inspired from my teacher. Does it mean that I will also become a teacher like him?

Question: Teachers, what are your ideas for dealing with troublesome young students?

The goal is to change behavior. We can only change behaviors. We will not be dealing with feelings or emotions or how students learned these “troublesome” habits. Although much of teaching is psychology, we are not practicing psychologists, and that stuff is best left to the experts. Continue reading Question: Teachers, what are your ideas for dealing with troublesome young students?