Carl's Teaching Blog

A place to talk about teaching and learning

This Week: Last Minute Wedding Preparations, Summer Growth Plans, And Kids In The Post Office

I’m looking forward to getting married on Friday and what will be the biggest party that I will probably ever plan myself.  There is an amazing amount of things you can choose to do yourself when planning a wedding and we are doing just about all of it.  I ironed 11 table clothes yesterday (19 more to go!), and helped design the program.  It’s one of those things where we could keep investing and endless amount of time into the details, so it’s hard to know if you’ve done too much, or you should just settle for the traditional option.  It seems a bit like teaching in this sense, and since we are both teachers, we are quite comfortable coming up with our own activities, formatting documents, and otherwise putting in a lot of effort to make an experience a little bit better.

What I’m teaching this week What I’m doing to better my teaching this week:

Since it’s summer vacation and I’m not teaching summer school (Woo hoo!), I can’t write about what I’m teaching this week like I do most weeks.  Instead I will write about what I plan to do to get better at teaching this week.  Next week I will head out on a pretty long honey moon and will have a lot of time to sit down and read some books and articles on my kindle.  In the time between ironing tablecloths (19!) I’ll be loading up my kindle with books to read to improve my teaching and get caught up on the goings on in the Math Ed world.  Any suggestions?

What I’m blogging this week:

What do I do with this blog this week?  I have a number of posts I want to make about the NCTM conference meeting that I attended last week along with Robert Kaplinsky, a recap of my talk on Global Math Department, and a wrap up of my teaching year.  Whether or not these things will happen will depend on how many tableclothes get ironed (have I mentioned that I’m ironing tablecloths?), so I’m not going to make any promises here.

What I’m thinking this week

Yesterday I was at the post office and saw a small swarm of kids running and climbing all over everything as their mother waited in a long slow line.  Upon seeing kids in unstructured activities, the teacher in me began to think that they should be in a controlled and nurturing environment, like school.  In all reality, the real world is not like school, and I as an adult realize that the post office is not a going to place where kid or adults have room to explore, and learn and grow.  But what if it was?  Summer vacation puts kids into places where only adults spend their time and it should forces people to think about what these kids are learning during their time in this place.  Maybe this is a good thing.  Maybe kids should spend more time in these spaces in order for some acclimation to occur, and I mean the adults to acclimate to the kids.  Yeah, the kids may learn they need to “behave” or whatever, but the Post Office, and society at large, can also begin to learn how to think through interactions with kids.  Restaurants have been getting it right for years.  Kids show up and they have a different menu usually with some reading material, some crayons and some engaging activities on a kids menu.    If the question of what kids are learning was actively considered by business, institutions, and other people outside of schools, it might even change the way people talk about education. With everyone in the role of educator for some small part of their day, perhaps educational conversations wouldn’t need to devolve all the way back to the  “Well, when I went to school…” refrain.  What if everyone saw themselves as playing a role in the development of kids?

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This Month: Wedding, Honeymoon, and the gentle drift back to reality

1 Comment

  1. I love your sense of humor with regards to wedding prep and ironing tablecloths. 🙂
    Your comments about the post office resonated with me as I struggle as the mom of an almost 4-yr old with providing educational experiences or even appropriate behavior when out.

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