Posts tagged ‘education’

Story Saturday/Sunday: Rich Dad Poor Dad

rich-dad-poor-dad

One of my students (a middleschooler!) is very interested in money and investments.  So, we started reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  It’s going great!

As part of our lesson, the student and I compared the rich dad and the poor dad.  He asked me which one I was, and I said “I’m the poor dad who wants to be the rich dad.”

Here’s what we discovered:

Poor Dad: Highly educated and intelligent

Rich Dad: never finished the 8th grade

Both: Successful in their careers, working hard all of their lives

Both: substantial incomes

Poor Dad: struggled financially all of his life

Rich Dad: one of the richest men in Hawaii

Rich Dad: Died leaving tens of millions of dollars to his family, charities, and his church

Poor Dad: Left bills to be paid

Both: Charismatic and influential

Both: Believed in education (but different courses of study)

Poor Dad: “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

Rich Dad: “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

Poor Dad says: “I can’t afford it.”

Rich Dad says: “How can I afford it?”

Poor Dad: put his brain to sleep when it came to money matters

Rich Dad: had a habit of exercising his brain

Poor Dad: thought the rich should pay more in taxes to take care of those less fortunate

Rich Dad: thought “Taxes punish those who produce and reward those who don’t produce.”

Poor Dad: “Study hard so you can find a good company to work for.”

Rich Dad: “Study hard so you can find a good company to buy.”

Poor Dad: “The reason I’m not rich is because I have you kids.”

Rich Dad: “The reason I must be rich is because I have you kids.”

Rich Dad: Encouraged talking about money and business at the dinner table.

Poor Dad: Forbade the subject of money to be discussed over a meal.

Poor Dad: “When it comes to money, play it safe, don’t take risks.”

Rich Dad: “Learn to manage risk.”

Poor Dad: “Our home is our largest investment and our greatest asset.”

Rich Dad: “My house is a liability, and if your house is your largest asset, you’re in trouble.”

Poor Dad: Paid the bills first.

Rich Dad: Paid the bills last.

Poor Dad: Believed the company or government should take care of you and your needs.

Rich Dad: Believed in total financial self-reliance.

Poor Dad: Struggled to save a few dollars.

Rich Dad: Created investments.

Poor Dad: Taught how to write an impressive resume to find a good job.

Rich Dad: Taught how to write strong business and financial plans to create jobs.

Poor Dad: “I’ll never be rich.”

Rich Dad: “I’m a rich man.” (even when it didn’t show)

Poor Dad: Wanted his son to earn a degree and get a good job to work for money.

Rich Dad: Wanted him to study to be rich, to understand how money works and learn how to have it work for him.

The book has been an inspiring reread for me, too.  If part of my vision is to have money freedom, then developing a comfortable understanding and relationship with money is an important “what” to my “how.”  If you haven’t read yourself, I highly recommend it!  Not only has this been a useful financial read, it’s a reiteration of what I’ve learned through the DreamBuilder program.  I was excited to read about mindset, persistence, sourcing, and asking the right questions!

Much love, abundance, and blessings! ❤

 

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Slacker

For the first time in my school career, I am being a slacker.

I’ve always gotten A’s and B’s, and my B’s were usually one percentage point away from an A, anyway.  Yes, I was one of those students.  But instead of scorning me, you should pity me, truly because most of my youth was wasted away on hours upon hours of homework, when the rest of the “slacker” types were doing just enough to get by and actually having a life in the meantime.

So, anyway, I’m still taking this course “Think Again: How to Reason and Argue.”  It’s through Coursera, and it’s absolutely free and completely over the Internet, which is totally awesome.  My goal has been to finish the course and get the certificate/credit for passing.  No A’s or B’s necessary.  Just enough to get the certificate.

Well, today I decided it was time to take the 2nd quiz.  You have an option of 4 different versions of the quiz to take (2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D), and whichever is the highest score is the grade you get to keep.  That Quiz 2 was a killer.  It was on truth tables and Venn diagram conclusions based on “some” and “all” and “none” and “some not”, etc etc, and I thought my brain was going to fry out like my poor, old, overheated hair dryer.  (Ok, maybe that was an odd analogy, sorry.)

Well, I took the quiz 2A and got a 13 out of 30.  I was concerned.  Usually I at least got half right on the activities, and this was an actual quiz.  What was I going to do?  Well, maybe I’ll do well enough on the other quizzes, and it won’t matter that I failed this one?  So, I went and checked on the forums where they talked about what was needed to pass, and then I went to the class logistics page and found it: 70% needed on each quiz to pass.  Crap.  Well, maybe I could figure out what I did wrong by looking at the answers.  (They give an explanation when you go back to check what you got write and wrong.)  But that was no help because they don’t actually give you the right answer: they just give you a paragraph-long explanation of why your answer is wrong.

So, I decided I might have figured out enough to try a 2nd attempt at the quiz.  I took Quiz 2B, felt a little more confident, and checked my score: 17 out of 30.  Better, but not enough.  Now I was panicking a bit.

So, I decided I was going to go back and enter all “a”s, then all “b”s, then all “c”s, “d”s, and “e”s until I actually had an answer key, and THEN go back and enter all the correct answers to get the explanation for the correct answers.  Well, I can now say that after all that time going back and forth multiple times, tracking down all 30 of those answers, I got absolutely nowhere.  Even the correct answers were confusing.   So, I went back to the forums, hoping someone would have asked questions about the quiz. That was useless because a lot of people were answering their own questions: “Oh, now I get it!” While I was thinking: “But, I still don’t!”  I checked back in the “Notes” forum pages.  Couldn’t find anything.  Someone suggested to google truth tables, but the information I found was either what I already knew or something we hadn’t learned in class.  I finally gave up and went back to the actual lessons, but I found those were just about as helpful as Google had been.

. . .  And now that I’m typing this, I’m thinking I don’t seem to be a slacker; more of a crazy, obsessed lunatic. . .

But, finally I was about ready to throw in the towel.  I was going to take that last quiz.  I was going to take it and pass — or fail it and quit.  Because if I didn’t get at least 70% on this quiz, I couldn’t possibly pass the class.  And I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through all the work without credit for the course.  (The course was getting tougher, and I wanted some recognition, darn it!)  I was ready to post a dramatic goodbye entry on one of the forums. “It’s been fun guys, but I keep failing your Quiz 2, and I don’t want to look at another truth table as long as I live!  It’s been nice taking your class.  Good bye. . . forever. . .”

But of course, as all good stories do, this one also has a happy ending.  I got a 21 out of 30 on the last quiz. 70%. — just enough to pass.  And I’m DONE with Quiz 2.  I may be a slacker, but at least I’m not quittin’!

After Today

I had a SIOP workshop today (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol). It was the 4th of 5. And I really enjoyed it today. I was focused and invigorated the entire workshop, and I really enjoyed everything I learned. It made me think. . . Maybe Brian and my friends were right — maybe I am a teacher, afterall.  I mean, if I can get excited about this stuff. . .  doesn’t that say something?  But I know I can’t turn back.  Just because I’m a teacher does not mean that I should stay where I am.   So, now I’m thinking about tutoring again.  Imagine being able to apply these great things that I’ve learned, but one-on-one, in a home, with no papers to grade or homework to give!  Maybe I’m just looking for the right situation.  So, that’s the direction I’m going to take next.  I know I will find my way.

Image: tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Commentary on the Clip “Why Education in Singapore Works”

I’ve often wondered why we don’t look at other countries more.  If other places have such better education than ours, then why don’t we find out what they’re doing?  According to PISA results (Program for International Student Assessment) in 2009 – as referenced in the video, the US is 17th in the world in reading, 30th in math, and 23rd in science. Singapore is 5th in reading, 2nd in math, and 4th in science. So, what’s so special about Singapore? This short video gives quite an enlightening introduction to the world of education on an island on the other side of the globe.

Overall Perception of Teachers

Singapore’s National Insitute of Education is an entire university devoted to preparing educators. Granted, the country is an island, but the gentleman interviewed shares that in a place where “a square foot of land is equated to gold and diamonds”, 16 hectares (40 acres) is devoted to the teaching university. He calls teacher education “the heart” of the education system in Singapore. As further proof of the importance placed on education, 20% of government spending goes toward education, and only the very top performing students are chosen to teach designated subjects in particular teaching positions.

Community Collaboration

The video shares that businesses are closely involved in the classrooms, wanting to ensure that the students are adequately prepared for the working world and that any type of career is available to them. Businesses integrate into the classrooms, even helping shape the curriculum. And it’s evident that technology is an important piece in all levels of education.  For example, what appears to be a group of elementary students were using Excel weekly as part of their classroom projects.

Practice and Accountability

The video closes with some other key aspects of the Singapore educational system:

– The focus is on collaborative environments in every aspect of education.

– Visualization is emphasized, as opposed to memorization.

–The students enjoy the learning process.

– There is an absence of talk and fixation on testing and test-based accountability.

– The school system is based on collaboration and trust.

Though this was a quick video, it seems like a great place to start looking for answers, if our country is truly concerned about the future of our education system.

Failing to Succeed

I think the problem I’m feeling in my current job is that I feel like I suck all of the time. When I was in school, I was getting the grades, I was getting the awards, I was getting the accolades. And now here, in this job, I always feel like I’m failing. The students are failing, so I am failing. I don’t have SIOP up-to-par, so I am failing. I’m not doing guided reading, writing workshop, Daily 4 – or whatever – perfectly. . . so I’m failing. I’m not contacting parents as much as I could and not grading papers and planning as much as I should, so I’m failing. And what do we hear from our society and legislators? Education is failing. Everywhere I look I am told that I’m a failure. That wears on a person.

And believe or not, I care about my students. So, when they don’t do well, I feel it. It hurts. I want them to succeed. I want to implement ideas and programs that work. Crazy, hmm? I don’t need someone to show me test scores. I don’t need to be told that there’s something wrong, that things need to change. Every day I wish things were better. And I actually used to believe things could change. . .

I know what we need. We need to overhaul the public education system. We need to create environments where students love learning and don’t lose their creativity and curiosity after kindergarten. Students should be involved in their own educational decisions and should be involved in their own inquiries and projects. And the government and corporations should stay OUT. I’m tired of people telling us what and how to think. We all need to think for ourselves.

Brian tells me that I really am a teacher, that I could really love my job in the right circumstances. Maybe. Maybe I’ll never know.

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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