Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Felix is a class mascot, and some of the students have really taken to him. He appears in blogs that my students are creating about their personal culture. Felix is a true Neville Tiger, and he has been seen at football games, basketball games, and the cafeteria. He has created an instant connection for the students, and they are having fun sharing him on their blogs.
While I could hope for a bit more writing in their blogs, it is good to see students interested in at least one of our class assignments. They are even looking at other students' work and commenting on the things they write. He hasn't been a total success, but if just one student develops his/her writing ability, then he has done his job.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Instead of a faculty meeting which we expected to attend, we were treated to a tour points of interest around the city. This included a visit to Shri Ramakrishna Ashrama, the childhood home of Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi High School, and a school built by Gandhi which still teaches basic Indian skillls like spinning and weaving.
We also sampled a local treat - coconut water, straight from the coconut.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
On this trip, I am supposed to discuss "my school environment" which requires an entirely different list of things than a personal trip would. I can't decide what to take at all, so I am taking two DVD's of football from Neville - the state championship game and a highlight reel. I think that the students will be much more impressed with the things our students enjoy than some boring discussion of demographics and teaching practices. I want to leave the students with an experience, and I think that they will understand the family that is Neville High School better if they see that family for themselves. There is no way I could do it justice on my own.
I leave tomorrow, so its really to late to change my plans now anyway. I wouldn't know where to start or stop.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Currently, I am trying to get seniors out of high school and on to more gratifying activities. Once again, I find myself surrounded by students who can barely use the English language planning to be doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc. I find that some of them have what seems to me an impossible dream, and I cope less and less with their surreality.
The greatest thing about high school students is their relentless belief that they can do better than those who have come before them. The funniest thing about them is that the lack of work ethic, basic knowledge, and financial stability hasn't "punched them in the stomach" yet. The world will open to them like the pages of a book and hand them everything they need for success. Unfortunately, they will probably fail to read the material the book offers like they have failed to read any book this year.
It saddens me to think I have failed, but there is always next year. I have hope that one day the student who will step up and take the initiative to make a change that is desperately needed to promote a successful future will magically appear. Perhaps he or she will find that the definition of success has nothing to do with how much money you make, what kind of house you own, what car you drive, or what clothes you wear. I might possibly convince a student someday that you are successful if you make a change for the better, enjoy your work, have happy children, or simply do no harm to others. These are the true measures of success.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I am also sure that there is nothing you can purchase or do that will make someone love you. It seems that we as a modern society have confused gratitude with love. Sure, I like to get gifts just as much as the next person, but in an era of obesity and food related illnesses, is a holiday that thrives on candy and flowers really appropriate?
Also, with as many people in our world in need of real food, real jobs, and real help, isn't it a bit ridiculous for those of us with much to give to waste it on luxury items? Think about it, how many families could be fed for what we spend on Valentine's day alone? Surely, we should attempt to change the focus of this holiday from romantic love to brotherly love.
I am not however a cynic; I am just giving you a little candy for thought. Happy Valentine's Day!