Friday, June 30, 2006

Another crucial aspect of a Teacher Education Program and other stuff

We have just returned from Montreal and I realize that I haven't posted here for a few days. So here I go with a catchup.

Although I think about both process and product, when I think about a teacher education program I can't help but think about the outcomes for our students. So from that point of view I think a crucial aspect of a teacher education program is sufficient exposure, practice and understanding of technical teaching skills.

Teaching is artistic. Each of us use our own personalities, our own notions about teaching and learning, our own perspectives on our students, etc. to create ourselves as 'teacher.' Yet as teacher we all do many of the same fundamental tasks. No matter what or who we are teaching the students need to know what to focus on, they need to be organized as learners, the material needs to be presented or explained in a way that allows for learning and understanding, assessments - diagnostic, formative and summative need to be done, etc.

It doesn't take too many visits to classrooms to be able to differentiate the teachers who are skilled and confident in those skills and the unskilled or poorly skilled teacher.

So our task in renewing our programs is to identify skills, find ways to ensure a decent level of competence and ensure that our students can embed these skills in a critical, thoughtful approach to teaching.

Now onto the other stuff. I was worried that my herbs would be dead and gone by the time I got back from Montreal - I was wrong - my daughter took good care of them and they seem to be growing nicely - I am hoping for a solid second set of leaves before we leave again on Tuesday so that I can fertilize them before we go.

We brought back some beautiful pieces of soapstone carvings. Unfortunately, because my wife sells them, they never hang around long enough for us to appreciate them. But we bought a few more than she needed so there are some great pieces left in our den.

This is a piece that one of our clients might buy. It is a drum dancer and it almost appears to move when you see it. It is bigger than the pieces we normally buy but I think it is quite beautiful.

There is something about art - or more specifically - something about artists - people that see light and shade - that can turn that light and shade into art - that I find very appealing. I am useless when it comes to being creative in an artistic way so I am in awe of those who can create.

Lastly - although the mapstat thingy isn't really accurate - it recorded me as in Toronto when I was actually in Montreal - I am intrigued by the list of locations recorded. I don't have the most active blog but it seems there are some people almost from around the world that check it out. Some come every day to see if I have added anything and others come occasionally - I really get a kick out of that - and I invite anyone to leave a comment - even if it is just to tell me that they have visited or to invite me to visit their blog