The Doctor is in!!! After his brief stay overseas, Dr.
Manute is pleased to be back stateside answering questions from
Manute is a well-renowned world traveler, guest speaker, and educational
Manute holds multiple degrees in several educational fields. He has
stateside and international school communities. He has extensive
experience (25 years) in school administration. He also has worked
at the university level, supervising teacher interns and teaching
undergraduate courses. You
can contact Dr. Manute through the form at the end of this
I recently received a question regarding starting off the new year:
Dear Dr Manute,
This is a time for new year's resolutions.
What are some ideas you have for kicking off the 2010 year in teaching?
Cyd, Lakeland, FL
Dr. Manute responds:
Welcome, I hope the new year brings you much
happiness and success.In
response, I have written some thoughts as you begin 2010.
am an effective educator and I have chosen an honorable profession.
students will be successful in my classroom.
am in total control of my classroom.
a professional I set the tone for the learning climate.
remain one of my greatest resources for meeting students’ needs.
will design and implement lessons that are challenging and creative.
will employ effective teaching techniques that are current and
realize there will always be a political agenda in education and I
vow to keep focus on my classroom and students.
If you can keep the above within eyesight of your
desk it may help you as the rigors and challenges occur daily.The old saying about those who can, do... and those who
can’t, teach is not correct.It
should say "Those who can, teach...and those who can’t, go into
some less significant line of work."Have a great 2010 and enjoy one of the most satisfying and
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Hand is an
educator's resource for using some of the coolest technologies
Learning in Hand is
written by Tony Vincent. Tony taught fifth
grade in Omaha, Nebraska for six years, and three of those years
his students were pioneers in educational handheld computing.
Then, as technology specialist at Willowdale Elementary, Tony
brought the newest technologies into classrooms. Whether it was
digital video, blogs, email, podcasts, or handhelds, Tony helped
Willowdale teachers and students understand the usefulness of
new technologies. Currently, Tony is self-employed as an
education consultant. He conducts workshops, presents at
conferences, and writes books based on his teaching experiences
and passion for new technologies.
Always excited to
share, Tony has documented much of what he knows about handheld
computing and podcasting on his website, learninginhand.com.
There you'll find useful software collections, the best webs
links for handhelds, complete lesson plans, and an informative
Tony is a teacher who
wants to make education effective, relevant, and fun. He knows
handhelds are small computers that can make a big difference in
classrooms! He hopes Learning in Hand inspires and motivates
teachers to use technology that students crave.
Two iPod touch/iPhone Videos
The K12 Online
Conference is an annual event where presenters share about
various topics in education and technology. Most presentations
are in video format and are freely available to educators
around the world. The conference, run entirely by volunteers,
began November 30th and is ongoing through January 9th. I'd
like to point you toward two presentations about iPhones and
a "Touch" of Leadership – Using the iPod touch/iPhone
in Administration Andy Crozier and Mike Amante in Cedar Rapids Iowa and New
Hartford, New York show you apps and success stories from
administrators in the field that are using iPod touch/iPhone
for data collection, organization, creating a mobile office,
and personal professional development. Links to apps and
resources mentioned in this video can be found at the Apple
Learning Interchange. (Audio in the video below is not
working correctly. Click here
for a better version.)
iPod touch in the Classroom
Kern Kelley from Newport, Maine shows some of the basic uses
for iPod touch. Kern first takes you from unboxing the iPod to
syncing with iTunes. After showing some basics, he shares a
dozen of his favorite apps and they are listed here.
You can download the above videos in iTunes since the 2009
K12 Online Conference is available as a podcast.
You might be interested in other sessions so check out the 2009
Order your own iPod Touch Today with the links below:
are six modules designed to test the basic ability of an
individual in terms of Memory & Concentration. Needless to
say this is the most important basic skill for not just to
survive but also to thrive in this competitive environment.
Each of the six modules tests the six variants of Memory &
Concentration in an individual, namely:
of these modules runs at three different levels, from easy to
At each level, the individual's performance is depicted as
A feedback has been built into the software for all these 18
levels depending on the marks one scores during the
Each individual can assess his/her performance any time by
clicking on "history", which gives complete details
of date and time of taking the tests, marks scored each time
and even time taken to do the test. This builds the confidence
level and encourages more participation to eventually
culminate in improvement and enhancement of memory and
Essentially, this software is a SELF AWARENESS tool that
surely motivates the individual to realize one's capability
and seek or be receptive for improvement. Also, if repeatedly
done over a period of time works as Training tool to enhance
software package is specifically designed to help young
children to learn basic skills that will help them in
school. Continued follow-up will give these young
learners success as they mature.
Three versions of the software exist:
Individual Software on either CD or Online, Family
Version Software, and an Institutional Software package.
StarTeaching wholeheartedly supports
and endorses this software. It will make a difference
with your child or student.
For The Things They Don't Teach You In College
Web Pages in Class
Web pages can become a great means of
displaying and publishing student work. There are millions of
people online every moment of every day. Our students are fully
accustomed to using the web for everything from research to
communication to shopping. Web pages are the language in which
they are both comfortable and competent.
Creating student web pages provides a great in-road for teachers to
reach students on their terms. Though there are many simple programs to
use, many students (even very young elementary students) who can
fluently speak `html' and code and decode scripts. This is truly their
`native language', as is the ability to multi-task (which often gives us
`aliens' headaches!). Take the initiative and create projects for your
students to show off their skills.
There are several concerns to think about before beginning such a
One concern to be aware of is your school or district's Internet use
policy. You may need parental permission to allow students to put their
work, name, or pictures on the net. I would always caution you about
including a student's full name on a web site that is available to the
general public. There are also cautions about putting personal
photographs online. Usually whole class, group, or team photos are ok.
Always check first. If your school is not exactly at the forefront of
technology, don't be afraid of blazing a trail for your colleagues to
follow. Your work may become the basis for others in your school to make
Remember to also create an etiquette policy about creative license (or
use one already developed by your school). Obviously you want students
to be creative, but you also don't want them to be outlandish or off of
the topic of your assignment. Students are funny in that way. If they
are just writing a paper, its the same old same old. However, once they
realize they are going public, many become stringent about what they
want to show the general public. Many will try to make their own
'statement' or 'presence' and disregard the rules of etiquette you've
set up. Hold your ground. You do have the right to control what the
students can put onto a school site.
Where to host your sites is another concern you'll have to deal with
right away. At the present, we have our students' sites on our own
server at school. It is great if your school can accommodate your class.
You will need a web editor such as Microsoft FrontPage or one of the
many free down-loadable editors from the net. But what if your school is
unable (or unwilling) to fully accommodate you? There are many free
sites online that can help you out. In the past, we used the commercial
site GeoCities. This is a nice, free site that even includes a free
web/html editor and basic tutorials to guide students through the steps
of design. It is very easy to use and students can access it from any
computer in the world that has an internet connection.
We started out simply, having students type in their name and school as
headers. Then we split up the page into sections for math, social
studies, science, and English. At this point, the page can hold
assignments from any class, so any teacher in the grade can give web
We practiced creating links to our school homepage and our 7th grade
page. We also added links to our homework assignment calendar, our pages
of vocabulary, and to Google for net searches.
We also talked at length about page layout. Unlike programs like
PowerPoint where you can place anything wherever you want it on the
page, html requires codes called tables to set up items horizontally. We
teach the students about tables and cells so they can divide up the page
in whatever fashion they wish.
Students' personal preferences and creativity are also taken into
consideration. We show them the basics of formatting text, changing
fonts, sizes, colors, and styles. Students are also allowed to change
page attributes such as the colors of the background and links. We even
show them how to add different background pictures from files.
The first assignment to be placed on the students' websites was our
biography project. Our English curriculum includes reading a biography
and writing a report on that person. We adapted this to publish the
report online, with the information, pictures, and clip art placed on
the web page. Look for more details on the biography- web page project
in an upcoming issue.
There are many options your class can do with the websites. You can
teach the students to code in html, or work with the structures of a web
page (such as tables, formats, links, and additional pages). You might
have students explore new technologies to embed in the pages, such as
PowerPoints, blogs, videos (streaming) or audio (podcasting). You may
wish to connect with other students around the world (e-pals). You and
fellow teachers may want to collaborate on projects.
There are many directions these projects can take your class. The key is
for you as the teacher to be open to using new technologies and ready to
go out and learn about them. You can learn a lot from the students; you
don't have to know it all. But you must be ready to provide support to
them when needed.
latest articles are focusing on 21st Century Learning and the
latest research to drive 21st Century Teaching.
I’ve been interested in 21st
century skills for several years now, ever since I realized the
traditional way of teaching isn’t reaching the students. In my
research to learn more I came across the organization: Partnership for
21st Century Skills located at http://www.21stcenturyskills.
org/. They have put together
a plan that connects curriculum and 21st century skills.
Just as we've heard about the 3 R's of reading, writing, and
arithmetic, the 21st century skills are called the 5 C's. These
are critical thinking, creative problem solving, communications,
collaboration, and cross cultural relationship building. Let’s take
a closer look at these skills. Critical thinking and creative problem
solving are skills that we need to learn to help us understand the
world around us and interact with it. Communications and collaboration
are skills that help us work and interact with others in our work and
learning situations. Cross-cultural relationship building is something
that is important in our global economy.
I’ve been working with my students
for several years using group work (collaboration), having them
journal and reflect on their answers (critical thinking), and doing
problem solving as individuals and partners. Last year, my class
connected on ePals (cross cultural relationship building) with a South
Korean class and we did video chat (Skype) with the teacher. One
evening five of my students connected with students from that
classroom. The time difference offered some interesting challenges.
In an article posted in the Toronto
Star (Canada) on Aug. 9, 2009 called No More Pencils, Lots More Fun
they take you to a school district that is changing the learning
culture in their school. They have changed the pedagogy of the school.
In the article a statement is made that is a great explanation of why
to make this change and I quote: “Jim Greenlaw, dean of the faculty
of education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in
Oshawa, says education is moving away from the "transmissional"
– where teachers simply impart information – to transactional,
or working together, and even to transformational, where it
changes students' lives. "And if you are a fair teacher who gives
students something interesting to do, then you can be more demanding
because they are more interested," he says.”
Lifelong Learning is a very
intriguing subject. I say that because so many people like to throw
that term around, but have no clue what it means. As an example, my
elementary school has that in its mission statement, yet it’s a
traditional school, which lectures, uses mostly worksheets, and is
constantly testing the students. I find that when they get to me the
students think learning comes from a worksheet and I have to undo that
Dr. Terry Paulson gives an
interesting perspective on Lifelong Learning. Although his talk is
more for an adult audience, his points are well made on its
importance. He mixes some historical statements with an understanding
of today’s changing world and how we should be as learners.
Mark Benn earned his B.S. from Western
Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from
Northern Michigan University. He is a 21 year teaching
veteran of 5th and 6th grade students at Inland Lakes Middle
School in Indian River, MI. He is currently working on
Masters of Integration of Technology from Walden University.
Prior to teaching, Mark spent 11 years as Department Manager for
Sears, Roebuck and Co. dealing with emerging technologies.
He has been married to his wife Bonnietta for 32 years with one
daughter and two sons. In the summers, Mark works for
Mackinac State Historic Parks in the as a historical
is a Development consultant associated with a number of Non
governmenetal Organizations(NGO). Prior to this, she was with
Aga Khan Education Services Pakistan for 10 years as a
Professional Development Teacher and Counsellor. She has done
her Masters in Islamic Studies and English from University of
Karachi. She is a commonwealth scholar and completed her Masters
in Education Planning, Economic and International Development
from the institute of Education (IOE), University of London.
Language learning OR language Imposition: Revisiting Announced Educational Policy -Sepetmber 2009 by Federal Education Minsiter of Pakistan
by Rozina Jumani
WE are all aware that learning is an arbitrary act and it can take place “anywhere,” “anytime,” and at “any pace”, (Shachar & Neumann 2003). Likewise, language learning is also an uninformed, subjective act where the children are provided the stimulus to communicate in their mother tongue, also known as the child’s first or native language.
Language learning is a natural process where the child does not face any problems in learning his mother tongue because his whole environment provides him with the scaffolding.
Learning a language through his receptive skills, he later applies his productive skills to communicate in and write that language. Noam Chomsky in his book Language and Mind (1968) discusses the “innate abilities” of children’s brains and shares that each human brain has a language acquisition device (LAD) that enables the learner to learn any language with ease. It is important to underline that “first language learning is an unconscious learning process, and usually learnt joyfully where as second language acquisition requires a conscious effort from the learners to learn a language with all its complexities, grammar and structures, etc.”
Commenting on the recently-announced education policy that aims to teach all concepts of mathematics, sciences, social studies, etc., in the English language from grade one onwards, seems a tall claim. Being an educationist, though I belong to the progressive school of thought and intend to connect all our students with the global society using the global language, i.e., English, I am not for distorted learning.
Linguists and educationists, for many years until now, have been debating over the suitability of instructional language. They confront questions such as whether the concepts to teach a foreign language since the early years of learning are right or not.
On the other hand, other linguists and educationists believe that learning during early years is critical as that is the stage where children comprehend the concepts based on the stimulus and develop their own patterns of learning, which usually last forever and guide them throughout their lives.
Thus they claim that the meaning might be lost when teaching children the concepts in a foreign language like they are taught in the first language (mother tongue). Most of the time the translation of certain concepts, too, cannot be made available in a second or foreign language.
Still all the educators, linguists and parents can come to one consensus for the sake of the policy about using the English language from grade one in all schools, rural or urban, across Pakistan.
We might ignore for a while the private sector as according to Dr Shahid Siddique, 33 per cent of the education provision is in the hands of the private sector. They might handle it on their own. Still what will happen to the remaining 67 per cent students’ population in the government schools?
According to the official statistics available from the Ministry of Education’s website, in 2005-2006, there were 137,751 primary schools, 14,982 middle schools and 9,110 high schools in the public sector. A majority of them are in the rural areas. Therefore, what will be our strategic intervention to at least cover the 137,751 primary schools where the curriculum will be taught in the English language exclusively from next year?
How can we even ensure the approachability of the federal or provincial education ministries in the rural areas of Pakistan to oversee the effective implementation of the announced education policy when there are apprehensions about the state of several government schools operating as ghost schools in the urban areas where accessibility and monitoring is easily manageable?
We also need to reflect on the following questions prior to the implementation of the policy to see whether we even have the answers to some of them. Are we prepared to implement the policy? Do we have enough trained English language teachers, competent in teaching conceptual knowledge in a foreign language? Do we have an enabling environment for our children to learn their conceptual knowledge and skills in a foreign language? What kinds of resources are required to teach conceptual knowledge in a foreign language, and do we have enough of them or not? Will conceptual teaching be done through grammar translation as is done in many government as well as semi-private or private schools or would other pedagogical methods be explored and the teachers be equipped accordingly?
These are just a few of the questions that come up in one’s mind. Moving ahead further for the implementation, we will certainly face more hard-core realities that we may be unaware of now.
We can have various perspectives but who among us is willing to think out the implementation plan for the announced policy from the learners’ point of view? Will the policy make our students linguistically rich?
Despite all deliberations, I still hope that the entire process of new language learning would become an enriching and enjoyable process for all our young learners in the main cities or the remote rural areas. Otherwise, it will be nothing more than a language imposition, which has its own negative repercussions on children’s personalities as it said in such cases: “Jack of all trades and master of none”.
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The goal of Montessori is to provide a stimulating, child-centered
environment in which children can explore, touch, and learn without
fear, thus engendering a lifelong love of learning as well as providing
the child the self-control necessary to fulfill that love.
The Montessori method emphasizes the uniqueness of each child and
recognizes that children are different from adults in the way they
develop and think (they aren't just "adults in small
bodies"). Dr. Montessori believed in children's rights, the value
and importance of children's work to develop themselves into adults,
and that this development would lead to world peace.
The Montessori method discourages traditional measurements of
achievement (grades, tests) as negative competition that is damaging
to the inner growth of children (and adults). Feedback and qualitative
analysis of a child's performance does exist but is generally provided
in the form of a list of skills, activities and critical points, and
sometimes a narrative of the child's achievements, strengths and
weaknesses. Deficiencies in one area are treated as places to improve,
not as failures.
The Montessori method is based on observing young children and
learning from them about their characteristics and needs. Universal
characteristics of children are recognized for each level of
development: the first is birth through 6, the second is ages 6-12.
Montessori classroom for the first level is called the casa dei
bambini, or "children's house," where each child is nurtured
and guided in individually-paced learning and development. As children
enter the second level, they become peer-oriented and learn best in a
social environment, collaborating with others, and "cosmic
education" is introduced to expand their awareness and develop as
citizens of the community and the world.
As an educational approach, the Montessori method's focus is on the
individuality of each child in respect of their needs or talents, as
opposed to the needs of the class as a whole. A goal is to help the
child maintain their natural joy of learning.
The Montessori method encourages a great deal of independence,
freedom within appropriate limits, which is always linked with
responsibility. The youngest children are guided in "practical
life" skills towards taking care of themselves, maintaining their
environment, and interacting gracefully with others. Integral to the
practical life activities are essential skills such as focusing of
attention, hand-eye-body coordination, and the students' ability to
accomplish what they set out to do. The Montessori Method states that
satisfaction, contentment, and joy result from the child having access
and guidance to be full participants in daily activities. There are
also attractive and enticing materials with which the child gains a
foundation for academics and other skills. Montessori education
carried through the elementary and high school years follows the
child's emerging tendency for peer interactions and still emphasize
each student as guardian of his or her own intellectual development.
The Premises of a Montessori Approach to Teaching and Learning
A view of children as competent beings capable of
That children learn in a distinctly different way
The ultimate importance of observation of the child
interacting with his environment as the basis for ongoing curriculum
development. Presentation of subsequent exercises for skill
development and information accumulation are based on the teacher's
observation that the child has mastered the current exercise(s).
Delineation of sensitive periods of development,
during which a child's mind is particularly open to learning specific
skills or knowledge, including language development, sensorial
experimentation and refinement, and various levels of social
A belief in the "absorbent mind", that
children from birth to around age 6 possess limitless motivation to
achieve competence within their environment and to perfect skills and
understandings. This phenomenon is characterized by the young child's
capacity for repetition of activities within sensitive period
categories, such as exhaustive babbling as language practice leading
to language competence.
That children are masters of their environment,
which has been specifically prepared for them to be academic,
comfortable, and allow a maximum amount of independence.
That children learn through discovery, so didactic
materials that are self-correcting are used as much as possible.
Independent problem solving is encouraged.
Part 3 of this series will focus on the Montessori classroom and
’s legendary Dogman returns in
Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen by Frank Holes, Jr.The third book in the series is a masterful blend of
fantasy and folklore, delving into the pre-dawn history of the
mysterious creature and then rushing forward to the present day.The supernatural beast is seen from two fronts.The first encounter, part of a 1700s French fur-trader’s
dream, chronicles the cultural clash between the indigenous,
prehistoric civilizations and the Nagual, the half-man,
half-canine skin-walkers, a clash where only one side can survive.We then return to the modern day as the Dogman rampages
across the fields and forests, the farms and camps of Grand
beast is hunting for the remnants of its stolen, ancient treasure
that will give it immortality and unlimited power.Can two young camp counselors put an end to the chaos
without losing their lives?
Part mystery, part science fiction, Year
of the Dogman is an imaginative, compelling, and adrenaline-pumping
adventure. Author Frank Holes, Jr. takes no prisoners in creating a
diabolical creature that leaves the forest to prey on the hapless hamlet
. When night falls, the nocturnal beast, Dogman, scares the living
daylights out of anyone he happens upon as he searches for a timeless
treasure stolen from a Native American tribe. In the midst of the chaos, a
young teacher is forced to put two and two together no matter how high the
cost to rid the village of the treacherous man-beast who thrives on
destruction and terror.
In The Haunting of Sigma,
Frank Holes, Jr. returns fans of the legendary Dogman to the wild world
of cryptozoology in
.This darker, far more
sinister prequel to Holes’s first novel fully establishes his hold
upon the imaginations of readers all over the
. June 1987 ushers in the
hot, dry summer season, but something else far more horrifying has taken
up residence in the deep wilderness in
.The Dogman, a supernatural
combination of canine and man, has returned to wreck havoc upon the
tiny, sleepy community of Sigma.
Based upon the
epic Greek tale of The Odyssey, yet set in the American Wild West, The Longquist Adventures: Western Odyssey chronicles the journey of a young boy and his guide through a perilous
world of dangerous encounters and fantastic creatures.It is a world of gun fights at high noon, stampedes on the great
plains, stagecoach robbery, and an ultimate showdown with a ruthless,
powerful gangster aboard a turn-of-the-century paddlewheel in the San
Francisco Bay.Can the
time-traveling boy and the law-abiding Marshal restore order to the
chaos of the American West gone truly wild?
A Place for Teachers New To The Craft
Snow Day Procedures
For the many of us who are lucky enough to live and teach in the northern climates, weather-related cancellations and delays to the school day schedule are always possible. These 'snow days' are in the backs of students and teachers' minds constantly during the winter season.
Even if your district doesn't get a lot of snow, cancellations can also occur due to ice, floods, fog, deteriorated road conditions, power outages, and other such emergency situations. And as we've seen so many times in the last few years, powerful storms can render both schools and communities helpless.
As a teacher, you'll want to form an emergency plan to deal with such inconveniences.
Some teachers just like to 'push' the day forward. If a Tuesday was cancelled, those lesson plans would get 'pushed' to the next day students return to class.
Of course, you'll want to think about your assigned work. Students have no idea (or control over) whether school will be cancelled, so it's unlikely they have prepared themselves (unless you have taught them to do so and set that as an expectation). These students may not have your textbooks and materials at home (for whatever reason) to do the work. Then you have to take into account students who were absent the day before a cancellation, as they would not have the assigned work. And let's face it - kids at home are just as happy to have a day off as the teachers are, and it's unlikely they are doing school work (let alone thinking about school!)
With this in mind, there are some teachers (myself included) who will give one extra day on assignments. It's really just not worth the hastle or headache to stress over it. However, I'll move ahead with the rest of the plans from the cancelled day. If there was something assigned that was intricately necessary to the plans, I would try my best to find a way to delay it a day if at all possible.
Another thing I'll do to make up that time lost is just to cancel one or more of my weekly assignments.
Of course things get really crazy if two or more days are cancelled during the week or consecutively. My standing rule is that two days cancelled will automatically eliminate my weekly Friday spelling & vocabulary quiz.
And should three (or more) days be cancelled, that lost time will just be wrapped into the next week. Sure it takes a bit of adjusting, but it is far better on my students and on my own mental stability!
I keep the vital activities intact, like our essays and writing activities, and
our reading assignments, whether they be from novels, handouts,
anthologies, or our Articles of the Week.
These are just some ideas and you'll want to find procedures that work for you, your students, and your classes.
For a single snow day or cancellation:
Everything shifts one day forward. •Assignments are due the next day we return to school.
•Vocab packet is due one day later (Mon, Tues, Wed).
•We cancel the vocab crossword
If there are 2 or more snow days in a week, we cancel all Friday activities.
•No vocab quiz for the week.
•move activities forward another day
•cancel weekly activities if necessary
For 3 or more days off:
•wrap the lessons into the next week.
•adjust weekly work or delay until the next week.
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Be sure to check out our website for more great
information, tips, and techniques for new teachers,
student-teachers, and interns in teacher prep programs. Also be
sure to check out our Who-I-Want-To-Be teacher plan for
preparing yourself to enter the educational profession. Simply
click the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm
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"God Lives Under The
Whose Life do We Truly
I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed.
At least that's what I heard him say one night.
He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to
listen, "Are you there, God?" he said. "Where are
you? Oh, I see. Under the bed..."
I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique
perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night
something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the
first time the very different world Kevin lives in.
He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of
difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2),
there are few ways in which he is an adult.
He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old,
and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives
under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space
under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the
sky because angels carry them.
I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever
dissatisfied with his monotonous life?
Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the
disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his
favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.
The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers
excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn
He does not seem dissatisfied.
He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of
He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove
before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our
dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.
And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad
takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes
land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger
"That one's goin' to Chi-car-go!" Kevin shouts as he
claps his hands.
His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.
And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.
He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.
His life is simple.
He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he
does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food
he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that
one day they may not be.
His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is
working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his
heart is completely in it.
He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not
leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done,
Kevin knows how to relax.
He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart
He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept,
and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.
Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not
afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry He is always
transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ,
he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be
friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an
"educated" person to grasp. God seems like his closest
In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I
envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.
It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine
knowledge that rises above my mortal questions
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the
handicap. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my
circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust
them to God's care.
Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After
all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence,
praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.
And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are
all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize
that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God
lived under his bed.
Kevin won't be surprised at all!
What's New @
2009 was a great year for us. We
added a new staff writer, Helen de la Maza, who is now sending us
monthly science activities for our newsletter. We continued to
reprint articles from Chris Glavin of K12Academics. Most of our
other Featured Writers are already sending us articles for the new
year. And we've managed to locate Dr. Manute after his travels
abroad and bring him back for another school year of useful educational
Now on to 2010! Starting this month, we have
been so fortunate to have added several nationally-recognized
educational specialists to our newsletters. Tony Vincent (this
issue) will be joined by Hank Kellner (next issue), a leading expert in
using photography to help teach writing skills. Both educators
bring a detail-rich perspective to our readers.
You will also notice we have MORE TO OFFER to our
readers each issue! Be sure to see our new column, Student
Teachers' Lounge, a section devoted just to those
teachers-in-training. And we're bringing back our WEBSITE of the
MONTH, updated both on our newsletters and our website. And
we've now set up a FACEBOOK page for StarTeaching for more reader
interaction and constant, updated streams of educational
Of course, you should also check our website for a
number of updates and re-designed pages. We're starting to collect
quite a few articles from educational experts all over the world.
See these archives on our website: www.starteaching.com
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Reports on our website by clicking the quick link below:
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Graphic Organizer for writing. These are forms you
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information, at your fingertips!
Sandra is playing in a tennis doubles tournament. The rules say that the
average age of the pair of players on each side must be ten years old or
younger. Sandra is eight years old. Her partner must be _____ years old
Juan has played in four baseball games this season. He struck out an
average of twice per game. In the last three games, he didn’t strike
out at all. How many times did he strike out in the first game of the
took five spelling tests in the last marking period. He scored 100% in
all but one. His lowest score was 80%. What was his mean score for the
spelling tests in the last marking period?
bought seven pens. Four of the pens cost a dollar each. Three of the
pens cost 30 cents each. What was the average cost of each pen?
This mystery number has 4 digits. Every digit is an odd number. None of
the digits is a 9. Every digit in the number is different. The smallest
digit is in the thousands place. The greatest digit is in the ones
place. The preceding describes two possible numbers. The mystery number
is the greater of those two numbers. What is the mystery number?
mystery number has 6 digits. If you add one to this number it will be a
7 digit number. What is the mystery number?
This mystery number has 5 digits. There is a 4 in the ten thousands
place. None of the other digits is a 4. What is the smallest number that
this mystery number can be?
mystery number is one half of a billion. How many zeros are in this
Brian has fourteen pets. All of his pets are
cats and dogs. Brian has four more cats than dogs. How many dogs does he
Brienne owns four cars. Gavan owns twice as many cars as Brienne. Ashley
owns one less car than Gavan. Ashley is buying four new tires for every
car she owns. Each tire costs one hundred dollars. How much money will
the tires cost altogether?
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up a copy of any of her THREE books for sale