Parent teacher conference day is really beneficial, but it’s a day I usually dread because it is such a long and draining day. Fall conference day this year, my seventh year teaching, was my best day of conferences I’ve had (and that’s impressive since I had a horrible cold.) I’ve tried really hard to communicate continuously with parents, especially if there are problems with their kids, so there are no surprises. Most of the parents were really pleased with how the school year was going and the progress their kids are making.
I love getting to hear from parents what the kids go home and tell them about school. Parents and teachers see very different sides of kids. And I kept hearing over and over that the kids are loving learning about astronomy. Astronomy is my favorite unit to teach and I get really excited about it, which gets my kids really excited about it!
I also heard from so many parents that their kids have really started to love reading this year. This is the ultimate reward for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read and I share that love of reading with my students. I really think that if I teach my kids nothing else, the year will have been a success if they leave third grade loving to read. So much of school anymore sucks the fun out of reading and that’s so awful!
Astronomy and reading are the two things that I love to teach more than anything else. It makes me wonder what kind of an impact I could have on my students if I got more excited about everything else that I teach.
So many kids (and adults, for that matter) complain about going school. We whine through homework assignments. We refresh the news websites every two minutes when the weather gets cold to see if our school got a snow day. We start the countdown to summer break in March.
We are so incredibly lucky. Education is such an amazing privilege that many people in our world do not get to experience.
Here are some facts about education around the world
- As of 2012, 31 million primary-school pupils worldwide dropped out of school. An additional 32 million repeated a grade.
- In the sub-Saharan, 11.07 million children leave school before completing their primary education. In South and West Asia, that number reaches 13.54 million.
- According to UNESCO, 61 million primary school-age children were not enrolled in school in 2010. Of these children, 47% were never expected to enter school, 26% attended school but left, and the remaining 27% are expected to attend school in the future.
- Children living in a rural environment are twice as likely to be out of school than urban children. Additionally, children from the wealthiest 20% of the population are 4 times more likely to be in school than the poorest 20%.
- In developing, low-income countries, every additional year of education can increase a person’s future income by an average of 10%.
For Americans in this day and age, there is absolutely no excuse to ever stop learning.
There are so many FREE resources available to us:
- Coursera– I am currently taking a class about teacher coaching on Coursera. The class is free, or you can pay $49 to get a certificate for your hours spent.
- Harvard – Yes, even Harvard offers many of their classes online for free.
- TED Talks – You can hear passionate people share about everything from science, to entertainment, to business.
- DuoLingo – A free app and website that allows you to interactively learn a new language.
- Youtube videos- This amazing platform is no longer just for cat videos and gnarly skateboard wipeouts. There is TONS of educational content available. Here are just a few of my favorites:
- READ- The classic standby. Go to the library, browse at 2nd and Charles, listen to audiobooks on Audible.com, or read e-books on a Kindle. There is no limit to what you can learn in books. Track what you’re reading on GoodReads.com and work towards a goal.
Never Stop Learning!