Happy Star Wars Day! In episodes 3 and 4 of The Book of Boba Fett, the main character invites us to discern the difference between good and bad tribalism as he reflects on his reformation of character that came from being adopted by the Sandpeople: “It’s made me strong. You can only get so far without a tribe.”
I’ve always enjoyed listening to stories and poetry read by talented performers as I read along with the texts. In this regard, there’s a textual feast available to us during Christmastime.
Here are some brief thoughts about reading, the classroom, and Jacqueline Woodson’s TEDTalk on “What reading slowly taught me about writing.”
Recovering cynics of all ages can benefit from reading Mark Edumdson’s argument that our time is well spent trying to read for truth and study the humanities. Here are a few other appeals for reading and studying the humanities–in school or out.
For the not-to-distant future, I anticipate packing up my books and relocating to a lower elevation with a bigger population here in Colorado, even though 34+ years of being connected to this small mountain community has been good in so many ways. Many changes are ahead for me. In light of my past, present, and future blessings that have come from reading all sorts of things, my website will be shifting in name and emphasis to “ReadtoFlourish.com.” I’ll still have an archive link for everything from TeachingArguments.com. Meanwhile, “Take up and read; Take up and read.”
Much of our misery comes from trying to get too much too quickly. The “too much” focus may relate to material items as well intangible qualities. Spiritual traditions, literary works, and life lessons all invite us to take heed of signs that tell us to slow down. Here are some thoughts about slowing down for happier thanksgivings throughout our lives.
After musing last weekend about teacher burnout, Marin Luther’s spiritual reformation, and Dilbert, I’ve come to realize the importance of discerning demoralization from burnout. Doris A. Santoro’s “The problem with stories about teacher ‘burnout’” provides this helpful distinction: “Burnout suggests that a teacher has nothing more to give. However, teachers whom I would characterize as demoralized were most frustrated because they could not teach the way they believed was right.” As educators, we need to think more about this distinction and its relevance for current personal, professional, and public challenges.
Over the past two decades, I’ve often been struck by how well Scott Adams’ satirical insights about the corporate world also reflect issues about human nature and relate disturbingly well to public education challenges.
For some of us, maybe the deeper issue behind teacher depression, anxiety, and burnout has to do with drifting into cynicism as a worldview and lifestyle. In trying to deal with dread and anxiety about the upcoming school week, I find myself increasingly disappointed by self-care and support strategies that I’m encountering these days from well-meaning folks.
Yong Zhao’s “Another education war? The coming debates over social and emotional learning” is worth taking some time to read and reflect on. Zhao explores claims from champions and challengers of social emotional learning. For me, Zhao’s thoughtfully documented article basically shows that SEL has potential benefits when modestly and wisely used, but it can also distract educators from effective education by becoming a “nonacademic common core,” as one of his sources asserts. That sounds like just about every trend in education. I wanted to share more reflections on this important topic and its relevance to my current context, but I needed to wrap up my courses for an extremely short straight-block quarter, so that’s it for this short take.