What is Karma? Karma is the Sanskrit word for action. It is equivalent to Newton’s law of ‘every action must have a reaction’. When we think, speak or act we initiate a force that will react accordingly. This returning force maybe modified, changed or suspended, but most people will not be able eradicate it. This law of cause and effect is not punishment, but is wholly for the sake of education or learning. A person may not escape the consequences of his actions, but he will suffer only if he himself has made the conditions ripe for his suffering. Ignorance of the law is no excuse whether the laws are man-made or universal. To stop being afraid and to start being empowered in the worlds of karma and reincarnation, here is what you need to know about karmic laws. Baca lebih lanjut
Parents: Start with the A
AUGUST 30, 2013
Photo credit: pjern via flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, has a wonderful talk on how to give an A to students. On the first day of class, he tells all of his students that they will receive an A, and all they have to do for it is write him a letter — from the perspective of the end of the year, looking back — explaining what they did to earn that A. He marvels at the insights students share in these letters and the way that they fall in love with the person they have become. He also shares that, by putting the A up front, he has taken steps to build relationships with his students. For Benjamin Zander, it’s all about how he views his students, starting from a place of asset and not deficit. He starts with the A. Baca lebih lanjut
Setiap melihat kegaduhan dan ketidakpatuhan di kelas, jantung ini berdegup, mata melotop tanganpun mengepal. Bersiap mengeluarkan jurus “mabok” dan marah. Berteriak, mencubit, menjewer bahkan menempeleng. Sebuah siklus syetan yang banyak mendera sebagian guru, termasuk di dalamnya penulis sendiri.
Tidak bisa dipungkiri jika kebiasaan menempatkan diri sebagai penguasa ilmu di kelas menjadikan kita bersikap arogan. Tidak jarang juga menjadi penguasa dan pengendali mutlak anak didik di kelas. Banyak dari golongan kita (guru) yang masih meyakini jika kepatuhan dan diam adalah kondisi ideal yang diidamkan terjadi di dalam kelas. Kondisi ini memungkinkan transfer ilmu bisa berjalan lancar, tanpa hambatan dan target kurikulum terpenuhi. Meski, dalam kenyataannya, dalam kondisi tertekan semacam ini justru mendorong anak didik menghadapi kemunduran belajar. Alih-alih membelajarkan anak didik, guru justru memenjarakan mereka dalam ruang sempit nan membosankan. Baca lebih lanjut
Tahun 2006, seorang anak bernama Zhang Da mendapat penghargaan dari pemerintah China karena telah melakukan “Perbuatan Luar Biasa.” Diantara 9 orang peraih penghargaan itu, ia merupakan satu-satunya anak kecil.
Zhang Da sejak berusia 10 tahun sudah ditinggal pergi ibunya karena ia tidak tahan hidup bersama suaminya yang sakit-sakitan, lumpuh dan miskin. Kondisi ini memaksanya memikul tanggung jawab berat. Ia harus sekolah, bekerja dan mengurus ayahnya.
Dari rumah ke sekolah ia berjalan kaki melewati hutan kecil. Untuk sarapannya, Zhang Da memakan biji-bijian, jamur dan buah-buahan yang ia temukan. Usai sekolah, ia bergabung dengan tukang batu untuk membelah batu dan memperoleh upah. Upahnya digunakan untuk membeli beras dan obat-obatan ayahnya.
Zhang Da memapah ayahnya ke kamar mandi, memandikan, membuat bubur, dan segala urusan lainnya. Ia belajar mengenai obat-obatan dari sebuah buku bekas yang ia beli. Zhang Da juga menyuntik sendiri ayahnya berhubung biaya berobat yang mahal dan tempat berobatnya yang jauh.
Kemampuannya menyuntik itu didapat ketika ia memperhatikan seorang perawat memberikan suntikan kepada pasiennya. Dari situ, ia belajar sampai terampil menyuntik ayahnya sendiri.
Ketika para pejabat, pengusaha, artis dan orang terkenal yang hadir dalam acara penganugerahan tertuju kepadanya, pembawa acara bertanya, “Zhang Da, sebutkan apa saja yang kamu inginkan dalam hidupmu, sekolah dimana? Berapa uang yang kamu butuhkan sampai kamu selesai kuliah? Besar nanti kamu mau kuliah di mana, sebutkan saja. Pokoknya apa yang kamu idam-idamkan sebutkan saja, di sini ada banyak pejabat, pengusaha, dan orang terkenal yang hadir. Saat ini juga ratusan juta orang sedang melihatmu melalui layar televisi, mereka bisa membantumu ..”
Zhang Da diam dan tidak menjawab apa-apa. Pembawa acara bertanya lagi padanya, “Sebut saja, mereka bisa membantumu.”
Beberapa saat Zhang Da masih diam, lalu dengan suara bergetar ia menjawab, “Aku mau ibu kembali. Ibu kembalilah ke rumah, aku bisa membantu ayah, aku bisa mencari makan sendiri. Ibu kembalilah!”
copy paste dari Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/johan.wahyudi.182?fref=ts
Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School
Instead, help them channel their energy into productive tasks.
JESSICA LAHEYJUN 18 2013, 2:08 PM ET
Library of Congress
This year’s end-of-year paper purge in my middle school office revealed a startling pattern in my teaching practices: I discipline boys far more often than I discipline girls. Flipping through the pink and yellow slips–my school’s system for communicating errant behavior to students, advisors, and parents–I found that I gave out nearly twice as many of these warnings to boys than I did to girls, and of the slips I handed out to boys, all but one was for disruptive classroom behavior.
The most frustrating moments I have had this year stemmed from these battles over–and for–my male students’ attention. This spring, as the grass greened up on the soccer fields and the New Hampshire air finally rose above freezing, the boys and I engaged in a pitched battle of wills over their intellectual and emotional engagement in my Latin and English classes, a battle we both lost in the end.
Something is rotten in the state of boys’ education, and I can’t help but suspect that the pattern I have seen in my classroom may have something to do with a collective failure to adequately educate boys. The statistics are grim. According to the book Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys: Strategies That Work and Why, boys are kept back in schools at twice the rate of girls. Boys get expelled from preschool nearly five times more often than girls. Boys are diagnosed with learning disorders and attention problems at nearly four times the rate of girls. They do less homework and get a greater proportion of the low grades. Boys are more likely to drop out of school, and make up only 43 percent of college students. Furthermore, boys are nearly three times as likely as girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Considering 11 percent of U.S. children–6.4 million in all–have been diagnosed with a ADHD, that’s a lot of boys bouncing around U.S. classrooms.
The War Against Boys
A study released last year in the Journal of Human Resources confirms my suspicions. It seems that behavior plays a significant role in teachers’ grading practices, and consequently, boys receive lower grades from their teachers than testing would have predicted. The authors of this study conclude that teacher bias regarding behavior, rather than academic performance, penalizes boys as early as kindergarten. On average, boys receive lower behavioral assessment scores from teachers, and those scores affect teachers’ overall perceptions of boys’ intelligence and achievement.
While I love teaching boys, many of my colleagues do not, particularly during the hormone-soaked, energetic, and distracted middle- and high-school years. Teachers and school administrators lament that boys are too fidgety, too hyperactive, too disruptive, derailing the educational process for everyone while sabotaging their own intellectual development.
Peek into most American classrooms and you will see desks in rows, teachers pleading with students to stay in their seats and refrain from talking to their neighbors. Marks for good behavior are rewarded to the students who are proficient at sitting still for long periods of time. Many boys do not have this skill.
In an attempt to get at what actually works for boys in education, Dr. Michael Reichert and Dr. Richard Hawley, in partnership with the International Boys’ School Coalition, launched a study called Teaching Boys: A Global Study of Effective Practices, published in 2009. The study looked at boys in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, in schools of varying size, both private and public, that enroll a wide range of boys of disparate races and income levels.
The authors asked teachers and students to “narrate clearly and objectively an instructional activity that is especially, perhaps unusually, effective in heightening boys’ learning.” The responses–2,500 in all–revealed eight categories of instruction that succeeded in teaching boys. The most effective lessons included more than one of these elements:
Lessons that result in an end product–a booklet, a catapult, a poem, or a comic strip, for example.
Lessons that are structured as competitive games.
Lessons requiring motor activity.
Lessons requiring boys to assume responsibility for the learning of others.
Lessons that require boys to address open questions or unsolved problems.
Lessons that require a combination of competition and teamwork.
Lessons that focus on independent, personal discovery and realization.
Lessons that introduce drama in the form of novelty or surprise.
So what might a great lesson for boys look like? Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys is full of examples, but here’s one I want to try next time I need to help my students review information, particularly a mass of related ideas. Split the class into groups of four and spread them around the room. Each team will need paper and pencils. At the front of the room, place copies of a document including all of the material that has been taught in some sort of graphical form–a spider diagram, for example. Then tell the students that one person from each group may come up to the front of the classroom and look at the document for thirty seconds. When those thirty seconds are up, they return to their group and write down what they remember in an attempt to re-create the original document in its entirety. The students rotate through the process until the group has pieced the original document back together as a team, from memory. These end products may be “graded” by other teams, and as a final exercise, each student can be required to return to his desk and re-create the document on his own.
Rather than penalize the boys’ relatively higher energy and competitive drive, the most effective way to teach boys is to take advantage of that high energy, curiosity, and thirst for competition. While Reichert and Hawley’s research was conducted in all-boys schools, these lessons can be used in all classrooms, with both boys and girls.
Teachers have grown accustomed to the traditional classroom model: orderly classrooms made up of ruler-straight rows of compliant students. It’s neat and predictable. But unless teachers stop to consider whether these traditional methods are working for both girls and boys, we will continue to give boys the short end of the educational stick. According to Reichert and Hawley, ” Doing better by all children includes doing better by boys,” and
Whatever dissonance, confusion, and conflict may hover in the air as stakeholders assert new and competing claims about the nature and needs of boys and girls and the essential or trivial differences between them with respect to how they learn and should be taught, few could reasonably argue with the proposition that many boys are not thriving in school. Nor could one possibly argue there is no room to reason or improve.
Educators should strive to teach all children, both girls and boys by acknowledging, rather than dismissing, their particular and distinctive educational needs. As Richard Melvoin, headmaster at Belmont Hill School in Massachusetts, wrote, “To provide rights and opportunities to girls is important; to call for the diminution of males, to decry their ‘toxicity’ as [Richard Hawley] has put it so poignantly, has not served boys and girls–or men and women–well… May we all find ways of understanding even better this complex ‘piece of work’ called man.”
Franklin schools’ contract spells out duties for parents, educators, students
There are no penalties for not signing
Jun. 19, 2013 | 1 Comment
Common Core training begins in Franklin and throughout the state
FRANKLIN — When school starts back up in August, all Franklin Special School District administrators, teachers, students and parents will be signing a contract.
The school board approved its own version of a school-parent contract recommended by the state and designed to encourage parental involvement. The contract is a first for the district of about 3,800 students.
All Title 1 schools — which receive certain federal funds and serve a high percentage of low-income students — are required to implement such a contract.
The district didn’t take the task lightly. A team of teachers, parents and administrators from all eight schools had a hand in developing it.
For example, in addition to such actions as holding parent conferences and issuing progress reports, teachers will be expected to “create a respectful, caring, inclusive, stimulating and safe school/classroom setting” and provide parents with volunteer opportunities.
Parent are expected to demonstrate an interest by attending school functions and supporting school activities. Parents must take responsibility for feeding children a nutritious breakfast, reviewing homework and monitoring the use of electronic devices.
Students would agree to read every day outside of school time; follow rules; and demonstrate respect for themselves, other students and adults.
It’s not heady stuff, nor is it complicated, but hopefully will empower parents to be more involved, said parent and Franklin Elementary School PTO member Katie Haseltine.
“Overall, I see the document as a way to give dignity to education in FSSD,” Haseltine said.
At her school, which has about 350 students, 20 to 30 parents do the majority of the volunteer work, she said. She recognizes that not every parent can physically be present at school, but she said there are other ways they can be invested.
There are no penalties for not signing the document.
Amie Tindall, a parent and PTO member, said she liked the concept, though she is concerned that the contract might be intimidating to families who cannot comply with every aspect.
“The penalty is really implied: Your child will not get the most out of their education without all partners working together. The contract makes it clear that it is a partnership, a shared responsibility.”
‘Life is not a multiple-choice test’
By Valerie Strauss, Published: June 24, 2013 at 4:00 amE-mail the writer
(Correction: Fixing 33-year teaching degree to 33-year teaching career)
I recently posted the resignation letter of Ron Maggiano, an award-winning social studies teacher at West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, after a 33-year teaching career — four years shy of full retirement. In the following post, Maggiano recalls his first day of teaching — and his last, and explains why he is leaving his job.
By Ron Maggiano
I will never forget that day. It was my first day as a classroom teacher. I felt a range of emotions from excitement and anticipation to abject terror. Would my students like me? Would I find a way to motivate them to do their best? What if I let them down? What if I failed as a teacher?
Fortunately, my fears were unfounded. My students loved me, I did not let them down, and I received national recognition as a master teacher. In 2005, I was awarded the Disney Teacher Award for innovation and creativity in the classroom. A year later, I was recognized for distinguished K-12 teaching by the American Historical Society.
Now more than three decades later, I have just spent my last day as a teacher. I resigned my teaching position because I can no longer cooperate with the standardized testing regime that is destroying creativity and stifling imagination in the classroom. I am sad, angry, hurt, and dismayed by what has happened to education and to the teaching profession that I so dearly love.
It was a difficult decision, but I am confident that it was the correct one. For me this was a moral choice. I believe that our current national obsession with high-stakes testing is wrong, because it hurts kids and deprives students of an education that is meaningful, imaginative, and relevant to the demands of the 21st century.
Research shows that today’s students need to be prepared to think critically, analyze problems, weigh solutions, and work collaboratively to successfully compete in the modern work environment. These are precisely the type of skills that cannot be measured by a multiple-choice standardized test.
More significantly, critical thinking skills and analytical problem solving have now been replaced with rote memorization and simple recall of facts, figures, names, and dates. Educators have been forced to adopt a “drill and kill” model of teaching to ensure that their students pass the all-important end-of-course test. Teaching to the test, a practice once universally condemned administrators and educators alike, has now become the new normal in classrooms across the country.
If teaching to the test was wrong 30 some years ago when I first entered the classroom, it is just as wrong today as I leave my classroom for the final time. The fact is that we are not really educating our students. We are merely teaching them how to pass a test.
And we are not preparing them for success at the college level or in the workplace. If we were, colleges and universities would not have to require remediation courses for incoming freshmen, and businesses and corporations would not have to spend millions to reteach skills their employees should have mastered after twelve years of education.
Albert Einstein once declared, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Unfortunately, Einstein’s view is not shared by those who seek to promote standardized testing as the new holy grail of education. Indeed, imagination has been marginalized if not completely prohibited in the high stakes world of standardized testing.
Our classrooms have become intellectual deserts where students are not allowed to use their imagination and their natural curiosity in order to learn new tasks and explore new ideas. Teachers who dare to be innovative and creative are more often than not viewed as a threat to the testing regime and its priorities.
Academic freedom has been replaced with a lock-step approach to learning in which testing has become an end in itself. This is not progress, and it is not reform. It is, however, a threat to our students, their future, and our future as a nation.
Indeed, America has always been a nation of innovators who used their imaginations to explore new frontiers in science, engineering, technology, and the arts. From Benjamin Franklin to Alexander Graham Bell to Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, innovation and imagination have been our greatest national assets. Yet these traits are now being strangled in our public schools and classrooms.
It is time to say enough. Our children and their imaginations are too important to be sacrificed on the altar of high-stakes standardized testing.
It is time to for us who care deeply about the decline of American learning to say what I told my students on my last day as a classroom teacher: Life is not a multiple-choice test, and the answers to life’s most important questions are not A, B, C, or D!