Prayer: The Great Equalizer?

As many of you know by now, I am hoping to start graduate school in the fall, in educational psychology.

After several weeks of waiting, I have heard from the school that I applied to.  I have been selected for an interview, and this will happen in a couple of days (Wednesday at 2:30 PM, to be exact).

Several of you know about this, and have offered prayers and well-wishes for this occasion.  For this I am extremely grateful.

Prayer is one of the great equalizers in the body of Christ.  No matter who we are, what our station in life, our level of spiritual maturity, our theological or political persuasion, or even our branch of the Christian tradition, we all face situations in life which are out of our control.  In such situations the only possible response is to trust God and to submit yourself to seek the prayers of your fellow brothers or sisters in Christ.

Some of these may be richer or poorer than you.  Some of these may be more or less spiritually mature than you.  Some of these may disagree with you theologically or politically.  Some may hail from a completely different stream of Christianity than yourself.  No matter.  Through prayer, we all affirm our common humanity, our common sinfulness, our common vulnerability before God.

There is definitely something to be said for seeking out the prayers of those who may disagree with you theologically or politically, those with whom you may have significant differences of belief–but you share Christ, you share the same Holy Spirit, you share the same broken humanity.

Regardless of how things turn out this week, it is a blessing to know that so many of you are willing to pray for me during this time.  And even those of you who are unable to affirm what I believe with respect to God and Jesus Christ, but are nevertheless willing to offer me your well-wishes during this time.

Norma the Night Owl Teaches Night and Day

During the course of my final semester, I completed a project that involved developing an integrated unit to teach at any grade level.  I chose to do a kindergarten lesson on night and day.  It begins with an activity where students are asked to draw a picture of what the sky would look like if the sun were not in it.  The next activity is a simple science experiment which is designed to show that it is warmer in the afternoon (after the sun has been up all day) than in the morning (when the sun has just come up), and thus that the sun gives heat to the earth.  Along the way students are introduced to the thermometer and learn how to use it to measure temperature.  The final activity is a creative writing activity in which students are asked to write a story about a day when the sun did not come up.

Norma the Night Owl Teaches Night and Day

Continue reading “Norma the Night Owl Teaches Night and Day”

My First Bulletin Board!

Take a look at this, people.  I can design a bulletin board!!!

bulletinboard.JPG

(You know the drill.  If you want to see a larger version, just click on the picture.)

I am taking a class in preschool curriculum this semester.  As part of that class, I had to spend 35 hours observing and helping out in a real live pre-K classroom, and teach a real live lesson along the way.  The theme during the time I was there was apples, and my lesson dealt with foods which come from apples and the stages of growth of an apple tree.  The bulletin board was part of the lesson, and it dealt with foods that are made from apples.

My Proposed Plan of Remediation for Georgia Football

I am now less than one semester away from TOSS, which is the last thing I do prior to student teaching.

Now don’t get the wrong idea. TOSS is not something that we do to children, or to anyone else for that matter. Although, judging by what I’ve heard from friends who are currently in TOSS, it sounds like something they do to us, and those who survive go on to student teaching.

No, TOSS is none of these. TOSS is an acronym; the education world abounds with acronyms and I’m sure I will be running more by you before it’s all said and done. This particular acronym stands for Teaching Of Specific Subjects.

TOSS is a very intensive field experience which lasts for the duration of the semester. For the first ten weeks of the semester I will be taking classes for two days a week and spending one day a week working and helping out with a real live teacher (and doing some real live teaching along the way) in a real live classroom in a real live school somewhere. After the first ten weeks is up, I will spend the remainder of the semester working in this school for five days a week.

As the time for TOSS approaches, I am thinking about it a lot. I have been hearing horror stories about certain aspects of TOSS that make me nervous. One of these is the Plan of Remediation.

During the TOSS semester, teacher candidates, or candidates for short (that’s a fancy name for students in the education program at my school), are assessed frequently on several areas of their performance in the classroom. Level 1 is the lowest rating that you can receive in any area. Any candidate who receives three or more Level 1’s in any area at any time is brought before a faculty panel consisting of his/her advisor and a couple of other professors. They will try to work out a plan of remediation (the key word here is “try”, because remediation is not possible in all situations). If remediation is possible, then the candidate is allowed to continue in TOSS provided that the conditions of the Plan of Remediation are upheld.

There are lots of possible plans of remediation. Some can be as simple as requiring a candidate who is habitually late to the school where he/she has been placed to go to bed earlier. If the candidate continues to be late, then it is clear that the provisions of this plan of remediation are not being upheld, and the candidate can be dealt with accordingly. (I am presuming that this would mean removal from TOSS.)

After watching the Tennessee game this weekend, it has become dreadfully clear to me that Georgia’s football program is in dire need of remediation. Continue reading “My Proposed Plan of Remediation for Georgia Football”