Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Witness to Student Achievement..at its best!

Last night, I witnessed a celebration of student achievement. In Effingham, Illinois, over 1000 people went to watch films produced by high school students. In addition to the high school films, a film done by a 4th grade student in Wisconsin and a first grade class in Alabama were awesome. It was amazing to see the crowd reaction and seeing the smiles of the students as their film was shown on the big screen. What I was impressed with most was their “people” skills as I met several of them at the seminars previous to the show. Their technology and storytelling ability was unbelievable. I am always thrilled to attend the AHA Film Festival and the seminars. The seminars this year were great. I was able to meet some great people and learn something from awesome teachers that I can apply in my classroom as I strive to be a better teacher. My students took a lot of information back and shared it with their classmates. They expressed to me several things where our school could improve and how the students could improve within the classroom. My students also touched on a real key issue. The community celebrated with the students on their achievements. Unfortunately, academics and the arts are not celebrated, which is where my students think we could improve. Great job Joe, Craig and the rest of the combined Multimedia class of Effingham and Teutopolis students! I’m looking forward to next years AHA Film Festival.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obama's Education Policy Speech

President Obama made an important speech on March 10, 2009 dealing with the future of education. Obama's comment about parents responsibility is key. Teachers cannot do it alone. The issue that I don't necessarily agree with is the longer days/year. Our educational funding system is already broke. We have schools that are failing. How are we going to pay for a longer day and a longer year, if school districts are already struggling to pay the bills. In my district, some funds haven't been received, what good will a longer school day or year do? Our educational system needs an overhaul. About a week ago, President Obama said in a speech "The countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow." He also said... "Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish." These are huge obstacles our education system faces. Our students are no longer competing in a local market for jobs, they are competing globally. What we are doing now is not working. I believe it is time for an education revolution.

Transcript of Speech

Video of speech