Sunday, February 1, 2015

What-What?! Week of February 1st

This week has been good, but busy; Peter worked a bunch of overtime, plus had to drive up to Seattle yesterday, so he's spent a good deal of time not home.  I was contacted by the local Girl Scouts coordinator, and now Saffron and I are RSVP'd for the first troop meeting later this month.  I'm excited to start getting Saffron involved in some real activities; I know that the time I spent in 4-H had a lot to do with my interests and competencies growing up.

News: How Regulation Leads To Low Literacy Among Teachers, Then Students via Forbes

I kind of hate citing Forbes, as I find that the articles tend to be written from a perspective that's a bit sideways of reality, but sometimes there are still good points.  This author is discussing the fact that teachers (K-12) who graduate from conventional education programs tend to score low on literacy and English tests.  I've taken some education classes, and to be honest, this surprises me little.  It has been my experience that education teachers tend to coddle students by giving them extended deadlines (even after they've been extended already!), subjective rather than objective projects, and very lenient grading.  My business school education was quite different. (Though not all education and business schools are the same).

Further, one of the issues I keep wondering about teaching and the teaching credential programs is whether it gives people too few options.  If teachers instead had a bachelor's degree in something else, then the option of leaving teaching if it doesn't suit them becomes much easier.  Granted, this country already has huge problems with teachers leaving the profession, but I think that making it more difficult to leave the profession is just poor policy.  While I don't object to teacher credentialing, I wonder if it's too strict in some ways; one thing that I like about California is that, in order to become a substitute teacher, you only need to pass a test, get fingerprinted, and background checked.  Washington state requires a full teaching degree and credential in order to substitute teach.  With all my experience in teaching in afterschool programs, I've been interested in teaching as a profession.  However, now that we're living in Washington, I have given up on it; the expense and time to get a full teaching credential is prohibitive to someone interested in testing the waters.    Why would I go to school for two years and spend all that money for a credential that is only good for doing one thing, especially one thing I'm not sold on, that also tends to be stressful and low paying?  How many other people, who may be good teachers, get shut out because of the credentialing process?

Shopping: Shoes of Prey

Shoes of Prey is a company that makes custom shoes.  Their online interface for designing shoes is really fun to play with, even if you don't actually go through with buying the shoes.  I ran into this company through work, and then spent a bunch of time designing shoes.  I haven't bought any, because they are expensive... but maybe someday.

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