General Crosstalk - A Spot for the Odd Comment

Do you have a conversation topic that doesn't seem to fit any of the other conversations? Here is where we discuss ANYTHING about Joseph Campbell, comparative mythology, and more!

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Clemsy
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Post by Clemsy » Sat May 22, 2010 10:44 pm

FYI:
Snooze or Lose
Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour’s less sleep than they need, a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years.
Interesting how all you hear in the media is "Fire the Bad Teachers!"

Our tendency to ignore research that doesn't agree with what we think is intuitive common sense just pisses me off. The data in this story is mind boggling. Not only is school performance declining because of sleep deprivation, but kids are getting killed in car accidents:

Chronic Teen Sleep Deprivation and the Biology of Adolescence

“Research shows the typical adolescent’s natural time to fall asleep may be 11 pm or later; because of this change in their internal clocks, teens may feel wide awake at bedtime, even when they are exhausted (Wolfson & Carskadon, 1998). This leads to sleep deprivation in many teens who must wake up early for school.”

School districts around the country have implemented later school start times to impressive outcomes:

23.4% Net decrease in teen crash rates
“Average crash rates for teen drivers in the study county in the two years after the change in school start time dropped 16.5 percent compared to the two years prior to the change, while teen crash rates for the rest of the state increased 7.8 percent over the same time period. “

. 212 Point increase in SAT scores
“The best known of these is in Edina, Minnesota, an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, where the high school start time was changed from 7:25 a.m. to 8:30. The results were startling. In the year preceding the time change, math and verbal SAT scores for the top 10 percent of Edina’s students averaged 1288. A year later, the top 10 percent averaged 1500, an increase that couldn’t be attributed to any other variable.”

. 15 minutes of sleep is worth a grade point
“Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom of the University of Minnesota surveyed more than 7,000 high schoolers in Minnesota about their sleep habits and grades. Teens who received A’s averaged about fifteen more minutes sleep than the B students, who in turn averaged eleven more minutes than the C’s, and the C’s had ten more minutes than the D’s. Wahlstrom’s data was an almost perfect replication of results from an earlier study of more than 3,000 Rhode Island high schoolers by Brown’s Mary Carskadon. Certainly, these are averages, but the consistency of the two studies stands out. Every fifteen minutes counts.”
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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romansh
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Post by romansh » Sun May 23, 2010 12:05 am

A quick questtion for the admin

Why do visitors have to register before seeing the content of the forum?

Surely allowing people to get a feel of the discussions would be a beneficial, plus it would be nice to seewhat's new without logging on?

rom
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Clemsy
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Post by Clemsy » Sun May 23, 2010 2:45 am

May be a techie issue. Don't really know. A little mystery goes a long way and it's not a big deal to register anyway. 5 to 10 new associates register every day.
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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romansh
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Post by romansh » Sun May 23, 2010 5:24 am

Clemsy wrote:May be a techie issue. Don't really know. A little mystery goes a long way and it's not a big deal to register anyway. 5 to 10 new associates register every day.
How many of them become regular participants?

I almost did not become a member because of this ...
Oh well..
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Clemsy
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Post by Clemsy » Sun May 23, 2010 12:58 pm

I almost did not become a member because of this ...
Almost doesn't count! I will ask Mark about it, though.
How many of them become regular participants?
Very few. But that's just the nature of forums. There was a study, don't recall the reference, which examined forum participation. This one is similar to most others in terms of numbers, if I recall. We're a demographic! "Those most likely to engage in Internet forum discussions!"
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:12 am

Clemsy wrote:FYI:
Snooze or Lose
Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour’s less sleep than they need, a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years.
Interesting how all you hear in the media is "Fire the Bad Teachers!"
It beats "Kill all the lawyers".

Actually, are you suggesting that we should NOT fire all the teachers? :?: Isn't that a conflict of interest? [just kidding... :P ]

Seriously, there is a strong anti-school, anti-discipline, anti-authority, anti-intellectual streak in America. It's not a coincidence that we're the only industrialized nation that retains the death penalty, makes war on the weakest nations that happen to have oil on their property, drives giant vehicles, has inadequate health care services, doesn't support families or workers, etc., etc., etc.....ad nauseum.

There are folks who put bumper stickers on their cars that read:

My kid can beat up your honor student.

Add to that the fact that there is a cultural divide between the haves and the have nots that would choke a dead horse, and voila! Some schools are not allowed to teach evolution or mention names like Dolores Huerta [cuz she is a socialist......but it's okay to mention Helen Keller (also a socialist, but not really known for it) cuz some socialists are more visibly irritating]. Some schools have real discipline and focus and others are just baby-sitting enterprises. It goes on.

Don't let this go to your head, Clemsy, but you are a teacher-hero of the first order.

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Post by Persephonespring » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:11 pm

The children I work with in therapy are from middle class families who value education. They are over scheduled and when I suggest cutting back so the child can simply play at home with friends, parents look at me as if I've suggested they beat the child. Is this because the child is a reflection of how successful the parents are?

Not every teacher is a good teacher, or even well trained to work with children. Not every therapist is either. We have to continue learning what we do well and what we don't.

I've met some teachers who have no interest in teaching, they do it for a pay check. Some of these teachers watch soap operas during class time. When I complained to the principal, I was told that they were a minority, and nothing could be done. I think that is shameful. I am old school, I don't believe tv should be in the class room. I also believe that education is failing to do a good job in many sites. Getting rid of poorly performing teachers is a beginning. Children have been taught to the test for the last decade, things have to change. Education is one of the best ways to ensure a good quality of life in one's future. The ability to think critically isn't inate, it is learned.

I had to take a brutal licensing exam before I could be in private practice. I had to do years of post graduate work to become proficient in my work. Why isn't there a system like that for teachers? Some of the most wonderful people I know are educators. They go way beyond what is necessary to engage their students. They are true professionals and they remind me of Joseph Campbell.

J
Might be a drop in a bucket, but, as I like to say, no drops, no ocean. :-) Clemsy
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Clemsy
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Post by Clemsy » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:45 pm

I had to do years of post graduate work to become proficient in my work. Why isn't there a system like that for teachers?
Excellent question. I suspect we're talking apples and oranges here, though. The system breaks down at two points: the universities and building administrations. The colleges decide people can teach well who really can't, then building administrators either rubber stamp observations or just can't keep up with the procedures especially in a large system. Mediocre teachers get through the gates to the protection of the union. Not the union's fault.

Tenure should be granted by peer review. Mentor practices should be strengthened and due process streamlined.

It all boils down to record keeping. Bad teachers often hang around because there's not enough in writing and we do live in a culture where if it isn't in writing it isn't a fact. Bad teachers do get shown the door where people know how to keep records and follow procedures.

As for longer post graduate work... while it sounds good, the size of the support staff necessary to maintain the number of people in the system may be something to consider? Remember, besides student teaching, a new teacher is probationary for three years.

The whole 'fire the bad teachers' thing right now is way out of control and profoundly exasperating. There are many variables in education, some of them politically sensitive. Actually, the one I'm hot on at the moment is simple: open the secondary schools one hour later. The research has yielded some pretty powerful numbers.

Cheers,
Clemsy
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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Post by Persephonespring » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:32 pm

Thanks for the reply Clemsy.

Everything you said made sense to me. I have a hard time thinking that anyone who could perform well for 3 years (probationary time), would then be a total mess. The bad teachers I've dealt with have been messes, totally incompetent. I'm a good observer, but others have the same skill.

I wish you and every other conscientious teacher great kudos. I admire good teachers.
Jan

PS: what were the outcome differences on the hour later suggestion?
Might be a drop in a bucket, but, as I like to say, no drops, no ocean. :-) Clemsy
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Clemsy
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Post by Clemsy » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:49 pm

My two favorites are

23.4% Net decrease in teen crash rates
212 Point increase in SAT scores (among the top 10% in Edina, Minnesota, an affluent suburb of Minneapolis)

There are more, including improved attendance and athletic performance. Check that website I linked above. Very cool stuff.
I wish you and every other conscientious teacher great kudos. I admire good teachers.
Thanks!

Clemsy
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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Post by Myrtle » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:10 pm

Happy Summer Solstice everyone!
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Clemsy
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Post by Clemsy » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:45 pm

OMG! Been so busy crunching state test scores ( :P ) I completely forgot! Thanks Myrtle!
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Post by Neoplato » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:44 pm

Big News! I now have a cat.

My wife brought him home from the pound last Friday (he was scheduled for execution on Saturday). His name is “Simon” and I have no clue what kind of cat he is.

He’s mostly white except that the top of his head, his tail, and a little patch above his nose is completely black.

He’s fussy; the only thing we’ve been able to feed him is “Fancy Feast”. He also seems pretty smart (as compared to Rex the Wonderdog). Interestingly, he seems to know how to open doors (if the door isn’t shut properly

I wonder if he knows how to “walk through walls”? :wink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cat_Wh ... ough_Walls
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Clemsy
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Post by Clemsy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:55 pm

Big News! I now have a cat.
I'm afraid you have that wrong, Neo.

The cat now has you.

Dogs have masters. Cats have staff. :lol:
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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Post by Neoplato » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:10 pm

Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.
Sounds just like children. :lol:

At least he's affectionate. He's also been craving a lot of attention...I guess he must have been locked up for awhile.
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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