Tag: education

On Secondary Education: Why It is Broken

On Secondary Education: Why It is Broken

I am sitting in one of the dark classrooms at one of the schools I teach at in Riga, Latvia pondering why one of my students said that they would like to see the school burn down. What are we doing to make high school students feel so demotivated and even angry at the system? …

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September 1: First Day of School

September 1: First Day of School

Okay, America, let’s get this right! Latvia makes the first day of school a national celebration. Every public school in the country starts on the same day every year—September 1. And on this day, students walk to school with flowers in hand to give to their teachers. I was excited to see this spectacle, so …

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A Latvian Working Stiff

A Latvian Working Stiff

Darbu 25 August 2017 I am sitting in my old friend, the Beer House having a celebratory IPA and fish and chips while pondering my future here in Latvia. Today I signed a contract for a half-time teaching job at Gymnasium 2 in Riga, Latvia. Rita tells me it is where her heroine, Anna Bērzkalne …

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CELTA Bootcamp: Behind the Scenes

CELTA Bootcamp: Behind the Scenes

CELTA I feel like I have told some people that I’m doing this CELTA thing, but not many really understand it. Quite frankly, I’m not 100% certain I get it myself, so I’m writing about it to work through and untangle the mystery. According to Cambridge, CELTA stands for “Certification in Teaching English to Speakers …

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NETA 2015: Nebraska Technology

NETA 2015: Nebraska Technology

NETA 2015 I (and 2000 of my closest friends) attended the annual Nebraska Education Technology Association conference which moved to the Century Link Arena in downtown Omaha this year. This year was special for me personally because it was the first year that the Nebraska Writing Project partnered with NETA. This meant that we had 3 …

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Fixing Our Schools

Fixing Our Schools

I just read an article in The Week magazine about the difference between education in Finland vs. education in the United States. “Why Finland has better schools” by Amanda Ripley discusses her own personal experiences while observing the educational system at a high school in Finland. She made many good points, and, although I’ve heard …

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Technology in Week 1: The Sour Taste of Failure

Technology in Week 1: The Sour Taste of Failure

Every year that I have taught, the first week of school is always a race. Students are getting into the groove. Teachers are exhausted. And to make matters even worse, technology never ceases to fail.  This year, apparently we implemented a new security “feature” and they are still ironing out the bugs. This summer, my …

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The Zen of Commuting

The Zen of Commuting

I am trying to make a metaphor to connect driving and teaching. It isn’t there yet, but I’m going to play with it in this space.  My drive from Omaha to Lincoln every morning allows me to glide down I-80 which has been upgraded to mostly six lanes all the way at 75 mph. After …

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Badges…

Badges…

Everytime I think of Badges, I think… “We don’t need no stinking badges!” from the movie Blazing Saddles which was taken from an earlier movie. And there is a whole page about how this misquote became famous! The point is that perhaps the word “badges” is a bit loaded. Badges make me think of police …

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