Thursday, June 13, 2019

Conference, continued

I am including the notes I took of the two keynotes, below.
The food has been great and the outdoor event was in a beautiful park by the water.

Our selfie abilities do not improve much with time

Wednesday Keynote

Mary Pat Donoghue

"The school year doesn’t wind down, it's more like a crash landing!"

Consider the purpose of our work:
Life of teacher is challenging but profoundly satisfying!
We kindle thirst for truth and a desire for beauty.

Few vocations make such an impression on society as TEACHING

Reality: USA 2019 - teachers are managers, interpreters of data, and first to witness the destruction of families

FOUR elements of (good) Teaching:

                     1. Begins with the end in mind
                     2. Must attend to the student (cultivate the virtue of attention)
                     3. Teachers as mentors (example of profs at Thomas Aquinas College called "tutors")
                     4. Cultivate environment for students to feel good and encouraged: we should not be afraid to draw them into new worlds… to AWE them!

Physical environment/classroom:
                     is it beautiful?
                     calming effect?
(STAY OUT of teacher's supply store!)
                     should be soothing, serene
                     an environment for exploration

                     There is only one teacher!
                     We teach in HIS name!
                     He remains THE one teacher


"To conform ourselves ever more deeply to Jesus Christ, the ONE teacher!"

 Tuesday Keynote

INTRODUCTION (Superintend of Marquette Diocese Schools)
Teachers are more than dispenser of knowledge.
The word mentor comes from Homer—Telemachus' teacher was named Mentor. (Telemachus was the son of Ulysses in the Odyssey. His mother was Penelope, the faithful wife who would undo her needlework at nigh to stave off suitors. She had to do wit for twenty years as that's how it took for her husband to come home LOL.)
How do we develop the role of mentor?
We must cultivate good habits.
Effective teachers motivate students toward virtue!        
Website: Classical U – has online course for classical teachers, we have free access, code is Marquette2019

Catholic classical education is to re-discover a treasure that was ours all along!
Analogy: it is like a valuable painting we find in the attic athat we did not know we had, and yet its was OURS all along!
Unfortunately, our generation does not have it, but we are building the bridge for the next generation.
We teachers must educate ourselves about this tradition and make it come alive in the classroom. We must be patient in this process, and hopefully work in community toward this goal.
If we succeed, the generation after us will have this treasure.
Recovering the classical education tradition is not like switching cell phones carriers.
Analogy: the ship (of classical ed) has broken apart, we are putting fragments together.

PRINCIPLES that need to be practiced for this end:
- we must know the principles
- we teach liberal arts to make people free
- as teachers we too must be free
- teachers are not technicians, there's a place for techniques—principles inevitable lead to practice!

- PEDAGOGY: cultivate wisdom, virtue, eloquence
- Book: "The Liberal Arts Tradition" by Ravi Jain
- Teachers not as slaves or technicians but ARTISTS, "liberal artists"
- We form men and women to be Image-Bearers of God
- We must love them or it will profit us nothing

- So, Pedagogy: Teaching is LOVE

              LOVE as patient practicing
              LOVE as imitation, becoming: you are what you believe/own/possess
              LOVE as giving/sharing: you are what you give away

Festina Lente (make haste slowly)

Tony Wagner, in The Global Achievement Gap, identified skills missing in today's professionals:
·        critical thinking and problem solving
·        collaboration across networks and leading by influence
·        agility and adaptability
·        initiative and entrepreneurship
·        effective oral and written communication
·        accessing and analyzing information
·        curiosity and imagination           
All of the skills he found missing are fruits of a classical/liberal education.

A teacher is the opposite of a bland person.
We do not just tell the students what they need to know, we show them, so they SEE with their own eyes.
SEEING: educating, teaching, and understanding: "I SEE what you are saying!"

Festina Lente: Not to go on until the students master what you are teaching.
To slow down so they can go faster.  Example: the Roman army practiced intensely so they win decisively at battles.

Perrin mentioned the book "Talent is Overrated". I looked it up, and it is about how hard work is the key to success, and not talent. The book talks about the elements for success being at least ten years of concerted effort/practice, success being a process similar to a rose blooming (slow, through much pruning, etc.)
Multum non multa (Much, not many)
We are constantly "covering" a subject without "uncovering" anything.
Example, our education system makes it impossible for a 17 year old to truly master a foreign language.

Repetitio Mater Memoriae (Repetition is the mother of memory)
Kids say, "Read it again!" … Children naturally want to repeat what they love until that possess it!
This means that teachers must LOVE what they teach!

Aristotle: "All education begins in WONDER!"
Seeing things for the first time…
Example: adding leaves, sticks and a stick-bug into a jar, say nothing and let the kids discover it… Wonder!

Create space and time that children can enjoy…
To be truly MOVED by what we learn…         
Mary Vs. Martha…

(A good book is an excellent teacher!!)

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