Teacher Journaling

In my search for the perfect blog post I realize that I have neglected my professional journal writing. You may be wondering, “isn’t blogging the new journaling”? Perhaps, but for me my professional journal is private, for my eyes alone, unless I want to share it with others. Blogging is as candid a public expression of my professional self as I can muster. Nevertheless, it is still edited for public purview. So, I am going to get back to my daily journaling in the marble notebook that I found this morning hidden in a pile of “to read” books and professional magazines. Maybe, I’ll even blog about it here.

Screen Free Week – April 18th – 24th

Well, Screen Free Week is over – http://bit.ly/dUgLav – and it was a moderate success at our house. I have to say that although we weren’t screen free for the entire six days we tried really hard to stay off the screen for most of the week. Having a 3-day weekend didn’t help matters, though!

From Monday – Thursday we all did pretty well. My husband slipped a little here and there (Facebook) but for the most part neither one of us used our computers or checked our email on our cell phones unless it was related to work. Having intentional time without the use of my BlackBerry, that I love, was a good, needed break. And, it became apparent to me how much time we spend on mobile devices even if they’re connected to work. Instead, we played a couple of board games after dinners and spent time reading. Once the weekend came though it was harder to keep my son from pining for the computer or the DS or the Wii, to name a few screens we have in our house, since that is when he normally can have limited use of these toys. It took a lot of will power on our part to keep saying, no.

Until we caved in.

I thought we could take a break and go to the movies, then go back to being screen free for the rest of the time. So, we went to see Rio Friday afternoon. Big mistake! How can you explain the concept that a break is just that – a break and that afterwards you go back to your original plan? How can we realistically expect a 6-year-old to again muster up the will power to stay screen free for another 2 days? Well, it didn’t work! Although, we still limited all of our screen times the magic of Screen Free Week had been broken.

We’ll try again next year but I think the real challenge is to make screens one of many choices for children (and adults) so that it is not the only choice they gravitate to when they want to be entertained. The allure of these devices is so strong that we need to develop alternatives that are as enticing, along with the necessary will power, to make alternate choices for our off times.

I’d love to hear from those of you who are struggling with these issues, whether or not you participated in Screen Free Week.

Dentists and teachers?

How is a great dentist like a great teacher? Here’s the partial list that I created after I visited my dentist today.

They both have genuine smiles on their faces and greet you warmly.

They both make the patient or student feel comfortable. Today my dentist offered me a blanket while he was performing the procedure on my teeth.

They both explain what they’re doing; the dentist describes the procedure as it’s happening and the teacher coaches the student as she teaches.

They both use soft voices and answer any questions as carefully and completely, as possible.

They both make you want to stay.