Some Ships Might Disagree

An interesting way of illustrating what it takes to be successful. It’s like the old adage from stand-up comedy: It takes ten years to become an overnight success.


Image found on the Teacher Next Door Facebook page.



If it’s not one thing, it’s the copier.


Sighted on the First Grade Fun Times Facebook page.

Only the Beautiful Need Apply

hotforteacher.jpgAccording to this article, Iran is banning “ugly” teachers from the classroom. Unsightly moles, acne, facial hair for women, even infertility, color blindness, and cancer can cause an applicant to be passed over or a in-service teacher to be sacked.

Another article says that the outcry about the list has led to fe

male-specific criteria to be removed and the rest of the list to be reviewed. Whew! Rest easy, my butterfaced comrades.



Me, reading student evaluation comments.

Or me, when students tell me the homework was hard.


What the…?

Google Translate keeps getting better and better, which makes pure gibberish less common while also making it harder to figure out if a student has copied his essay from somewhere online, gotten help from someone more fluent, or somehow jumped up three levels in writing skill overnight.


Pencil: 2, Laptop: 1

Taking notes the right way.

Despite the ubiquity of tech gadgets in the modern university classroom, the old pencil and notebook are still superior, at least when it comes to taking notes. A study looked at students’ ability to answer both simple fact questions (dates, names, that sort of thing) and more complicated conceptual or application questions (Why…? type queries, for instance). While laptop note-takers and longhanders did equally well with the basic factual questions, the tech-users performed significantly worse on conceptual ones.

It’s thought that the slower speed of pen-and-paper note-taking may be the key, according to the ‘encoding hypothesis‘. Writing longhand is much slower than typing, and because of that, students must process the information more while summarizing, finding only the key points, and so forth as they are writing. Laptop or tablet users, on the other hand, tend to type much more of what they hear, and in doing these verbatim transcriptions, use their brains less. Even when told explicitly not to take notes verbatim, the laptop-users still performed worse on the tests.

Of course, sometimes the challenge is to just get students to take notes at all…*sigh*

You can read more about this topic, and learn more about the science involved, at NPR.



Every Day during Summer School

Having just finished a module for a repeat class, this was a daily issue. And now, I’m just about to start our summer module, which also happens to correspond with Ramadan. The students during this module will be…shall we say, less motivated than usual.


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