Teaching and Education

THE EPITOME FOR TEACHERS!

What is the epitome for teachers? To hear from former students and to find out they are doing well and are living satisfying and productive lives. I had just such an experience today! I reconnected with Cam, a very fine young man whom I coached at Springfield High School from 2007-10. What a joy it was to again experience his contagious smile, his grace, his talent and intelligence, and his zest for life. This is what keeps teachers like me in the business of teaching. All the best of luck to you, Cam!

The other pictures are from a short but worthy excursion we took today to the Jindaiji Temple. What a captivating site to share with Cam! I am looking forward to another visit to this site as they have several botanical gardens. And so it is with Japan's never-ending beauty!

 

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION REFLECTIONS

The first two shots are from the Tamacho Cemetery. The bottom shot is from one of my favorite places, the Jokyu-ji Temple.

As I prepare for my meeting with the American School folks on Monday, I have been reflecting on my past experiences. What lessons have I learned from that work? How can I keep growing as a teacher and as a human being?

Going into my special education career, I thought I had plenty of patience. However, boy did that work ever put my patience to the test! I think one of the lessons I learned is to keep my mouth shut and take a break when students push my buttons. I was raised with a "my way or the highway" mentality. That does not work very well when working with struggling students! 

Fortunately, as I kept doing this work, I learned to be more patient and more accepting of the trials and tribulations  of student behaviors. I learned that in most cases, the student and I could take a break and then deal with the behavior when we had both had the chance to calm down and think objectively. 

One of the best pieces of advice I received was from my cooperating teacher for my student teaching experience. She said that I should always remember that special education students need more instruction and more practice than their peers, because their skills are behind those of their regular education peers. Easier said than done! The challenge is that those special education students do not necessarily want to put in the extra time and effort!

What seems so simple is not so simple! In the best of all worlds, the special education students would have a "growth mindset" and would willingly put in the extra time and effort to play catch-up with their regular education peers. Realistically speaking, the opposite is oftentimes the case. The special education students can resent the extra attention and then push back against the extra help. 

I learned that every student is different. Each student has a different capacity for focusing and putting in the effort and the work. We can strive to push students to do their best. However, we have to be sensitive to student capacity at any given time. If we push too hard at the wrong time, the students shut down and we get nowhere or we even go backwards!

This process is particularly challenging for a high-achiever like me! I just have to remember that each student is different. It is imperative for me to listen to each student. I can then gauge what the student is capable of doing at that moment in time. I can also gauge how hard I can push that student at that moment in time.

Given that I will undoubtedly continue to make my fair share of mistakes, it never hurts to say, "I am sorry." It never hurts to take responsibility for my mistakes and for me to own those mistakes. Teachers are human. Students appreciate and respond well to these kinds of examples and what it means to "be human."

I have always sensed the importance of "never giving up on a student." My special education experiences really hammered home the significance of that attitude. For one thing, in public education in the United States, schools have an obligation to provide school services to all students. We have no choice but to do our best for every student. The corollary of that is that we should never ever give up on any student. It may take twenty five different approaches. It may take twenty five different strategies. In most cases, one of those is going to work and is going to make a difference in the student's life. 

I think one of the best concepts in education is that of "making thinking visible." One of the ways I do that is to ask a student questions using a response scale of 1-10. "On a scale of 1-10, how motivated are you to be successful in a given class?" 10 is high motivation and 1 is low motivation. "On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that you can be successful on this assignment or in this class?" 

I have found that it does not work very well to just tell a student, "this work and this class are important, so suck it up and get the work done!" While there may be some truth to that approach, it does not specifically address the roadblocks for the student. What is causing those roadblocks?  Does the student even understand the assignment guidelines and requirements? What is the student's current capacity for doing work? Would another time be better? Has the student had enough to eat? Enough sleep? Life at home? 

There are so many factors that can interfere with student success. My job is to work with the student to identify those factors and then to make a plan that gives the student the greatest opportunity to get to the finish line. Patience, persistence, support, and a never-ending belief in the students will make a big difference!

One of the things I am most proud of is that in 14 years of working in special education at North Eugene High School, I never missed a day due to being sick. I have always taken good care of myself. In addition, I wanted to be there every day for my students so I could do anything and everything I could to help them. I wanted my students to know that we are in this world together, and that I've got their backs!

 

TRIBUTE TO JUNE

 It is probably only fitting that one of my best photography days ever would come at a time when I have been reminded of so many fond memories from spending time with the world's greatest custodian.

Yesterday was truly a memorable day for me in the photography world. I rode my bike three miles to the Jindai Botanical Garden with all my professional gear, except for my big tripod. Instead of the tripod, I used a wonderful chest harness system. 

I photographed almost non-stop for six hours. What a thrill it was! I split my time between a gorgeous indoor greenhouse display of lillies and the outdoor area that is pictured above. I then spent a number of hours editing these shots. Enjoy!

For years, I have felt that one of my greatest strengths is that I seem to have a knack for attracting good people. June Blackwell, the head custodian at North Eugene High School, is one such person. What a gem she is! She epitomizes the meaning of the word "commitment"! June takes a tremendous amount of pride in the work she does and the high school reaps the benefits! I learned to appreciate her honesty, her dedication, and her never-ending "give them hell" spirit! 

The world needs more people like June! People who call it like it is! People who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. People who, day in and day out, do what it takes to keep the school afloat. 

June decided early on in our relationship to call me " my Bob." It was my honor to have such a connection with such a wonderful person. The good news is that we are staying in touch via this blog. The good news is that her spirit is with me every day. Heaven knows, given the challenges we face on a daily basis, we need as much of June's spirit as we can get! 

June, I miss you! However, I am glad we had such great times together. I am glad we can stay in touch. All the best to you and the rest of the North community. Thanks for all you do to make North such a great place!


All the best,

Bob

 

TEACHING AND IMPROVEMENT

These are three more of my favorite shots from the Jindai Botanical Garden. All that beauty and I probably saw 25 people in 6 hours. What a treat, at least for me!

The heart and soul of my teaching has moved in the direction of striving for improvement. My goal with each student is to help that student improve whatever skills we are addressing. That is one of the things I have loved about coaching high school tennis. For ten weeks, I get the opportunity to help the players improve by putting some serious energy into repetition and skill development. This kind of focus helped us send two singles players and a doubles team to the state tourney this year. We worked hard on those fundamentals!

While working at North Eugene, I became increasingly frustrated with my schedule and the demands on my time. In particular, with the special education work, it seemed like the paperwork demands became so substantial that it became tough to balance that work with the actual "teaching" work. In addition, we struggled to implement consistent assessments. If you do not do assessments, how can you possibly measure improvement? 

If I get the job at the American School, my hope is that we will use consistent assessments and that we will adjust our instruction based on the results of those assessments. One of the most important goals is simply to see improvement.

 "I believe it’s impossible to claim you have taught, when there are students who have not learned."

 I love this quote from the great basketball coach John Wooden. I would expand the quote and state that if the students' skills are not improving, then we are not teaching.

It seems like in life, I strive for a balance between maintaining status quo and improvement. For example, I would like to live to be 100 years old. I know that I will not become a faster runner or cyclist. My goal is to maintain my good health and keep doing the healthy activities that I am doing now. On the other hand, I certainly believe there are skills I can keep improving, such as playing music, singing, photography, learning Japanese, being a good husband, and working to improve the environment. 

The irony in special education is that the field is driven by annual goals and instruction designed to address those goals. However, it seemed like we were so busy helping students meet graduation requirements, we did not have time to assess student skill levels and did not have time to make sure the instruction we provided was specifically designed to help students improve particular skills. As a result, I do not think our students experienced the kind of skill improvement that I think they should have experienced.

One of the most shocking statements came from a special education teacher at another high school. I was talking to her about reading comprehension instruction at the high school level. She said that she knows that area is very important. However, she also said that providing that kind of instruction is challenging and time consuming. As a result of this, she said she did not write goals for her students in the area of reading comprehension. She said she left that work up to the language arts teachers. 

Unbelievable! Reading comprehension is probably the single most important skill to develop in high school. Because of the challenges, this special education teacher avoids that area altogether!

In some ways, the formula for improvement is straightforward. 

  1. Determine what skills are important.
  2. Assess those skills.
  3. Set realistic but challenging goals.
  4. Provide instruction to improve the skills.
  5. Assess for improvement.
  6. Change instruction as necessary.
  7. Repeat these steps until the goals are reached. 

It just occurred to me that the best example of how this process should work is from my former Eugene physical therapist, Jeff Giulietti.  We started with my back rehabilitation after surgery. Over the years, Jeff worked on my Achilles and my calve muscles, both shoulders, my leg muscles, and my right elbow. The process was always the same. Assess the injury. Check for strength and range of motion. Design a plan. Execute the plan. Consistently reassess and change the plan as necessary and appropriate. Without exception, due to Jeff's brilliance and my consistent execution of the exercises, I experienced a 100% full recovery from the injury. Thanks Jeff! 


TEACHING PRACTICES

 I have to say that I am blown away by this process. It is amazing to me that we can take and edit photos ourselves, keep using the same memory card over and over again, make mind-blowing changes to the photos, and then easily share those photos with anyone and everyone. What a world we live in!

Given that my interview with the American School is today, I have been reflecting on effective teaching practices that I have learned or have been exposed to over the years. Below is a summary of some of those practices.

My teacher refuses to go ahead with lessons until she is absolutely sure that everyone gets it. It’s amazing.

—High School Senior

 I love the quote above from the American School web site. I talked about this principle in my previous post. I do think that it is worth reviewing. In far too many cases, we have a tendency to rush the Educational process so we can get to the end of the lesson or so we can help the student achieve immediate success on an assignment. Have we taken the time to make sure that “everyone gets it”? What kinds of assessments are we using to judge whether or not “everyone gets it”? How are we measuring the longer-term development of key skills related to reading, writing, and math?

 

  DEALING WITH CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS

  1. Address safety for all students
  2. As soon as possible, try to return to a supportive and productive learning environment.
  3. Contact other school personnel to get their perspectives on the student and related behaviors.
  4. At the appropriate time, process the behavior and related details with the student.
  5. Use questions with a scale of 1-10.
  6.      On a scale of 1-10, how concerned are you about this behavior? 10 is the most concerned and 1 is the least concerned.
  7. Come to some mutual understandings about the behavior and its impact on the student and others.
  8. Develop a plan for moving forward.


TEACHING

  1.  Identify the skills that need to be developed.
  2. Consult with the student and discuss the skills that need to b developed.
  3. Make a plan for developing the skills.
  4. Execute the plan. 
  5.  As much as possible, have the student do self-assessments.
  6. The teacher also does assessments.
  7. Update and change the plan as necessary and appropriate.
  8. Repeat this process until the student has demonstrated some degree of mastery.


ZONES OF REGULATION
  1. https://zonesofregulation.com/
  2. Build safe and supportive environments
  3. Increase self-awareness and social and emotional skills
  4. Book and curriculum and training
  5. Identify how we are feeling and then respond accordingly
  6. Develop and implement effective emotional self-awareness and self-regulation
  7. 4 Zones
    1. Green Zone: happy/focused/calm/proud
    2. Yellow Zone: worried/frustrated/silly/excited
    3. Blue Zone: sad/bored/tired/sick
    4. Red Zone: overjoyed/elated/panicked/angry/terrified


SOCIAL THINKING 

https://www.socialthinking.com/ 

The Social Thinking Methodology has been a guiding resource for schools, clinics, individuals and families around the world for more than 25 years. Our work supports individuals' social, emotional & academic learning, whether neurotypical or Neurodivergent, with or without diagnosis. Our materials are helpful for students in mainstream and special education—they can be used across developmental ages to support the development of social competencies, flexible thinking & social problem solving to improve: conversation & social connection, executive functioning, friendship & relationship development, perspective taking, self-regulation, and Social Thinking vocabulary. Help us protect the fidelity of this body of work and be informed about how you can/can’t use our materials considering our intellectual property, copyrights and trademarks.

  A BALANCED APPROACH TO TEACHING

Here are some additional shots of the Nijubashi Bridge and the Watchtower behind the bridge. These were all taken in the morning, so the sun was at my back. Nice lighting!

I have a second meeting with the American School this Friday, August 18th. Time for more reflections!

I would like to talk about a balanced approach to teaching. I think such an approach includes the following.

  1. My mission
    1. My mission is to contribute to the well being of our planet and its inhabitants. This mission statement can help drive my thoughts and actions.
  2. Collaboration
    1. Parents
    2. Teachers
    3. The student
      1. I think it is very important that we value the input from the student.
    4. Other staff members
    5. "Two heads are better than one." I think this is so true when it comes to working with students. Each person or group has a different perspective and has different contributions to make. 
  3. Looking forward
    1. As students move through high school, I think it is very important to consider the student's future.
    2. What does the student want to do after high school?
    3. What does the student need to focus on to get through high school?
    4. What skills does the student need to develop to prepare for the future?
    5. What can we all do to help the student develop mental and emotional and physical skills that will enable the student to have a satisfying future? 
  4. Motivation and Engagement
    1. In terms of school and academics, what motivates the student?
    2. What helps the student engage with the curriculum?
    3. How can the student's interests be incorporated into the curriculum? 
    4. Working with members of the student's team, what can I do to make the curriculum as engaging as possible for the student? 
  5. Communication
    1. How can I most effectively communicate with the student?
    2. How can I communicate most effectively with other members of the student's team? 
  6. Assessment
    1. How are we going to measure the student's level of success?
  7. Skill Development
    1. It is very important to help the student develop the key skills of reading, writing, and math. 
  8. Varied Curriculum
    1. How can we expose the student to a curriculum that is rich and varied and as comprehensive as possible? 
  9. Resources
    1. How can maximize the resources available to the student? 
  10. Growth Mindset
    1. How can we model a "Growth Mindset" and then help the student develop such a mindset? 

No one said it would be simple and easy!

All the best and thank you to all the teachers of the world!

Bob 

 THE CHALLENGE OF MOTIVATION

This is another shot from the Ninomaru Garden. The sun sets so much earlier here! For example, for today, August 17th, the sun sets at 6:29pm.

I would like to talk about a very complex topic, that of motivation. As teachers, we are constantly challenged with how to motivate our students. Here we go! 

I just purchased the Kindle version of a very insightful resource, Meeting Students Where They Live, by Richard Curwin. Some information from that book is included below.

KEY COMPONENTS OF MOTIVATION

  1. Give students choices. 
    1. Students will oftentimes be more motivated when they are given a choice.
  2. Give the students some degree of control.
    1. I remember reading that one of the best ways to help a student deal with anxiety is to give the student as much control as possible.
    2. If possible, get input from the students with regards to the topic, the teaching approach, activities, and assessments. 
  3. Many of us are motivated by the opportunity to complete a task successfully. 
    1. In addition, that success leads to more self-confidence, which then leads to more motivation, at least as it relates to that kind of task.  
  4. Make sure that the work is at the appropriate level for the student
    1. We are typically more motivated when the task is at a challenging but realistic level. 
  5. Try to make the work engaging and relevant to the students.
    1. Is there a strong correlation between the work and the daily lives of the students?
    2. Are the students interested in the topic?
  6. Build a positive relationship
    1. People tend to be more motivated when they are doing something for someone with whom they have a positive and nurturing relationship.
    2. Many of us are motivated by doing something for someone we care about.
    3. We can be motivated by the positive reinforcement from others. 
  7.  Pay attention to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
    1. In other words, realize that students need food, sleep, shelter, and other basic needs before they can be very motivated to put in effort at school.
    2. Students also need to feel safe and supported in order for them to put in much effort at school.
  8. Pay attention to effort
    1. Many of us are more motivated when the focus is on our effort and not on the result.
  9. When assessing, focus on effort and growth rather than just the score.
    1. How much improvement has the student made?
    2. Has the student put in a good effort?
  10. Consider using a contract.
    1. Putting goals on paper can help clarify the process and the agreements. 
    2. Having the student and others sign the agreement is a form of consensus. 
  11. Consider using rewards
    1. It is ideal to get student input on this. 
    2. Try to focus on rewarding the effort and growth as opposed to just rewarding the result. 
  12. Grades
    1. Getting good grades is motivating for some students.
    2. For students who have had a history of poor grades, it may be better to focus on growth and effort and de-emphasize the use of grades.
  13. Preparing for the future can be motivating
    1. For some students, preparing for college or for a good job or for a certain level of income can be motivating. 
    2. Setting realistic goals can be motivating as a person may really want to work hard to achieve those goals.
  14. Avoidance of negative consequences may be motivating for some.
    1. For example, if a student finishes their homework, they do not have to do the dishes that night.
  15. Punishment may not be very effective.
    1. In many cases, using threats and punishment are not very effective.
    2. However, for some students, telling them they will not graduate from high school if they do not pass a given class may be effective.

 

BACK TO WORK!

These are more gorgeous lilies from the Jindai Botanical Garden. I never get tired of admiring nature's beauty!

I got the job! The job is a half-time special education support position at the American School, an English speaking private school that is one mile from our house. I will be working every other day. One week I will work Monday and Wednesday and Friday. The next week I will work Tuesday and Thursday. Nice schedule!

I will be working one on one with a 10th grade student who has struggled in school. I am excited about this opportunity as I will really be focusing on instruction to help this student be successful. The student will be in a combination of regular education classes and support/skills classes. My job will be to monitor the classes and instruction and then to make modifications, as necessary. 

Another person will be the student's case manager. so I will not be doing all of the case management paperwork. I will be focusing on what is happening in the student's classes and focusing on work completion and related progress. On the days I am working, I will attend the student's math and English and study skills classes. 

As with so many of our students, the challenges will be in the areas of engagement, motivation, work completion, and skill development. 

The people I have met so far at the American School have been wonderful! I enjoyed the collaboration part of my job at North Eugene. I am confident that I will find the same kind of satisfaction at the American School. 

A big thanks to all of you teachers who make such a difference in the lives of your students. Good luck with the upcoming school year!

All the best,

Bob

 

 I LOVE MY WORK!

As I said before, the photo trip from this past weekend was truly out of this world! The first shot is another bright capture of the Rainbow Bridge. The white egret photo was taken the next morning, and the water/sky/boat shot was taken with my iPhone 14 Pro on the boat ride back to Tokyo. What a treat!

Speaking of treats, I feel like my work is such a treat! I am really enjoying it! The English class is reading The Crucible, Geometry is working on slope and line equations, and the Stagecraft class is finishing the safety test. Fascinating stuff! My job is to modify the work so my student can understand and process and synthesize this material.

It has been wonderful to see my student have some success in his classes. While he still has a long ways to go, he is moving in the right direction when it comes to engagement, attendance, social interaction, and skills improvement. At this point, very encouraging!

 It is also a treat to put all of my energy into the classes that my one on one student is taking. This gives me the luxury of spending a boat load of time with the curriculum and materials, time that I never had when I was working at North. I am fortunate!

The staff has been incredibly gracious and supportive and helpful. While I certainly miss the staff at North, I feel fortunate to be part of this new group. I also feel fortunate to have a schedule that has me working every other day. Just to preserve that schedule, I decided to not volunteer with the tennis program. I am getting my tennis fix by hitting with Setsuko. It does not get any better than that!

All the best,

Bob 

 FEET AND INSPIRATION!

These are some more of my favorite shots of the Rainbow Bridge and the pseudo "Statue of Liberty." Gotta love those light colors!

Speaking of love, I am loving the exercises I have been doing for my feet! The link to the exercises is below. I have been dealing with some soreness in my right heel. That area is oftentimes particularly sore first thing in the morning, which is a classic sign of Plantar Fasciitis. Generally speaking, as I move throughout the day, that right heel feels better. However, during my run yesterday, I could feel that right heel soreness. I did the exercises last night and then, lo and behold, no soreness while running today!

Although the foot rolls with the therapy ball can be pretty painful, I think that exercise helps alleviate the soreness. A small price to pay!

Where do you get your inspiration? Given that this blog is all about inspiration, you can guess that this topic is dear to my heart. I am inspired on a consistent basis by so many people and events and occurrences and natural happenings. Wednesday was no exception. A student was having a tough day because he was tired and was a little out of sync. Going into his last class of the day, it seemed like it would be a challenging class. Boy did he ever blow that concern out of the water! He had a great class! He was energetic and miraculously overcame his fear of the saws as he practiced with almost all of those tools. Yeah! 

The gift I witnessed with this student will provide inspiration for me for days and days!

All the best,

Bob

 

FALL IS ON THE WAY!

 There is nothing like the change of colors that comes with the start of fall. I am very excited about the related photo opportunities!

When I first starting photographing in the Tama Cemetery, I focused on the amazing and gorgeous tombstones. With the photos pictured here, I was focusing on the photogenic trees. More to come!

Now that life has started to show some indications of structure and normalcy, it is time for me to follow through with the promise I made to Setsuko to learn the Japanese language. That is going to be a challenge! 

This adventure started with a free class offered in our community. I had a feeling that things may be a bit rocky when my volunteer instructor admitted that I was his first beginning student. Off to a great start! The second bad omen was when we started working with a textbook. He showed me the two books that he had chosen. I told him I liked the book that had English translations. He decided we should use the other book. Oh boy!

To make a long story short, he went way too fast and overwhelmed me in no time at all! This was such a great reminder of what it is like to be a student! I have not had that experience for a long time! It also reminded me how important it is to meet the student where the student is at.

I am supposed to meet with that same instructor in two weeks. However, I asked Setsuko to cancel that session. Instead, I will be working with two online programs, Mondly and Busuu. Both programs are very engaging, go very slowly, do lots of repetition and review, use great visuals, and give the student opportunities to repeat material. Bring it on!

All the best,

Bob

 

A NEW JOB!

Hello again!

I hope you enjoy my recording of the classic, "Leaving on A Jet Plane." That song has always had special meaning to me as it was the first song I learned on the guitar. I only wish I could match the wonderful recordings by John Denver and Peter, Paul, and Mary!

These photos are from Jindai Botanical Garden, such a gorgeous place! 

As I think I may have mentioned, my current job at the American School is over at the end of this year. While I could stay and work as a substitute teacher, my preference is to have a regular position, so I get the joy of working with the same students on a consistent basis. 

There is a wonderful web site that lists most of the top international schools in the Tokyo area: https://www.international-schools-database.com/in/tokyo

Call it luck or call it persistence, I recently hit the jackpot when I discovered an amazing gem, The Tokyo International Progressive School, or TIPS, https://www.tokyoips.com/

This is from their main page: TIPS is an international school for grades 4 - 12 that provides alternative education for students with mild learning differences and with academic, emotional and/or social challenges. Founded in 2000, TIPS is proud of the expertise of our staff and the results of our programs.

For those of you who know me, you can see that this is a perfect match for my skills, experiences, and educational interests and pursuits. I will be teaching a language arts class, a humanities class, and will be assisting with two PE classes. This part-time position is about fifteen hours per week. 

I did a sample lesson as part of the interview process and had a ball! I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity! To make matters even better, it is a very nice 9 mile bike ride along the Tama River to go from our house to the school. It takes me about 40-45 minutes, a perfect amount of time for peace and quiet and reflection!

Lastly, this will give me the opportunity to delve into reading comprehension, one of my favorite subjects in education. While this will not match all the highlights from my position at North Eugene, it will give me the golden opportunity to do work I dearly love. Yeah!

I hope you enjoy the Spring!

All the best,

Bob

 

LIFE IN THE FAST LANES!

I hope you enjoy my recording of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel hit, Sounds of Silence. I just watched the iconic viewing of that song in the classic movie, The Graduate. Dustin Hoffman is still going strong!

The pictures were taken at the Rikugien Garden. I photographed during the day and then stayed for the evening, when various parts of the garden were highlighted with flood lights. It was stunning!

Yes, life in the fast lanes! As I previously mentioned, I accepted a teaching position for this coming school year with the Tokyo International Progressive School, otherwise known at "TIPS."

What I did not know when I did my last update was my teaching assignment. I will be teaching 10th grade language arts, grades 4-8 reading comprehension, and helping with two PE classes. Please keep in mind this is a part-time position. Just to keep me truly on my toes, they added 7th grade science. Wow!

Between the science planning work and my increase in reading volume, I have been going full speed ahead! Below is a list of books I have read in the last two months.

  1. Wonder
  2. Counting By 7s
  3. The Secret Garden
  4. Catcher in the Ry
  5. 1984
  6. To Kill A Mockingbird
  7. A Kind of Spark
  8. Oh The Places You'll Go
  9. Out of My Mind
  10. Poet X
  11. Fault in Our Stars
  12. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying the reading, the studying, the learning, the thinking, and the planning. I have a flexible schedule, so, why not??!! I would highly recommend any of the above-mentioned books. In particular, Wonder and Counting by 7s and Out of My Mind and A Kind of Spark all highlight young people with very challenging circumstances, some of which are related to disabilities. Very inspiring!

It is truly ironic that Setsuko asked me two months ago what my dreams are. I told her that one of my dreams is to again teach reading comprehension. Who says that dreams do not come true????!!!!To prepare for that class, I have been picking 1-3 paragraph excerpts from the books above and other sources. I will then use those excerpts to model comprehension tools and techniques and help students improve their reading comprehension skills. I will adjust the reading levels as necessary. It is so amazing that with artificial intelligence, I can put a passage into certain web sites and the related software is able to increase or decrease the reading level. So cool!

I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity. It will be great to get back in a regular classroom! As any good teacher will tell you, there is nothing like challenging one's students, providing an effective framework and environment and instruction, and then observing the progress and success. Beauty in motion!

I hope you have a great summer!

Bob




 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 



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