Archive for September 2008

Don’t Hit the ‘Forward’ Button on That E-mail!

September 30, 2008

One of my all time pet peeves is the propagating of misinformation, hatred and intolerance by the forwarding of untrue chain e-mails. With the Presidential election process in full-swing, it seems like I have been receiving more of these types of e-mails lately, and it is upsetting.

As an educator, I try to teach my students and staff to validate sources of information before referring to them in presentations, papers, etc. Part of my job, as I see it, is to fight against misinformation, so I may take this topic a little more seriously than others might. But I hope, that we are all open to fighting against intolerance, misinformation and slander by just taking a minute or two to QUESTION and THINK about what we are reading. If most people just took a second to question the chain e-mails going around before hitting ‘forward,’ they would probably realize they are untrue.

If, however, you receive an e-mail and your just don’t know whether it is true or not, then take another minute or two to research what you have received. if you are reading the e-mail, then I am assuming you have Internet access and it is a quick jump over to FactCheck.org (for politics) or Snopes in order to verify the information (or just do a Google search and see what you come up with).  It is time well spent – time spent learning instead of just acting like one of the “sheeple” or “sheople” who follow the masses without ever questioning or thinking for themselves.

If for some reason you are dead set about sharing information via e-mail that is for or against a Presidential candidate (or VP), then use a reputable source of information.  Share information that matters – what does the candidate stand for, what is he/she promising, what is his/her political experience or how does he/she represent himself/herself.  Read through the transcripts of their speeches (Obama/McCain) and/or debates or watch videos of interviews with them. Make an INFORMED decision, not one based on misinformation meant to muddy the real issues or slander the candidate.

And, whatever you do… stop forwarding the chain e-mails!!

Some additional sites you might want to check out when researching your candidate…

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What I Think…

September 10, 2008

I came across this little activity on MJ’s blog the other day and thought it might be fun.

I decided to do two. This first one is school related.

i am: happy to be working at such a great school
i think: the TAKS test is AWFUL!
i know: I have good friends at work
i want: all of my students to be successful
i have: a rewarding career
i wish: all students took their education more seriously
i hate:falling behind in my work
i miss: teaching English (some days)
i fear: not adequately preparing my students for life after school
i feel: teachers are under appreciated
i hear: the sound of my student’s laughing
i smell: cafeteria food 😦
i crave: enough time to get things done for work and enough time to rest for me
i search: for new and better ways to learn
i wonder: where my students will be in five or ten years
i regret: not building a relationship with EVERY student
i love: seeing my students graduate
i ache: when my students make poor, life-altering choices
i care: about instilling a love of learning in students
i always: attempt to be positive with the students
i am not: some one who yells
i believe: people can turn their lives around
i dance: in my car on the way to work
i sing: in the car on the way to work
i don’t always: give as much attention to the students as I should
i fight: poor attitudes
i write: to reflect and learn
i win: when my students succeed
i lose: my keys all the time
i never: give up (at least for very long)
i confuse: myself when math is involved
i listen: when I need to
i can usually be found: on my laptop doing work
i am scared: of failing
i need: people to care
i am happy about: having a job where every day is different

And this one is just about me.

i am: getting fatter at an alarming rate (baby is due in December)
i think: I need to get some exercise
i know: I have the funniest little dog imaginable
i want: to be able to sleep through the night
i have: a nice husband
i wish: people were more thoughtful
i hate: rude people
i miss: my best friend Dana
i fear: giving birth
i feel: TIRED
i hear: the sound of Bones on the television
i smell: my dinner of Easy Mac
i crave: some of the yummy pumpkin bread Sarah made me
i search: on “the Google” when I need to find something
i wonder: why I have such a hard time with directions
i regret: not paying more attention in high school
i love: my pajamas
i ache: when my husband is away for too long
i care: about education
i always: brush my teeth before going to bed
i am not: going to age gracefully
i believe: in the power of choices
i dance: when I feel like it
i sing: off-key in the car… very LOUDLY
i don’t always: have as much patience as I should
i fight: against policies I think are wrong
i write: what I feel and what I think
i win: arguments
i lose: my temper when people are confrontational
i never: raise my voice
i confuse: myself more than others do
i listen: to music when I am working
i can usually be found: snuggled up with Little Abbey
i am scared: of losing people I love
i need: to read every night in order to get to sleep
i am happy about: where I am in my life

Feel free to participate on your blog if feel the need.

Random Thoughts about Random Things

September 4, 2008

We are nearing the second week of school and so far all seems to be going well.  Laptops were handed out to freshmen yesterday and today, so we are pretty close to have 100% of the students with their laptops; sometimes i think the freshmen teachers are just as excited when the ninth graders get their laptops as the kids are. 🙂

We have some great new teachers who are jumping in with both feet – ready to learn themselves and ready to teach the students.

I have had lots of volunteers for Teaching and Learning Tuesdays and we have some interesting sessions coming up. I am teaching an upcoming TL Tuesday on creating virtual field trips/tours using Google Earth which is pushing me a little out of my comfort zone and making me learn some new things which is always good.

Over the summer I have become more participatory with Twitter and subscribe to a nice little network of people who are always sharing new ideas, tools, etc. to keep me learning and thinking (my user is astevens74 if you would like to join me).  I can even get my tweets at work via TwitterFox (since Twitter is blocked).  I have even FINALLY joined Facebook and have started playing around with it to try to understand our students’ perspectives a little better, and surprisingly, I am finding Facebook pretty fun.

So, all in all, things are going well with me and my school; I hope the start of your school year has been a positive one as well.  And just in case you need a reminder of why we teach and why it matters, check out this student speaker from DISD because I think he sums it up pretty nicely.