tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-203854202016-06-27T06:28:58.902-04:00A School to Call HomePeter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.comBlogger159125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-5168735227704690922009-11-04T17:13:00.002-05:002009-11-05T09:57:22.055-05:00And a third letter of interest wings its way across the InternetFor anyone lurking about and wondering what the status of my search is, I now have three active letters of interest out "there." There's Little School on the Prairie (head of school), Saint Swithins on the Mountaintop (academic dean), and Saint Swithins Under One Roof (assistant head). I'm hopeful, but realistic.<br /><br />Meanwhile, things in my current professional life are keeping me busy. I'm working on certification as a Lean Six Sigma <i>Black Belt</i> which, in the performance improvement world, is a pretty big deal. And, of course, I'm slugging away on the dissertation. I need to make some big moves over the next eight weeks with both of these inititiatives. More to follow...<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/qaA8CB42ZFs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com8/2009/11/and-third-letter-of-interest-wings-its.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-61152464564811814942009-10-13T16:31:00.003-04:002009-10-14T08:16:49.266-04:00Autumn reflection: Two active applications<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28600449@N02/2954010849/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3247/2954010849_cd96b77aed_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a><br /><span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28600449@N02/2954010849/">Autumn reflection</a><br />Photograph by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28600449@N02/">Kornel Mezo</a></span></div>I have just clicked send, and my second letter of interest is zooming its way across the fibers of the Internet, destined to land in an inbox and not, we hope, the trash can. In keeping with my new focus, realistic or not, this was for an assistant head role.<br /><br />I've been struggling with how to open a letter of interest. The "I write today to express my interest in being considered as the Head of School at St. Swithin's School" just doesn't seem to catch me. When I was a young, perspective English teacher, I wrote something like, "A mentor of mine once told me that begining English teachers were worth a dime a dozen. If that's the case, I'm worth a little under a penny."<br /><br />One thing I've learned over the years is that I only need to reach the person who I really want to work for. In that particular case, I sent out some 200 letters and landed a couple of interviews. And one offer. The head of the school, Wally Stettler, liked my letter. Having attended a small boarding school where the head did everything, I didn't realize that wasn't the norm. Dr. Stettler received my letter and passed it to the dean of the upper school, Carmen Marnell, who later told me that if he'd received the letter I never would have been invited to campus for an interview. Guess I sent it to the right person, and I guess it struck the right chord.<br /><br />Here's what I churned out today, wordy and verbose (like I needed to say both...):<blockquote>Having been out of the independent school business for fifteen years, I’ve been accused of embodying an oft-repeated quote from Isabel Waxman: “It is indeed ironic that we spend our school days yearning to graduate and our remaining days waxing nostalgic about our school days.” I like to think, however, that what draws me back to independent boarding schools is more Albert Einstein. He noted, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one learned in school.” I’ve seen the power of boarding schools, where education happens not just in the classrooms, but on the playing fields and dormitory corridors, in the dining hall and faculty homes, in the art and dance studios, and on, and behind, stage. I’m called to return.</blockquote>Jim Collins, in <i>Good to Great</i>, says that one of the key tasks for a leader is to get the right people on the bus and then to get them in the right seats. I'd say that one of the tasks of the prospective employee is to make certain they're getting on the right bus. It's that job hunt dance, and something those of us seeking positions sometimes forget: Some times, as good as it looks, it's not the right match. The bus is the wrong bus.<br /><br />The cover letter is, frankly, the first chance we get to check to see if the organization's bus is really what we're looking for. In my case, if the head of school (or, for the one other position I've applied for, the members of the search committee) doesn't like my letter, I'd say there's a good chance he's not on the bus I want to be on. If my words don't resonate, so be it.<br /><br />And, gentle reader, what do you say?<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/YES3pI9lIwA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com6/2009/10/autumn-reflection-two-active.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-59364866889493422932009-09-17T20:02:00.013-04:002009-09-18T07:47:47.939-04:00It's September, so it must be time for me to re-rack my school searchI have over the last several months continued to muse and meditate on my call to return to an independent school. Is it really what I want? <i>Be careful what you ask for.</i> What skills do I truly bring to the table? Where can I really add value to a school community?<br /><br />One thing I've settled on is that seeking a straight faculty job is probably not wise; I'll continue to come up empty. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but age and family situation top the list. Age and family bring a host of considerations: housing, salaries, benefits (such as tuition). I'm starting to look mighty expensive for a classroom teacher, particularly when teachers just out of school or with, even, six to ten years of experience can be had for much less cost to the school.<br /><br />Clearly, from just the practical standpoint, serving as a classroom teacher looks more and more less likely.<br /><br />Couple this with a review of my <a href="http://cv.peterstinson.com/chrono">professional experience</a>, <a href="http://cv.peterstinson.com/teach">teaching experience</a>, and <a href="http://cv.peterstinson.com/educsum">education</a>, and it appears obvious: I'm more suited to a head of school or associate head role, even with a dearth of recent school experience.<br /><br />Recently, I was sussing out the Small Business Administration's SCORE capabilities for a friend who owns a small bakery and cafe. As I was looking at a list of SCORE counselors, all retired business owners who now serve as consultants through the SCORE program, I found a local counselor who is the former head of a small, independent school. I wrote him, and here's his reply:<blockquote>I retired in 19XX from the [-------] School in [-------] City; I still keep in contact, but I really have no idea of the job market.<br /><br />In looking at your <a href="http://cv.peterstinson.com">cv</a> I would say it looks attractive but if I were on a search committee I would be more interested in the references - especially the Wyoming Seminary and the Walnut Hill School - both places I knew about during the late 70's through early 90's - but I would surely want to have a way to contact those (or other references). The military references, although more current, would be of little interest.<br /><br />In going to a small school I would want to see some experience or interest in financial management - especially fund accounting as used by non profit corporations (501 c 3), and certainly some experience or interest in fund raising - projects (auctions, magazine sales, etc.) and soliciting funds through gifts - especially the Annual Fund. as a head you will have a part to play in that less attractive activity.<br /><br />I didn't notice you personal statistics - age, marriage?, and other things that a hiring agent cannot ask but will help (or hinder) your application - if you go to a Christian school you probably won't be hired if you are an atheist - but no one can ask you that on an application.</blockquote>What are your thoughts? Am I on the righ track? Certainly, I can teach, but would I bring better value to a school as a senior leader? Is my lack of recent school experience a huge hindrance? Is the SCORE counselor right and a dearth of financial experience the kiss of death for a head of school search?<br /><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/178/457167546_a91d5055b6_o.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px;" src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/178/457167546_a91d5055b6_o.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></a>If you follow me in my <a href="http://twitter.com/School2CallHome">@School2CallHome</a> persona, you know that the <i>Little School on the Prairie</i> is looking for a head of school; my letter's in, but I've yet to hear anything. Too soon.<br /><br /><hr><em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/revdave/457167546/">The picture with this post</a> is by David Morris who posts at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/">flickr</a> as <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/revdave/">iowa_spirit_walker</a>; the picture is used here with his kind permission and under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">Creative Commons license</a>.</em><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/DI3Pno95OjA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com4/2009/09/its.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-86141499746856587822009-07-07T23:44:00.000-04:002009-07-07T23:44:00.835-04:00How would you tackle using new/social media for a school?I've been spending a huge hunk of time recently just mulling over the notion of a web writer at an independent, secondary, boarding school. My wife says I get like this: fixated on the very remote when it comes to new employment. Perhaps, but it gives me a chance to think big ideas.<br /><br />To review, here's the job description for a <b><a href="http://www.nmhschool.org/employment/staff/WebWriter.php">web writer</a></b> at a school in Massachusetts. This is a full-time staff opening (and one that I've applied for):<br /><blockquote>The School, an independent co-educational boarding school in the folds of the Connecticut River valley, seeks a versatile, innovative, and prolific wordsmith with an appreciation for institutional strategy and priorities to develop crisp, lively, and targeted copy and other content for the school’s website and other electronic communications. Flexibility is key to success in this position, which will also include some media-relations work and special projects, as assigned.<br /><br />The successful candidate will have knowledge and facility with and writing for social media and the web; experience with web-based content management and web applications for marketing and communications purposes; demonstrated talent and skill in writing; a basic understanding of media relations; copyediting skills; proven organizational and communication skills; and excellent interpersonal skills. Experience in a school or higher education environment a plus. Additional qualifications include the ability to work collaboratively with a team, as well as being a self-starter capable of working independently. Candidates should be familiar with boarding school life and have a demonstrated interest in making a positive impact on the lives of adolescents.</blockquote>For someone who has a passion for boarding schools and social media, this reads like the ideal job. I know, because I have a passion for boarding schools and social media, and it does read like the ideal job.<br /><br />So, what would I do if I were the new web writer?<br /><br />Well, first, the school is using three primary social media applications, with a fourth tool in the works. They're using Twitter, Facebook, and flickr; YouTube is in the works. As an outside social media pundit has said, their journey thus far has been <i><a href="http://www.mstoner.com/index.php/blog/comments/646/social_media_done_right">social media done right</a></i>. I agree. What I'd do is simple: build on the school's successes in a strategic and systematic manner.<br /><br />Josh Bernoff notes that when organizations enter the social media realm, they don't really know their objectives. To address strategic threats and capabilities, one needs a strategic planning process, and Mr. Bernoff provides in <a href="http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2007/12/the-post-method.html">The POST Method: A systematic approach to social strategy</a>.<br /><ul><li>People</li><li>Objectives</li><li>Strategies</li><li>Technology</li></ul>A <a href="http://blogs.forrester.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/12/11/post_method_2.jpg">good, basic model</a>. I'd use this in conjunction with Prosci's change management model and link to the school's overall strategic objectives and associated goals. Chris Brogan had a recent post with guidance on strategic blogging that fits nicely with the POST model. See his <a href="http://www.chrisbrogan.com/strategic-blogging-and-some-tactics-to-nail-it/">Strategic Blogging and Some Tactics to Nail It</a><br /><br />Over at Web Worker Daily, Meryl Evans has some suggestions on <a href="http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/07/05/8-ways-to-avoid-overwhelming-your-followers-twitter-stream/">Ways to Avoid Overwhelming Your Followers’ Twitter Stream</a>. I like his fifth suggestion, one I use (having thought I was unique):<br /><blockquote><i>Schedule tweets:</i> Typically, I don’t recommend automating anything in Twitter as it will likely lower your rep. However, if you’re like me and only check Twitter a couple of times a day, then you may want to spread out your tweets, replies, etc., using an automated service. This avoids cluttering a person’s stream with bursts of tweets.</blockquote>Indeed. Having said that, there is something for consistency. In building a brand, it's work; it's presence. Chris Brogan tells us there are <a href="http://www.chrisbrogan.com/19-presence-management-chores-you-could-do-every-day/">19 Presence Management Chores You COULD Do Every Day</a>. Chris lays out tasks to be completed on various platforms/applications. He specifically mentions:<br /><ul><li>Twitter</li><li>LinkedIn</li><li>Facebook</li><li>Blogs</li></ul>I'm not sure about the value of LinkedIn for a non-profit organization, although perhaps it would be good for alumni and be more professionally oriented. I am encouraged by Mr. Brogan's inclusion of blogs. I think blogs are missed opportunity for this school along the shores of the Connecticut River. Some people would suggest that blogs are well past their prime. I don't buy it. Blogs are still an excellent way to post current pieces, generally longer than 140 characters. Ideally, each of the senior staff at the school would have a blog to which they posted at least weekly.<br /><br />Another issue to consider along with creating objectives and goals for the social media effort is creating measures to track as indicators of completing the goals and attaining the objectives. These might be considered ROI measures, perhaps, in the model of Jack Phillips. Ideally, these would follow from the goals and objectives; generally measures don't come first. Having said that, I can imagine metrics of various flavors including:<br /><ul><li>Activity measures such as number of tweets or posts or the numbers of followers.</li><li>Survey to incoming students in 2010 to see if they used any of the social media tools with the school and what the benefit was.</li><li>Surveys to other stakeholders.</li><li>Number of initial admissions queries generated through social media.</li><li>Increase in annual fund giving.</li></ul>In essence, a full-blown program evaluation (and I might know <a href="http://dissertation.peterstinson.com/">a little something about program evaluation</a>).<br /><br />In short, then, what is my counsel? Aside from hiring me, it is this: be deliberate and strategic in building and deploying a full social media initiative, ensuring it is fully tied in with the larger enterprise and various internal stakeholders and their programs (admissions, development, academics, dean of students, etc.).<br /><br />For schools just starting out and not committing a full FTE to the iniative, I'd suggest splitting the load between several key staffers. Still need to do the planning. Still need to link to the larger organization.&nbsp; But, instead of a single person responsible, split the duties, perhaps by tool. One person takes Twitter, another takes Facebook, and so on.<br /><br />What are your thoughts?<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/UMjrBxaFVbA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com3/2009/07/how-would-you-tackle-using-newsocial.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-70105342720290506972009-07-01T21:50:00.000-04:002009-07-01T21:50:56.991-04:00Falling off the Net for the next monthEven thought I'm excited about the possibility of the social media job at <a href="http://twitter.com/nmhschool">@nmhschool</a>, I'm dropping offline for the month of July. I know, there's a bit of irony there. I have two tasks on which I want to focus: finishing the first floor renovations (so we can get back to some semblance of order) and making substantial progress on the dissertation (so I can remove the ABD label and be done with it). I am buying back the time social media has been eating from my days and nights.<br /><br />See you in a month... and let's hope <a href="http://twitter.com/nmhschool">@nmhschool</a> calls to set up an interview. I have the third week of this month all ready for a sprint to northern New England.<br /><br />So, now, until the start of August, peace to you.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/afT3HMvI2Bk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com0/2009/07/falling-off-net-for-next-month.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-39302386181427129302009-06-21T01:11:00.002-04:002009-07-01T21:54:54.035-04:00All frequencies broadcast-this could be bad if you're following too close: Request feedback job app http://ow.ly/fiWO IRT http://ow.ly/fiVTAll frequencies broadcast-this could be bad if you're following too close: Request feedback job app <a href="http://ow.ly/fiWO">http://ow.ly/fiWO</a> IRT <a href="http://ow.ly/fiVT">http://ow.ly/fiVT</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/gGj4Xe2w-1I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com1/2009/06/all-frequencies-broadcast-this-could-be.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-30287061435389448182009-05-16T17:49:00.002-04:002009-05-16T17:49:21.394-04:00A frog (and a) prince to save the rain forestsNothing to do with the topic of this blog... more important, actually...<br /><br /><object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/boEDMVNAPk4&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/boEDMVNAPk4&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/LPV0DF6uWuw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com0/2009/05/frog-and-prince-to-save-rain-forests.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-57760758499841514112009-03-26T19:09:00.000-04:002009-03-26T19:09:54.818-04:00Back in the ClassroomI'm back in the classroom, teaching, although I'm not teaching at an independent school. I'm teaching as an adjunct at National Graduate School, a degree-granting institution with a focus on quality systems management. I'm teaching the first class of their master's program, and it's a weekend class. Four hours Friday after work and then all day Saturday, twice. So, different in many ways, but still familiar.<br /><br />I don't know how other instructors teach the class; the school provides a set of powerpoints for each module, and I know there are faculty members who go through the ppt, slide by slide, with the class. I can't imagine.<br /><br />So I did what's natural: discussions and group work. I can't imagine that in working with adult learners, learners who need more than lecture.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/OXEcL7Znwfg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com5/2009/03/back-in-classroom.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-76664651427680170452008-11-13T00:53:00.007-05:002008-11-13T09:22:09.416-05:00Shutting down bloggers, one blog at a time<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/aknacer/2873292239/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3185/2873292239_9cb0055761_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a><br /><span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/aknacer/2873292239/">Moan-et</a><br />Originally uploaded by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/aknacer/">aknacer</a></span></div>I continue to be amazed at dinosaur thinking in the workplace. And, no, I'm not talking about my place of employment.<br /><br />I received an email recently from a fellow blogger who has been cut down on her blogging. She's a teacher in a public school. Here's a little something she received from her boss:<blockquote><i>Actually, you'll not see the little something she received from her supervisor.<br /><br />Revieved in an email this morning:</i><blockquote>Please delete the quotes from my school district's directive from your blog post. I just googled it, and it popped up. If my school district does the same, I'm history--and I'm already hanging by a slender thread!</blockquote><i>Oh, I can relate to that. In the spring of 2007, I went through the same rigamarole. See <a href="http://tidewatermusings.peterstinson.com/2007/04/coast-guard-bust.html">Coast Guard Bust</a> and <a href="http://tidewatermusings.peterstinson.com/2007/03/cg-forcecom-to-alameda.html">CG FORCECOM to {{snip}} ...</a> The good news, if we can look a the situation with a glass-half-full perspective, is that, if my situation is any indication, things will get better.<br /><br />In the mean time, at the request of my blogging colleague, I've deleted the missive from her superiors.</i>.</blockquote>I've been reading her posts for several years now; while I certainly don't agree with everything she says, I have never found her postings disrespectful or even tinged with the thought of undermining her supervisors' authority. Indeed, as other teacher-bloggers have noted, her posts are educational. Wrote one teacher-blogger, "I have learned many things about teaching from her, and in fact, just changed the seating in my room based on some things I just recently read."<br /><br />Some people are just afraid, I think. This whole notion of transparency and learning from others, well, the dinosaurs don't get it.<br /><br />Sure, it's scary. I'm not talking about life streaming, but about sharing information, making people and organizations learning people and and organizations.<br /><br />For instance, I've started posting my <a href="http://civempsum4pas.blogspot.com/">work summaries</a> online. Insane, some would say. I've caught some flack for it, and some people have suggested that it's inappropriate. Well, to my mind, the payoff is worth the risk. Hands down.<br /><br />At least the Coast Guard, more of a monolith than any public school district, has attempted to balance organizational needs with individual needs and, also, actually, larger needs. Recently, the Coast Guard came out with <a href="http://www.uscg.mil/announcements/alcoast/alcoast548.08.txt">a policy</a> which, first, defined unofficial Internet posts: An unofficial Internet post is when a Coastie (of any flavor, be they a military member, a civilian employee, or a volunteer) expresses<blockquote><tt>THEIR COAST GUARD RELATED THOUGHTS, IDEAS, KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE, AND OPINIONS BY POSTING ANY COAST GUARD RELATED INFORMATION TO ANY (COAST GUARD OR OTHER) INTERNET SITE. UNOFFICIAL INTERNET POSTS ARE PERSONAL EXPRESSIONS DEVELOPED AND RELEASED BY A MEMBER IN AN OFF-DUTY STATUS AND ARE NOT INITIATED BY ANY PART OF THE COAST GUARD ORGANIZATION OR REVIEWED WITHIN ANY OFFICIAL COAST GUARD APPROVAL PROCESS.</tt></blockquote>Since I've mentioned the Coast Guard, I'm thinking this very post probably falls under this rubric.<br /><br />So, what are the guidelines? Fairly balanced, I think.<blockquote><tt>COAST GUARD PERSONNEL WHILE IN AN OFF-DUTY STATUS . . . ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE INTERNET POSTS ON COAST GUARD RELATED TOPICS . . . THE COAST GUARD PERFORMS VALUABLE SERVICES AROUND THE WORLD EVERY DAY AND THERE IS NOBODY IN A BETTER POSITION TO TELL THIS STORY THAN EACH OF YOU. AS A RESULT, THE COAST GUARD ENCOURAGES EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS TO RESPONSIBLY ENGAGE IN UNOFFICIAL INTERNET POSTING . . . COAST GUARD PERSONNEL WHO POST CONTENT ON THE INTERNET ABOUT THE COAST GUARD BEAR A RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENSURING INFORMATION DISCLOSED (INCLUDING PERSONAL COMMENTS) IS ACCURATE AND APPROPRIATE. COAST GUARD PERSONNEL SHOULD KEEP IN MIND HOW THEIR POSTS WILL REFLECT UPON THEMSELVES, THEIR UNIT, AND OUR SERVICE.</tt></blockquote>The policy is replete with references to privacy information, information security, operational security, and all the other caveats one would expect from a military and law enforcement agency. But the bottom line is clear: it's okay to muck about on the Web 2.0 and add content. And, it's okay to talk about the Coast Guard when doing so.<br /><br />What's the teacher-blogger who's been shut down to do? Well, she clearly can't keep blogging, at least with the same focus she had before. As noted in one of the most recent posts, "From now on, you'll find nothing of substance here."<br /><br />Actually, you will not find anything there, as she's locked down the site so that no one can read it. That's right, no one. It's become little more than a personal journal. No more learning from a fellow teacher. No more seeing through a window into someone's classroom. No more learning about how schools function and school leaders lead and school managers manage.<br /><br />What irks me greatly is that in this teacher-blogger's posts, she didn't even name the school she taught. No hint of the real location. No hint of the real people involved. Rather, an unabashed view of one anonymous classroom in one anonymous school in one anonymous district.<br /><br />And for that she gets the muzzle. Noted another follower,<blockquote>All I am saying is this: if it can happen to her, it could happen to the rest of us. Keep your eyes open and your backs to the wall. And keep on posting.</blockquote>Indeed.<br /><br />So another blogger bites the dust. Or so the administrators think. We all know, however, that <a href="http://everything2.com/?node_id=1672914">the hog will be fed</a>, and ideas will flourish, and free speech will reign in the end. And, I look forward to reading this teacher-bloggers words and learning from her (albeit not from words on her blog), and other intelligent and dedicated professionals in the blogosphere (or whatever suitable replacement we can find).<br /><br />To those leaders and managers who are concerned about content on the Web 2.0, get over it. Trust your people. Sure, give them guidelines. And follow-along. Realize everyone is still learning about this new media, so mistakes will be made. But also realize that there is more positive power here than any of us can imagine right now.<br /><br />To my teacher-blogger colleague, and all the other folks out there who have taken it in the chin because of blogging (yes, Michael, you), keep at it. I certainly will; blogs and other tools help make us all learners. And that is nothing but good.<br /><br /><i>Cross-posted at <a href="http://tidewatermusings.peterstinson.com">Tidewater Musings</a> and <a href="/">A School to Call Home</a>.</i><br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/y7S6r34Sp2o" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com5/2008/11/shutting-down-bloggers-one-blog-at-time.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-36673373833589078072008-06-28T21:03:00.003-04:002008-06-28T23:29:41.675-04:00Sometimes a position announcement reaches out and grabs ahold of meI'm certain that it appears I'm no longer actively seeking a school position<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-HsfzIWly6k/SGbhJ7a-f1I/AAAAAAAAA_w/OB6DMN8VfLg/s1600-h/topa_topa_spring.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="border: 0pt none ; background-color: transparent; clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-HsfzIWly6k/SGbhJ7a-f1I/AAAAAAAAA_w/xjZGicmC-vU/s200-R/topa_topa_spring.jpg" style="border: 0pt none ;" /></a>Not so; what I am doing is being much more selective in what position announcements I bother responding to. While I'm still called to teach, I also realize that I'm actually doing good where I am right now<br /><br />Every once in a while, a position announcement reaches out and grabs me. I felt the grip of this one. The school<br /><blockquote>is seeking a high school English teacher for the 2008-09 school year (courses will probably include 9th grade, 11th grade, AP English, and Creative Writing). The successful candidate will join an exceptional team of teachers and work with curious, passionate, and capable students in grades nine through twelve. Qualified candidates will have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in English and at least three years teaching experience. We are particularly interested in candidates with experience in project-based learning, the Writing Process, interdisciplinary teaching, differentiated learning, and innovative curriculum. The position also involves active participation in duties related to a residential community oriented high school (faculty meetings, advisory, evening and periodic weekend duty, and attendance at all-school events).<br /><br />The school is enjoying maximum enrollment of 100 students (50 male, 50 female), 80% are residential students. Commitment to experiential education and project based learning.</blockquote>I've written the academic dean, indicating my interest in the position. We'll see where it ends up.<br /><br /><i>Picture from this post is <a href="http://www.discoverojai.com/Ojai_Links/Photos.html">from Ojai Valley Photo Gallery</a>.</i><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/OJwJeSz43jI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com2/2008/06/sometimes-position-announcement-reaches.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-28419632311137588102008-06-11T17:05:00.001-04:002008-06-11T17:07:33.321-04:00Worth 25 minutes of your life<center><div style="width:425px;text-align:left" id="__ss_454356"><object style="margin:0px" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://static.slideshare.net/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=0h20-unleasing-the-tribe-screen-grabs-1212925858510972-9"/><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"/><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"/><embed src="http://static.slideshare.net/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=0h20-unleasing-the-tribe-screen-grabs-1212925858510972-9" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="355"></embed></object><div style="font-size:11px;font-family:tahoma,arial;height:26px;padding-top:2px;"><a href="http://www.slideshare.net/?src=embed"><img src="http://static.slideshare.net/swf/logo_embd.png" style="border:0px none;margin-bottom:-5px" alt="SlideShare"/></a> | <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/ewan.mcintosh/unleasing-the-tribe?src=embed" title="View Unleashing The Tribe: small passionate communities on SlideShare">View</a> | <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/upload?src=embed">Upload your own</a></div></div></center><br /><br />Hit the green button, and you'll feel as if you're at the conference.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/YRbIMs5gABo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com1/2008/06/worth-25-minutes-of-your-life.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-71134823946109556382008-05-31T07:06:00.002-04:002008-05-31T07:12:21.195-04:00Education and CreativityWhat an awesome talk from TED:<br /><br /><center><!--cut and paste--><object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0" width="320" height="285" id="VE_Player" align="middle"><param name="movie" value="http://static.videoegg.com/ted/flash/loader.swf"><PARAM NAME="FlashVars" VALUE="bgColor=FFFFFF&file=http://static.videoegg.com/ted/movies/SIRKENROBINSON_high.flv&autoPlay=false&fullscreenURL=http://static.videoegg.com/ted/flash/fullscreen.html&forcePlay=false&logo=&allowFullscreen=true"><param name="quality" value="high"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="scale" value="noscale"><param name="wmode" value="window"><embed src="http://static.videoegg.com/ted/flash/loader.swf" FlashVars="bgColor=FFFFFF&file=http://static.videoegg.com/ted/movies/SIRKENROBINSON_high.flv&autoPlay=false&fullscreenURL=http://static.videoegg.com/ted/flash/fullscreen.html&forcePlay=false&logo=&allowFullscreen=true" quality="high" allowScriptAccess="always" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" scale="noscale" wmode="window" width="320" height="285" name="VE_Player" align="middle" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"></embed></object></center><br /><br />About my job search: What search?<br /><br />;-)<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/k_EqRSw88C8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com1/2008/05/education-and-creativity.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-86426575621332515792008-03-26T21:29:00.009-04:002008-03-26T22:11:32.325-04:00Still here; still looking; still slow going<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/191/459210631_ac4c7197b6.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px;" src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/191/459210631_ac4c7197b6.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></a>Well, it's been more than a month since I've posted. In the blogosphere, that is an eternity, and any regular readers I might have had here have certainly gone onto other places on the Internet.<br /><br />I'll not provide excuses for my lack of posting, other than to say I've been doing other "stuff." Some of it has involved other places in the blogosphere; please don't feel like the forsaken woman (or man) as that has certainly not been my intention. In part, there's been no news to post here.<br /><br />Frankly, my job search has gone nowhere. I've been complacent with it. I think part of that comes from being content (more or less) in my current job. We have some new things going on, and I've been slightly rejuvenated with those initiatives.<br /><a href="http://www.bloglines.com/public/pastinson"><br />On my RSS reader</a>, I have 228 job announcements tagged, but I haven't applied to any of them... except one which is a repeat school from last hunting season. Nothing has spoken to me except for this one; I keep waiting for something to jump off <a href="http://careers.nais.org/search.cfm">the board</a> and announce, "This is it. This is the job and the life for you!" Just the one.<br /><br />Of course, I only need (or want) one job.<br /><br />The Stinsons by the Elizabeth traveled to see the Stinsons in the Wilds of Pennsylvania for Easter. My parents were thrilled, as they hadn't seen Jack (or any of us) for over a year. Late on Monday, my parents and I were sitting around the dining room table and they asked about the search and my plans. I mentioned that I had hope as my father had a twenty year long job search; he flinched. He said I was mistaken.<br /><br />I guess it's a matter of perspective. I remember he went on an interview at an all girls school in Poughkeepsie, NY in 1974. I remember this because (a) I have pictures and (b) I ran up and down the dormitory halls and the girls yelled, "Boy on the floor." My father didn't get the job (head of school), and the school closed within a couple of years later. He remained where he was a rector until sometime in 1991 or 1992 when he accepted a call to a church in eastern Pennsylvania. And, there were applications and interviews in the intervening years.<br /><br />Okay, that's not a full two decades, and maybe the search wasn't active the whole time, but, for me, the point is still clear: sometimes it takes a while for the right call to come along. In the mean time, continue to good work where you are.<br /><br />So, while I'm hopeful for this new opportunity at the <span style="font-style:italic;">Little School on the Prairie</span>; may this be the call I'm waiting for... and, no matter what, may I continue to good work here along the shores of the Elizabeth.<hr><em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/revdave/459210631/">The picture with this post</a> is by David Morris who posts at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/">flickr</a> as <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/revdave/">iowa_spirit_walker</a>; the picture is used here with his kind permission and under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">Creative Commons license</a>.</em><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/N5W6iSiiL3I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com1/2008/03/still-here-still-looking-still-slow.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-17272236933090242372008-02-19T16:34:00.002-05:002008-02-19T16:35:57.536-05:00Silence: Flu and uncertainty in what to say<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/juhansonin/407874864/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/174/407874864_67ef846483_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/juhansonin/407874864/">Wikipedia Concept Map</a> <br /> Originally uploaded by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/juhansonin/">juhansonin</a> </span></div>Things have clopped along here at the Stinsons Along the Elizabeth. Jennifer has had morning sickness for what seems like four months now. And we were hit with the full force of this season's flu, a strain not in the vaccination; we were down for the count for two weeks.<br /><br />Now, on the reason for the post: Wikipedia as a source.<br /><br />From Barbara Nguyen at The Editors Weblog: <a href="http://www.editorsweblog.org/2008/02/us_top_papers_reference_wikipedia_and_ra.php">Top (news)papers reference Wikipedia and raise question of website’s credibility as source</a>. Evidently, Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, thinks the encyclopedia's best journalistic use is for background research rather than as a source to be quoted.<br /><br />I'd say the same goes for academic papers. I wouldn't ban its use, but I'd certainly want substantial supporting documentation.<br /><br />As to the job search: let's say that good news doesn't come in thin envelopes.<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/P4eFU7ZFiak" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com1/2008/02/silence-flu-and-uncertainty-in-what-to.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-26152925070793516042008-01-20T21:50:00.001-05:002008-01-20T21:51:01.814-05:00Ranting in an age of near infinite knowledge accessibility<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcgutierrez/357840243/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/137/357840243_349e4a8267_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcgutierrez/357840243/">Crayons Taste Yummy</a> <br /> From <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/marcgutierrez/">taylorkoa22</a> </span></div>Brian Kirwin has been ranting over at <a href="http://bearingdrift.com/">Bearing Drift</a> with the post <a href="http://bearingdrift.com/blog/2008/01/19/it-aint-true-but-they-keep-saying-it/">It ain’t true, but they keep saying it</a>. On the state of education in today's world, he wrote,<blockquote><span style="font-style:italic;"><span style="font-weight:bold;">My kid’s school is great, but all the others are horrible</span></span><br /><br />This is the single biggest impediment to improving schools. Even in Detroit, where 80% of the kids who enter as Freshmen don’t even graduate, you’ll find “but my school is different.” It’s amazing how we expect kids who every day in the real world interact with technology that the Apollo 11 astronauts didn’t have, they have access to a worldwide goldmine of information in a world that’s quicker, multitask-oriented, interactive and incentive-based, and we wonder why 30 kids in a room with a common textbook working at a unified pace with no incentive to do any better than the person sitting next to them results in a generation of students so bored with education that we face the real risk of creating a nation of salespeople marketing the inventions and innovations of other nations.<br /><br />Until we adopt an education model that is interactive, individualized and incentive-laden, schools will continue to try to improve their outdated, 20th century models like Edison’s competitors tried to make better candles or blacksmiths who thought better horses were an adequate response to Ford’s new carriage.</blockquote>Indeed. I think the <a href="http://www.essentialschools.org/">Coalition of Essential Schools</a> might have a possible answer. I know others do, also.<br /><br />What is it that is holding the American education system back?<br /><br />Your thoughts?<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/2DYLT404J_s" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com1/2008/01/ranting-in-age-of-near-infinite.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-15640131812395667102008-01-12T01:42:00.000-05:002008-01-12T02:11:23.592-05:00The heat has turned up slightlyHere in southeastern Virginia, it's been a balmy winter. Today the heat was up, and everyone was out in short sleeves.<br /><br />The search for an answer to my call is also heating up a bit. I have a couple nibbles at the moment. One is for an assistant head position at a day school with a unique environmental focus. I've been tinkering with my credentials file, particularly the page <a href="http://pastinson.googlepages.com/searchobj">Search Objective for Peter Stinson</a>.<br /><br />I did a major rework of one section, going so far as to delete <span style="font-style:italic;">Desired school characteristics</span> and in its place put <span style="font-style:italic;">The ideal school</span>.<br /><br />This is the section which was, in essence, left on the cutting room floor:<blockquote><font size="4">Desired school characteristics</font><br><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;"><br>Selection Criteria for all schools:</span></span><ul><li>Non-profit</li><li>College prep or college bound</li><li>Maintain similar standard of living as current</li><li>Co-ed or all boys</li></ul><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Additional Selection Criteria for boarding schools:</span></span><br /><ul><li>325 students, max</li><li>35% day students, max</li><li>1:9 faculty:student ratio, max</li><li>25% international students, max</li></ul><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Additional Selection Criteria for day schools and day/boarding schools in the United States:</span></span><ul><li>400 students max (upper school)</li><li>Casual dress</li><li>Follows Coalition of Essential Schools or other progressive program</li><li>If private school, must be an &quot;independent&quot; school</li><li>Maximum faculty/student ratio 1:11</li></ul><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Additional Selection Criteria for schools outside the United States:</span></span><ul><li>400 students max (upper school)</li><li>May be an &quot;American&quot; school or an &quot;International&quot; School</li><li>Maximum faculty/student ratio 1:15</li><li>Prefer for school to offer the IB</li></ul></blockquote>You can see <a href="http://pastinson.googlepages.com/searchobj">the new page here</a>. Pay particular attention to the <span style="font-style:italic;"><span style="font-weight:bold;">ideal school</span></span> section.<br /><br />I'd be interested to hear what you think.<br /><br />Also, I re-ordered the sections; do you think it flows better?<br /><br />Please do comment below, and please ask others to provide me feedback also. Thanks.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/LXj6ynbac0Y" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com4/2008/01/heat-has-turned-up-slightly.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-52802785961014654522008-01-08T15:03:00.000-05:002008-01-08T15:04:28.353-05:00How have you lived your life? Insights for us all.<a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-HsfzIWly6k/R4PVOiAiwkI/AAAAAAAAAv8/C2d6CEn19LI/s1600-h/RandyPausch-LastLecture-CarnegieMellon.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-HsfzIWly6k/R4PVOiAiwkI/AAAAAAAAAv8/C2d6CEn19LI/s320/RandyPausch-LastLecture-CarnegieMellon.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5153196844265947714" /></a>I wanted to pass along two videos I came across recently that I think would be of benefit to all the folks in the ever-shifting blogsophere. They're both from Randy Pausch from <a href="http://www.cmu.edu/index.shtml">Carnegie Mellon</a>.<br /><br />Well, he's actually on a leave of absence from Carnegie Mellon and has moved to Chesapeake, Virginia, with his family.<br /><br />Anyway, there are two talks he gave this past fall. Devout members of the blogosphere have likely seen one or both of them, or at least heard about them.<br /><br />One is called "The Last Lecture" which is a Carnegie Mellon lecture series: if you had one last lecture to give... In his case, it is nearly his last lecture as he is dying from pancreatic cancer. It's an awesome lecture about living life and succeeding at goals.<br /><br />The second lecture is one that he evidently gave somewhat frequently, but gave again at UVA (where he was a professor before going to Pittsburgh) in November.<br /><br />Both of these are worth the time to watch.<ul><li><a href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5700431505846055184">The Last Lecture</a></li><li><a href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5784740380335567758">Time Management</a></li></ul>For those who would like more information about Randy and his life and work, there's plenty on the web. Here are a couple of sites.<ul><li><a href="http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/Randy/">A site by one of his mentees at UVA</a></li><li><a href="http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/">Randy's own site at CMU</a></li></ul>Enjoy.<hr><small>Cross posted at <a href="http://tidewatermusings.peterstinson.com">Tidewater Musings</a>, <a href="http://www.cgblog.org">An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog</a>, and <a href="http://cgopc.cgblog.org">Coast Guard Performance Excellence</a>.</small><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/xK6cd3STY2Y" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com0/2008/01/how-have-you-lived-your-life-insights.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-29836359798721018962008-01-05T22:15:00.001-05:002008-01-05T22:15:05.719-05:00Just how technology savvy are you?<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelpwhelan/501155180/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/501155180_8066cf2806_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelpwhelan/501155180/">Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times</a> <br /> Originally uploaded by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/michaelpwhelan/">vegasmike433</a> </span></div>I came across <a href="http://www.thethinkingstick.com/?p=614">a list of technology-based interview questions</a> for independent and international schools to use with new faculty members. <a href="http://www.jeffutecht.com/">Jeff Utecht</a> at <a href="http://www.thethinkingstick.com/">The Thinking Stick</a> proposes that <a href="http://www.thethinkingstick.com/?p=614">these questions</a> will allow you to see how excited a prospective faculty member is about technology and how they might integrate technology into the classroom or their other work in a school community.<br /><br />I though these questions were very thought-provoking; I took <a href="http://pastinson.googlepages.com/searctechexp2">a stab at answering them</a> (before really studying Jeff's analysis of each question); I liked the results so much that I posted <a href="http://pastinson.googlepages.com/searctechexp2">my replies in my employment credentials package</a>.<br /><br />Your thoughts? Comments below, please.<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/FUesRM0mI9A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com2/2008/01/just-how-technology-savvy-are-you.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-40332180008665448772008-01-03T12:21:00.001-05:002008-01-03T12:21:48.859-05:00Haidho American School in Sarkhan: Part 2<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanpatrick/145486716/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/54/145486716_a5f61d5d76_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanpatrick/145486716/">Haboob</a> <br /> From <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/jonathanpatrick/">Jonathan @ Gaucin</a> </span></div>For anyone following my journey and wondering how I dealt with the Haidho American School, here was my reply to the superintendent, after many days of wondering what to say.<br /><br />I decided to just take an open approach:<blockquote>Thanks so much for your note back. I hope the New Year finds you and yours and the school community safe.<br /><br />I appreciate your kind words and your straight-forward feedback. While finances are certainly critical, I've always thought that nearly <br />everything financial is negotiable, particularly if the "fit" is "fine." If you find, as the hiring season rolls along, you'd like to continue the conversation, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. The opportunities present at Haidho American School are innumerable, and I would thrive on working in the HAS community.<br /><br />I wish you a most excellent 2008.</blockquote>I suspect, however, that while I may hear again from the head of HAS, I'll not be packing my bags for Sarkhan.<br /><br />I did see a posting for a dean of students position at a day school nearby; I sent off my letter of inquiry this morning.<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/-RzCsF2K5Zc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com1/2008/01/haidho-american-school-in-sarkhan-part.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-50709759157669367352008-01-02T00:06:00.001-05:002008-01-02T00:07:30.027-05:00Making a long-term impact on students: Experiential Learning<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8194802@N04/490304203/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/196/490304203_6a9e345053_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8194802@N04/490304203/">Project U.S.E.</a> <br /> From <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/8194802@N04/">Project U.S.E.</a> </span></div>Recently, I read about a Spanish teacher at <a href="http://www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/buildings/olhs/">Olentangy Liberty High School</a>, Erica Vieyra, who had her Spanish V students take on a role playing exercise: they were to "assume a Latino identity, build an imaginary life in your home country and develop a workable plan to immigrate to the United States," as noted in <a href="http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2007/12/15/OLHSCLASS.ART_ART_12-15-07_B1_M08PJ5M.html?sid=101">an article by Holly Zachariah in the Columbus Dispatch</a>.<br /><br />The project has raised a fair bit of controversy amongst many, including some loud voices in the blogosphere. I think the critics are missing the point. This is not about liberal indoctrination or teaching students how to break the law; this is about getting students to learn through experience.<br /><br />If I am representative of the typical American student when it comes to foreign languages, twenty-five years from now Ms. Vieyra's students will remember little, if any, actual Spanish. But, they will likely remember the many lessons learned from completing this project.<br /><br />The same goes for the Newark, New Jersey, students who participated in the project pictured with this post. They spent three months building the boats and then launching them in the Passaic River. <a href="http://www.projectuse.com/custom_sub.php?page=cust_custom">The project</a> worked to integrate the usual academic disciplines with an experiential and hands-on approach.<br /><br />I seek the opportunity to work in a school which embraces this sort of teaching and learning.<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/u9IOsduv2bg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com0/2008/01/making-long-term-impact-on-students.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-25439737500759328742007-12-30T18:05:00.000-05:002007-12-30T18:10:02.163-05:00Oh, that actually has a name?This afternoon I was scrolling through my RSS reader, and one feed caught my eye: <a href="http://wordgirl.typepad.com/arewedoinganythingtoday/">Are we doing anything today</a>?<blockquote>Every year my students read All Quiet on the Western Front. I force them through the process of a Quaker Read then into developing a poem from lines culled from the chapter. It takes a couple of days of work, but looking at the poems and listening to their comments makes the effort worthwhile.</blockquote>A Quaker Read? <br /><br />Perhaps I've been out of the classroom too long, but I had no idea what a Quaker Read is.<br /><br />From a webpage at Seattle University, <a href="http://classes.seattleu.edu/masters_in_teaching/teed521/professor/Literacy/r&dstrategies.html">Reading Response and Discussion Strategies</a>, we learn,<blockquote><span style="font-weight:bold;">Quaker Read</span><br />Readers fist select a significant passage, line, or phrase from the reading. Then, seated in a circle giving no explanation or rationale, one student reads his/her selection aloud. In no particular order, another reader adds his/her selection, and on and on. The key is to listen and consider how your selected passage connects to (or even contrasts with) the passage read. Remind students that lulls, pauses, and repeated passages are fine.</blockquote>Oh, it has a name...<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/z59n20U7shg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com2/2007/12/oh-that-actually-has-name.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-42748899766600402872007-12-29T18:24:00.001-05:002007-12-30T18:10:43.442-05:00I'm not worth 6 Round Trip Tickets?<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yewmun/2058200379/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2248/2058200379_2357c611b4_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yewmun/2058200379/">Shri Diwa International School</a> <br /> Originally uploaded by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/yewmun/">Mun Mun</a> </span></div>Well, okay, that's not quite true.<br /><br />I applied to The Haidho American School in Sarkhan; they'd advertised a need for a counselor and an English teacher. (<em>And, yes, Haidho is the fictional capital of the fictional country Sarkhan in <strong>The Ugly American</strong>. I've changed the names to protect the innocent; as I'm the guilty one here, we will not bothering adopting a fictional pose and personna.</em>)<br /><br />Here's what I received back from my initial e-mail:<blockquote>Dear Peter:<br /><br />I have just spent some time reading through your website, enjoying reading about your career and your many accomplishments. In so many ways, you are the kind of person I'm looking for to join the staff of Haidho American School but I have to be quite honest with you that it would be a real strain for us to hire a faculty member with a spouse and four children, delightful as I'm sure they are. Finances are a big part of it, I'm afraid, since we would be committing ourselves to six RT air fares every year plus a much larger apartment (probably 4 bedrooms) than we normally use for faculty (apartments here in Haidho are going for about $1,500-1,800/month for 2-or 3-bedroom flats).<br /><br />In virtually every other aspect, HAS meets what you're looking for in an independent school and more and, like I said, you meet what I'm looking for for this vibrant school.<br /><br />With every best wish for you and your family for the New Year.<br /><br />Sincerely,<br /><br />Bill Clinton<br />Superintendent<br />Haidho American School<br />Sarkhan</blockquote>A couple of days later, and I'm still not sure how to respond. Frankly, in a country like Sarkhan, I might end up as a geo-bachelor, as Jennifer isn't really intrigued with the idea of living in a third-world nation. Well, that and the fact it's actually 7 roundtrip tickets as we have another child in the oven.<br /><br />I've done this to myself, but that is a totally different post on a totally different blog.<br /><br />I'm tempted to right back that while I understand that finances does come into play at some point, it ought not be the starting point. Finances is merely one component of all that makes up a deal and is negotiated.<br /><br />Your thoughts?<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/BHSywHzH8N0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com0/2007/12/i-not-worth-6-round-trip-tickets.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-76267349588776487802007-12-23T18:40:00.001-05:002007-12-23T18:47:38.102-05:00Another "alternate" sport: Extreme Sledding<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/welse/508573433/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/192/508573433_4d828947ea_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/welse/508573433/">sweetjumpc</a> <br /> Originally uploaded by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/welse/">wme91988</a> </span></div>Who'd have thought? <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2134693/">Sledding</a>. To the extreme.<br /><br />We could have races, long and short courses.<br /><br />And hang out by 55-gallon drums with fire inside; and drink hot chocolate.<br /><br />And race. With clocks. The real deal.<br /><br />We wouldn't call it "Extreme Sledding." No, a name like that could bring too much focus and attention. Just call it <em>sledding</em> and join the National Interscholastic Sled Racing Association, or NISRA, and <a href="http://www.vermontvacation.com/recreation/sledding.asp">show everyone pictures of snow sledding in Vermont</a>.<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/AzwYmLaMLn4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com1/2007/12/another-sport-extreme-sledding.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-77129693034062904332007-12-22T14:53:00.001-05:002007-12-23T18:59:12.476-05:00More fun with Ask Vox<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tidewatermuse/2117081944/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2394/2117081944_28a4ae77e2_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tidewatermuse/2117081944/">Random One Reverse</a> <br /> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/tidewatermuse/">Tidewater Muse</a> </span></div><img src="http://www.askvox.com/resources/img/askvox.gif" width="25" height="25"><a href="http://www.askvox.com/247631-what+is+peter+stinson+looking+for+in+school+community.html">What is Peter Stinson looking for in a school community?</a><br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/hAyJYM8PcTk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com2/2007/12/more-fun-with-ask-vox.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-20385420.post-3048048166356790982007-12-22T14:00:00.000-05:002007-12-22T14:01:50.953-05:00Blogging from "an undisclosed location"<div style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rokou67/150249069/" title="photo sharing"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/51/150249069_009982d759_m.jpg" alt="" style="border: solid 2px #000000;" /></a> <br /> <span style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rokou67/150249069/">Dissertation Run</a> <br /> @ University of Sussex. By <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/rokou67/">rokou</a>. </span></div>While I ought to be working on the dissertation. I ought to be wrapping up the literature review and methodology chapters this weekend. It's not going as well I has I had hoped.<br /><br />As such, I've decided to create systems to hold myself accountable. The first step in making me accountable is to <a href="http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dfst4gp9_34ftr8pxcm">post my work online</a>; let people see were I am and how much I've done and the like. I'm writing in Google Documents and have enabled publication allowing the most-recently-saved version of my ongoing work will be available for everyong to see. In progress.<br /><br />To honor completion of my dissertation, rather than run naked through the streets, I'll cut my hair and trim my beard... or maybe even go back to looking like a bowling ball. {{<em>Sidebar: When I went through the Coast Guard's Search & Rescue School, I received an award: "Most Looks Like a Bowling Ball."</em>}}<br /><br />If you'd <a href="http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dfst4gp9_34ftr8pxcm">like to see my up-to-the-minute work and progress, join me</a>. Read, critique, and comment here on this post.<br /><br />Crossposted at <a href="http://tidewatermusings.peterstinson.com">Tidewater Musings</a>.<br clear="all" /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/peterstinson/HLTx/~4/-iQ7t1lzkQQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Peter A. Stinsonnoreply@blogger.com2/2007/12/blogging-from-undisclosed-location.html