transitionu

Life Coaching, Observations, Reflections, Things that make you go hmmmmm

Category Archives: Education

It’s The Final Countdown

It’s The Final Countdown

Here I am staring at the final assessment. There is a bit more to go but this is the gold ticket to the Wonka Factory. Wilder or Depp, take your pick.

A long time ago in a lifetime far away, I had it all figured out. Ultimately, I wanted to teach. A split second on a highway and life going on, the plan changed. The wanting to teach was dormant for a time but it never went away.

I’m already a Teacher. Those who have talked to me already know it. Very soon, the world is going to know I’m a teacher.

I’ve done a lot of work in the last 3 months. There have been a couple serious impediments that required serious attention. That attention was given by both sides. I’ll write more when it’s all said and done with the elective courses.

I’ve even designed a new card for myself. The card has my phone number and email on it so I’m not posting it.

The exam has a 2 hour time limit. I’m tempted to pop it right now and get it done. And I remind myself that is not the way to take on a final.

Me and “The University of Toronto Faculty of Education”. Well aren’t we the pair. Who saw that happening?

No man is an island. This is for you “Good Friend”. Me and Mr. Donne are smilin’ atcha.

‘No man is an iland,
intire of it selfe;
every man is a peece of the Continent,
a part of the maine;
if a clod bee washed away by the Sea,
Europe is the lesse,
as well as if a Promontorie were,
as well as if a Mannor of thy friends
or of thine owne were;
any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee

How many of y’all knew that bell is attached to that island?

Other friends have contributed their verse to this journey of mine and I thank them.

Part of my telling of this journey is in the hope of being inspirational. More so for the older than the younger.

I’m 60 on my next birthday and parts of the world can be seen with English.

My last statement was not an, “If I can do it you can do it” statement because I don’t do that shit.

Life doesn’t end until it ends. If you are happy armchair quarterbacking, then you keep on quarterbacking from your armchair.

One of the conclusions I came to is this and it has correlation with Life Coaching, you need life on you. You shouldn’t be allowed in a classroom to teach until you’re 45. In this province it is 16 to drive and 19 is the legal drinking age. No reason you can’t set an age restriction for teaching.

I have studying to do and I am living proof you can teach an old dog new tricks, if that old dog is willing to learn.

G.R. Hambley ©
November 18, 2017

Adapting Me

Adapting Me

I’ve had to make adaptation to myself and what I know to be correct. I’ve had to remind myself more than once that this is also, “Language Arts”.

Another TEFL module complete with a return on assessment of 100%. This adventure’s name is “Adapting Subject Specific Material”. To achieve this, I had to give them what they wanted even though I disagree with their logic. “If it walks like a duck, if it smells like a duck, if it talks like a duck, it’s a duck”. There is of course the remote possibility I’m incorrect. I’m never wrong.

I said to a friend that I must rewire parts of my brain and when I explained my statement he agreed. A week or so after that encounter I changed my mind on having to rewire my mind. Analogy, “The junction boxes are already there in place and I have to build additional pathways that tie in to the existing circuitry”. I did tell my friend about the change of mind and why.

Thinking more simply is difficult. One of those new pathways I must build will allow me to think more simply and tie in with my critical thinking.

In the course of the course, I find myself having to go sideways and read more than is provided, so out I go researching the topic. I’ve read theory and practice and I find myself making judgements and decisions on those theories and practices. This is known as critical thinking. Were I not making decisions and judgements it would be abstract thought and not critical thinking.

In my journeying I stumbled in to the square root of all evil, “Common Core”. Lemme tell you, the square root of two isn’t the only thing irrational! Oddly or not, the PPP* was from Stanford University, “The Common Core For English Language Learners”. See slide 30, I had an elfin bovine with the conceptual ahead of the procedural in math! I said “ELFIN”, read it again.

The theories and concepts of Common Core in Language Arts from what I’ve seen and it isn’t a lot, is good. Art has far more room for the conceptual than Math and Science do. That art has far more room for conceptual approach than Math or Science do is a surprise to anyone how?

On another lateral move I wound up with “The Ontario Curriculum Grades 9 and 10 English”. This would have been a handy thing to have from the outset. In my opinion this document should have been provided as reference material for the glossary alone. Yes I told the educators about it, nicely.

From the Ontario document, “Teachers develop appropriate instructional strategies to help students achieve the curriculum expectations”. I’m finding the word “Expectations” in this Ministry document quite a bit. When I read, it certainly seems the philosophy is “No Child Left Behind” from the Common Core/Common Good theory.

The problem with “Expectations” is just that, they are “Expectations” and not “Demands”! Faulty and misleading language because these expectations they talk about should be, yes should be, DEMANDS. This “Demand” states what you must achieve to move on to the next level.

I’m just not seeing a problem with letting kids and these are kids in school, that we “Expect” the “Demands” to be met and if those demands are not met, there will be consequence. Maybe it’s just me again, but I believe learning the difference between “Expectation” and “Demand” is a pretty important life lesson.

I haven’t gone over the MoE Curriculum with a fine-tooth comb by any stretch of the imagination. I saw the grading scheme and it had 4 categories and they are, 50 to 59%, 60 to 69%, 70 to 79% and 80 to 100%. I didn’t see a designation for 0 to 49% so I’m guessing this is the, “Minimally Exceptional” George Carlin, who is an influence on me, was talking about in his take on language.

If you’re finding this writing clinical and analytical with a touch of snide that would be because it is. I have a structure that works for me and I like it because it is ordered. Even my “Snide” has order and purpose and is 100% ambiguity free.

Here’s a rather bold conclusion I’ve come to for you to chew on, you shouldn’t even be allowed to Teach until you’re 45. We need to revise the expression,” Those that can, do, and those that can’t, teach”. Change it in to this, “Those who can do, teach, those who can’t do are kept the hell out of the classroom”.

Me and “Good Friend” had some chatter going and at the time of writing I haven’t heard back from “Good Friend” on how it was received when I noted what appeared to be a “Comma Splice”. I’m hoping “Good Friend” sees how I’m changing and adapting and knowing “Good Friend”, yes and not so much.

I’ve moved in to the next module of this TEFL Course and I have encountered and satisfied the demands of, “Establishing Behaviour Norms”. Something makes me think most people wouldn’t want me doing that. C’est la vie**.

G.R. Hambley ©
October 14, 2017

 

*PPP – Power Point Presentation
** c’est la vie. french expression that is rather famous in english and other languages. it means “it is the life.” can also be trasnlated into english as: – “that’s life”

Change
simonboylan.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/change_our_greatest_strength-Copy.jpg

HG Wells
q.likesuccess.com/71/3528977-quotes-about-change-and-adapting.jpg

Carlin Influence? More than I knew!

Doesn’t matter what the endeavour is, we all have influences that are part of our developed style. This presumes you have a style and if you don’t, maybe someday, if you work at it, often, you’ll have a style too.

There are two parts to language and they are “Cognitive Academic” and “Basic Interpersonal”. If you prefer, the two parts are what you write and what you talk.

As directed in the “Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)” course, I was reading a paper where I hit a line and a bit from “Carlin on Language” immediately appeared vociferously at full volume in my brain.

This is how it went when I told “Good Friend” about the incident.

They hurt my head. I was reading and then OW! Fortunately for me, George Carlin went off in my brain and then it was okay.

Front-loading EL
Purpose Ensure access to content instruction taught in English by “preteaching” for upcoming language demands

Content Determined by language purposes. Teaches sentence structures and vocabulary needed to engage in content skills or concepts

Preteach. no such thing! It’s teaching. Carlin, “Preboarding”, it’s not “Preboarding” and is “Boarding”. Mutter mutter mutter!

I swear some of this shit jargon is designed to make you go, “What the hell is this bullshit”.

I’m a big fan of George Carlin and have been for a long, long time. That I vehemently disagree with his take on Golf Courses and Voting,

Carlin Meme 004

it doesn’t change that the man was brilliant and I love his stuff. I even got to see him perform once, yeah, it was great and I smiggle just thinking about it. “Smiggle” is my own word and It is derived from a combined smirk and giggle.

I had Carlin’s AM FM Album when I was a teenager. It was when I was a mid twenties adult that I saw George.

I’m not completely on board with what Carlin blames as the creator of PC Language. I have some clearly defined ideas of my own on whom to blame for the PC Language. I do agree with the Madison Avenue reference George uses.

Influence without realization to a degree. The two types of language, blending the “Cognitive Academic” with the “Basic interpersonal” in his delivery. It hit me as I was doing course work just how much more brilliant Carlin was then I ever realized.

Carlin Meme 002

Carlin blended those two aspects of the language so well where I only do it well. I checked in with “Good Friend” on this matter of blending the academic information with interpersonal delivery. “Good Friend” said yes, I do that blending well.

Our mediums are different but not. Do you not think Carlin wrote everything down and worked out the pieces before delivering them to an audience? Of course he did, simple stuff.

I do the same as I write to be read by you good people. Could I do a stand-up thing, yeah I could but it would be something I developed that isn’t comedy as such and I will not be a Carlin clone. There was only one, he’s it!

Blending language and I have a couple papers to write. I have leeway on topic. Just perhaps I should give the powers that be insight in to that blending of the “Cognitive Academic” and the “Basic Interpersonal” when there is a Construction Oops.

The topic, I hear there’s a crane in Toronto they can’t get down. I know exactly how the language in that conversation is going to go!

Down to it for me but we’ll let George have the last word.

Carlin Meme 003

G.R. Hambley ©
October 03, 2017

 

There goes perfection, for now

There goes perfection, for now

I finished the 3rd module of the TEFL course I’m taking. This module was large in quantity; 15 parts when you count the written submission that must be done prior to taking the 15th part, the whole module assessment.

My number on this assessment was 85%. I still passed the test with 15 points to spare. A passing grade is 70%.

stock-photo--percent-pie-chart-red-and-beige

This section entailed the “Fundamentals of English Grammar”. There are a few items I’m just not recognizing in accordance with the technically perfect that is required. Things like what is a fragment, and what is a mistake to name a couple.

Why the problem? Why because I do things in writing that fly against the rules but make sense when you read what I’ve written is why.

I cross lines and blur edges in my “Communicative Expressionism*”. I don’t apologize for my behaviour either. I am not writing you a technical document or trade agreement and am telling you a story.

Within the context of the course and proper English, the keepers of the course are correct. It is incumbent on me to make sure I have this technical aspect wired in to my brain so I recognize the objects far more readily and correctly.

I had opportunity prior to submission to go back and change answers. I gave that option serious thought. I didn’t do it because I was concerned I could make it worse. “Guesstimate” is not in my action plans at the best of times and when it comes to test taking, not at all.

That module exam had to be done before you could even look at the next module.

I had to set that small section aside for the moment and move the ship on. Should I so choose, I can revisit and redo that test. I can go back and make the perfect number but I don’t think that’ll happen.

Revisiting and posting that number isn’t going to change the fact that there was an issue that required remediation. I’ll know it aint a real perfect number. I know it’ll look pretty on the façade if I revisit. If all someone is looking at is my façade in assessing my qualifications to teach, I probably don’t wanna be there.

I like that you’re asked for your philosophies. The administrators want to see what the tools and strategies are that you first person personal are bringing to the teaching. Simply, you’re being asked to identify your/the resources and how you’re going to use those resources.

In a previous submission I gave my teaching philosophy in my piece, “Teaching Philosophy, Mine”.

This one asked for philosophy on teaching grammar to others and myself. Verbatim what I said.

Grammar Philosophy

I’m a believer in the “Completion Backwards Principle”. The principle isn’t just a “Tubes” album and it works. I’ve been using this technique for years and the continued success is why I know it works. Before being able to define the term, I was exposed to the “Completion Backwards” usage by my high school trade teacher.

One of the things I am is a Life Coach, a CPC (Certified Professional Coach). An imperative in the process is defining the whole. Figure out what the whole looks like and then you can go about creating it from the blank sheets of metal or paper. I’m also a tradesman, a Tinsmith. I take the “Smithy” moniker seriously and wear it with pride.

My philosophy says that the Teacher is entrusted with building the learners relationship with the word. The principles and theories of “building” are universal and applicable to learning language. You provide the materials or building blocks and set the learners up with tasks so they can achieve small accomplishments.

It’s ridiculous to expect anyone to create “a whole” from the collection of grammar parts without knowing what the whole is and how it is expected to function.

Give the learners a couple or three paragraphs from a book or newspaper and let them engineer the paragraphs backwards. For the purpose of the lesson, the selected text is deemed absolutely correct. Deeming the text absolutely correct allows you to introduce different types of narratives.

Let the learners build mistakes in to the provided content and then let the class tear the altered passages down. In later exercises, you can define the types of grammatical errors you want to see written in to replace the existing correct word or sequence of words.

I’m going to have my students plugging their stories in their native language in to a translation engine and let the learners go English Grammar all over the return!

There will come a time that I let the learners take my narratives apart. I’ll let the learners critique the Context, style and flow. I’ll have the students apply formal rules where I intentionally went with communicative expressionism or slang. I expect that exercise to provide some very interesting reading that we can all have fun with! If an understanding and appreciation of a little self deprecation.

These are three of my pieces that will get used for lesson purposes in my classroom.
Tools, Weapons and Toys
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/quoth-me-10-t-w-t-tnt/
Ranked Ballot System
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/ranking-points-relevantly/
PC Language
https://transitionu.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/pc-language-women-are-to-blame/

Music is going to have an important part in my class. I’m going to use all those terrific tools that others made possible for today’s teacher to use. While “School House Rock” isn’t a television staple, there is no reason it can’t be a classroom staple. Music triggers memory and that is a fact the teacher should not only know but put to good use!

Part of my own grammar learning philosophy is to not have structural knowledge interfere with my writing style. I’m not writing academic papers and am telling stories.

I don’t know if you can call wanting to be knowledgeable and possess the latest greatest information on your chosen path qualifies as philosophy. Paying attention to what is taking place in the field of English Language Study. I’ll be doing that.

Of course, I’ll continue to write as well.

G.R. Hambley © – all rights reserved
September 27, 2017

Teaching Philosophy, Mine

Teaching Philosophy, Mine

I’ve made it known along with showing bits and pieces of the work and results that I’m taking a TEFL course. The question was asking about practicality and as I saw it, philosophy because it was asked what I would do.

Challenges you face in the classroom. How you going to manage it. How are you going to meet needs. They’re asking about practical knowledge and coping skills. I got above average coping skills. My recognition skills aren’t to bad either.

Not only will I be watching my students, I’ll be watching out for my students.

So here you have it. As I wrote and submitted for the assignment. But now, I call it, “The Teaching Philosophy of G.R. Hambley”.

I don’t even know if teaching is the correct term anymore. I see the role of the teacher as being that of mentor.

Meeting the needs of all the students, I would hope that when they walk in to the classroom they would understand that I have something they need. That position, I have something you need (and hopefully want) and that by being here you are entitled to what I have, but you have to earn it. Those understandings will be in the opening address to the class.

My delivery would be far more loquacious and sensistive than is written here.

The needs of the usual adult learner are different than the needs of the grade school student. The grade school student could be harbouring resentment at having to take a foreign language.

Specifically, my students, to a degree will be treated as I was as an apprentice. Most of the mechanics I worked with as an apprentice were terrific mentors/teachers as well. Learning the requirements of my trade, any trade, it isn’t enough. You must learn how to communicate and work with your peers and the other trades. Those other trades people are also peers, or cousins if you like.

My students, mistakes are expected as it is part of the learning process. My students will also be allowed to fail if that is what they achieved by word and deed. Adults understand failing where a child may not and the child needs to understand the ramifications of failure. Fortunately, with my class being language, you can run an exercise where the result is failure and how to cope with it.

Meeting the needs of each individually isn’t possible. I believe in a class that has dialogue as exercise you should be even more careful because the language classroom isn’t a political office or soap box to name a couple.

I read this in The Toronto Star and it is from the story, Ontario to launch review of how students are tested. “The shakeup comes at a time of growing concern that the system is too focused on EQAO tests which critics say don’t broadly reflect the many skills students need to keep learning — such as creativity and critical thinking.”

Ontario Launches Testing Review

Creativity and critical thinking, I started learning that from my specialty teacher in High School. That behaviour wasn’t just expected, it was demanded. To this day that man gets the nod as my favourite teacher and I had some good ones. I shall set the same standard with my class.

I’m going to be walking in to my classroom with many tools at my disposal. Those tools include my own poetry, narratives and life lessons.

The students will know that a failure isn’t the end of the world. My students will know their successes will be celebrated and are shared successes with me.

G.R. Hambley © – all rights reserved
September 06, 2017

English 101, 100

English 101, 100

I took the final assessment of the first TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) module this morning., September 01, 2017. Feels and seems somewhat fitting with this being Labour Day and the kids back to school on Tuesday. Thanks Harry

Everyone looks forward to that day as summer closes down for another year.

If I satisfy me, it will more than satisfy the minimum requirement. Mind over matter. I mind so it matters. This certificate is not the prize.

The Brass Ring

The minimum requirement isn’t good enough for me. I spoke with a couple of friends prior to taking this examination. I explained my position, my attitude this way. Tipping, the service staff want 20%, expect 15% and settle get about 10%. For me on this path, I want 100%, I expect 95% and I’ll settle for 90%. On this one I got what I want and I deserve what I got. I’ll be expecting the same from myself going forward.

Assessment - Intro to Enflish Langiuage Teaching

 

 

 

Quite literally, this endeavour means the world to me. This is my current world and I want more of the world.

The photograph above taken by my good buddy “Ara Sagherian” is a clue to this posting’s Theme Song, it’s “Harry Chapin” and could be one of a couple songs. Do the research. Trust me, it’s a pleasant trip.

G.R. Hambley ©
September 01, 2017