Update Time!

IMG_1144Good Day to you!

It has been some time since I last wrote on this blog; mainly because I have been running another blog about theology and did not think I would be returning to this blog.

Yet, as it stands, I am now in my third year of teaching at Summit Christian Academy with the change this year that I will be working with gifted students. At SCA, we use a pull-out program called Stewards. Here these students work together to cover extracurricular units that hone their skills and teach them responsible use of their gifts. This year, these gifted students will cover unique units running the gamut of Conservation, Culinary Arts, Architecture, and Aerodynamics to Body Systems, Inventions, and World Travel.

That is where this blog comes in.

There is one particular section of our study this year that will provide a lot of hands on experience, challenges, and opportunities for my students. Currently, the project has the enthusiastic approval of the administration as well as the local City Hall. Lord willing, I will know tomorrow if all of the funding is in place and whether we can begin the project. Accordingly, look for an update soon as I reveal what exactly this project is!

If/When the project is underway, I and my students will post regular updates (complete with photos). I hope you will follow our progress and encourage my students in this journey.

From the Desk,

Mr. Bluebaugh

Categories: Cultivate, Education, Professional Development, SCA, Stewards, Teaching Craft | Leave a comment

NILD Level II Accomplished!

NILD Level 2Well, the week has come to an end and I have successfully completed both the online course work and residency training for level two of educational therapy! (With a final score of 94%) The last month has been non-stop work since I returned from vacation June 1. (This probably explains why June vanished…)

This past week of residency training has been incredible. Generally, I really struggle with online course work since the in-class interaction with teacher and peers is absent; I thrive on immediate interaction and being able to hone ideas with my peers. Accordingly, a week of residency training (5 days, 8:30a-4:30p) is essential for me to solidify the new knowledge I gained during the course work. Further, I find learning and growing in community to be invigorating and rejuvenating. (Something much-needed after my overloaded first year.) Finally, I found that gathering with my peers this week proved beneficial in growing my understanding of how to be more empathetic with students. I am sure we all rubbed off on each other and will benefit from our collective experience for years to come.

Therefore, I am so thankful to the Lord for placing me in a field that is consistently stimulating intellectually and involves frequent problem solving as I study student’s tests and determine which techniques will best stimulate the deficits. Further, I am thankful for such a dynamic instructor for the course and partner in the field; Tony has been with NILD almost longer than I have been alive. He is zealous for the cause of NILD, 100% convinced of the efficacy of the techniques we use, effective in his instruction, and encouraging in his critique of growing therapists. Finally, I cannot imagine taking the class with a better group of people; we had interacted over the course of the 4-week online work, but really clicked when we gathered together this week. These ladies brought so much life to the course and imparted to me their years of experience and working with students; I can’t wait to meet back up at conferences.

I walk away from this course holding many memories (the “I like you mouse“, and the “panic button”), equipped with new techniques, encouraged in my field, further skilled in previous techniques, and ready to take on the new year of school.

Recharged and writing from the desk,

Mr. Bluebaugh

P.S. – You may be asking, “What is NILD Educational Therapy?” I will answer that question on Monday! Stay tuned.

Categories: Educational Therapy, MA Work, NILD, Professional Development, Teaching Craft | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Professionalism in Educational Therapy

Professionalism Requires GrowthProfessionalism weighs heavy upon me in the midst of anything I do. This attitude was instilled in me by my father who has been a top-notch salesman for over 20 years; often standing within the top 5 sales persons in his company from year to year. Further, professionalism has been in my recent deliberations concerning my career due to a recent survey I embarked upon regarding the doctrine of vocation (perhaps summed up best by Martin Luther when he said: God does not need your works, your neighbor does). Since I have been placed in the field of educational therapy, I am to glorify God in every aspect; one of those aspects involves professionalism and integrity.

It is important for Christians to practice with integrity and professionalism in the midst of a world, especially in special education, that looks down on Christians. However, if Christians are to practice with integrity there must be goals and plans in place for it to occur; professionalism does not occur overnight. Further, I believe that in order to maintain a professional practice, you must always be learning from colleagues and adapting your practice to ensure best practice methods. Professional practice requires ardent work, self-sacrifice, and faithful application of conviction and practice. Accordingly, when reflecting upon my own practice, there are two areas I wish to work on in the coming year in an effort to improve my professional practice.

First, I must be empathetic. I am not naturally empathetic when it comes to educational expectations. I frequently battle the temptation to chalk up a student’s shortcomings to conscious and willful laziness or a failure to apply one’s self adequately (though this does happen from time to time). When reading the chapter entitled “Empathic Intelligence” from The Clinical Practice of Educational Therapy, I was convicted of the role empathy is to play in our educational practice. Though there was much I learned this year regarding empathy and the practice thereof, there is still much I could do: daily practice patience when frustration is evident, continue to provide a safe, encouraging, and personable environment for therapy, and go out of my way to provide positive feedback and encouragement in progress throughout the year.

Second, I resolve to zealously learn my students. My students are made in the image of God and inhabit more than figures on a page; it is imperative that this never leave the forefront of my mind in my practice. As I learned this past year, interaction with my students extends beyond the therapy walls. Moving forward, it is my earnest goal to learn the academic desires, wishes, passions, ambitions, temperaments, study practices, and family dynamics of my students in order to fully accommodates their needs in a manner that involves them and is not merely about them.

What about you? Do you have thoughts regarding professionalism in your vocation? Share them in the comments below and let us begin a dialogue!

From the Desk,

Mr. Bluebaugh

Categories: Education, Learning, Philosophy, Professional Development, Teaching Craft | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

1st Year Recap

Betonwerksteinskulptur "Lehrer-Student&qu...

Betonwerksteinskulptur “Lehrer-Student” von Reinhard Schmidt in Rostock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well my first year of teaching and working in Special Education has come to an end and I want to summarize my experience in the ring. Currently, I am writing a mere 100 yards from the ocean in Salvo, NC as my vacation comes to an end; I cannot image a better way to conclude a great first year. As I have been away and relaxing, I have been mulling over my experience in an effort to elucidate the lessons I am to learn and apply to make next year even better.

The last month of the school year was hectic and full of uncertainty for where I would be in 3 months time. The end of the year is always marked by a mad dash to summarize reports, grade final projects, finish course material, and complete the necessary in-service days before the end of the school year. This makes for a rapid end that flies by in such a manner that one could easily overlook all the lessons one is to take from the year. When one is glad that the race has ended and a time of repose has begun, the last thing on the summer list is to learn from the success and failures of the previous year.

Here are the top six things I can gather from my experiences and put forth for you and I to learn from.

  1. The power of saying NO and the power of saying YES. There were many things I should have said NO to this year. However, in my desire to be the best coworker I could be, there were a lot of things I said YES to and the result was a schedule gorged with work and starving for leisure. I should have listened earlier in the year to my former 5th & 6th grade teacher (now coworker) when she explained why I needed to be careful what I took on to prevent burnout. Though I did not burn out, there were times I was very close. (As the year progressed, I did learn to be comfortable saying NO) That being said, there is also great value in saying YES. There were times when I would fill in during a spare hour to fill the gap for a teacher with an emergency or a sub who was running late. Being flexible and being able to fill in the gap aids in creating a mutual environment of support and care; I will always help my coworkers to the best of my capabilities and opportunities.
  2. When dealing with students who are more literal than normal (i.e. does not understand metaphors, colloquialisms, etc.), choose your words very carefully. If you do not, you will be misinterpreted, parents will be upset, meetings will follow, and you get the picture.
  3. Avoid the temptation of taking work home with you. I did this way too much at the beginning of the year. While I am single and do not have pets and taking work home is not as much of an issue now, it is certainly not a habit I want to establish before I am married and have a family of my own. I learned that I would be most productive with certain tasks at the beginning of the day as opposed to putting them off to the end of the day. Accordingly, it was easier for me to arrive early to work (6-6:30 range) rather than to stay after school; after a day of intense individual Discovery Therapy, one does not have much energy left.
  4. Relationship enforces discipline. I found that it was futile to issue discipline if I did not have  a relationship or rapport with the student. Without the common ground, discipline is viewed as capricious and as though the teacher has it out for the student, instead of being an instance where the teacher can help form students and aid them in understanding correct conduct. This manifest itself most evidently in my duty as cafeteria monitor for the high school. Since only 1% of the high school actually had me as a teacher, the only context the other 99% of the students knew me was in the cafeteria as the guy who made them clean up. Accordingly, meaningful discipline was near impossible. I am still trying to determine how that scenario can be remedied.
  5. Keeping track of communication is key in education. A log of when parents are emailed and why is a life saver sometimes. It also allows you to determine if you are communicating too much or not enough.
  6. Something that worked well this year was to include my boss on every important email; I learned this trick from my father. Though not every email would require any action on her part, it allowed her to keep a pulse on what was going on in the department and how parents/students were being handled. Further, if a situation were to come up, she already knew about the previous track of communication and was not blindsided. This is one practice that will stay in my quiver.

From the desk,

Mr. Bluebaugh

 

Categories: Education, Learning, Professional Development, Teaching Craft | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philosophy of Education

A statue of William Ellery Channing in Touro P...

A statue of William Ellery Channing in Touro Park, Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Introduction

Why do people respond differently to various situations? Whether explicitly stated or not, people possess a series of categorized beliefs about God, reality, knowledge, ethics and man (Nash, 1992, 26), known as a philosophy of life or a worldview. “A worldview, then, is a conceptual scheme by which we consciously or unconsciously place or fit everything we believe and by which we interpret and judge reality” (Nash, 1992, 16). Though many people may not be able to articulate their worldview, they no doubt have one. One’s worldview is either explicitly learned through dialogue, literature and diligent instruction, or it is implicitly learned through culture, role models, and literature. Finally, worldviews are always evident by the manner in which a person conducts himself or herself; though it may be in direct opposition to their articulated worldview.

When a worldview is based upon something outside of the self, something impervious to the whims and changing desires of the individual, solidity is found. However, when a worldview is based upon the self and subject to the ever-changing sea of human desires, the worldview produces confusion, inconsistency and contradiction. With such a fluid worldview, succinct and adequate answers to the questions of morality, ethics, law, and mankind cannot be given; rather, answers are subjective and subservient to preference.

The impact of a worldview upon education can be clearly seen in a cursory observation since it is the function of a worldview that allows an individual to interpret data and events and to assign them significance. Thus, teaching occurs through the filter of an individual’s worldview. Accordingly, to error in one’s worldview creates a foundation for teaching destined for catastrophe.

Philosophy of Life

I have found that there are two aspects of a worldview that are crucial in the arena of education: our view of God and our view of man. Our view of man, ultimately deriving from our view of God, necessarily forms how we teach. To have an errant view of God and man is to implement an educational philosophy full of holes and inadequate for the task. It is not enough to have a convenient answer when the task of educating successive generations is at hand; it is imperative that the right view be ascertained in order that right answers may be given to students’ questions.

Due to the fact that I believe God to be the sovereign, transcendent yet immanent, creator and upholder of the universe, his word has final authority. The laws he has set forth and the redemption he has provided govern how I live, and how I live influences how I teach. Further, my view of God necessarily informs my view of man. Man was created as the pinnacle of creation, yet due to Adam and Eve’s sin, the image of God has been distorted in every way. It is only through the redemption of Christ, given by God not earned by man, that man is made whole again through the process of sanctification.

Our view of man determines how we teach our students, to the end that we either teach solely to their mind, or we teach to the heart while teaching the mind. When I was in college, my theology professor instilled in his students the idea that you could have a perfect and sound argument for Christianity, but in the end the heart of the individual would trump the mind. Therefore, we must teach to the heart as well as the mind if we are to be effective. If we merely teach to the mind, all we have done is create a knowledgeable sinner whose driving force is still in need of transformation.

Philosophy of Education

Development
The development of my philosophy of education occurred primarily in college, though there were some grade school influences. It was during my time in college that I became profoundly aware of the fallen nature of man and the fact that only God has the power to change people. Unless God is directing our methods, our efforts are frivolous.

Further, two teachers were instrumental in my growth. First, my fifth and sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Green, who handled her class with such sincere care while remaining steadfast in her standards. From her example, I seek to model the same tender sternness. Second, my college theology professor, Mr. Smith, taught me to ask deep questions and to evaluate everything including my own beliefs. From his example, I seek to encourage my students to learn the reasons behind the answers they hold, not simply to know the answer. It is only through the exercise of rigorous questioning that our beliefs are honed and solidified as iron sharpens iron.

Implications
In recent decades, the purpose of education seems to have shift from aiding individuals to use their created potential and glorify God through the gifts man has been endowed with, to creating individuals in manners that society deems appropriate or necessary, thereby molding society in their image and dreams. Here are the days of using education to shape society and gone are the days of God honoring education in the public sector.

Man was created with certain faculties that set him apart from the animals. It is through the faculties of intellect and will that man is to rule and subdue the earth. Education therefore, is to give mankind the necessary information and strategies that enable him or her to reach their God-given potential as the pinnacle of creation. It is through the proper acquisition of the faculties man has been given, that he most glorifies God’s handiwork.

With this view in mind, what then is the role of teacher in the classroom? Today, the teacher in many instances seems to replace the parents as the developer of children. There are many reasons as to why this should never be, no matter the situation, but perhaps the most necessary reason is that God has given a role to parents that no teacher can fulfill. Rather, the teacher is to partner with the parents in order to bring about the best educational decisions and results. It is through the unity of the parents and teacher that a school can aim to inspire students to reach their God-given potential.

In 1840, William Ellery Channing said, “Easy, pleasant work does not make robust minds, does not give men a consciousness of their powers, does not train them to endurance, to perseverance, to steady force of will, that force without which all other acquisitions avail nothing (Bennett, 2011 ).” This quote has had a deep impact on how I develop my instructional methods and curriculum. I believe that we should ever lead our students to high goals and quality. It would be easy to simply cater to the student, but without the consistent stretching of their minds, students may fail to realize exactly what they are capable of. Too much of curriculum today is soft, seeking to foster the students’ creativity. Yet, there are ways to foster that creativity without creating a lax curriculum. Because I know that each student has been created by God and endowed for certain tasks on earth, I assume that each student has the ability within them to master any subject. Therefore, curriculum should be robust in an age appropriate manner, ever aiming to grow them in maturity and critical thinking.

How then should we assess such a curriculum? Should assessment be based solely upon exams? I postulate that exams, though helpful, should not be the only means to assess a student’s mastery of a subject. I realize that exams are beneficial and to do away with exams all together is foolhardy, but other creative means should be sought, such as projects, class presentations, and dialogue. Creating diverse evaluating methods allows students who may not excel at test taking to prove that they do genuinely know the material.

Finally, I believe that classroom management should be conducted in such a manner that students realize the teacher’s goal is not a mere acquiescence to rules. Through our classroom management, the grace and love of Christ should be evident. This does not discount the times when proper discipline is to be enacted, but under such circumstances, we are to foster proper understanding in the students by working with them through their discipline. Further, in these times, perhaps the best option is not a cut and dry consequence but working with the student to bring about maturity and responsibility. It is not for our benefit that we desire students to follow standards, but for their benefit and safety. It is through submission to the leaders God has placed over us, regardless of whether we agree with them or not, that we honor God.

Conclusion

In conclusion, our teaching practice is informed by our beliefs about God and man. If these areas are not held in accordance with Scripture, we hold to a philosophy that does not sufficiently instruct the individual or foster their God-given potential. It is absolutely imperative that the foundation of our teaching practice be securely rooted in Scripture. Only then can we properly inspire students to achieve their God-given potential through excellent academics and a Christian environment.

Categories: Education, MA Work, Philosophy, Teaching Craft | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Start of a New Venture

GDR "village teacher" (a teacher tea...

GDR “village teacher” (a teacher teaching students of all age groups in one class) in 1951. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the Divine. – Beethoven

I have entered what will be my last week of ‘summer vacation’. Orientation for new teachers begins next Monday and I am in the throes of lesson planning, Powerpoint creation, and quiz/test preparation. I have had to think about things I have not yet had to; class attitude expectations, the particulars of assignments, grade weighting, etc. I find this most invigorating.

I must admit though that with this new look behind the curtain of what teachers actually do, I have been pondering many aspects of the teaching craft. Though there is much work to teaching, it is nonetheless a craft. A craft with which you may put immense concentration into the details or go about it listlessly and shoddily. (Just as not every painter or artist is a true craftsman.) Besides consistently growing in their field, I believe that teachers must always evaluate their methods of teaching. We must not believe that once we have reached a teaching position or have had a few years experience in the field that we have mastered teaching.

If we as teachers, truly love teaching as we say we do, why would we cease to grow in our field, ever-growing to be the best from year to year?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a spring chicken in the field of teaching, and there is so much I know that I do not understand. Perhaps some of you are saying, “just wait until you get in the field”. I couldn’t agree with you more. I sit here a mere week from orientation and I shake in my boots about how my I don’t know how to do. But we must start somewhere, and I pray that I was right in believing that a year of substitute teaching would greatly reduce my upcoming mistakes.

Well in the mean time, if you have any ‘first year’ tips, I would love to hear them. Shoot me a comment or email and let’s talk about teaching craft.

Shivering in Starbucks (Why must they keep it so cold?)

Mr. Bluebaugh

Categories: Cultivate, Education, Learning, Teaching Craft | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

An Update and the Bare Necessities

Boy studying, from the album: Miscellaneous. P...

Boy studying, from the album: Miscellaneous. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine, ca. 1924. From the National Child Labor Committee Collection at the Library of Congress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last few weeks have been jam-packed with reading, classes, studying, evaluating theses, writing papers, a lot of coffee/tea and some great music to keep me going. I am settling back into the groove of student life (i.e., long hours of study, few hours of sleep) and it is all bringing back to mind the reasons I love studying. There is great joy in applying oneself to the pursuit of knowledge.

Over the course of three solid weeks, I have completed 9 credit hours of class (requiring classes that met everyday of the week for 8 hours). Now I am in the process of completing all of the papers for those classes. Through those weeks I learned about the historical and philosophical foundations of education, how to conduct successful educational research and how to write a masters thesis. Though I am three years (or so) from adding a graduate degree to my roster, the expectation of excellence in my course work is preparing me as if my thesis were due next month. (I love it!)

Well, enough about what I have been doing. I still have many hours ahead of paper writing and research. However, I wanted to pass along what I consider my bare necessities for a good study session. The presupposition is of course that you are prepared to dedicate earnest time to study and to put forth the hard work required to adequately comprehend and retain information. Here are some resources which have enhanced and increased my study sessions:

  1. Evernote – this instrument has revolutionized my life since I first starting using it 2 years ago. With its combination of the desktop version, mobile version, and internet version, you can take your notes wherever you go. Evernote has allowed me to collect all of my online research notes into folders pertaining to subject. Further, the tagging feature makes it easy to find subjects you have lost track of. It is my go to source for cataloguing research and ideas.
  2. StudyBlue – an incredible note taking system I have used in many classes. One of the fantastic features of this site is that it allows you to change your notes into flash cards with which you can quiz yourself in a distraction free setting. At the end of your rotation of cards, it calculates the percentage you would most likely get if you were to take the test at that moment (certainly aids in tracking progress). Oh, and the added bonus? It syncs with Evernote!
  3. Songza – My go to music concierge. Find the playlist to match your activity at any time of day. (It is also advertisement free, so forget Pandora.)
  4. French Press Coffee, Arabic Coffee or Tea – These are the three beverages of choice which I consume (probably in copious amounts) during my studies. There is just something about a warm, flavorful beverage that keeps me alert and on task.
  5. A wide range of music – My music library has been dubbed ‘schizophrenic’ since I have such a wide range of music genres. I listen to just about anything worth listening to. This prevents me from getting in a rut and allows me to tailor my environment to the need of my study session. I highly suggest developing a broad taste in music, not only so you can provide music for any event occasion, but also that you may enhance your study time.

These are a few of the things that help me study best. I hope that it helps you whether you are in your bachelors degree, masters degree, or studying for personal enrichment.

It is time for me to return to my research. Have a great Fourth of July!

From the Desk,

Mr. Bluebaugh

Categories: Education, Learning, MA Work, Resources, Study Helps | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Flag Day?

140th US Flag Day poster. 1777-1917. The birth...

140th US Flag Day poster. 1777-1917. The birthday of the stars and stripes, June 14th, 1917. ‘Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” Library of Congress description: “Poster showing a man raising the American flag, with a minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know that today is Flag Day in the United States? Further it is also the day set aside to celebrate the Army’s birthday (June 14, 1775). It is a day, not a federal holiday, that many of us are probably not aware of, nor understand why we have a day dedicated to our flag. Perhaps this is perpetuated by a mixture of the lack of societal teaching on the day and the fact that no body has the day off thereby our daily lives are not interrupted; unless you live in Pennsylvania which recognizes it as a state holiday. (If the post office doesn’t get it off, then it is not a holiday right?)

So what is this day all about?

Flag Day commemorates that time in our history when the Second Continental Congress resolved to adopt the flag of the United States in 1777. Since that time Old Glory has undergone 26 modifications; starting with 13 stars in 1777, 15 in 1794, 20 by 1818, and the final star was added when Hawaii was added to the Union in 1959.

Although the flag was adopted (and there is some debate as to if the flag adopted was indeed created by Betsy Ross) in 1777, the notion of a day of celebration to commemorate the day was not until 1861 when George Morris of Hartford, Connecticut, who encouraged his city to celebrate the day. It was not until 1916 when President Wilson issued a proclamation and 1949 when Congress, under President Harry Truman, passed an official Act that Flag Day became what we know today. However, there were attempts through our history to make Flag Day an official observance.

In 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand held the first reorganized observance of Flag Day in Waubeka, Wisconsin, at Stony Hill School (which has been restored). The American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania was founded by William T. Kerr of the Collier Township, Pennsylvania, in 1888. In 1893, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin, Elizabeth Gillespie petitioned to have a resolution passed in Pennsylvania that would require all public buildings to fly the American flag. Finally, Pennsylvania became the first state to make Flag Day a holiday in 1937.

Flag Day may not be as big as Independence Day or other national holidays, but its significance for our country cannot be overstated. Our flag has become a symbol of freedom to the world. Wherever our flag flies, people know that hope and freedom are on the horizon. The flag has been a symbol of great unity for our nation, especially after the Civil War. Men and women have given much in order to protect what is symbolized by our flag and it with great pride that we should fly it about our homes, businesses, and public spaces.

You may know the song “Ragged Old Flag” performed by Johnny Cash. I would like to produce the lyrics here and allow the story it tells to be my concluding thought.

I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin’ there.
I said, “Your old court-house is kinda run down,
He said, “Naw, it’ll do for our little town”.
I said, “Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit,
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hangin’ on it”.
He said, “Have a seat”, and I sat down,
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town”
I said, “I think it is”
He said “I don’t like to brag, but we’re kinda proud of
That Ragged Old Flag
 
“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
Writing “Say Can You See”
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
Tugging at its seams.
And It almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag,
But she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville,
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag
 
“On Flanders Field in World War I,
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood-red in World War II
She hung limp, and low, a time or two,
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent
By her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
And now they’ve about quit wavin’ back here at home
In her own good land here She’s been abused,
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied an’ refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she’s getting thread bare, and she’s wearin’ thin,
But she’s in good shape, for the shape she’s in.
Cause she’s been through the fire before
And i believe she can take a whole lot more.
 
“So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don’t let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought
I *do* like to brag
Cause I’m mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag
 From the Desk,
Mr. Bluebaugh
 
Categories: Holidays, Learning, Patriotism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is to Come

The last two weeks have been busy as I enroll for three MA classes, begin prep work for those classes, and start training for my new job. As I begin my three-week intensive class schedule on Monday, there will be a lot of papers to write (13 to be exact) and not a lot of time to write fresh material for this blog. However, to keep things moving I will post my papers, since they are all education related, in order that you can read what I am currently learning and working on.

Here is a preview of the types of materials that will soon be making their way here: Reflective Paper on the Christian Mind, Reflective Paper on ‘Who is Man’, Philosophy of Life and Education, Action Research Project, Hypothetical Research Proposal, and an Educational Literature Review.

Be sure to sign up for email updates in order that you can be notified when I create a new post. I hope that you will be inspired to dig deeper into the things that I must distill for my papers.

Until then,

Mr. Bluebaugh

Categories: Education, Learning, MA Work | Leave a comment

Welcome to Mr. Bluebaugh’s Desk!

Detail of a desk after studying.

Detail of a desk after studying. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easy, pleasant work does not make robust minds, does not give men a consciousness of their powers, does not train them to endurance, to perseverance, to steady force of will, that force without which all other acquisitions avail nothing.

– William Ellery Channing

When I began substitute teaching in 2011, I did not imagine that 9 months later I would be employed full-time in education. When I first signed up for substitute teaching, having failed to find a full-time job straight out of college and having exhausted my contacts, I was at the end of my rope. Through the advice of my best friend, I signed up. It did not take long for me to realize that I had found my calling. Being in the classroom came natural and seemed as though I had taught many years before. Further, interacting with the students and aiding them in their learning was most rewarding and left me inspired and excited to have a classroom of my own someday.

I would sub for any class they would give me: History, English, Math, Science, Art, and even Spanish (even though I do not speak Spanish). Whenever I was the sub, I always had trivia questions pertaining to the subject at hand. Due to my flexibility in teaching and bank of ‘random’ knowledge, to the students I seemed to know everything. I attribute this not to any inherent wealth of knowledge, but to the cultivated desire to continue growing in knowledge.

I believe it is important for every person to continue learning throughout their life. It is easy to let our minds stop growing after our high school, college, or even post-graduate courses. It is a shame that with such a wealth of knowledge in this world that we would simply stop our pursuit of knowledge at some degree. I believe three things about the constant pursuit of knowledge: 1) You establish your credibility and ‘accredit’ yourself, 2) You keep your mind sharp and involved, and finally 3) You remain current in your field of study or societies debates.

Through this blog it is my goal to share with you what I am currently studying and share with you aids and challenges to keep expanding your horizons of knowledge. I hope to rub off on you and inspire to you continue to learn. Further, being new to the field of education, this blog will serve as a chronicle for my experiences and lessons.

So, welcome to Mr. Bluebaugh’s Desk!

Mr. Bluebaugh

Categories: Cultivate, Education, Learning | 2 Comments

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