Educators educating Educators

Nov 24

Bio



Definition of Educate

The root word of education is ‘duct,” as in aqueduct, meaning ‘to lead out from.” Therefore, the definition of educate means “to guide students out from things inside they already know and have.”

ORIGIN of educate, late Middle English: from Latin educat- ‘led out,’ from the verb educare, related to educere ‘lead out.’

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After forty-two years as an educator, I am now happily semi retired after serving as a high school  special education teacher, special education department leader, and an adjunct professor which I continue to do in retirement. My undergarduate degree is from Temple University, graduate degree from Penn State University, and I studied at Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Mind, Brain, and Education program.

This site is concerned with the how to teach and not what to teach, namely, what I refer to as the Art of Teaching. Let me take a few moments to explain. Over my many years as an educator I have been fortunate to work with many outstanding teachers who employed teaching practices that were exceptional and marvelous, resulting in classrooms where students enjoyed their education and were actively involved in the classroom environment.

Out of the many excellent teachers I have worked with, three particular teachers have made a profound impact upon my educational growth, teaching methods, techniques, and philosophy: Jim Maiale, Harvey Roth, and Larry Innaurato, all currently retired. From observing these innovative, resourceful, and professional teachers, I was able to observe a full cache of successful techniques and methods utilized in their classrooms. The pedagogy practices employed by these teachers resulted in students who were engaged and engrossed in their assignments, on task and cooperative. Needless to say, nearly all of their students made outstanding academic and social progress.

 

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Jim, Harvey, & Larry

Jim Maiale Larry Innaurato Harvey Roth

June 6, 1996 Retirement party

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My colleagues demonstrated interminable empathy and respect for all students regardless of ability. Their prominent concern was never to embarrass students in front of their peers. The child as a whole person was of paramount concern and all three educators went to extraordinary lengths and utilized effective techniques to respect the individual dignity of all students. Over the years, I have employed many of their techniques and methods with gratifying results and have tried to create a positive, enriching, and productive classroom environment for all students regardless of cognitive learning ability. Moreover, I noted increased student learning and improved self-esteem for all students, making my job easier.

As my professional career continued through graduate courses, conferences, and training, I endeavored to correlate the effective pedagogy acquired from my experiences with these four professionals to current educational research, ideas, and theories. This is what this site is about. It attempts to elucidate the successful and effective pedagogy – the method and practice of teaching. It does not directly address the teaching of math, science, social studies, etc., but how to teach these subjects. All topics are discussed through an affective lens relating to the moods, feelings, and attitudes of students and teachers. Having studied at Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Mind, Brain, and Edcuation program, I have incorporated  current neuroscience into the discussion having found it not only improves my metacognitive insights into why events happen in the classroom but also it provides a better understanding of the reasons a pedagogy is successful.

Now a disclaimer. Let me be clear that I do not pretend to be an education guru with all of the answers. Rather, I am attempting to pass on some methods, techniques, ideas, and philosophies I have found to be effective and useful as an educator. The information cited has been researched and culled from many sources over many years of work in the field.

As a successful and dedicated teacher, you are most likely employing many of the ideas I will be talking about on this web site. I know the content of this site is obvious and just validates and reinforces what teachers are already going. I will attempt to explain the information from my point-of-view so you understand where I’m coming from and maybe incorporate some of this into your philosophy and vocabulary.

As you view this web site, I ask that you analyze the ideas and methods presented and compare them to the practices you presently employ in your classroom, and if I am lucky, I may be able to pass a kernel of wisdom your way! This site is designed for busy teachers. If you are like me, often times I do not have time for the fluff, just give me the facts and I will fill in the blanks accordingly.

All topics have two sections: Teaching Suggestions and Insights. The Teaching Suggestions are short and effective teaching methods and techniques used in the classroom. Insights & Tidbits are longer and more detailed researched-based theories and examples supporting the Teaching Suggestions.

Let me take a moment to express my gratitude to my present and past administrators for patiently listening to a myriad of educational suggestions, and at times, agreeing to implement them. Their support, cooperation, and encouragement are truly appreciated.

A little note about grammar. I know and appreciate it but I will freely admit grammar wasn’t always my favorite subject in school, as the extraordinary good sisters at my elementary school will attest to. On this site, I haven’t followed it. I start sentences with ands and bu’s. I end sentences with prepositions. I use the plural they in contexts that require the singular he or she. I’ve done this for informality and immediacy, and I hope those who love grammar more than I will forgive me.

Why the motto Educators educating Educators? Prior to developing this site, I reflected upon the knowledge that I have acquired and accumulated from countless undergraduate, graduate, and post graduate professors, hundreds of in-services, immeasurable conferences, 41 years in the classroom, and most importantly, the privilege to teach, observe, interact, and learn from the world’s most outstanding, creative, and dedicated teaching colleagues.

I was truly overwhelmed. Thinking back upon my early years as an educator and the mistakes I made as a novice educator, I openly wonder how I survived: or more importantly, how my students survived and flourished. Education always has been and always will be a unique profession in that the blunders teachers make in their classrooms can adversely, harshly, and at times permanently, affects a child on a long-term basis.

How can I assist in promoting and improving the education of all children? My humble answer to this question is to attempt to pass on my acquired educational philosophies, experiences, reflections, ideas and methods from my generation of educators to a new generation. In other words, Educators educating Educators.

So let’s start. You may begin by watching a few of My Favorite Education Videos, or test your educational knowledge by taking the Introductory Quiz, or check out the Helpful Hints for Educators, or proceed randomly to the various topics. As you explore the site, I hope you have some fun and possibility have one of those “ah ha” moments when you realize “I tried this in my class and that is why it worked but I didn’t have a proper educational term for it but now I do.”

Thanks Jim, Harvey, and Larry for being exemplary and consummate educators by demonstrating imaginative and resourceful teaching methods, and for being truly considerate, compassionate, and empathic individuals. You have been a true gift to your students and profession and have set the bar extremely high for all to follow!

I hope you find the site helpful.

Bob




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