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Another snowy Sunday 3/2/14

My thoughts today are of curriculum and how passé it is to teach for content knowledge when facts are a smartphone away. I educate my children in useful skills like fun, passion, compassion, and cooperation. All of us working together for the benefit of all. Give a group like this any task and they will work together to complete it. Wouldn't "school" be a wonderful place if this were the mandate?

But I'm not a politician, just a teacher so I cannot change the world. The irony of that statement surprises me. Can't just one good idea change the world? Am I so cynical now that I longer believe this? I wrote it, so it must be true, right? As in my favorite logical koan, "All of this and none of this is true."

School should teach skills needed for jobs. Most jobs require problem solving skills and the ability to communicate with and work together with others. To have a strong and productive workforce we have to teach people from the start how to do these things. Isn't this what school should prepare us for?

I call it social education and I've seen it work for more than 25 years now. Friends helping friends laugh and learn and lately, live longer, healthier lives. I am really enjoying my work with older adults. We do a lot of rhyming at my 1 Hr. Brain Fitness Challenges and this inspires me to write a poem:

Young or old the truth be told,
Use it, don't refuse it.
Your health depends on fun with friends,
Use it or you lose it.

These 1 Hr. Brain Fitness Challenges are a lot of fun. We had a packed house at the one last week in the Boscov Auditorium at the Monmouth Mall and pictures are posted on the Purplearn facebook page. If I can't change the system at least I can do my thing on my own terms. As long as the folks keep coming back I figure I am getting it right.