John Michael Tracy
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  • Houston, TX
  • United States
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Author/educator with Katy ISD

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At 9:10am on December 6, 2009, John Michael Tracy said…
I spend a lot of time reading, trying to better understand what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, whether I can do it better. I teach kindergartners in a dual language program - one day spanish, one day english. Students are from poor, uneducated families. But students are bright, capable, eager to learn, enchanted by everything - as are all five year olds. I work teaching them using the writer's workshop method - a mixture of Lucy Caulkins and things I've found out the hard way.
Progress is slow but sure.
As to education in general - I'm seeing glimmerings of greatness to come. But there's still too much reinventing the wheel, and arguing about bullshit, too much half implementing ideas before running away saying "I told you that wouldn't work!"
We seem to discover things that the Jesuits knew 400 years ago.
One thing I'd really like to see is year round schooling, done so that the magic that happens over Christas holidays (and for those who don't know to which I refer, it is when kids struggle and struggle with something, say reading, where they work and work, but just can't put it all together right up to holidays. When they come back, often, they can read. This time away is built into us. Our conscious mind struggles and struggles with something - constructivism - then when we let it go, our unconscious mind puts it all together and we can.
With year round schooling we could have kids struggle, then relax for two weeks, thus letting the miracle of subconcious learning unfold. With year round schooling, teachers could have two weeks in fall, in winter, in spring, and in summer.
School districts would have to up salaries a tad.
Parents would have it easier.

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