It seems the mystics may have just been proven right all along. Living in the present moment leads to a happier life.
Daydreaming Is a Downer
By Lauren Schenkman
Snap out of it! That daydream you’re having about eloping to the Bahamas with Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie is leaching away your happiness. In a new global study, researchers used iPhones to gauge the mental state of more than 2000 volunteers several times a day—even when they were having sex. The results indicate that, if you want to stay cheerful, you’re better off focusing on the present, no matter how unpleasant it is.
The human mind is remarkably good at straying from the moment. That ability allows us to remember the past, plan for the future, and “even imagine things that never occur at all,” says Matthew Killingsworth, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard University. “As a scientist, it’s something I do all the time.”
But is daydreaming good for us? Continue reading
Too many high schools across this country are teaching our children to exaggerate, embellish, and outright lie about their extracurricular activities in order to gain a perceived advantage over other students competing for a limited number of spots at our nation’s selective colleges. The truth however, is that colleges have repeatedly stated a preference for depth over breadth. They prefer applicants who have dedicated themselves to an activity or cause over students who join numerous clubs and dedicate themselves to nothing. The irony is that high schools continue to allow, in some cases even encourage, students to join numerous clubs and activities in order to pad their applications. Students often sign up for a club for the sole purpose of making their college applications “look good”. The crime here is that we tacitly teach our children that this is the way the world works. We should not be surprised that our country’s moral fiber is so thin as to be translucent. It’s time for colleges and high schools to hold applicants and the high schools they are graduating from accountable for misrepresentation and hyperbole. By allowing this practice to continue, we are contributing to the creation of a nation of young workers who feel that unsubstantiated self promotion, superficial committment, and cutting corners are the way to get ahead in the “real world”.
Fill in the Blanks
By JACQUES STEINBERG
FOR college applicants who haven’t engaged in many extracurricular activities, turning to the section of the Common Application where they are encouraged to list such pursuits can cause a bit of a flutter in the stomach.
This year’s application includes 12 blank fields set aside for “Extracurricular Activities & Work Experience.” What of the applicant who has done only a few things, however intensively?
“The perception is that you have to fill in all the blanks,” Jennifer Delahunty, the dean of admissions at Kenyon College in Ohio, told me recently. “What we hate to see,” she said, “is when students do things like check ‘9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades’ and then write ‘personal reading.’ Yes, we’re glad you’re a reader. But it looks decidedly like filler.”
This piece was written by Joel Shatzky in the Huffington Post.
Bloomberg’s plan to publish the “ratings” of teachers in the press — on the basis of test scores — is one more example of the public humiliation many of the best New York City teachers have to endure in the interest of “educational reform. ” Perhaps the following article can put this absurd situation into perspective.
If doctors were treated like teachers:
1. “Charter hospitals” could certify “smart people” as qualified to begin practicing medicine without any prior experience in the field if they had had “some business background.”
2. Since a “doctor” can “doctor” anything, a cardiologist would be on staff at a hospital in place of a urologist when there was a shortage of urologists. The cardiologist could “learn on the job.” Of course, a general practitioner could be used in the place of any specialist since such a doctor would have “general knowledge” of anything involving medicine. Continue reading
If teachers are ever going to be considered a profession in the same way that accountants, lawyers, and doctors are professions, they are going to have to have an active voice in changing their evaluation system. If unions are going to cling to the status quo and resist any changes to their profession other than annual pay raises, teaching will never rise to the level of respect and compensation afforded other professions.
Christie names panel tasked with evaluating ways to assess N.J. teachers
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Last updated: Thursday October 28, 2010, 7:11 PM
BY LESLIE BRODY
Governor Christie appointed nine members Thursday to a task force charged with the controversial mission of recommending ways to use student achievement and other measures to evaluate all teachers and principals.
Nobody was appointed to represent the state’s largest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association, which has been locked in conflict with the governor. The task force has one official of the much smaller American Federation of Teachers New Jersey, which has 30,000 members, including teachers in Garfield.
Christie asked the task force for recommendations, due March 1, for a statewide evaluation system. Now districts have their own methods and almost everybody is deemed satisfactory or better. Christie wants teachers’ tenure, job retention and compensation to be based on their results in the classroom rather than on seniority, and wants at least half of a teacher’s evaluation to be based on student achievement.
Alfie Kohn is on the money again!
Alfie KohnEducation expert
Posted: November 1, 2010 02:29 PM
Operation Discourage Bright People from Wanting to Teach
Education “reformers” have discovered the source of our schools’ problems. It’s not poverty or social inequities. It’s not enforced student passivity or a standardized curriculum that consists of lists of facts and skills likely to appear on standardized tests. No — it’s… teachers.
Fortunately, there’s a two-pronged solution: First, identify the really bad teachers (on the basis of their students’ test scores, naturally) and pluck them out like weeds. Second, as a safeguard against the possibility of more widespread incompetence than can be solved by step number one, remove as much authority as possible — about what’s to be taught and how — from all teachers.
NFTE: Injecting Entrepreneurship into Inner City Education
While Americans focus on the results of the midterm election, something far more important is at stake. A large segment of America is in the midst of an economic and education crisis that threatens to relegate a vast majority of our future generations to the front seat of the bus: the driver’s seat.