Image courtesy of Sudhamshu Hebbar
Back in 1986, my brother brought home a Howard Jones CD with the song No One is to Blame on it. We must have listened to that song over a hundred times over the span of that summer. Of course, I didn’t really understand that song since I was still pretty young at the time, but looking at the lyrics now, it isn’t that tough to grasp what was going on. Jones was attempting to wax poetic about the feelings of loss one feels when feelings are left unfulfilled.
While the ultimate meaning of the song does not really fit what I am writing about, I felt it was apt to start with that since nowadays there is plenty of blame to go around, especially when it comes to teaching and education. Our province in Canada is in the midst of a public teachers strike with plenty of finger pointing happening on both sides of the picket line. In other provinces, parents, teachers, and the government are waging a war of words regarding curriculum reform. The province I am in is fighting with the national government over funding for English language programs. Finally, teachers are fighting one another over what is happening in the classroom. You know what they all say? Someone is to blame. Continue reading Blaming
Image courtesy of Britt Reints
During the last visit with my cousin, her husband shared an amusing story about fixing their van. He is a mechanic by trade and certainly know what he is doing, but this recent event left him scratching his head. He had gone into a parts store and asked for an alternator for his vehicle. Upon giving them the year and model number, the person working at the parts department looked up the part number for the alternator and promptly found it for him. Taking it home, my cousin’s husband took the time to look up how to install it on that model, switched out the old alternator for the new one, and attempted to start the vehicle. Nothing. Completely dead. He pored over the schematics and checked everything over once again. Still nothing. So, he took the part back and told them it was defective. The man behind the counter, grabbed another one and exchanged it for him. Same thing. Nothing. Back he went to the shop. This time, they started to accuse him of not installing it properly. He insisted he knew what he was doing. They exchanged it one more time. Same result. So, after some investigation, it was determined that the part he had been sold the first time was for the vehicle one year newer and the car manufacturer had reversed the polarity of the alternator. Everything else was the same, but the direction of the current was reversed. The initial problem had led to a series of exchanges for the same part, never checking on whether he was sold the correct thing in the first place.
It makes me think about how we deal with learning disabilities in the language classroom. Continue reading Supporting