#How passion and wisdom stir the minds of young people – Twin Cities #Usa #Miami #Nyc #Houston #Uk #Es

#How passion and wisdom stir the minds of young people – Twin Cities #Usa #Miami #Nyc #Houston #Uk #Es

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Stirring the minds of young people

“Retiring teacher, falcon expert ‘brought science to life’” was an excellent news piece as well as a motivational article on April 30.

The story about Stillwater teacher Andy Weaver brought to life how passion, commitment, and wisdom stir the minds of young people. Weaver’s teaching methods encapsulate the vision of the ideal teacher. The characteristics of his teaching environment go far beyond standardizing the standards.

John Hamann, River Falls


Don’t raise fees. Collect from scofflaws

The state wants to raise your license tab fee because they have a revenue shortfall in that account. One of the reasons there is a shortfall is that they are not collecting from all vehicle owners.

I can assure you that if you go out and look you will see vehicles with expired tabs. I saw one this week whose tabs had expired in June of 2020. Instead of raising fees on law-abiding vehicle owners I am suggesting they take steps to collect from those vehicle owners who are not law abiding and than see if they need additional funds.

Louis Grunz, Oakdale 


Calling that success?

I had to read and reread the April 26 Pioneer Press headline article regarding graduation rates in St. Paul public schools. I find it hard to believe what Commissioner Willie Jett considers success. Scores in reading and math tests plunged. Schools changed failing grades to passing grades and reduced the number of credits needed to graduate. This is Jett’s quote: “When a student begins their school career, it’s our job to catapult them into something better for their life. That’s our end goal. I want to see children graduate.”

He said he values tests to see what a student actually learned but puts more stock in graduation. How do you graduate a student who has failed required courses and call that success? Is this really what our public schools have come down to?

G. Mertz, St. Paul


Spend it on road-fixing instead

Is it possible that there is an answer to the eternal quest to fix potholes on our streets? The most practical money-saving solution is at our doorstep. According to the world’s foremost expert, Randall O’Toole, it is Light Rail Transport (LRT). His studies and that of other academics show that LRT is the costliest, most dangerous and most harmful to the environment of all modes of ground transport per passenger mile. Allowing the Legislature/Met Council to use this money to fix our roads would be a real boon for citizens in search of safe, efficient transport, and that which is much friendlier to our environment.

Richard Iffert, Eagan


Penalizing success

Who would have thought that any political party would penalize success and reward those who fall below that level? Leave it to Joe Biden and the Democrats to accomplish this backward thinking.

Joe’s new policy rewards those with a bad credit score through home mortgages. He does this by penalizing those with good credit scores to pay more each month for their mortgages. The monies collected will go to help pay the loans of higher-risk borrowers.

This idea is so bad that top finance officials from 27 states are warning Biden of this disastrous plan and to end his “unconscionable” policy of forcing people with good credit scores to subsidize mortgage loans of higher-risk borrowers.

This seems to be a repeat of the housing debacle of 2009. Why potentially repeat  history? What’s Biden’s encore — student debt loan forgiveness? Oh wait a minute, that was yet another brilliant idea of your party that wasn’t in Americans’ best interest.

Thomas McMahon, White Bear Lake


Looking down

The front page of the Pioneer Press on Tuesday had a headline  “Youth mental health ER trips surge — 5x more suicide related visits.”

After reading this article I had to run an errand; I drove by a group of eight students waiting for their school bus.  All eight were not talking to each other, but looking down at their cell phones.  My wife and I have noticed this behavior also in restaurants. A sad sign of the times.

John Heller, North St. Paul


The science of reading is also an art

If only poor reading skills and scores could be solved by mandating what needs to be in a curriculum. Oh how we want a magic pill to solve the problem.

My reading-teacher journey began six years into my career as a special education teacher. I was assessing an 8th grade young man who was transitioning into the high school with a learning-disabilities label. He had been in the same district since kindergarten and still could not read. “What?” I said to myself. “How does this happen? He can’t read! Who never helped him learn to read?”

As I pondered the problem it dawned on me: What was I going to do to help this young man learn to read? What did I know about teaching reading? I had Special Education Certification, nothing in my training prepared me for this. And thus began my journey for the next 24 years, which culminated in a Masters of Arts Degree in Reading, but not before I had spent a summer learning, training and absorbing as much knowledge as I could at the Reading Center Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota in Rochester, and along my way actually teaching reading to those who struggled to read.

One can’t teach what one doesn’t know. It is a humbling journey to come to the realization that you are prepared and have jumped through the hoops but you haven’t a clue what to do to teach a young man desperate to read, how to read. And think of those who don’t know they don’t know.

As a retired teacher with 30 years experience in the literacy/reading field with training in Orton-Gillingham at the Reading Center Dyslexia Institute in Rochester, and a Masters of Arts Degree in Reading from a distinguished university here in the Twin Cities, mandates for curriculum with the science of reading only go so far and are only one piece of a much larger puzzle.

A large piece of the puzzle is that teachers cannot teach what they don’t know and understand. Teaching reading is not just following a curriculum that will solve all the problems; it is not just knowing about the science of reading. And by the way, I am sorry to say, there is not a curriculum out there that can do everything every student needs.

It is the knowledge, methodology and pedagogy the teacher possesses from training and practice. One must blend their knowledge of not just the Science of Reading and how that matches with the knowledge the student is bringing to the table, but also the teacher’s knowledge of the structure and function of the English language, not to mention figuring out what skills, strengths and weaknesses the student brings to the table as well as how their brains work.

We cannot forget other pieces of the puzzle that all have a role in a student’s learning to read – neurodiversity, race, socio-economic factors, practice, practice, practice and more practice, and probably not last on the list – the achievement gap or as I call it the opportunity gap, which started long before these children started to read, or tried to read.

The Science of Teaching Reading is an art not a mandate.

Maureen Sanford, South St. Paul

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
error: WEBFI NETWORK website Protection and Privacy for Publishers. This content may not be copied.