370 Education

Education

After spending over a year exploring the 360’s (Social Problems & Social Services), I am finally ready to move on to the 370’s, Education. Education is a constantly changing field with many subtopics. Being a former teacher myself I am excited to see what the Fulton County Public Library has to offer in this category.

All of us would probably agree that a good quality education is important. Most of us would agree that our educational system is not perfect and can always be improved. Some of the first books I encountered in this section do indeed have an emphasis on improving what happens in the classroom. In theory parents, teachers, and students should all be working together to get the most out of our educational system. With limited resources and funding, America’s teachers have to be creative and that is exactly what I found to be true in I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids by Kyle Schwartz.

I Wish My Teacher Knew

Ms. Schwartz is an elementary school teacher who emphasizes building relationships with students and their families. She believes this helps bridge the gap between school and home as well as establish trust between teachers, students, classmates, and parents. As a first year teacher Ms. Schwartz explained to her class that she wanted to get to know them better. She had the simple idea to use a sentence starter, “I wish my teacher knew…” and have her students finish it. The wide range of answers that students came up with totally astounded Kyle Schwatz and she has used this idea in her classroom ever since. She also shared the idea on social media and it went viral as other teachers across the country picked up on it. This simple idea has helped teachers across the country be able to connect better with their students, adjust lessons to fit individual needs, combat hunger and poverty as well as many other tough topics. If you are a teacher or if you teach informally in any capacity, I suggest that you read this book.

When I was teaching, I did something similar in my classrooms. All of my students kept a journal. They could write what ever they wanted to in their journals. This was an ungraded communication between me and my students. When my students entered my room the first thing they did was get their journals out of the journal basket and write in them. Often the students wrote notes to me which I answered every day.  My students thought it was cool to be passing notes with the teacher. Like Ms. Schwartz’s  students, my students brought up all sorts of topics. The only journal rules were that there were to be no bad words (most of my students were middle schoolers) and that they had to write at least one sentence everyday. The majority of my students wrote much more than one sentence. This gave purpose to their writing and they didn’t feel intimidated because they were not graded (although I did correct their spelling). This also gave me the opportunity to interact privately each day with every student I had. Often problems were solved this way. Sometimes students made suggestions and other times they just wanted to tell me that their cat had kittens. The students felt “heard.” At other times I could simply let an individual student know what I appreciated about him or her.

Equally as important as the idea of students communicating with teachers is the need for teachers to communicate with parents. The next book is similar to the previous one except that in this book the emphasis is on teachers wishing parents knew various things.

What America's Teachers Wish Parents Knew

Though this is an older book, I still think it is beneficial for parents to read it. Much of the information in this book is still very relevant. Successful students usually have cooperating adults in their lives.  I recommend this book for parents of school aged children.

I wish I could say that there is a third book about what parents wish teachers knew, but I could find no such book. (For all of you authors out there, here is another topic wide open for you). I searched the Fulton County Public Library for such a book and could not find one. Then I broadened my search to Evergreen (our statewide library consortium) and could not locate this type of book there either. I’m sure that we have books encouraging parents to communicate with teachers but not a simplified one like the previous two books.

Did you have teachers who communicated with you in writing? If you were a teacher how did you communicate individually with your students? Thinking about your favorite teachers, was their communication style something that sticks out in your mind?

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Boy Scouts

Boy Scout Pledge

The Boy Scouts first began in Great Britain when army officer Robert Braden-Powell discovered that his book, Aids for Scouts, was being purchased and read by young boys interested in information about outdoor living, observation, and skills needed by army scouts. Though Braden-Powell intended his book to be a military manual, it soon was being adapted. Recognizing that his book could help teach boys life skills and values along with competence, Robert Braden-Powell  soon adapted his work into Scouting for Boys. First published in 1908 Scouting for Boys sold millions of copies and the scouting movement was officially born. Robert Braden-Powell became the founder of the Boy Scouts.

Scout Stuff

The first 100 years of the early Boy Scouts (and to a small degree the Girl Scouts) is outlined in Boy Scouts of America Scout Stuff: A Centennial History of Scouting Memrabilia by Robert Birkby. This is an adult picture book with very interesting pictures and facts about the Boy Scouts. Many facts shared in this post come from this book.

Another Englishman, Ernest Thompson Seten,  lived in Canada and had a similar idea to that of Robert Braden-Powell. Seten was an avid outdoorsman who encouraged boys to experience the great outdoors and develop skills for outdoor living. Seten called his organization Woodcraft Indians. Eight years after founding the Woodcraft Indians, Seten was invited to fold his organization into the Boy Scouts and Seten himself became the first Chief Scout. Seten was the primary author of the Boy Scout Handbook. Largely due to Seten’s efforts, the Boy Scouts core values and ethics were formed.

Seven years after the birth of the Boy Scouts in England, an American businessman, William D. Boyce,  was lost in London during a fog. An English Scout noticed the businessman’s plight and guided him to his destination. Boyce was so impressed with the young man and the idea of Scouting that he brought the idea back with him to America and formed the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). It was easy enough for city boys to join the Boy Scouts of America but Boyce was concerned that boys who lived on farms and ranches were not being reached. Boyce founded a separate organization called the Lone Scouts of America (LSA). The literature for LSA was a sort of independent study that Lone Scouts used to guide themselves in order to advance and were sometimes able to meet up with other Lone Scouts for activities.

BSALSAlstoday

Another adult picture book also celebrates the Boy Scout Centennial History with fascinating pictures, stories, and facts:

Boy Scouts of America

Other books I checked out were:

The Official Handbook for Boys

Legacy of Honor

In addition to reading about the Boy Scouts, I live with an expert on them. That’s right. I married a Boy Scout. The Mister also worked for the Boy Scouts and did fund raising for them. The plaque on the left was awarded to The Mister’s district for his leadership in fund raising.

Boy Scouts 005

There is Boy Scout memorabilia all over my house.  The Mister was quite excited when he found out that I would be writing about the Boy Scouts and wanted to show off a few items in his collection. The Mister missed being an Eagle Scout by just three badges. His troop disbanded when he was three badges short. He could have been a Lone Scout to earn the last three badges, but he says his parents didn’t push him to pursue them and he was not motivated enough at that point in time to pursue them himself which is something he regrets. Here are some of his badges and other symbols:

Boy Scouts 002

There is also a lot of art work associated with Scouting:

Boy Scouts 001

Because I could never possibly get all the items in the Mister’s collection in just one blog post, he requested to do a Boy Scout display at the Fulton County Public Library to show off some more of his collection.

Since the Dewey Hop blog explores library resources and services as well as items available for check out, this is as good of time as any to introduce another resource – our patrons themselves.  Any patron of the Fulton County Public Library can display things in a display case just by getting on the schedule. Below are a couple of displays relating to seashells and things collected during WWII:

Ship Display

Jewelry 1

Also currently on display are these display cases to honor veterans which were done cooperatively with the Mister and several staff members:

Veteran's Day Display 2017 001

Veteran's Day Display 2017 002

This is a close up shot of a picture of my Dad back in the day and his medals:

Stanley Cramer, Sr and medals

Unfortunately I couldn’t find more display photos but Fulton County Public Library patrons have created many displays to showcase personal collections, hobbies, and causes. Some of the displays that I remember were displays of items made from toothpicks, homemade dolls, and model ships.

Here is the Boy Scout display currently on view along with a few close ups:

Boy Scout Display Case

Secret Societies 022

Secret Societies 024

Secret Societies 023

Were you ever a Boy (or Girl) Scout? Do you collect anything you would like to see displayed? Have you ever presented a display?