The Hazing Ghost

I call it the Hazing Ghost simply because hazing hides in the shadows where it thinks it can lurk undetected. And usually it does. That is, until the unthinkable in fact does occur. Somebody dies or gets seriously injured from hazing.

As a musician and supporter of most things artistic, I am embarrassed by what happened at FAMU recently. Read Charles M. Blow’s insightful Op-Ed in the New York Times. Reflect. Then make certain that hazing is not lurking in your child’s school or college.

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Class Size Matters But Teaching Skills Matter More

This is the cautious finding of a Province of Ontario body known as The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Yes! It is referring to classes in universities. I am glad somebody is finally addressing the issue of class size at the tertiary level. I remember very well sitting in Moyse Hall at McGill University in my freshman year with 400 other students. I hated it. Boring, pedantic lectures by disinterested professors.

Fortunately private schools understand that small classes matter. Teachers can really teach and assess when they work with a small number of students. I daresay that even the best-planned collegge lecture to a large class in a lecture hall or auditorium will be tough to pull off these days in the age of TED. Having said that, at least I will given the professors some marks for trying.

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Virtual Education vs Real Classroom Time

I love Gail Collins. Her sharp mind exposes so many institutions, people and ideas for what they really are. Read her Op-Ed in the New York Times for her take on virtual education.

I personally think that technology can enhance teaching and learning when used skilfully by an experienced teacher. My definition of an experienced teacher is a credentialed professional who can synthesize the various branches of learning into something students can understand and move ahead with.

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If You Are Unemployed, Don’t Bother Applying

It seems to be part of the bleak jobs market these days. According to a report I heard on NPR this morning, if you are currently unemployed, certain employers won’t even let you apply for a job.

That got me thinking about how employers are always more comfortable with hiring people they know or who come well-recommended. If you are looking for a private school position for fall 2012, then get your resume together and start using your network to find something so you can interview in January or February. If you have a job, don’t leave it!

For more on private school job hunting, review my Job Resources which cover just about every aspect of finding a private school job.

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The Tragedy of Suicide

Let me just say up front that I think the word ‘tragedy’ is greatly overused. So when I associate it with suicide, I do so advisedly. I truly believe that suicide is a tragedy. And I believe that because suicide is preventable. But only preventable when you and I are aware of and respond to the warning signs. The suicide of NHL hockey player Wade Belak is an example of the sort of missed clues somebody should have spotted.¬† So senseless.

Because suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in young people age 10-24, you and I need to take extra steps to make sure our private school communities do all they can to prevent suicide. Hold seminars, establish hotlines and train everybody from the security guard to the headmaster to know what to look for and how to act when they spot those clues.

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More Cuts in Public Funding for EdTech

Read House Bill’s ‘New Priorities’ Don’t Include Ed Tech. What are our representatives thinking? Our public education system has been savaged by budget cuts and layoffs at the local level where most of its funding comes from any way. Enough already! At this rate we will fall further behind those nations which are making education a national priority.

Private schools generally are in the vanguard with respect to using technology to enrich their lessons. But private schools only serve 8% of the country’s K-12 students. We need continued funding for educational technology in all K-12 schools.

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Do You Need a Rebranding?

I have done a heck of a lot of interviewing over the past 18 months. We have been hiring sales people. Our interview strategy requires two in-depth interviews. As a result, I have seen many talented people dealing with the rebranding concept. I think it is relevant for teachers. I really do.

The issue is that we all can end up looking and sounding, well, oh so 2008, can’t we? But we don’t have to. Read Do You Need a Rebranding? to understand why it makes sense for you to rebrand, reposition and rejuvenate yourself in today’s very competitive job market.

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