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Teenagers! They’re impulsive. Aggressive. Engage in risky behavior and just don’t know what’s best for them. And there’s research now that gives a reason for it too. It’s that their brains are not capable of making reasonable decisions. You know. It’s their frontal lobes that are not fully developed and that’s why they act the way they do.Or is it? In a public radio interview () , Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, asks adults to consider who might gain from pathologizing teenage behavior? For one industry doing so has resulted in multi-billion dollar profits off of popularizing this belief.
I was reading a post by Michael Doyle, Happiness IV, Keep Moving, in which he advocates dancing--moving the body. This got me thinking about two things: I had just read about dancing in a book, Life is a Verb and I was thinking about Christopher Walken. First the experiment. In Life Is a Verb: 37 Days To Wake Up, Be Mindful, And Live Intentionally, Patti Digh sets out a set of actions and
Mono Print Painting (M. A. Reilly, March 2017) I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. Stanley Kunitz, The Layers I. What's sacred? What definitions of self are unwavering? In Stanley Kunitz's poem, the speaker learns, “Live in the layers,/not on the litter.” I have
Innovative educators understand that they play a crucial role in our democratic society. However, a teacher’s job to ensure students are informed and educated has taken on a new meaning in the age of the internet where information is everywhere but accuracy, quality, and bias often remain unchecked. Media literacy is a topic innovative educators cover with students within the broader topic of digital literacy. However, during the 2016 election the focus on fake news and alternative facts sped onto everyone’s radar.
Painting w digital remix (M.A. Reilly, 2017) I. Those haunting lines from Neil Young's song, "Old Man" have caught my attention. Young sings, “Love lost, such a cost. Give me things that don’t get lost..." and I am nodding alongside him--as I too want things that don't get lost. I too have wanted the permanent. II. What are the types of things that don’t get
image from my art journal (2016) I was reading Linda B's post the other day and she invited readers to play a game called, I've Never... From Linda's blog: Game explanation Each player receives five (or three if there's less time) toothpicks. Each time the player HAS done the shared action, she or he must forfeit a toothpick. The one or you can choose to have three who still have at
Haven’t been keeping up with The Innovative Educator? Don’t worry. That’s what this wrap up is for. Here are the three hottest posts that you don’t want to miss!What’s hot this week? Innovative school models, misconceptions about charter schools, and increasing parent engagement.Making its way to the top for the first time is a post I wrote about innovative school models that influence my thinking. I wrote this in part as a result of conversations around the need for charter schools as the answer to bring innovation to public schools.
Cover to Birgit's handmade art journal Cover to Birgit's handmade art journal inside Birgit's journal I. Last weekend I took an art class with Birgit Koopsen from the Netherlands and she had with her several gelli-printed art journals she had made. Although our work during the weekend did not involve making printed art journals, I found her work compelling and beautiful and
(M.A. Reilly, 2016) I know/there are days/when the only thing/more brave than leaving /this house/is coming back to it. -Jan Richardson, The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief I. I love my home. This house was new when we moved here--not yet a home. During the last 15 years, we made every crack, every chipped paint, ever scratch on the wooden floors. We leave marks
What the Lark Knows (M.A. Reilly, Ringwood, NJ, 11/23/2010) Someone in Australia just purchased "What The Lark Knows," an art print of mine. I most likely will never know who the art purchaser was and in a few weeks I will receive payment. Meanwhile the art buyer will receive in the mail an art print of an image I made late fall, just a few days after Rob's birthday, when Devon was in 6th
Innovative educators understand that surprisingly little has changed in how school is done today versus the last century. It is clear we must update and/or throw out outdated practices and possibly . But what does it really take for a school to be modern? This is the question educators and authors and answer in their white paper .Not only do the authors outline 10 principles for school communities to focus on as they get started in creating an education model that serves the needs of today's students, but they also provide evidence to make the case in support of reimagining schools.
Today's slice of life grew out of a painting I did in a journal. I stared at it for a while and the story emerged. A year after Rob's death brings the knowledge that I am responsible for my own life. It isn't the acceptance of his death that I now struggle with. Rather it is the acceptance of the life that rests in my hands and what I am making of it. from my art journal (digital
In October, 2015 when Rob had come home from the hospital and was healing from a staph infection, radiation treatments and chemo, he and I watched the Mets in the playoffs. We exchanged texts with my brother Brendan as we watched. It was a lot of fun. Prior to that it had been years since I watched baseball. I could still recall in the early 1970s, driving with my dad in his trusty VW bug
When it comes to education, innovation is nothing new. Innovative models have been around but forgotten in the current climate of accountability and standardization. Before that there were models, like Montessori, that were more well known. These are models where students work on projects, learning is assessed with real-world measures, and the curriculum was customized to the student rather than standardized. While innovative educators understand their value, such models are not able to thrive, or even survive, under the current public school structures.
from my art journal I. The other day I was listening to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, rationalize Trump's budget blueprint. The blueprint represents about a third of federal spending (discretionary spending). I had already read about the budget, but I was interested in learning more. As I listened, I noticed that there's a certain swagger, hubris,
I. On Saturday, I took a class in Mono Print Painting taught by Nathalie Kalbach & Birgit Koopsen in Manhattan. We learned the basics of mixed media mono printing by playing with a Gelli Printing plate, acrylic paint, a brayer, and some paper. Diane Ackerman said, "Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning" and I found this to be true during the workshop. Throughout the day, I simply
Haven’t been keeping up with The Innovative Educator? Don’t worry. That’s what this wrap up is for. Here are the three hottest posts that you don’t want to miss!What’s hot this week? Fighting fake news, increasing parent engagement, and ePortfolios.Making its way to the top for the first time is a post that points to four fabulous sites you can turn to fight fake news. Next up I recap my #SXSWEdu panel discussion hosted by Common Sense Education and outline 9 ways to increase parent engagement using digital media.
Putting a Burden Down (M.A. Reilly, 3.15.17) I. Many years ago, Rob, our friend, Michael and I were in a linguistics course together. There we were introduced to the poet, Molly Peacock, and her poem, "Putting a Burden Down." It is a poem about what we carry and the strangeness we first feel when we release ourselves from carrying the burdens shouldered. The poem opens: Putting a
from my art journal I. Solace is no resting place. I used to think of solace as a bit of nap--a way to turn off pain by retreating from the world. In the year after Rob's death, I know that solace is more demanding, than not. And I am grateful for that. David Whyte (2015) writes that solace "is the art of asking the beautiful question, of ourselves, of our world or of one another, in
Devon reading as a child. I. I'm reading The End of Your Life Book Club and the author, Will Schwalbe, is describing an exchange he and his mother had regarding Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach. He writes, ...I talked about the book's fascinating and melancholy coda, which explains what will happen to each of the two main characters. On Chesil Beach had moved me so much that I didn't want
There was a snow day for New York City schools this week. Everyone had something to say about whether or not schools should have stayed opened or closed. It was even the topic of the popular news program, "." Some felt the city was too darn soft. Some felt the city made the right call. It's a familiar refrain.Unfortunately, no Mayor or schools chancellor can ever get the judgement call right for all.But why not?Why have this decision rest on a judgement call?Why not let the let data drive the decision? If the National Weather Service says this and/or this.
Forgetful (M.A. Reilly, 2010) ...Gradually, you will learn acquaintance With the invisible form of your departed... - John O’Donohue I. A woman. A new widow. I am reading her like a movie playing slowly, remembering as I read and nodding alongside her starts and stops. I know her words like I know my own hands. Veined. Deep. Necessary. II. I amassed so many
Pages Sunday, March 12, 2017 9 Ways to Increase Parent Engagement Using Media - #SXSWEdu Takeaways Note: Use this shortened url to share this blog post Ongoing parent engagement is an essential piece of building a positive culture of digital citizenship in schools. But what does effective parent engagement look like? How can schools address the unique needs of caregivers in their communities? What are co-engagement ideas where media brings parents and kids together? I had the opportunity to join a panel at South by Southwest hosted by Common Sense Education called .
From my art journal (2017) I. There are moments during the last few weeks when I experience Rob's death as if I was standing inside a too-deep box canyon with no apparent way out. At such times, it is not the beauty of the canyon walls I sense, but rather the impossibility of scaling or descending such steepness in order to arrive elsewhere. Arriving elsewhere is a destination I have
from my art journal Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. Kahlil Gibran I. What do you carry in your heart? What truths does your heart know? I think about this now and again when I meet strangers in the food store, the library, at the movie theater and sense some sorrow. I know that grief sometimes leaves me weepy in the most public of spaces and have thought afterwards what others might
Haven’t been keeping up with The Innovative Educator? Don’t worry. That’s what this wrap up is for. Here are the three hottest posts that you don’t want to miss!What’s hot this week? All things South by Southwest Edu. Missed the conference? This wrap up will keep you up-to-date on conference highlights.The undercurrent at this year’s #SXSWEdu was for attendees to consider their privilege. That could mean their race, religion, physical or mental abilities, socio economic status, gender identity, and more.
One of the few photographs I have made this year. (Arles, France, July, 2016) I. It's difficult to look at images I've made during the last 20 years. My stomach clenches and that wave of grief powers over me bringing with it memories of Rob and me and Dev. Sometimes, I stall momentarily in that pain, forgetting how to swallow. It was Rob who I most always showed new photographs I had made
I can remember as a child skipping meals so I could read. I would resist the call to lunch on Saturdays. Stretched out on top of the white bed spread in my room, I would read. Novels. I grew up in a home where reading was privileged--so no one thought it too odd that I was choosing to finish that last chapter to two instead of eating a sandwich. My mom and me. She taught me to love
Cliffs of Moher (M.A. Reilly, 2009) “Tus maith leath na hoibre.”* Irish Blessing I. A friend sent me, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, by John O'Donohue. It has become important, as it is so wise and I am in need of such wisdom. O'Donohue writes, Beginnings often frighten us because they seem like lonely voyages into the unknown. Yet, in truth, no beginning is