March 2009
Vol 6 No 3

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.3 March 2009

Cover Story by Graysen Walles
Teachers are Brave
Somewhere in this country a drive-by was avoided, a robbery was reconsidered, or a suicide attempt was abandoned because a teacher was willing to show up and make a difference in the classroom, administrative office, after school activity, or at the home of a child.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
Assessing for Student Learning

»The 21st Century Teaching-Learning Environment - (Think Outside the Classroom Box)Hal Portner
»Why Do You Teach?Sue Gruber
»Educating Homeless ChildrenLeah Davies
»Old School Progress ReportsTodd R. Nelson
»Habit vs. Awareness for the 3 Practices and for the Hierarchy of Social DevelopmentMarvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»Global Travel GuruJosette Bonafino
»Tool & ToysRick Morris

»Economic Relief for TeachersTeachers.Net
»Fifty Years of TeachingBill Page
»Strange SignsTim Newlin
»A Dozen Surefire Tips To Maximize Flexible Grouping and Small Group LearningSusan Fitzell
»Time to Reward YourselfAlan Haskvitz
»March 2009 Writing PromptsJames Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing VHank Kellner
»What’s Wrong With Teacher Education In This Country?Howard Seeman
»“Slumdog Millionaire” Teaches About Education, TooDorothy Rich
»Teachers’ Role in Improving Students’ Thinking Skills: Moving beyond the ‘sage on the stage’Ambreen Ahmed

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring QuotesBarb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily CommemorationRon Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Liz Phillips' Printable Discipline Rubric
»Photo tour: 4th Grade Classroom
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: March 2009
»Featured Lesson: Recognizing Bullying
»Modeling Guided Reading FAQ, Periodic Table of Videos – Fascinating Chemistry!, Carl Sagan - 4th Dimension Explanation, Parabolas in the Real World, Al Jolson sings - Brother Can You Spare a Dime?, Lovers’ Waltz - Casey Willis on violin, Meet Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
»Live on Teachers.Net: March 2009
»T-Netters Share Favorite Recipes
»Managing Hyperactive Students
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers
»This Board’s For Me!


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Graysen Walles

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Graysen Walles, Hal Portner, Sue Gruber, Leah Davies, Todd R. Nelson, Marvin Marshall, Marjan Glavac, Barbara Pressman, Josette Bonafino, Rick Morris, Bill Page, Tim Newlin, Susan Fitzell, Alan Haskvitz, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Howard Seeman, Dorothy Rich, Ambreen Ahmed, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Liz Phillips, and YENDOR.

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Dorothy Rich

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

“Slumdog Millionaire” Teaches About Education, Too
Mark Twain reminded us: “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education,” wisdom hardly being listened to today
by Dorothy Rich
author of
March 1, 2009

In “Slumdog Millionaire,” an impoverished little boy, homeless, parent-less and abused, grows up to become the top winner of the Indian version of the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” program.

It is an improbable story except that as an educator I was fascinated by how much this little boy who had experienced extraordinarily awful circumstances while growing up, managed to stay so humane and to learn so much outside of the school. In the film we don’t see him go to school except for the day that the teacher throws the book The Three Musketeers at him. As it turns out, this particular memory, the name of the musketeer, is the one that answers the twenty million rupee question.

In the film, the boy is filled with memories from his life, which interweave with how he gets the answers right on the Millionaire show. All his life he has been a learner: curious, enterprising, rarely discouraged, incredibly resilient, taking the battering of life on the Indian streets to become stronger. Most of us would not have made it—which makes this a fairy tale …but one with a lesson worth remembering.

Children learn outside of school—a lot, and yet today’s school policy makers and politicians still keep up the drumbeat about what needs to be changed in the school itself. As the new year begins and the new administration takes office, all manner of lists get made about the top educational reforms. The usual suspects get rounded up: teacher accountability, charter schools, technology, vouchers, choice, new curricula, new tests, evidence based on test scores, merit pay for teachers and so on.

These are all schooling reforms. And as Mark Twain reminded us: “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” This is wisdom hardly being listened to today, even with all the research reminding us that children learn more outside of school than in. This fact takes nothing away from the school, but even the best school can do only so much.

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About Dorothy Rich...

Dorothy Rich, Ed. D. is the author of MegaSkills®: Building Our Children’s Character and Achievement in School and in Life. She is the founder of the nonprofit Home and School Institute and a former member of the National Assessment Governing Board.

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