Skip navigation


Read More »

While teacher-parent communication is not one of my strong suits, the primary issues presented in Strom and Strom’s research article are not major concerns at the private Christian school I am currently working at.  I do however agree that many of the discipline and respect issues that seem more prevalent in the classroom today than they did twenty years ago are a result of changing dynamics in the home.  While I do not have research or statistics to back up this claim, It seems that kids today are being given fewer and fewer responsibilities and opportunities to contribute to the family as a whole, but are being expected to take more and more responsibility in entertaining, feeding, learning, and in a sense raising themselves. 

While the pager system that Strom and Strom propose and experiment with seems to be a beneficial course of action, I don’t think that helping teachers more efficiently communicate with parents approaches the heart of the real problem.  While I don’t have the solution, I feel that resources could be spent in a more cost effective way.   

So wow!  I just finished listening to/watching Dr. Tim Tyson’s speech from the 2007 National Educational Computing Conference.  Up until now I thought I was doing some pretty cool things in my English/Language Arts classroom.  But while I’ve been hanging word photos and movie posters on the bulletin board, the students at Mabry have been making dynamic activist style movies and sharing them with the rest of the world through the Internet.  While they are getting feedback from the ends of the earth I am simply writing numbers on pieces of paper that like Dr. Tyson said, more often than not go straight in the trash.  Tyson’s discussion of the concept of childhood as a fairly new phenomenon brings philosophical and psychological support to the direction he has taken Mabry.  I love his challenge to students, “What do you as 11, 12, and 13 year olds have to say that is so important that everybody on earth needs to hear it.”  For Tyson technology is not merely a tool that helps educators connect with students in the digital age.  It is a tool that helps students connect with the world.  It is a tool that “collapses the distance between children and meaningful contribution.”  I couldn’t agree more that this is what children in schools and our world today need.  An opportunity to work for something beyond the grade.  An opportunity for meaningful contribution.  An opportunity to have meaning in their lives before they reach adulthood.