Author: rmpost

Personalized Learning

The Fairbanks School district is currently rolling out Personalized Learning in a big way. Schools are having parent night open houses to showcase the concept with parents visiting classrooms set up with individual learning stations and teachers are presenting how they will implement the concept through project work and computer-aided instructional modules. I thought the article did a good job at identifying pros and cons. Here is another article that does similar:

It seems clear that defining and implementing personalized learning within a specific school, classroom, and subject can be a huge challenge. Transitioning from standard teaching methodologies means a huge shift in perspective and planning and preparation. At my school, the staff is still exploring how personalized learning will be embraced as a school goal. In my classroom, it seems very difficult to accomplish as there are 24+ students and limited resources. Our students would benefit greatly from the pros of personalized instruction such as working at their own pace and in ways that capitalize on their individual learning strengths. However, I am not sure it is very workable for the biology and earth science curriculum. Currently, my mentor used a variety of activities to support varied ways of learning (4-square, labs, notes, video) but the class works in tandem on these activities and keeps a similar pace. Students whole fall behind have the responsibility of catching up. Faster students may not be as challenged as they might be with personalized learning strategies.

I think there is room to use computer aided instruction to add a personalized learning component to the science classes. There are enough Chromebooks for all students and they enjoy working on them. Planning time to revise curriculum delivery is the major limiting factor.



DACA good for all!

Government regulation is imperfect and, like new technologies, typically requires patching after implementation. DACA provides an avenue for undocumented children   (i.e., children of illegal immigrants) to remain in the United States after having grown up here AND proving they are law-abiding residents on a track to  be productive citizens. Note that the “rules’ are stringent for DACA “Dreamers” to qualify; they cannot be criminals, must attain high school diplomas, etc. DACA increases the productivity of this group as individuals (fewer teen pregnancies, higher college enrollment) and as a whole (more legal employment = more tax revenue). I think it is simply the morally correct thing to allow these “kids’ (many now adults) to stay in what is effectively their home country. However, for those of us blessed citizen thinking we should kick them out, a look at the article link below shows that these Dreamers are good for the nation’s economics (i.e., all of us). Both political parties should be aligned on the issue as the outcome, despite the motivation, fits both conservative and progressive platforms.

Ruth’s Intro

Greetings. My name  is Ruth Post, and I am joining you from Fairbanks. We have been in Fairbanks for twenty years and have raised six kids through the school district here. My educational background is in fish and wildlife management, environmental science, social work, and business. I worked at UAF until the budget cuts laid me off and freed me to pursue an encore career in teaching. I plan to work in alternative programs that serve kids with hard histories and life challenges. I am interning at Effie Kokrine Charter School, which has a significant percentage of kids in those categories.

We just sold our home and are downsizing to simplify life now that our kids  have made their way out of the nest. Packing up a lifetime has been interesting as every box holds a memory of this or that, and many are school-related, highlighting the impact school and teacher have had on our kids and family.

My interests are football  (go Seahawks), travel, and running/biking/hiking; I particularly love listening to podcasts and learning all sorts of new things.