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24 minutes | Jan 31, 2016
Episode 71: What Do You Want Your Children to Learn? What is Truth?
After yet another long break, The PRIVATE PROFESSOR speaks out on truth. He wants to know whether or not parents actually know what it is, and if they are having their children learn it. Do parents even know what they want their children to learn? That is the question that The PROF wants parents to ask themselves.
20 minutes | Jan 2, 2016
Episode 70: A New Podcast Studio & Student Reading FAILure
he PRIVATE PROFESSOR has moved out of his car and into a dedicated podcasting studio. The car was convenient, but trying to read from articles to talk about them was extremely dangerous while driving. Yes, The PROF likes living on the edge, but testing God isn’t the edge he’s looking for. In this episode, he looks at an article from IntellectualTakeout.org. The article is titled “This 1897 Text Gives 3 Clues Why Today’s Students Can’t Write,” and it discusses three reasons why only 27% of students are achieving reading proficiency. The article cites a book from, you guessed it, 1897 by Dr. Edwin Lewis wherein the good doctor outlines his theories on teaching reading and writing. (And The PROF is much calmer than he was last time.)
19 minutes | Dec 27, 2015
Episode 69: He’s Back and He’s Pissed
he PRIVATE PROFESSOR returns after an undesirable sabbatical. In this episode, he talks about quitting his school to teach online, and some of the leadership problems that brought him to the decision to leave his school mid-year.
49 minutes | Nov 15, 2015
Episode 68: Wheeling and Dealing at Guitar Center, and the “Curriculum Universal”
he PRIVATE PROFESSOR is back with a surprise: he’s updating his equipment! Yes, he records this episode whilst on his way to Guitar Center to take advantage of a BOGO (buy one, get one) promotion that Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics (bluemic.com) is offering on their enCORE 200 dynamic mic. The first half of the podcast is recorded using the stereo mics on The PROF’s Tascam DR-40, and the second half is recorded with the enCORE 200. (The PROF felt especially self-conscious about driving around with one hand on the steering wheel and the other one holding stage mic.) Aside from the lesson in audio electronics (i.e. What makes a condenser mic a condenser mic? What is a dynamic mic?), The PROF discusses his feelings of impending doom with respect to his current place of employment: he feels that he’s on the verge of getting fired—or quitting. This leads his to discuss the nature of modern “education.” Specifically, the ignorance endemic to middle-school students in California that he must face everyday. Not only that of the students, but especially that of the parents. It worries him deeply. What does this foretell of the future of America? Why does the state of California insist on teaching students to be ignorant? He is surrounded by students and parents who don’t want an education. The attitude of the students is expected, but the parents only want their children to have a lot of homework so that the parents don’t have to parent their children should their children have some free time. This drives The PROF to advocate for the use of The Great Books of the Western World as the “curriculum universal.” In the second half, The PROF touches on the political implications of an ignorant generation of students.
13 minutes | Nov 9, 2015
Episode 67: Getting a TEFL Certificate and Other Updates
he PRIVATE PROFESSOR offers a quick update on stuff and things. He’s getting a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) so that he can start teaching English online. TEFL certificates are beneficial to teachers looking to go overseas, but The PROF didn’t need one to get a job in South Korea—and neither does anyone else, but it’ll put you ahead of the competition in one small way. He believes that online teaching will continue to grow, and he wants to be ready for the new opportunities. The PROF then discusses the inadequacy of modern textbooks. Especially, the one he’s forced to teach from at his brick-and-mortar school. He’s also looking to update his podcasting equipment. (Too bad he’s broke.)
21 minutes | Nov 5, 2015
Episode 66: Cultural Conundrums and Christian Education
he PRIVATE PROFESSOR has been in a professional dilemma: quit or wade through the insanity! The PROF’s Armenian coworker has tried to impart insider information on the Armenian culture. Most importantly, Armenians all have opinions, and they all want those opinions heard. This characteristic tends to manifest itself in the classroom: VERY disrupting. This has made teaching middle school nigh on impossible—difficult to the point of resignation. Almost. Listen in to find out more about The PROF’s pedagogical woes!
22 minutes | Oct 17, 2015
Episode 65: The Socialist Goes to Private School (And Likes It)
luminous morning greets The PRIVATE PROFESSOR on yet another commute to school. After a three-day weekend of grading, The PROF addresses an article from England by a self-professed Liberal who sends his children to a private school. The author calls himself a hypocrite for doing so. And the author doesn’t seem to have a problem with that. Why would someone continue in their hypocrisy after recognizing it? Shouldn’t the author admit that he is not by nature a Socialist? Shouldn’t he admit that Socialism is contrary to human nature? To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, it takes an intellectual to believe such nonsense.
21 minutes | Oct 11, 2015
Episode 64: Monkey See, Monkey Do; Strict Teachers Make Student-Haters
n the Friday before a three-day weekend of grading, The PRIVATE PROFESSOR tackles the last of the item in the article “Five Dumb Things One Educator Used to Think But Doesn’t Anymore.” On this episode, The PROF opens with an observation of “monkey see, monkey do” with respect to podcasting. That is, maybe the only reason The PROF is compelled to produce a podcast is because he listens to so many. The fifth item in the listicle concerns strict teachers. The teacher’s advice was sparked by trying to rationalize for a young student why they must deal with bad teachers. In the end, such teachers only make students hate school. The PROF relates this to a parent/teacher meeting he had wherein a parent complained that her daughter complained that she wasn’t learning anything in class. The PROF responds in the podcast with an entreaty to parents. You’ll have to listen in to find out what he thinks about such parents. He moves on to his own complaint about standards-based textbooks. Specifically, the “social studies” textbook he must use this year. The historical periods that the students cover is completely diluted to satisfy some arbitrary standards-based skill without actually teaching the history. This brings The PROF to muse about the purpose of teaching history. “What is that we’re supposed to be teaching children?” This discussion began in the previous podcast. In this podcast, The PROF adds another subject that ought to be taught. Tune in to find out what that subject is!
30 minutes | Oct 9, 2015
Episode 63: The WaPo Listicle and the Mystical Purpose of Schooling
raffic is always an issue when podcasting from a car, but The PRIVATE PROFESSOR is dedicated enough to fight his way through a Los Angeles commute to bring you podcasting glory! He begins with a brief chat about #Inktober. He’s trying to participate, but he isn’t sure is he wants to share some of his artwork on the EdChatRant.com blog. (He probably will.) Then, back to the The Washington Post listicle about one educator’s insight into the teaching profession. Of the five items, The PROF is on number four: deadlines. (The PROF goes off on a tangent about how many rules are necessary to create an educational system. We only need to rules for a civilized society to function, but how many are needed for a school?) Because of the weakness of the argument about deadlines, The PROF rants on what a piece of clickbait that the article has proven to be. This leads into an observation about being a brand new teacher. As idea leads to idea, The PROF begins an examination of what the fundamental purpose is of modern schooling. What are we trying to make our children into? What are the fundamental subjects that we ought to teach? Does school prepare children for life? Can it?
23 minutes | Oct 2, 2015
Episode 62: Dysfunctional Students and the Parents Who Made Them
he PRIVATE PROFESSOR really lets the parents have it today! This episode finds The PROF talking about the third item in the article “Five Dumb Things One Educator Used to Think But Doesn’t Anymore” from The Washington Post. This item is in regards to homework. What is the purpose of homework? What did this teacher tell his students in the past? What about now? And then The PROF comes right and says that parents have no idea as to what they want their children to learn, but then lambaste teachers for not teaching their children what it is that children are supposed to learn. He relays one anecdote about a parent who confronted The PROF about the behavior of his sixth-grade class. And then another about parents trying to plan with the principal a long-distance trip for the graduating eighth graders. Let’s just say that some affluent parents treat their children like accessories. Have a listen!
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