Happy Fall! The weather is reaching an awesome pinnacle. I'm reminded of that special ceremony 22 years ago on this day when I married the most wonderful man in the world. And then 6 years later to the day, he gave me one an absolutely adorable blessing in my perfect 16 year old son, who is celebrating his birthday today. This week begins my Fall Break but it will be filled with much work as a substitute teacher filling in for those getting an early start on their weekend. The week will end with me traveling to spend time with my beautiful daughter in Tennessee to spend her Fall Break, college style, with her. I'm going to need a vacation when I get back.
Sadly I report that this week's theme and activities hit home with me. The brain is an area receiving much attention these days and with good reason. There's something going on. Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other brain related diseases seemed so rare or almost completely unheard of when I was a child. They all seem so commonplace now. The push to understand and combat these diseases is very much a reality for me. I lost my father-in-law recently to Parkinson's Disease and Dimentia. I also lost an aunt to Dimentia. My father was also diagnosed recently with Parkinson's and he is fading fast. If you think it's not important to me, think again. I must aggressively pursue information on a regular basis to help my husband who has a propensity to develop the disease as well as my children begin now finding ways to preserve their brains. My daughter danced the ballet for 11 years and I know that there were huge cognitive benefits with her participation in the arts. My son danced the ballet for awhile as well and I know there were cognitive benefits for him as well. The connection between the arts and cognition are critical for us to understand. The need to parlay this information and use of the techniques are also very important for our students. The need to push these learning tools over into our curriculums will have huge benefits for cognition, memory, motivation, temperament, attention, and things like reading acquisition and sequence learning.
This week at UC we explored many websites that take on an area that is new to me "social bookmarking". I have found it to be incredibly useful for many applications but none more than personally for myself in my own classes. The PBS site "Cyberspace" is a wonderful tool for the classroom especially for exceptional children. The sites are carefully designed to meet the needs of the 21st Century classroom but more importantly for the 21st Century workforce. Combining these two elements are important in the individual classroom in many ways. It once again, affords teachers everywhere the opportunity to move back to creativity in the classroom over the "teach to the test" method of learning. This is exciting. I know that each and every one of us can embrace some of the technological changes coming about in Web 2.0 technologies and the implications in the classroom.
Now you see why I do what I do! These two beautiful gifts from God. God Bless You. Catholics everywhere, the Year of Faith has now officially begun ~ embrace it. Ooops, sorry, but one last minute addition ~ my piclit ~ so excited ~ I am actually creative. I love it.
Peace and blessings, Belinda Harrett
All Rights Reserved ©, Please Request Permission To Duplicate. Belinda Harrett, University of the Cumberlands.