Momentary Ego Boost

Usually our students let us know if our lectures are going long.  A few of them even start packing their stuff up in the last minute or two of class.  Today, I looked up at the clock and realized I had gone five minutes late and everyone was still paying attention.  I was impressed with their patience and also felt good that I had kept them interested in the material despite running late.  I quickly told them I was about done and finished up eight minutes late, giving my poor students only two minutes to make it to their next class.

As I was shutting down the computer, I noticed it was only 9:45 AM, opposed to the 9:58 AM displayed by the the clock on the rear wall.  One of our students had obviously adjusted the clock to ensure class was dismissed on time.  I’m not sure if it was aimed at me or someone earlier (I will keep him anonymous, but the person who teaches before me often runs late).  At any rate, I thought this was a great example of problem solving by one of our students.  And I no longer feel proud that the students were paying close attention despite the class running late…

The Future of Education?

Last month the Atlantic ran a piece by Michael Godsey, an experienced high school English teacher.  It shows his thoughts on the future of education.  As with any forecast, you know it is wrong, but how wrong is it?  Is he wildly off base or just a bit off?  As an educator, one of my biggest challenges is keeping the most advanced students challenged without losing the least advanced class members.  Automated individualized instruction could help with this issue, but will most likely generate new challenges to overcome.

I recommend you read the entire article – very thought provoking.

Virginia May Have to Offer In-State Tuition to All US Students

According to today’s Free Lance-Star, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has unilaterally decided that illegal immigrants who live in Virginia must be given in-state tuition rates at all state institutions of higher education.

A similar argument arose a few years ago when I was in Colorado and I became aware of a federal law that said if any state offered in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, it had to offer in-state tuition to all US citizens. So according to federal law, no Virginian institute of higher education may charge out-of-state tuition to an American citizen. I did a quick internet search to be sure and found a summary that affirmed my memory.

However, given the negative impact this would have on higher education budgets, I doubt Virginia will willfully follow federal law. It will be interesting to see if any out-of-state American students sue Virginia over this clear violation.