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links for 2010-05-03

03 May
  • I've always felt a bit sorry for the devout herbivore readers — well-written non-fiction can be every bit as emotional, unexpected, and absorbing as the best novels. If you're a literary vegetarian, perhaps you've just not found a non-fiction dish to suit you. I guarantee you'll find a tempting tidbit or two in this list of the 20 best non-fiction books for people who think they hate to read non-fiction.
  • But what makes a good teacher? There have been many quests for the one essential trait, and they have all come up empty-handed. Among the factors that do not predict whether a teacher will succeed: a graduate-school degree, a high score on the SAT, an extroverted personality, politeness, confidence, warmth, enthusiasm and having passed the teacher-certification exam on the first try…
    (Doug Lemov) noticed something about most successful teachers that he hadn’t expected to find: what looked like natural-born genius was often deliberate technique in disguise…
    Lemov thought about soccer, another passion. If his teammates wanted him to play better, they didn’t just say, “Get better.” They told him to “mark tighter” or “close the space.” Maybe the reason he and others were struggling so mightily to talk and even to think about teaching was that the right words didn’t exist…And so he set out to assemble the hidden wisdom of the best teachers in America…
  • people who are always busy are time poor…They are failing to either a) be effective with their time b) don’t know what they’re trying to effect, so they scramble away at trying to optimize for everything, which leads to optimizing nothing.
    …people who truly have control over time have…a sense of priorities that drives their use of time and can shift away from the specific ordinary work that’s easy to justify, in favor of the more ethereal, deeper things that are harder to justify. They protect their time from trivia and idiocy. These people are time rich. They provide themselves with a surplus of time. They might seem to idle, or to relax, more often then the rest, but that may be a sign of their mastery not their incompetence…
    It’s the ability to pause, to reflect, and relax, to let the mind wander, that’s perhaps the true sign of time mastery, for when the mind returns it’s often sharper and more efficient, but most important perhaps, happier than it was before.
  • The home run is easy to describe: You put up a slide. It triggers an emotional reaction in the audience. They sit up and want to know what you’re going to say that fits in with that image. Then, if you do it right, every time they think of what you said, they’ll see the image (and vice versa).
    Sure, this is different from the way everyone else does it. But everyone else is busy defending the status quo (which is easy) and you’re busy championing brave new innovations, which is difficult.
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Posted by on May 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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