I have a guest post up at the CSTA blog today. The CSTA blog is running a series of posts about people’s first day of school. That means different things to different people and I give my take at it there. I see fall as a sort of spring for education. Fall is when the work starts and seeds are planted. All during the year (or semester) teachers work hard to cultivate their students – to help them grow in knowledge and wisdom. In the spring (end of the school year) we see what has grown up. The first day of school is the key preparation day.

One of the things I mention in that post is that I really want to visit more classrooms this year. I want to see what teachers are doing, learn what students are motivated by and when ever possible help to support the work that teachers are doing in their own schools.

One of the things I have learned over the years is that people with industry jobs can provide some very real support for teachers by what a salesman I worked with many years ago called a “swears by it.” Students listen to teachers but are often skeptical that what they are learning is really valid or relevant to industry or even to further academic endeavors. When someone from industry comes into a classroom and reinforces what the classroom teacher is teaching (or swears by it :-) ) the students tend to believe it more. The industry person validates what is going on in class. It’s a shame that it takes this and in some societies, where teachers are properly valued, its not necessary but for now all to often this is a surprisingly valuable assist. Plus for me it is a real treat to talk to students so I see this as win-win-win.

If you are a teacher within driving distance (say two hours or so) from Southern New Hampshire and would like a guest speaker let me know (AlfredTh (at) Microsoft.com) and maybe we can work something out.

Yes, I’d like to visit schools outside the area and when travel permits I will. But believe it or not I have a limited budget for travel. In some cases I may be able to arrange for other people in the education team to make some visits. Most of them are better looking than I am and (don’t tell them I said this) smarter than I am as well.