Teacher Tom - Thomas Hobson
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Thomas Hobson is a preschool teacher, writer, artist and the author of "A Parent's Guide To Seattle". For the past 10 years, he has been the only employee of the Woodland Park Cooperative preschools. The children come to him as 2-year-olds in diapers and leave as "sophisticated" 5-year-olds ready for kindergarten. The cooperative preschool model allows him to work very closely with families in a true community setting. He intends to teach at Woodland Park for the rest of his life. He loves the kids and loves the families.
For part one of my C4T Assignment #3, I posted a comment to Thomas Hobson's post from October 23, 2012 "How An Emergent Curriculum Works: Constructing It Ourselves". This post was about a lesson on spiders that was constructed on the spot by children and their own interests. It started out when Teacher Tom found a 300 square foot spider web in his Halloween decorations. He took it out to the kids when they were playing outside. The kids stretched it across the playground. When the kids came inside, Teacher Tom had them sit altogether on the rug for a discussion time. Immediately his students began sharing information about spiders. Instead of the teacher getting them to concentrate on the 300 square foot topic or having to be the person with all the information, he let the children share what they knew about spiders. The discussion had turned into a scientific exploration on spiders. Teacher Tom felt like from this experience, the students had learned much more from discussion with classmates than they would have if he had forced material on them about spiders.
I commented on how I really enjoyed reading about his experience with the students, and their information related to spiders. I love how he let the children construct their own learning discussion instead of forcing material on them. Sometimes, I think students do not learn material because they feel it is work to learn, instead of it being fun to learn. I also commented that I agree with his opinion on peers becoming competitors instead of contributors. Students think they have to compete for better grades instead of encouraging each other and helping each other learn. I wrote that he seems like a very thoughtful and dedicated teacher and thanked him for putting all his effort into his teaching and his blog.
For part two of my C4T Assignment #3, I posted a comment to Thomas Hobson's post from November 8, 2012 "Where Our Focus Ought To Be". This post was about Teacher Tom's perspective on how families that value education tend to have children who thrive in school. He wrote about when he was growing up and how his parents were always learning with him and helping him achieve at high levels. He says that this is why he got a good education. He writes about how there are parents who cannot help their children with their schooling. He says that low income parents are working several jobs to provide just the necessities. How are those parents supposed to be involved in their children's education? They can't. Also, there are parents who speak a different language and have no way of helping their child understand. Teacher Tom says that children can have the best teachers, the best books, the best building, and the best curriculum, but most students still need their parents to succeed. He states that if he was put in charge of education budgets, he would focus on parental involvement. He believes this is the way to improve our schools.
I commented that I could not have stated this any better myself!! AND I CAN"T!!! So please go visit the blog and read the post. I completely agree with him. To this day, I give my mom complete ownership for where I am in my academics today. I have a twin brother, and we both have excelled in school. This is not because we just have that "brainiac" gene or because we attended the best schools. It is because my mom took her time to get involved in our schooling and encourage us to achieve at high levels. My mom had to work and my family was not extremely well off, but we were blessed and enjoyed everything we did have. My mom was not able to come to every function because of her work schedule, but she came to what she could and helped in every way possible. This post is right on target. I say let's put Teacher Tom in charge of the education budget!