Thursday, December 27, 2012

Recommended reads from 2012 . . . part 1

Books I read in 2012 with brief, "I've never had a book published" comments . . . 

1.  Humility, True Greatness - by C.J. Mahaney
Recommended to me by a colleague, insert joke about me needing to read it weekly.

2.  Mega Gifts by Jerod Panas
Thoroughly enjoyable read for those who have to do development work.  The author even takes time to hint at the phenomenon of God giving back to a person when they give, even though He doesn't understand it Scripturally.

3.  Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas
Awesome. Long.  But awesome.

4.  Theory U by C. Otto Scharmer
I probably need to read it twice to fully understand it.  No.

5.  The Permanent Revolution by Alan Hirsch and Tim Catchim
Thoroughly enjoyed this read - even took the APEST personality tests.  Made me dive into the translation of Ephesians 4:11 - do modern day apostles exist?  (Rhetorical question - please do not light up the comments section).  Enjoyed this book a little more than The Forgotten Ways by Hirsch.

6.  The Thank You Economy by Gary Van Ner Chuk
May have read this in 2011, but oh well.

7.  Missional Reniassance by Reggie McNeal
Makes you think about our concepts of "church."

8.  Boards that Make a Difference by John Carver
Actually re-read this in 2012.  Never hurts to brush up on policy-based governance.

More to come if I can remember what else there was.  Thanks to all the authors for shaping my thinking in 2012.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What kind of schedule best fits today's high school students?

I have often wondered what length of class time is best for high school students.  Lutheran High School has 90 minute periods with 4 classes meeting each day.  I'm struck by the notion that even the best of teachers who prepare epic lessons might be fighting an uphill battle in engaging this "instant-gratification-lack-of-concentration-please-make-it-visual-and-experiential-or-I-will-be-bored-out-of-my-mind-for-half-your-period-and-oh-by-the-way-I-could-probably-find-a-YouTube-video-that-explained-this-better-than-you-do-anyway" generation of kids (said with all due respect because I love this generation of students).

So maybe a better schedule for more effective teaching exists . . . 45 minute periods? 30 minutes? Every class every day? Class four days a week?  What time structure would maximize the strengths and realities of the way these kids think and work!

Then again, maybe it doesn't matter at all - maybe good teachers will excel no matter what and maybe good students will excel in any conditions?

These are things I think about.