human capital

New course started yesterday. First post requires a bit of research to define “human capital” using a source other than the textbook or required readings. Interestingly, most of the the sources point to Adam Smith (of Scotland) or Marxist writings with the respect to the origin of the theory/idea of human capital. 

In a nutshell, several theories of human capital exist. And, in true fashion, there are alternative viewpoints that focus on Intellectual Capital, Social Capital, or Cultural Capital. Seems to me that it boils down to the old argument between information, knowledge, and ignorance. As a result, here’s what I’ve got so far: 

A fact is information minus emotion. An opinion is information plus experience. Ignorance is an opinion lacking information. And, stupidity is an opinion that ignores a fact.  

quantitative analysis

The past few weeks have been intense. Intense with analysis and statistics. I have learned far more about regression analysis, t-tests, and ANOVA than I ever thought I might. And, I hate to break it to Salkind & Frey, but I still do not care for statistics. Hate is a strong word, but I do give the authors credit for making quantitive analysis slightly more palatable. 
I will say that I hate SPSS software. It is not only ridiculously expensive—it is ugly from a design perspective. I mean, a company who has beautifully designed websites, and even offered up one of my favorite typefaces for free, could do a little better. SPSS looks like the old Excel versions on Windows CE. Thankfully, the Dutch know how to make things pretty. And, they know how to make them open-source. Love me some JASP, even if it still is all about statistics.  
ps—speaking of the Dutch, Eddie Van Halen passed away today. We lost another one of the good ones today. RIP, Eddie. 

levity

Running a hybrid model is exhausting. I am beginning to wonder if it is sustainable. If the "reply all" email threads that making the rounds are any indication, I think there are many teachers on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Running a hybrid model, AM and PM sessions around an A group and a B group on alternating days, is brutal. 

It is like working two jobs simultaneously, one as a classroom educator and the other as an online instructor. It is like teaching twice the case load. All while fielding emails and messages from students, staff, and parents. Passing periods are spent hustling to the restroom only to return to the classroom in time to wipe down all the desks and high touch-point areas with hypochlorous solution. We are all overworked and a bit stressed. So, now what? 

My point: no one is getting a prize for having it the worst. We are still all in this together. We just need to find a way to make it work. Whatever that looks like. 

Personally, I try to find the humor in it all. I certainly did not have Unhealthy Air Quality on my 2020 Apocalypse Bingo Card. And, I never imagined that I would be teaching from behind a plexiglass curtain that looks like a salad bar or sitting at a desk surrounded by tape on the floor like Les Nessman.  

And, I certainly wasn't ready for this little gem in my Quantitative Analysis textbook. 

week 1 done

Being one of the few counties in the state with low COVID numbers, our school district was allowed to open with a hybrid model. AM and PM classes, with alternating days. 

The first week went fairly well. The students handled it better than staff, in my opinion. It has been a learning experience for everyone, coming off (emergency) distance learning to close out the end of the 2019-2020 school year. And, that learning curve has not been an easy one to bear. 

To say that teachers are stressed is understating the situation. I understand students are stressed, and parents are stressed. We are all under stress as we work to adjust to this new normal. I only point this out because I hear the stress in talking with students and staff. Daily, I see news articles about the stress teachers feel as they attempt to deliver quality instruction and learn new technologies.  

There is no baseline for the work we are doing. 

I feel it, too. Although, if I am being honest, my biggest concern is the future of education. I feel as if public education is setting itself up for changes that will quickly advance beyond its control. I worry that we are headed towards the privatization of education.