Monday, April 23, 2012

Lighting an Educational Fire

Thought for the day:  Enthusiasm is even more contagious than influenza.

[THEME: Amateur radio]

Have you ever had an instructor who was so good ... so bubbling with enthusiasm about the subject matter ... that you enjoyed that course and learned far more than you ever expected? Maybe so much so that the class actually influenced what you ended up pursuing as a career?

If you're a teacher ...  have you ever been so enthusiastic about a subject you were teaching that your enthusiasm spilled over and infected your students? Inspired them to want to learn more?

The TEACHERS INSTITUTE is designed to instill just that kind of enthusiasm, both in teachers and their students. Specifically, it is about teaching wireless technology, and about providing teachers from elementary to university level with the tools they need to excite students about things like basic electronics, radio, space technology, satellite communications, weather sciences, microprocessors, and basic robotics.

This intense four-day seminar is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, our national association for amateur radio, and thanks to grants, most participant expenses are covered ... transportation, hotel, and a modest per diem for food ... PLUS teachers take home a wealth of materials and books.

Think this program might benefit you or a teacher you know? This year's seminars will be held in California and Connecticut, and the deadline for application is May 15. Go to the ARRL's website and if you do a website search on teachers institute 2012, you'll find all the nitty gritty details.

Here's a short video showing the robots teachers put together during one of these seminars:

Sounds to me like those teachers were having FUN!

[I've been having a blast with our friends since last Friday, and will be back to the ol' grindstone computer tomorrow. And depending on how far behind I am on responding to comments, I may catch up by 2013. But hey! Don't let that stop you! I LOVE your comments, and will get back to you asap.]


  1. Teachers make all the difference! That looks like fun. Lata potata.

  2. I once had a wonderful Latin teacher; so much so that I was awarded a small Classics Scholarship. My next Latin teacher was so piss-poor, that I abandoned my studies!

  3. Very cool.

    Teachers and mentors are so very important. My college professors changed my life.

  4. Hi Susan .. I haven't had the best teachers .. but I know about the enthusiasm .. and can see happiness coming out of the learning ..

    Great video - crazy ...

    Hope you had a great few days with friends .. cheers Hilary

  5. I wish the TI had been around when I was in school. We had great teachers but there's always more to learn and sadly girls weren't encouraged in such things back then.

  6. That is so cool. Teachers that teach with enthusiasm make all the difference. Glad you are having fun!!

  7. The greatest profession anyone could have is to teach, whether it is in the classroom or not. I did it for 9 years, but then wanted to try something else. Sometimes I regret that decision.

  8. I've been really fortunate to have had some great enthusiastic teachers who love what they're teaching. I'll never forget the Acropolis because of my first art history teacher.

  9. Carrie- Teachers really do make all the difference. It's too bad the profession doesn't receive more respect.

    Cro- Same thing here. My first four years of French, I had awesome teachers, but the fifth year teacher knew less French than we students did.

    Tina- Most of us, if we're lucky, have at least one teacher who changed our lives and our thinking in some way. I wonder how many of us bother to ever let those teachers know...

    Hilary- Sorry you didn't have the best teachers, but you seem to have become one. Your blog is always very informative.

    Austan- Yeah, when I was growing up, there were accepted "boy things" and accepted "girl things." Not that I let it stop me. At the first boy-girl party I attended, rather than hang out and be silly with the girls, I was in the back room shooting craps with the guys. And the boy who was throwing the party? He took me outside and showed me how to hot wire a car.

    Tracy Jo- Absolutely. It's hard to light a fire under a student's imagination when the teacher doesn't have any spark.

    Arleen- It's never too late. You could always volunteer as a tutor.

    Rubye- How wonderful! I was blessed with some terrific teachers, too, and many years later, some of the things they taught me are still fresh in my mind. I'm convinced that's because of their enthusiasm and obvious love of the subjects they were teaching.

  10. Thoroughly intrigued.

    Obviously, I'm no teacher but a student in these fields. Still, I believe that, with self-directed study, I gain ground all the time. Will be checking out the website.

    I'm glad you've enjoyed the company of your friends!

  11. Suze- I'm a big believer in self-directed study. That way, you can follow your interests and curiosity, rather than be limited by a set curriculum.