Teaching, NFL style

first_imgAre there lessons for leading a classroom in professional football? Plenty, according to experts on a Harvard panel, who among other things suggested educators should study the team dynamics of the National Football League (NFL).“If one person blows their assignment, the game is shot. It very much relates to the relationship between teacher and student, and between teacher and teacher . . . [everyone] is dependent on one another’s success,” said Domonique Foxworth, president of the NFL Players Association and former cornerback with the Baltimore Ravens, who urged school administrators to consider the creation of teaching teams.A team-oriented approach to teaching, one that encourages educators to think about the success of a student well beyond the year they spend in a particular classroom, is a vital part of education, agreed panelist Tim Daly, president of the education nonprofit TNTP, which addresses issues of teacher quality.“Teachers who take that long view” are critically important, he said. “It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t get talked about.”“Welcome to Monday Night Football,” said Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Kathleen McCartney to the crowd at Longfellow Hall on April 2, introducing members of the NFL and the education sector who took part in the Askwith Forum.The idea for the event took shape last year, said moderator Andy Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether Education Partners and education columnist for Time magazine, when his editor asked him to develop a column around the Super Bowl. He did, and in the process realized there was much more to say.One important method of NFL coaching that can be applied to teaching is the use of video to assess player performance. Experts agree that most teachers receive inadequate feedback on the work they do, with evaluations often consisting of a visit from a principal for a few minutes each year. Not so in the NFL, where obsessive analysis of videotaped training sessions and games are vital to helping players and coaches understand what they do well and what they need help with, said Brendan Daly, defensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings and brother of Tim.For Foxworth, studying film was the key to his longevity with the league. “I was successful because the plays that I made were all cerebral; they were plays that I prepared for,” he said. “I recognized they were coming, I saw the keys, and in a split second I was able to make that decision.”While NFL teams rely on video to improve performance, the majority of the 3.2 million public school teachers in the country have little or no access to video footage of excellent teaching being done by their peers, or of their own teaching, said Tim Daly. “It strikes me that there is a total lack of infrastructure in education,” for this kind of feedback.“If we want people to be excellent practitioners in the classroom and we want them to know what they are doing,” he said, “we have to invest more in helping them learn these techniques.”Athleticism is certainly a factor in evaluating talent, but what sets a player apart is his ability to study and learn the game, said Brendan Daly, who is also a former teacher.We ask ourselves “what is his ability to learn, what is his demeanor toward learning … how is he going to learn, absorb, and understand the game,” he said. “That, in my personal opinion, is the difference between the guys who make it and the guys who don’t.”The main “nuts and bolts” of teaching is very similar, agreed his brother. “It’s how you prepare for class; it’s how you respond to things when they go wrong. It’s how you learn from your mistakes, and how capable you are of changing.”He compared a complicated play on the football field to everything that happens in one class.“A good teacher can tell you all those individual decisions that they are making and why.”Like the building blocks in education that take a student from learning the letters of the alphabet to forming words and eventually reading a book, football players have to master the fundamentals before moving on to advanced techniques and complicated plays, said Brendan Daly.“The important thing is to believe in the fundamentals and work toward mastering them.”last_img read more

Lead Testing

first_imgSince the water crisis in Flint, Michigan made headlines in late 2015, parents across the country have started looking at their kitchen taps a little suspiciously.For some, the thought that tap water could be hurting our families might to be too scary to address. With water, however, it’s better to know than to hope, said Jay Lessl, an environmental chemist who runs a section of the Agricultural & Environmental Services Lab at University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.“People have a false sense of security when it comes to their water because they think, ‘If I have city water, it has been tested,” Lessl said. “They’re right, but it’s tested before it goes into the supply lines and through the pipes in our homes, and that’s where the lead is coming from.”All municipal and county water departments are required to ensure that water is free of harmful contaminants, such as lead or bacteria, before it leaves the water treatment plant and enters the service lines. But they perform less testing of water after it’s traveled through their service delivery lines and almost no testing of water after it travels through a home’s pipes.Before 1986, lead was used in the solder used to join pipes. Over time, lead from those joints can leach into the home’s water supply. This is the biggest source of lead in home drinking water and major reason why it’s important to test, Lessl said.Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful at low levels and is especially harmful to children. It can cause a number of neurological problems including learning disabilities and behavior problems.Testing can help a family determine whether they need a water filter, another form of remediation or if they can just relax and enjoy their tap water.“If you don’t have a problem with your water, you might want to leave well enough alone,” Lessl said. “I tell people to remember that when they’re unnecessarily filtering their water, they’re filtering out a lot of the naturally occurring beneficial minerals that we need.”The UGA Cooperative Extension Service offers not-for-profit water testing performed by an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified lab.Home test kits are available for around $20 but those kits often just test for the presence of lead and don’t tell you how much lead is there. There are also for-profit lab services that will test a mailed-in sample of tap water, but those can cost upwards of $100.“A home test may be inconclusive or show only the presence of lead instead of telling you exactly how much is in your water,” Lessl said. “If you have lead you need to know the severity of the problem to decide how to remedy it.”UGA Extension’s test, test W42-Pb, costs $40. The cost provides testing, a detailed report on the water’s lead content and trained staff to answer any questions you may have on the report.It also includes testing on an entire panel of heavy metals. No reports are produced on these metals but if one turns up in the sample, the staff will contact the client, Lessl said.Every county in Georgia has access to these lab services and many others through their UGA Extension county office. The local offices will provide sample bottles, accept payment for the tests and handle the shipping. Georgians can locate their local UGA Extension office by calling 1-800-Ask-UGA1 or by visiting extension.uga.edu.Clients may also contact the lab directly by visiting aesl.ces.uga.edu. For more information about lead in drinking water visit www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.Steps for Testing for Lead with UGA Extension Use a clean sealable container.Take a sample from the faucet you use most often for drinking water. Be sure to let your water sit in the pipes for at least eight hours before taking the sample. (Take it as soon as you get home from work or as soon as you get up in the morning.)Find your local UGA Extension office by calling 1-800-Ask-UGA1 and deliver your sample to the office.Results will arrive in 2 to 3 weeks.last_img read more


first_imgA well-known Letterkenny woman has scooped a cool €10,000 in cash on a radio show.Eva McCloskey is a popular employee at Letterkenny Credit Union.She sent in a simple text to 2FM who asked who sang the song SkyFall? Of course the answer is Adele and just a few hours later she was €10,000 richer.Eva, 27, who is from Glencar, and the daughter of Michael and Grace McCloskey, knows what she is doing with her cash.Despite encouragement by her credit union boss, Gordon Randals, to save the lot, Eva has other plans!“I will save some of it but I’m also planning a little shopping spree. “I can’t believe I won €10,000 so easily. All I send was a text.“Mind you I haven’t got the cheque just yet. I hope it’s not all one big joke,” she laughed. THE SKY(FALL) IS THE LIMIT FOR EVA AS SHE SCOOPS €10,000 was last modified: March 14th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2FMcredit unionEva McCloskeylast_img read more