Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

March 7, 2014

MARK HEINIG: Will 'virtual schools' enrich or replace traditional education?

Best way to learn technical subjects is in laboratory.

When Hoo­siers my age recall the school consolida­tion struggle of the mid-20th century, we could say, “Been there, done that!” Until recently, I considered that battle finished. Maybe the interest in school consolidation is reviving.

Does school consolidation make sense now? Perhaps, but Hoosier legislators may have more interest in saving cents than making sense! Larger schools and larger school corporations do have advantages. They are more cost-effective. They can also offer students more courses and extracurricular opportunities. These advantages merit thoughtful consideration. Yet, smaller schools have advantages, too.

When Eastern Superintendent Tracy Caddell speaks of the positive influence of small rural schools, I know he’s right. I taught in a rural school for 14 years, and I was also the principal of five small schools, most of them in rural locations. Despite the advantages of large urban and suburban schools, I preferred being a country schoolmaster.

Although small schools can’t do everything for students that large ones can, they do some things better. The positive influence of small schools includes accessibility and community spirit. When students and parents know their teachers and administrators personally, acquaintances become friends. Friends work together, benefiting both the school and the community.

Superior behavior management is one of a small school’s best features. Successful teaching and learning only happen when students are cooperative, attentive and motivated. The question is how to get them that way. There will never be a perfect answer, but kids tend to behave better in smaller schools, because the teachers know them and their parents. When I worked in a school of 200, I knew almost everybody. When I worked in a school of 2,000, I knew almost nobody.

Any teacher can influence 200 better than 2,000. Certain time-tested methods encourage desirable behaviors and discourage undesirable ones. These methods work in all schools, but they work better in small ones. Educator visibility is one such method. Students seldom misbehave when a teacher is present. That’s why principals encourage teachers to step into the hallway when students change classrooms. Principals and other administrators should also do that.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller