No offense Chevy Chase, it’s all programming.

Have I mentioned before that coding is one of those things which separates the masses, and one of the most sought after skill sets in today’s workers.  My colleagues nearly died at a staff meeting when my optimism shined through about their nearly insurmountable pet projects and I stated something to the effect of,

“Well it can be done. Of course it can, it just takes programming.  And programming means you need to have dollars to pay to have the programming done, especially when what you are dreaming up is something that never has been done before. “

They looked at me as if I had just declared unicorns alive and well and living in Cleveland.

Now that said, I am a realistic optimist. I never said I was gonna do the coding.  But it seems that more and more in my line of work I find myself with a dreamer and I have to  either reign in the dream or dig in and be the maker.

Like today, when I learned of a dream that meant I had to imagine, test and then create this:

=SUM{ (((((((((IF{ (SUM{ ([1 – Elements of Literature – Posttest.Percent] – [1 – Elements of Literature – Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }IF{ (SUM{ ([2 – Language Usage Posttest.Percent] – [2 – Language Usage Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }) + IF{ (SUM{ ([3 – Analyzing Literature Posttest.Percent] – [3 – Analyzing Literature Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }) + IF{ (SUM{ ([4 – Reading Strategies Posttest.Percent] – [4 – Reading Strategies Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }) + IF{ (SUM{ ([5 – Analyzing Informational Texts Posttest.Percent] – [5 – Analyzing Informational Texts Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }) + IF{ (SUM{ ([6 – Writing Skills 1 Posttest.Percent] – [6 – Writing Skills 1 Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }) + IF{ (SUM{ ([7 – Writing Skills 2 Posttest.Percent] – [7 – Writing Skills 2 Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }) + IF{ (SUM{ ([8 – Types of Writing Posttest.Percent] – [8 – Types of Writing Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }) + IF{ (SUM{ ([9 – Sentence Structure Posttest.Percent] – [9 – Sentence Structure Pretest.Percent]) } >0)10 }) + IF{ (SUM{ ([10 – Usage Posttest.Percent] – [10 – Usage Pretest.Percent]) } > 0)10 }) }

Just so that a computer can count how many modules a student has shown improvement one through pre and post testing.   Yep, I taught a program to count to 10 today.  I think the world of master coders is safe from considering me competition.  But then, they haven’t seen the rest of my dreams and they’re pretty big.

it's all programming


Never underestimate the power of a progress report.

How often are you communicating with parents?

How often are they communicating with you?

In a recent survey of my students, I asked a single question.  What was the number one difference between you completing the course or not?

mom and dad getting email or call.

Overwhelmingly the responses began with I communicated and then…  Whether an email, or a phone call, parents students and mentors want communication to come to them, not communication they have to login and find.  And when they get it they are a powerful force in motivating student success.