Joylene Wagner
Learning Matters: Columns about Glendale Education from a former member of the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education

Learning Matters: Some ideas for the school board appointee to consider

Learning Matters: Some ideas for the school board appointee to consider

Some friends have asked about my intentions for next April's election. As I've told them, I'm not seeking another term on the Board of Education. And I don't plan to submit my name for the interim appointment to the seat being vacated by my good...

Learning Matters: Taking a look back at Boger's achievements

Learning Matters: Taking a look back at Boger's achievements

I met Mary Boger, president of the Glendale Unified Board of Education, in 1990, in Oakland at my first PTA convention. I had the...

Learning Matters: Making the most of the summer break

Learning Matters: Making the most of the summer break

Local school summers are shorter than they used to be. With graduations just more than a month past, the 2014-15 school year is just one month away. The current instructional calendar lines up better with Advanced Placement testing and many summer...

Learning Matters: Return to PTA emphasizes big changes

Learning Matters: Return to PTA emphasizes big changes

Nearly 27 years have passed since our daughter started kindergarten at John Muir Elementary and I first served on the board of a PTA. The last time I held a PTA office was when our youngest was still in middle school, 10 years ago — until now.

Learning Matters: Kudos to workers trying to close the gap

Learning Matters: Kudos to workers trying to close the gap

It seems wherever I go in the realms of education and career, I'm being urged to "mind the gap."

Learning Matters: GCC choir provides a fun outlet

Learning Matters: GCC choir provides a fun outlet

I have written and spoken many times — including in this column last September — about the academic and social benefits of music education for children. Learning to read music is learning a new symbolic language. Learning rhythms is an...

Learning Matters: Educate yourself about end-of-life issues

Learning Matters: Educate yourself about end-of-life issues

I spend a lot of column space writing about the Common Core Curriculum and preparing our students for their future. But what about preparing them for ours?

Learning Matters: VW Dads' Club gears up for 'Fathers' Follies'

Learning Matters: VW Dads' Club gears up for 'Fathers' Follies'

It's May, the month for celebrating Mother's Day, Teachers Appreciation Day and Classified Staff Appreciation Day.

Learning Matters: Track meet gives students chance to get involved

Learning Matters: Track meet gives students chance to get involved

This year’s annual track competition among Glendale’s middle schools took place last Friday at Glendale’s Moyse Field. I’m so glad I happened upon the notice through the school district’s website. The Middle School Track...

Learning Matters: Preparing students for the real world

Learning Matters: Preparing students for the real world

Employers have been talking for years about their challenges finding young employees who are ready for the workplace. They complain of high school and college graduates who lack problem-solving skills, can't work independently or don't function...

Learning Matters: A student's comfort could be another's affliction

Learning Matters: A student's comfort could be another's affliction

I first heard the phrase, “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” in church. A pastor used it to describe the responsibilities of church pastors. I thought it a fitting description of pastoral duties.

Learning Matters: The world of education is wide open

Learning Matters: The world of education is wide open

Parents have a lot to decide about their children’s education. From a child’s earliest years to adulthood, parents grapple with the choices they or their child must make in the pursuit of success and happiness.

Learning Matters: Public educational reforms can sometimes lead to unintended outcomes

Learning Matters: Public educational reforms can sometimes lead to unintended outcomes

Most Christmas seasons since I was a child, I’ve sat down to watch “Miracle on 34th Street,” one of my all-time favorite movies. To me, it’s a story about people doing the “right” things for the “wrong”...

Learning Matters: Stories remain vivid from long-ago workshop

Learning Matters: Stories remain vivid from long-ago workshop

Of all the very informative training sessions and workshops I’ve attended in my years as a PTA parent and while serving on the school board, some of the best were the programs of the National Conference for Community and Justice.

Learning Matters: Lessons for life, lessons for all

Learning Matters: Lessons for life, lessons for all

Whether or not we all agree on the importance of curriculum standards (I'm on record as supporting the Common Core goals), I expect most of us could list a few things we'd like more children to learn in school or elsewhere before they become adults.

Learning Matters: Reducing childhood stress is a balancing act

Learning Matters: Reducing childhood stress is a balancing act

Educators are caught in a circular conundrum. Students are stressed, and their parents, grandparents, mental health professionals and educators themselves all worry about the effects of that stress on student health, well-being, and, yes, on academic...

Learning Matters: Parent Ed and co-op programs deserve expansion

Learning Matters: Parent Ed and co-op programs deserve expansion

My husband and I have been lucky, particularly as parents. As I look toward Thanksgiving, I'm mindful of the good fortune and help we've had along the way, starting with the Realtors who helped us find our house in 1981.

Learning Matters: STEMs from a robotics competition

Learning Matters: STEMs from a robotics competition

The event was just a practice-round Lego robotics competition for elementary and middle school students, held at Roosevelt Middle School as a way to introduce new teams to how such competitions work.

Learning Matters: It's not about the school, it's about reading

Learning Matters: It's not about the school, it's about reading

I am beginning to think that some degree of angst about public education is unavoidable, probably even desirable. As demographics change, as technology transforms communication, as neuroscience tells us more about how and when learning happens,...

Learning Matters: Music instruction hits the right notes

Learning Matters: Music instruction hits the right notes

After a five-year hiatus, I have returned to work, once a week, as a musicianship instructor for an established children's choir.

Learning Matters: Remembering lessons learned

Learning Matters: Remembering lessons learned

I've more than once heard this statement: "Today's students learn differently than we did." I'm inclined to disagree.

Learning Matters: Counting the steps, enjoying the view

Learning Matters: Counting the steps, enjoying the view

I recently finished a pedometer walking challenge organized by my local Curves. For four weeks I counted my steps every day with the aim of reaching at least 5,000, preferably 10,000, steps or more. The challenge was both motivating and fun. Now I...

Learning Matters: Preparing students for the future

Learning Matters: Preparing students for the future

There I was, in the forecourt of the Alex Theatre a few weeks after April's election, sampling my first bites of Glendale Healthy Kids' annual "Taste of Downtown Glendale," when News-Press Editor Dan Evans approached and asked me to consider becoming...

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