The positivity from this blog is infectious:
I really enjoy the #LoveTeaching hashtag. It is is something that we don’t get to say often enough to one another. I think your “lack of boredom” captures teaching very well. We are never going to be bored if we keep exploring.
We will never rest on our laurels or face a new day without knowing that we will do things never done before. It is an immense responsibility and we face it head on. I think your positive outlook is goes a long way to making sure that we don’t get slapped in the face when we do so.
via The Positive Teacher: #LoveTeaching.
Is a 3:1 program asking too much? Well, maybe:
We are connected in more ways than simply through our computers now, and I think it is okay that we accept this so long as we don’t let ourselves think the connections are going to change practice by themselves.
The connection in our pocket should be available and leveraged by everyone who wants it. The screen in front of us should allow for conversations that weren’t previously possible. We should touch the screen as if we were touching the person we are collaborating with, in ways that allow them to know that we are a human on the other side.
I’m okay with a 3:1 program, so long as those 3 devices allow for learning to happen with the other people and not just with the other devices.
Leading for learning: I prefer a 3:1!.
Students as professional developers… Brilliant!
I love this idea of students being the ones that end up doing the professional development. They are able to explain educational activities so much better than teachers sometimes because they are the ones who actually experience them.
Please continue to write about the ways in which teachers are modeling innovative practice for one another. It is so rare that teachers feel comfortable asking the questions about what is going on in each others’ classrooms. This is powerful work.
via Teachers and Students Leading Professional Learning | Fearless Teacher.
A moving story of how we grow from somewhere into our teaching and learning selves:
I love this idea of honoring those “Giants” in our lives who have made more difference in our growth than they will ever know. You have painted such a moving picture of who your Nana is, and her heart comes through your words.
It is wonderful to think that our learning and leading lives are crafted even before we realize that we have started to become who we will be. It makes me hunger for everyone to have a Nana in their lives, a true advocate for their confidence and their values-based perspective. I believe it is by telling these stories that more people will realize that this type of mentorship is necessary and that they can be that kind of mentor to someone else.
via Reflecting for Growth: A Tribute to My GIANT.
A good post on our responsibility as teachers and leaders to lead change:
There are a few assumptions here that I would want to explore with you. While I do think that many in Instructional/Educational technology were originally teachers, I see many more folks taking on these roles from an IT background right now. This means that they are much more comfortable with the tech skills and much less comfortable with the instructional skills. I think this is probably where the leadership needs to come in from those who have been in the classroom. You are right that there is a great responsibility to share what good instructional practice looks like with these tools. But, I think it goes beyond that. It isn’t just about sharing what you are doing, but rather we need to model the kinds of connected leadership that shows the power of the network to support a teacher.
Right now, many teachers and leaders are feeling isolated and that is their barrier to change. Whether it is self-imposed or imposed by their system, they need to see the ways in which sharing and connected actually do bring about better outcomes for kids. It may be as simple as showing the power of a twitter chat or an engaged dialogue in the comments of a blog, but there are lots of ways that we can model not only the power of technology in the classroom, but the power of technology for professional practice. Thank you for pushing us forward in this regard. Let’s keep going.
via Are You Applying the Brakes, or Being A Driver of Innovation? | My Classroom, My Kiddos, My Vision.
I’m not sure using games for engagement in the classroom is enough, but it is a start:
It is this persistence in learning that I find so special about learning spaces that involve clear challenges. What they can experience in a game is working toward a definite goal with real opportunities for choice in order to get there. The one thing I don’t see in this kind of gaming environment, however, is a time where learners can establish their own challenges or problems to solve.
How is it that we can help them take the clearly defined rules and outcomes of games and apply that to their everyday work? How can we support them in defining their own goals and setting their own outcomes for achieving? I think there is a lot we can learn from the way games engage us, but I also think that games (even difficult and complex ones) may not be enough for kids to apply what they have learned within the game to real world problems. It likely takes a teacher and a community of learners to do that.
via Curiously Collaborative: They Game, They Learn.
A wonderful reminder of the right priorities for humans within school systems:
You are right.
The ones we love are so potently and powerfully important that little else matters when you are faced with losing them. It makes honoring and valuing them such an urgent matter. How can we best do this in a space of learning?
How can we show that we believe deeply in one another as people, and not the processes and systems that are seemingly devaluing the individuals around us (the tests that you describe)? How can we maintain this level of priority in the face of the pressure and stress of the daily efforts for a school? I do not have the answers, but I would love to think about how we keep this culture of caring strong even when we do not perceive an impending loss.
Thank you for sharing this story and for helping us to place our priorities in the right places.
via Salt the hay: Love…...
A great reflective piece on a 6.5 hour PD session with mostly sitting and getting:
I really appreciate how you went through exactly how you were feeling throughout this “day of learning.” Each time you felt bored or compliant, I could see you clearly in that space. I think I could see it so well because I too have experienced this in Professional Development. And I too have tried to make the best of it, as I think that much of the time, this is all we can do.
But, I wonder how much of this type of learning we should simply accept and allow to take place before we advocate for the things we need (more breaks, more think time, more connection to the rest of our learning online and off). I wonder how much we should make our voices heard in the moment and not only though reflection on blog posts.
I also wonder how much we should expect our kids to advocate for what they need as well. I am so glad that you are taking what you learned here and you will be applying a healthy dose of “creating a better learning environment” to your classroom because of it. I think the students can easily tell us what they need and we can create the environment and the learning experience out of that too, but only if we allow them to do so. Thank you for your reflection. It seems like you learned a lot that was intended by the 6.5 hours and even more that wasn’t.
Half Cold Coffee: Sit Still And Listen.
We should all be so lucky as to have a teacher that is reaching out like this and creating new opportunities for learning with their kids:
Regardless of whether or not this “gets big”, you have done something spectacular here. The risk you are taking is not simply for trying something new but also for doing it in a dramatically new way. Read alouds are a great method for engaging kids (of any age) in the act of reading, but by connecting it with real authors and with other classrooms around the country, you are changing the way in which we think about a shared experience.
By creating a shared experience with those in different locations or different backgrounds, you are showing these students just how connected learning can be. I would be surprised if these students do not remember this book and their experiences with coming to understand it for the rest of their lives. Keep on connecting. Keep on reading.
via #NZreadaloud | LearningMYway.
The Deaf and Hard Of Hearing education bloggers are seemingly in their own part of the blogophere, but I think there are wonderful implications for their ideas for the rest of us:
Your emphasis on giving these children (and their families) mentors is wonderful. The type of mentorship that you are describing is one that would not simply be about those initial first contacts. You are creating a situation in which there could be a life long bond created simply by connecting these families to those who have gone before them.
I think that is why I see such value in online communities of practice. I see so much support being generated by simply being a member of an active facebook page or Google+ community. It might be possible for folks to identify themselves as potential mentors within such an online space and then the new families could simply be “paired” and start their conversations that way. Is there such a place for DHH folks to go and ask questions and get matched to mentors? Is there such a place for these mentors to come forward and identify themselves?
via Heidi’s Take on Deaf Education: My Magic Wand.