Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks!

As I sit in the lobby of my sons' gymnastic classes, I felt it appropriate to reflect on the holiday looming tomorrow. Most of us like to take this time to reflect on what we are thankful for in our personal lives. I wish to very briefly mention the things that I am thankful for in no particular order.
  • I am thankful for the creators of Twitter for giving me a place to interact with educators around the world and engage in rich professional development constantly.
  • I am thankful for the colleagues that I have who I will not name, for their willingness to put up with my impulses to try new things in my classroom.
  • I am thankful for the local education foundation that has helped fund my efforts to continue technology integration in my classroom and my peers'.
  • I am thankful for the parents of my students who support what I do and help create a strong partnership between home and school.
  • I am thankful for my administrators for getting out of my way when I want to try something new and let me continue to push the envelope in the name of student learning.
  • And finally... I am thankful for my students and their frustration with mediocrity in their education that pushes me to never be mediocre when it comes to their learning.
I hope everyone has a great holiday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Waiting on the World to Change

Many people have seen the video from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o&feature=related  about the "new" vision of students. This video was set in a college setting but I think the points mentioned were valid and apply more universally. I took that video and formed my own set of questions and asked some colleagues in my building with is a 6-8 Junior High. The questions were aimed to see what teachers were doing to help get kids engaged and involved in their learning. This is the product with the help of John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change”. I tried to do it in one continuous take but that didn't turn out like I had hoped... here is what I came up with though. All of the teacher responses are genuine and self-created from their own answers.

Keeping in the spirit of the education reform blog day this will serve as my submission. I know we are supposed to advocate for better rights for teachers and more support for the work we do. However, at the end of the day we are the reform within our own classrooms and schools. The reality is, we work in districts and schools that have rules and parameters that we must follow. While we might not always agree with them, those are what we must deal with. As a result, I choose to “change” my own world within my classroom. I want to reform what I do to give my student’s the best learning chances possible within the constructs of the parameters of my school. I will still work for change and reform, but if I keep waiting for the change, I miss the opportunity to make small changes every day that can go a long way.