On the recommendation of a couple of Twitter friends I watched Shawshank Redemption for the first time (yeah I know), and I am glad I did. The majority of students I teach and have contact with are seniors and the scene below struck me as how students come to depend on the walls of the schools.
Life changing events don’t occur that often, but when they do, well…they’re life changing.
Innovative educators have been finding ways to personalize the one-size-fits-all mentality of published materials for decades. As we break open the dreaded boxed curriculum materials at the start of every school year, our first thoughts revolve around how we will modify and improve the content to meet the unique needs of each student. If anyone knows how to spice up a learning experience, it is a first class teacher. We have all been doing this for years.
This post is a result of a conversation on Twitter between one of my students and myself about the Chemistry class I teach. This class is required by the state of Michigan in order for students to get a state endorsed (whatever that means) diploma. The class I teach is called General Chemistry is designed for At Risk students to meet this requirement. I have included the conversation below and it is the genesis for this post.
Maybe I am just getting old but I don’t care much anymore about what’s trending and what’s hot. It seems like I am the only one though.
Lately, I have been doing a great deal of listening and thinking and whole lot less talking and writing. I have had some experiences and witnessed some things in the past two months that have challenged some of my beliefs and have helped me arrive at a few thoughts that I know are not very popular.
I’ve noticed a dangerous trend develop recently where, in an attempt to empower students, teachers have started calling them geniuses. I disapprove of this trend–mostly because I am not a genius, and I am jealous of those who are, especially those of you in this EdReach Network community.
I am usually the “gets along with everybody guy”, the gentle disruptor…not last week though. Last week I learned from a colleague that I am “dangerous”. Really. Me of all guys.
Having just returned from a trip to Boston and living in the heart of Texas, we’ve seen our share of tragedy the past couple of weeks. In the case of both the Marathon Bombing and the explosion in West, Texas, I used social media to tell me the story.
Who was the crazy one? Who disrupted you? When I reflect with colleagues on how far we have come as educators most of us can point to one or two people early in our careers that showed us there was a better way, a different way to do our life’s work. Yvonne Corley, then a second grade teacher at Cholla Elementary School in Casa Grande, Arizona changed everything for me.
So, one of my childhood heroes is gone. I can safely say that, besides John Denver, for me, there is no greater public influence on my work in education, my work as a writer, my obsession with visual, audio, and written media- than Roger Ebert. This hurts.
I know when you think of disruptors, you generally think of people. However, I found that an actual event caused me to be the disruptive person I am today.
When I first read the book , “The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt,” I was mesmerized by this courageous woman. One of my favorite quotes from her is “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” You will be surprised by your capacity to continuously rise to this challenge.
For me, the notion of being a disruptor has been in my blood since I was born the middle child with an older and younger brother. You learn very quickly how to complain and question everything. My older brother was able to do everything because he was the oldest and my younger brother got away with everything because he was the younger of the boys.
What the 4 parties in the education community can do better to be in the know and live in the now. I hear some of the same lines year after year from all the parties involved.
This year for Lent, I decided to give up email. Now, I know what a lot of you might be thinking. “We would all LOVE to give up email, we’d have so much free time.” I heard comments like that as well as smirks and off-hand remarks about how I’ll surely get fired. Now, while I can’t claim that I won’t get fired for this, I’m now two weeks in and it has been EYE-OPENING.
So – I know what you’re going to say, right. It’s not Facebook’s responsibility to do anything for education right? I totally agree with that sentiment.
You might have guessed by the title, what book I just finished reading. Linchpin is from Seth Godin who also wrote Tribes, The Dip, and The Icarus Deception – How High Will You Fly? In the book, Godin advocates that we all need to move beyond just taking orders and start bringing more of our own personalities and overall humanity to our jobs. If we just show up and do only what we are told then we are just “cogs” in a factory system no […]