Oct 22, 2010
Comments Off on It is not going away. That is clear. When are we going to make a part of student’s lives insid

It is not going away. That is clear. When are we going to make a part of student’s lives insid

It is not going away. That is clear. When are we going to make a part of student’s lives insid

Oct 22, 2010
Comments Off on Collective Effort.

Collective Effort.

Building community is hard. Reinforcing community is hard. Learning in community is hard. It is so worth the struggle.

I have been building, reinforcing and proselytizing our learning community for weeks now. From the beginning. I’ve seen the students’ eye rolls, I’ve heard the whispered doubt. Today, I saw the evidence I needed. They saw the evidence they needed.

Through the exploration of personal beliefs, I saw three students, who don’t often interact, descend into a deeply personal conversation about freedom. These students spoke thoughtfully, listened respectfully, and prodded inquisitively. These students all related to each other, acknowledged that “I’d never had considered that’s what it would be like”, to each other. Then they wrote. Collectively.

They produced an acknowledgment of personal belief, tolerance, understanding and respect that didn’t exist before the conversation. They produced something tangible with their collective effort.

My struggle and emphasis on community has now enriched the lives and learning environment of these three students. They came together, without my prompting, to help each other explore themselves. The English part of it, unimportant, yet overtly present. I;d say we’re getting there. If only it weren’t a learning community for just 75 minutes.

Oct 21, 2010
Comments Off on Real world in real time.

Real world in real time.

My students are thinking. I know they are. I’ve directed some of it. I hope.

My students are thinking about success. We’ve asked the question, what is true success, and we are trying to figure it out. Each student has chosen a word and contributed a page. Early next week, we are going to publish. Following the advice of Seth Godin, we are putting it out the door. It follows closely in the style and structure of Seth Godin’s free ebook What Matters Now.

School has always been about writing for an audience of one and trying to synthesize your thinking about audience. Now with our networks, we are going to stop talking about the real world and we are going to put our efforts out for the real world to judge, criticize, celebrate, or return the favour and think.

What will the success of this publishing venture be? People reading it. Maybe just one other person, maybe one hundred. Success is fluid. Isn’t it? It’s different for each person.

How can we keep students from working for a real audience? Why do we keep fictionalizing their world and tell them that the “real world” is out there? This is the real world, it is time schools remembered that and worked with that in mind. The days of writing for the teacher must be over. It is time we start writing for the real world in real time.

Oct 21, 2010
Comments Off on I love parents of my students. Especially those that show up. I hate the fact that it’s not al

I love parents of my students. Especially those that show up. I hate the fact that it’s not al

I love parents of my students. Especially those that show up. I hate the fact that it’s not al

Oct 19, 2010
Comments Off on Some live…

Some live…

some live ‘paycheck to paycheck’
some live ‘project to project’
i prefer to live ‘adventure to adventure’

Oct 19, 2010
Comments Off on My Sentence.

My Sentence.

In Dan Pink’s book Drive, he suggests that knowing your sentence is a clear means of setting your life’s focus and thus maintaining motivation.

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

He has also put out a call for people to put their sentence into a video and send it to him so he can compile them. I’ve put some thought into it. Here is my first go…the video will be added sometime later.

Scott Kemp: He lived and shared passionately his love of learning, belief in the future, and continually put his words into action.

Thoughts?

Oct 18, 2010
Comments Off on Jekyll vs. Hyde vs. Supply Teachers

Jekyll vs. Hyde vs. Supply Teachers

It happens. I can’t help it. I’m away from time to time. Although, so far this semester, it seems like I’ve been away more often with Future Forums, LINK Crew and a few PD sessions.

So then, what is it about supply teachers that makes my classes change from an integrated, helpful, hard-working class, into a class where I’m left a note that “absolutely not one soul did the work as assigned”, “did not work in silence ever”, were “disobedient”? Granted, this semester, I’ve refused to leave any “busy work” for my supply teacher. What is it then?

Should I not assume that the supply teacher has the range of abilities to execute my plans, as I’ve laid them out?

What should my reaction to the class’ “misbehaviour” be?

I expect students to be respectful, hard-working and exist within our community. I do not tolerate belligerence and rudeness. That in turn means, I do not receive it.

However, I do push my students to question authority, including my own; to not be obedient automatons but take ownership in their learning; and to understand the social aspects of learning and collaborating.

How do I then integrate/introduce/supplant a “stranger” (for lack of a better word) into the culture and the community of my class?

Why is my class Jekyll with me and Hyde while I’m away. Or are they?

Oct 15, 2010
Comments Off on Top 5 Reason Why the Kids Don’t Like You

Top 5 Reason Why the Kids Don’t Like You

Top 5 Reasons Why the Kids Don’t Like You

A thought-provoking blog entry that says some tough to hear realities.  Jose Vilson gets to an underlying truth in teaching: the relationship of teacher-student is often the most important piece.<em><strong>The comment I left on his blog:</strong></em>Too often these are the things that need to be said and yet, for whatever reason, they are left unsaid. Teachers are apt to forget that learning, school, and true education is all about relationships. Students want to be part of a community. It starts with a teacher who is willing to do the little things and these things that you list are truly those things. To listen more than speak, to have high expectations, to understand them as people who are not just in preparation for the future but are living today, and someone whose efforts are genuine and sincere, are the skills that we, (as adults? or professionals?) don’t value enough. And yet, those are the skills students value the most.Thanks!

Oct 14, 2010
Comments Off on Feedback Loop.

Feedback Loop.

At some point, all this verbal feedback I’m providing for students needs to be written down. It needs to be documented. All this qualitative “data” that I’ve received needs to be synthesized, anesthetized, and quantified.

I’m at the point now where some leg work needs to be done in order for my students, their parents, administrators and my colleagues can start processing what we are doing in class.

My idea:

I’m going to create an online (wiki) collection of feedback I provide. All written feedback, maybe some verbal anecdotes will be recorded on an individual wiki where only myself, the student and the parent have viewing and editing access. That way, there is a repository of the feedback and all members can be part of the ongoing learning dialogue.

I plan to “copy and paste” parts of written work by the student, with my comments as well. This way it will be directed, specific feedback.

My hope is that when mid-term report card marks are needed the student and I will already have established an online / synchronous conversation about their learning. Also, it will include all feedback, therefore the student can go back and remember what I said about their writing.

Now it is just to do the “up-front” work that is required.

Oct 12, 2010
Comments Off on So often I am faced with colleagues who refuse to acknowledge the power and potential of social media. They often shrug it off as completely frivolous. I say, here is the world they are blocking from…

So often I am faced with colleagues who refuse to acknowledge the power and potential of social media. They often shrug it off as completely frivolous. I say, here is the world they are blocking from…

the creative internet (106 things)

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