A Week of Awesomeness at EHS
I hope you all enjoyed the short week after the long weekend. What a great week we had! We started off with Tech Tuesday, which I will talk about a little later on, but I just want to give a shoutout and a THANK YOU to all the teachers who came to check it out. We quickly followed with early release Wednesday - I hope you all enjoyed and took advantage of collaboration time with your colleagues. Collaboration is a great way to develop yourselves professionally. If anyone has any feedback not already given about topics discussed in our meeting on Wednesday, please don't hesitate to let an administrator know.
This week was like any other in regards to the cool things I saw going on in classes around school! I thank you for making that a regular practice! I hope you enjoy reading about your fellow teachers and the amazing things they are doing with their students. I hope that Friday Focus can be a springboard for discussion and collaboration to continuously improve student learning throughout our building. My final hope for today - I hope you had a fantastic week (but they're all fantastic in Cardinal Land, right?)
STUDENTS AS LEARNERS
STAFF AS LEARNERS
I understand that it may have simply been tough for you to make it that day, and I definitely understand that. I hope you were still able to benefit from the resources from Tech Tuesday via my Google Classroom. If you haven't joined my Google Classroom, I encourage you to do so if you would like. I sent out an invitation to all teachers, so you can use that, or you can use the code 5ildnp.
If anyone puts the information from Tech Tuesday into use in their classroom, please invite me to see it in action! It would truly make my day.
Below is a picture of Chef Low, who was my first victim - er -I mean, participant. Just look at how much fun he is having!! Don't you want to have that much fun every other Tuesday as well?? :)
INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
ARTICLES WORTH READING
Ditch That Textbook and Teach Like a Pirate
VIDEOS WORTH WATCHING
"What I Learned From Going Blind In Space"
Chris mentions an astronaut saying in his speech. The saying is, "In space, there's no problem so bad that you can't make it worse." I feel like this applies to any situation we are given in life, in particular in the world of education. There are so many things that can go wrong on a daily basis in schools. However, there are ways, just like how NASA prepares astronauts, that we can prepare to handle even the worst of situations. It's important to have procedures and routines that you can fall back on to get you through a hard time, and if you back that with positive relationships with students and all stakeholders, we can proactively work through many problems. Additionally, I think this goes well with what we are trying to accomplish with MTSS and Positive Behavior Supports. We look ahead to what could go wrong, and we do what we can to keep it from happening. And if something does go wrong, we know exactly what to do. Like the motto of the Scouts - "Be Prepared."
Chris talks a lot about fears. I encourage you to think about what fears you have in regards to your day to day teaching. (Let's take the fear of our government not supporting us out of the equation for now.) Is it technology? Is it change? Is it the changing dispositions of students? Whatever your fear is, Chris encourages you to take them head on. He talked about spiderwebs. I personally react just like he described when I walk into a spider web. It's one of the worst feelings for me, and I actually get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. Anyway - the idea of walking into spiderwebs intentionally? Are you nuts? Then it made sense. I would be re-conditioning myself and my physiological reaction to encountering a spider web. I think we can do the same thing in education. If there is something out there that you think sounds neat, or that you'd like to try, but the fear of the unknown or the simple fact that it's a "pain" to get it all figured out - I encourage you to try it once. Then twice. Re-condition yourself, like the spiderweb example. If you truly want to try something new but just haven't taken the steps to do it yet, there is no better time than the present.
Finally, it really spoke to me when Chris talked about how he wanted to live out his dreams as a 9 year old to be an astronaut. Going through all of the "scary" parts were part of his dream, so he took them head on. I encourage you to look back at your dreams of why you became a teacher. There may indeed be some roadblocks that have sucked some life out of that original dream, but I encourage you nonetheless to look back on that dream. That dream of becoming a teacher. That dream of making a difference to students. That dream of spreading a love of learning, love of your content. Our students are changing. Our schools are changing. Are my methods still aligning with my goals and dreams? Am I still putting my dreams into practice? Do I need to change my approach to anything in order to stay relevant to students and stakeholders? These are all thoughts and questions that I've started asking myself, and will reflect on to try to make sure the answer is always "yes!" It's not easy, and sometimes it's scary. But I will always fall back on the love of my job, love of students, love of teachers.