Education is full of Buzz Words - those terms, ideas, concepts that are promoted as revolutionary, Innovating and capable of changing the face of education as we know it.
There are a Few of ways to look at these concepts.
1. Reject them because we have been through the new initiative game before and nothing truly revolutionary has occurred. The people in this camp are typically entrenched in the mantra of TTWWHADI (That’s the way we have always done it) They resist change. They think they have seen or heard everything and in the end education always cycles back to the same way we have been doing things. To not be too critical of them in this last point there are a lot of educational initiatives that have come and gone only to reappear in some new packaging with a slightly different title. But that doesn't get them off the hook. They need to at least be open to new ideas or we will be stuck in the same mindset which we all know isn't good enough. Our kids deserve better.
2. Be skeptical of these new fangled ideas, but dip your toe in the water and see what happens. The second camp of people aren't so quick to slam the door on new ideas, but they aren't your early adopters either. They are willing to pick and choose and hedge their bets on some but not all the new ideas. These are people who aren't there yet. We need them because they are solid, but are willing and able to grow. This group needs support and to see examples of awesomeness.
3. Jump in but not just from the side of the pool, from the high dive. Yes the platform that may make your legs quake. These people are early adopters, they love the adventure the thrill of doing something new and exciting and not knowing exactly where they may end up. These people are agents of change. They push the envelop and do so at times with reckless abandon. This group inspires others, gets education to be exciting again, they spark curiosity. The one caveat of this group is they sometimes need to be reigned in a little or they lose focus. They may jump on so many new and wonderful ideas that they aren't knowledgeable enough to be as effective as they should be in the new ideology.
I have been through many initiatives heard countless buzzwords and must admit I have found myself firmly entrenched in each of the three previously mentioned camps at one point or another. I did not write this to judge people because as I stated I fit into each depending on the topic at hand. It is in reflecting on these that we can move ourselves and others forward.
I have included a video at the end about Buzzwords that came after I wrote this post and the questions for tonight. It talks about Buzzwords and highlights one important fact. Buzzwords and ideas don't create change- ACTION DOES! So as we look at the Buzzwords in education, we are really looking at what we are doing in our rooms, schools, districts, communities and globally to move education forward. What actions are you taking? What actions do you need to take? What actions can we take together?
While I think this video makes some good points about Buzzwords and education in general, I am not promoting the book mentioned in the video.
The end is near. The end of another year is on the horizon and we are closing in on the finish line. The questions tonight are about how will we finish our journey? Will we phone it in or will we fight for every opportunity to engage our students. Will we continue our steely eyed focus on making a difference in the lives of our students or will we be content with 8 good months? It isn't about how you start the race but how you finish! Finish Strong!
While we all want to bring our A game each and every day creating an environment where students want to show up even on snow days and we could sell tickets to, there are days when we struggle to just survive.
The last question was about your support system. The next question I am leaving open for interpretation. What does it mean to you?
You get one shot at each encounter with a student. What will they remember about you and how you immersed yourself in their lives, interests and showed them they mattered to you?
Yes two Eminem songs in a row-- what can I saw- he smashes the nail on the head.
Let's imagine the possibilities! The next few questions I hope to shift to an uplifting, positive point of view where we contemplate the future of education and celebrate what we already have going on.
Q1 Analyze an engaging lesson. What makes up the anatomy of an engaging lesson? What is necessary to engage students in the learning process?
Q2 What are you most engaging lessons? why, what do they contain that makes them exciting for students?
Q3 What are your worst lessons or lesson? What prevents it from being engaging? What can you add to it to excite students?
Q4 Have you heard of Hooks? What hooks would you recommend to a new teacher or new to #tlap?
Q5 Change of venue- How can you transform your room or transport your class to a new location to create engagement?
Q6 Do you like games? What games can/do you use to engage students and create learning?
Q7 If you have read #tlap how has it impacted your teaching? If you haven't what is your plan for growing as a teacher?