I didn't plan on having a chat tonight because of the holidays and honestly really enjoying the opportunity to not have to plan questions. Then I saw a post asking about #sstlap tonight, and thought I would create an abbreviated version of our chat. In full disclosure I might not be there tonight as I have begun the development of a chest cold that has made getting my normal 12 hours of sleep a challenge. Oops did I say 12 I meant 7. Just wanted to see if anyone was actually reading the post.
So I quess my plan is to create a few questions and post them and schedule the chat for 8-8:30 tonight.
1. What is the best educational experience you have had this year?
2. What is the best educational book you have read this year or recently?
3. What educators do you want to give a shout out for helping you grow as an educator?
4. What movie or TV show have you used and how have you used it to create an amazing lesson?
5. What is your goal to create an environment where students will come to class even if they don't have to?
Happy Holidays! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza or the end of the calendar year, tonight we are using the idea of the song 12 Days of Christmas to create our questions. I won't put you through the agony of having to listen to that song, so no video this week. Well at least not of that song. But it was the inspiration for the conversation tonight. Now I understand that we are limited to 140 characters so feel free to answer any of these questions with either multiple posts or create a video clip sharing your answer.
Also note that if you have more ideas for a question than the number feel free to add additional and if you come up short in another area please steal from others and add to your answer and more importantly add to your tool kit.
12 What are 12 of your favorite #tlap hooks?
11 What are your 11 best songs you use in your class?
10 What are 10 ways you can introduce games into your lessons.
9 What are 9 ways you can introduce food into your lessons
8 What are 8 ways to create authentic audiences into social studies lessons
7 What are 7 ways to use TV shows or movies into your lessons
6 What are 6 ways you can or do share student work and celebrate success
5 What are 5 ways you demonstrate passion for teaching and your students
4 What are 4 ways you engage students
3 What are 3 examples of immersing yourself
2 What are 2 ways you can show students you care for them and communicate that students are awesome with their parents?
1 Share 1 ticket lesson you have created
I have been watching the show Timeless and have found the adventures through time interesting. Unlike Quantum Leap where the time traveler was working to set events right, this show has two sets of time travelers, one who wants to rid the world of a powerful shadowy group while the other wants to prevent the first from destroying the present.
So let’s journey back in history - Which events are the most important to our current reality? What are the watershed moments that we need to protect the most?
Q1A You find yourself in the year 1968 with a multitude of events that shaped the path of the United States. Take a look at the link and decide which of the following you would channel your efforts to either preserve, or change. (Preserve -If an event caused a desired outcome. Change - if event caused negative outcomes) http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/31/us/1968-important-events/
Q2 The powers that be shift you back to the 1940s. This time you have a longer era to examine. Here is a list of events http://history1900s.about.com/od/timelines/tp/1940timeline.htm take a look and determine which you would work to ensure they happened or which you would want to rewrite history.
Q3 You keep getting kicked back in history little by little. This time you land in the 1920s. Investigate the events and again choose the event that is most important to protect or redirect to make the present the best it can be. See examples http://history1900s.about.com/od/timelines/tp/1920timeline.htm
Cue the Mission Impossible Music because our conversation is taking a little different twist. We not only have to identify important watershed moments, but we have to save a life.
Q4 The time machine has malfunctioned and it has sent you spiraling out of control. There isn’t a specific time period registering on the control panel. This time it simply reads - Most important event in all of history. You need to program the computer to the most important event in history to prevent history from being steered down a negative path.
Q5 A plot is afoot to travel back in time and assassinate the most important Woman in history. Your job is to first identify who this woman is and then travel back in time to protect her from the assassin.
Q6 You were successful in stopping the previous plot. However our villains are not ready to give up. They have a new sinister plan. This time they want to assassinate the most important Leader in history. Your job is to first identify who this person is and then travel back in time to protect them from the assassin. The key is to go back to the time when they make that critical decision that sets destiny.
I have been able to work in other teachers' classrooms over the past few years. In that time I have witnessed so many amazing things. I have seen teachers addressing some difficult situations like the illness of a student or colleague with such compassion and empathy that brought the class or entire school together. I am able to watch students who might normally exhibit challenging behaviors be completely engaged and even help others.
When I am in classrooms I tend to see students at their best. In some classrooms this isn't anything out of the ordinary because those teachers are doing great things daily and others my appearance means students get to do something cool or new. As I was leaving a classroom today I had the thought do we all see the same situation, behaviors, actions the same way? The simple answer is no, but what I am really getting at are we seeing students' behaviors in a positive light or do we think the worst.
Todd Whitaker uses the example of seeing students in the hallway between classes and poses the questions about how do you treat these students? Do you see the student you have had some difficulties with and ask them for a pass and lecture them if they don't? Do you see the student who has is academically strong and been a pleasure to have in class and say hi, how are you doing? He asks why wouldn't we treat both students like the better student? What are the consequences of engaging in the behaviors of the first example?
I pose this question because I have head some teachers say - all students can learn, and yet find it acceptable to blame students when they fail. "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink" This shifts the responsibility of what happens in your learning environment solely onto the shoulders of an adolescent. Another example is looking at a class when grading using the bell curve. This means if you have 5 A students it is okay to also have 5 students Fail. Yes that's right you are saying it is okay for students to fail even before you begin teaching them. Another example is classroom envy. I have recently heard other teachers say, well I could do that if I had her class, her students are awesome. A couple points to make here - All kids are awesome if we provide them opportunity to be. I have alluded to this with my classroom encounters above. Second it undermines the efforts the teacher has undertaken to create a classroom culture that emphasizes community. It allows us to write off those students who challenge us, who don't conform or do school the way we think it should be done. It allows us an excuse to not have to put in the work to reach all students and help them achieve their awesomeness. Oh and did I mention all students are awesome! We just need to find out what we need to do to unlock their awesomeness.
I do realize the ideas above are easier to say than live up to especially in my new role as a tech integrator. While in the classroom I was guilty of many of these offenses especially early in my career. I also realize some of my interactions stem from my own insecurities and trying to cover up my lack of knowledge or mastery, or wanting to hide behind the badge of authority instead of earning the respect of my students. I tore down relationships instead of building them up. I needed to read the books by Todd Whitaker and Dave Burgess, learn about Genius Hour and so many other inspirational educational movements to change my thinking from what I had been taught and had reinforced. I share this segment because as I mentioned it easy to preach and not live up to, but more importantly we need to share the message with our colleagues. We should not allow another day to go by where a teacher hasn't been exposed to the messages of #KidsDeserveIt or students hear positive messages like #YouMatter. I fell into the track of bad practices at times because that was the prevailing message around me. We cannot allow that message to continue. We must champion change for all of our students and teachers to reform education into what it should really focus on and that is relationships! Sorry for the tangent.
I am not exactly sure how to turn this into a Twitter Chat, but I have some scenarios that I wonder how others would view them. I gave an example of a student in the hallway provided by Todd Whitaker. I also saw a student get up from their desk and come over to another desk and a conversation occurred. This made me think Does the teacher see what I see? Did she see a student getting out of her desk without permission to socialize or did she see a student move to the other student to offer assistance? Which did she see? Which do you see? What impacts the way we see this interaction and how can we move towards seeing things in a more positive light?
Do You See What I See Questions
Tonight I was struggling with finding a topic for our conversation. I thought about recycling an old topic to get us refocused on the message of TLAP. I started looking back at my site for old posts and found the first one was 1/29/2014. Then I looked in my drive for old chats and found that when I started I made questions without pictures or videos, or other tech tools. I had a document with questions listed week after week. I then looked at #sstlap Twitter feed and found when I had taken over as host was around September of 2013 after Ryan Mclane started #sstlap that summer.