Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kids Are Like Honeybadger, They Just Don't Care

 It's true. Kids don't care. They don't care about Common Core. They don't care about PARCC. They don't care about OTES, or FIP, or MOAs, or Value-Added. They don't care about AYP, IEPs, or RTI.

And they shouldn't care about those things. Those things should be "invisible" to our students. Our stress should not be their stress. They are too busy to care or understand about those things anyway.

They are more concerned if their bff is waiting for them when they get off of the bus so they can hold hands as they go through the door to start the day. Too busy looking forward to Wednesday because that's Pop-Tart day in the breakfast line. Too busy literally skipping down the hallway on the way to the tech lab because "it's like the coolest place ever." Too busy giving a hug to the teacher waiting for them at the door every morning. Too busy drawing a picture for the "best principal in the whole wide world." Just too busy living and learning everyday.

We as educators get so focused on what we think we need to teach our students, that we sometimes forget we can learn a lesson from them. Before school is out this year, and when I am sure no one is looking and the hallway is empty,  maybe I will skip from one end to the other just to see what it feels like again to be a "kid that doesn't care."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Don't be a Schultz...

  I don't think Schultz was a reader. Maybe his mother didn't read to him very often when he was a little boy, or maybe his teachers didn't use best practice. I say that because he didn't seem to know much about the The War, or England, or Hitler, or the Jews, or even the covert operations of his own Stalag 13. And he worked and lived there everyday! He just existed.

    My mom was an avid reader. We always had a ton of books in the house. We lived in the country, but could order books from the local library and they would mail them to us for free. I couldn't wait to open those bulky brown envelopes every couple of weeks. Other than in first grade with "See Sally? See Sally run? Run, Sally, run" repetition, I don't really remember being taught HOW to read, I just did. I know that method probably didn't work for everyone, but fortunately, it worked for me. In second grade, I remember winning a reading contest that my teacher, Ms. Hill, announced right before Easter break. She must have been integrating science at the same time because the goal was to read books and move from one planet in the solar system to the next, starting from the Sun and ending at Pluto. I learned about the nine planets at the same time I was devouring books. I read everything I could get my hands on, at anytime of the day or night. My motivation and treasured prize for landing on Pluto first? One of those awesome blow up balloons shaped like a rabbit with cardboard feet! (insert your own dorky comment here)
     Now,  I still occasionally read for enjoyment, usually later in the evenings. I tend to stash picture rich history books near my couch that have been salvaged from my mother's cluttered attic, or a good science fiction book that I read years ago.  Lately though, it seems that my reading time has taken a drastic turn.
    To keep from becoming a Schultz in the world of education, I now zealously read twitter feeds and blog subscriptions whenever I can, literally hundreds of them. Collected and tag sorted into my Diigo library and fed into Google Reader, I find myself consorting with people I will most likely never meet in person. People from a variety of backgrounds and expertise, located practically everywhere on the planet, are helping me to think and grow every time I log on.
     I have slowly become a single thread on a giant internet spider web of connected educators who share similar experiences, problems, questions, and issues. ("Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly" comes to mind)

Collectively, we move forward. Alone, we are just another Schultz.

For a glimpse at the top 100 educational blogs that can help you from being a Schultz>>

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