Sunday, January 25, 2015

What if...? (87)

What if we always kept things in perspective and tried to see things from the opposite vantage point?

What if we all committed to this?

What if we all got comfortable with being uncomfortable and 'let go' more often?

What if this is how we responded to any naysayers in regard to our shifting grading practices?

What if we had to remove a policy/practice whenever we wanted to add or start a new one?

 What if these 'causes' become the focal point of every one of our classrooms?

What if we gave our students these 8 'look fors' and asked them about their educational experience?

What if we encouraged students to publish their work and then sell their work in vending machines to other students and visitors in our district?

Monday, January 19, 2015

If only kids these days weren't so lazy & disrespectful... (86)


I guess it would appear that today's youth are actually acting quite normal when compared to past generations...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

You make THE difference... (85)

1 out of every 5 kids will never walk across the stage at their high school graduation in the United States:

In the US, the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced breakfast/lunch is just under 48%:

Most states in the US spend 200% or more per year on prisoners than they do on students:

Less than 20% of students in the US are enrolled in some type of foreign language class:

The average age of a school in the US is around 40 years old:

Almost 40% of schools in the US still don't have adequate and widespread WiFi access:

About 30% of teachers who start teaching will leave the field of education by their 5th year:

14%, or roughly 32 million American adults, can't read:

So, the next time you feel like you are spinning your wheels or feel like what you do doesn't matter and won't make a difference, keep some of these statistics in mind.

Your job isn't easy and the list of variables you can't control that make your job even more difficult is long.


You matter and what you do every single day with your students doesn't just make a little difference... it's makes THE difference.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

8 things you can do to make 2015 great for your students... (84)

Commit to trying something new and different each and every week. Remember though, don't just do something new for the sake of doing something new. Figure out new and creative ways to accomplish the learning objectives and goals you've set forth for your students. There's something to say about 'keeping it fresh.'

Give your students the opportunity to provide you feedback and input both formally and informally on a quarterly basis in regard to the learning they are experiencing in your class. Your students thrive on getting feedback and input as they progress through the learning journey, and you're no different. And since your students see you every single day, their perception and the reality of what's happening tend to be pretty accurate. Don't miss out on this great opportunity.

Have your students on a rotating basis pick a societal issue that is affecting them or is affecting others and spend time as a class making connections to that issue with your course content. Give your class a bigger purpose and meaning by making connections to issues that are affecting your students and people around the world. Think about the next time a student asks, 'why do we have to learn this...?'

Expect your students to do great work because when you have high expectations for your students, they are more likely to achieve those higher levels.

Infuse a healthy dose of empathy and tolerance into your daily regiment of learning. Life isn't always easy and school isn't the only thing happening in a student's life, so keeping this in mind will go a long way in developing rapport and trust with your students.

Approach your classroom as a powerful think tank and a breading ground for new and innovative ideas. The brain power that's available through our students is huge, so we need to be tapping into their thoughts and their beliefs as much as possible.

Approach your job as if you were a 'learning instigator' (thank you @mathphanaticwho uses questions, natural curiosity, and wonder to fuel the purpose and justification of what happens in your classroom. Ya, learning instigator... that's a pretty cool title!

Start 2015 off right by doing the #oneword activity with your students to make it publicly known what everyone will choose as their one word for the year. Also, do this yourself and commit to using this one word as your focal point for the year.

Here's to a great 2015!