Thursday, May 28, 2015

Voxer is my Creative Council

I don't think I can say that I am still a part of the #yourEDUstory blog challenge since I have missed more than I have written.  But, I am jumping back in this week!  This week's prompt asks "Who would be in your creative council?"  This is an idea taken from Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison who surrounded themselves with people who would question their ideas and challenge them in positive ways.

For me - I think I have two creative councils:

I have a core group of #GTAMTV14 friends that are all in a Voxer group called #StrataProblems (the name is a #DTIMP thing).  These 6 people have supported me through anything I needed this school year - and I would like to believe I have helped them a little too.  If anyone has a question we can ask it openly and we expect truthful and honest answers in return.  This council gives me direction when I need it, a laugh at just the right time and an insight to other districts, schools, jobs and more!

My other council is our #CAedchat moderator team.  We don't tweet or chat each day, but if someone needs something this team is ready for action.  As co-moderators we lead a large group of educators through a series of questions each Sunday night at 8pm PST.  But as friends, we can lean on each other for words of wisdom or a helpful slap on the wrist if needed.  We also have a Voxer group so if we need more than 140 characters we are able to talk through an issue.

I had never really thought about it before - but having these people in my professional life has really be great over the past year.  We all need someone to talk to and to bounce ideas off of sometimes - so find yourself some #eduawesome friends who are willing to tell you the truth (even if it isn't easy) and start your own Voxer group!  You will be glad you did!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Let’s Stop Pretending and #makeschooldifferent

Fevereiro 2014
I have a wonder core Voxer PLN where I am able to share ideas, compare work stories and get the help I need to keep going each day.  These people give me a diverse perspective on things because we are all in different districts and have different titles.  I was challenged by Lisa DeLapo (@lisateachestech) - one of my core Voxer buddies to write a post on what educators need to stop pretending in order to #makeschooldifferent. I have seen many great posts from other wonderful here are my five:

Let’s stop pretending that talking about change but doing the same thing day after day is helping students. It is one thing to go to edcamps, conferences, Twitter chats or hear great ideas from other teacher and think about making a change - but it doesn't count until you make those changes in your classroom. Don't be afraid (see what is next) and make a change!

Let’s stop pretending that we allow our students to fail and learn from failure. I see many great graphics and retweets of "Fail Forward" or "F.A.I.L - First Attempt In Learning"...but when I talk to students they are still afraid to take a risk because they may not get an A on an assignment. We all fail, allow kids to feel safe doing it and you will get so much more out of them! Failure can be a good thing. (This is true for teachers too!)

While we are at it - let’s stop pretending that our grading procedures make sense. I have had many a conversation with teachers that refuse to give credit to a student for not turning in their HW. But this same student gets an A on every test. Was that HW necessary for the kid? Did it make a difference to anyone but you that he didn't do the work - he seemed to have learned the material. Rethink grades!

Let’s stop pretending that our students can't do it if we don't teach them how. I work in the edtech field and so many teachers won't allow students to do something on a computer because the teacher doesn't know how to do it. Let your students teach you and you will both benefit! Take a risk in front of your class! 

Let’s stop pretending that "we know what is best". We cannot possibly know everything about everything - so why act like we do? Get help from other teachers, share your learning with others, observe someone else, try a new technique in your classroom and open your doors for others to come in and observe you. Share what you are doing - via Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest or whatever platform you are comfortable won't be sorry!

It took me longer to get to this challenge than I wanted if you have already been challenged I apologize in advance. I challenge my friends Darren Massa (@darrenmass), Dan Bennett (@dabennett7), Dennis Grice (@dgrice), Moss Pike (@mosspike) and David Theriault (@davidedu) to give their opinion on how they would like to #makeschooldifferent