As part of my “celebration” of October as Connected Educator Month, I thought I would post a short reflection following my Saturday morning Twitter chat today. I like to participate in #SatChat which occurs every Saturday morning at 6:30 am Central Time (where I live). It’s pretty early, but I’m a morning person, so I’m already “up” if not fully awake…a couple little dogs are on a morning routine that helps ensure that I’m ready to go when 6:30 rolls around. So I grab my coffee and log in to HootSuite, the tool I like to use to more easily follow the chat messages as they come in. This morning, I just climbed back in bed with my laptop and participated in my pjs…now that is some convenient professional learning, right there!
As I was participating in today’s topic of “Game Changers,” I was challenged by some of the questions the moderator posed, especially Q2: How does your philosophy of education impact student success? and Q4: Does your philosophy of education make you a game changer? So I thought about how I could have an increased impact and be more of a game changer. This reflection combined with Connected Educator challenges I’ve been working on resulted in a conviction to be more reflective and regular in my blogging practices. I frequently share things from my Saturday morning Twitter chats with individual teachers or administrators in our district, but I don’t know if I have ever actually blogged my reflections for all to see. Who knows…maybe someone, somewhere will read my reflection and be challenged to impact students under their direction in a positive way. So, here is my first post reflecting personally on #SatChat October 18, 2014:
Game changers are important to keep education moving because the world is constantly changing. We’ve all seen the quotes about how industry has changed so much in the last 100 years, but if a teacher from 100 years ago walked in to a school or classroom, they would know just what to do because education has changed very little while other industries have been through total transformations. I hope in the schools I support, a similar transformation is starting. We don’t need to change everything…just the things that are not the BEST. Keep what’s best and change the rest.
A couple of quick resources to share that I gleaned from this morning’s chat:
1. An article to read about Rigor: 22 Ways to Add Rigor to Your Classroom
Although the term “rigor” is not a new one, the emphasis on rigor in education today is high. We see it mentioned in new standards, new teacher evaluation tools, and lots of educational commentary. I like the definition of Rigor from The Glossary of Education Reform which includes this phrase:
“ instruction, schoolwork,learning experiences, and educational expectations that are academically, intellectually, and personally challenging”
You can read the whole article explaining rigor here: http://edglossary.org/rigor/
2. A blog post that could challenge you, but also might help you maintain sanity as a teacher: Buried Alive: A Cautionary Tale about Piles of Work
In this post, Starr Sackstein reflects on sharing responsibility with students as a way to both empower students AND maintain a reasonable work load for the teacher. While she is a journalism teachers, her post has relevance for teachers of all subjects.
In the future, I’ll try to be more reflective following my Saturday morning Twitter chats, so that others can also benefit from my early, weekend morning forays into professional learning in my pajamas!