JUST THE FACTS - in the last two months or so many facts have been running around in my head. Today I let them loose.
The fact that all principals don’t require teachers to be on twitter surprises me. The list of reasons is endless:
• Amount of resources available
• Teachers helping teachers
• Teachers connecting classrooms around the world
• Teachers encouraging other teachers to be better
• Bringing the world into the class
• Showing the students how small the world can be
• Showing the students that there are other ways of doing things beside the one they have grown up with all their lives.
• FREE Professional development
Since joining Twitter in June of 2010 (BIG thanks to @kevcreutz) I have completely transformed my teaching. I never used to reflect. Reading other teacher’s reflections opens my mind to so many ideas to think about. I have never tried so many new things in my classroom. I have never been so challenged to make the learning experience each student has every day the best one possible. I have never viewed teaching as a gift more than I do now. (great quote from @gret)
The fact that I still use worksheets bums me out. I have a personal goal to do an entire unit paperless in SOMETHING this year. Difficulties are time in developing that unit, getting the lab time every time I have that class and parent reservation about not having “tangible” work during a unit. I will overcome them. I would love feedback/comments on how other teachers are doing making this work. Mobile devices, understanding staff, awesome students are factors that will help me make that happen.
The fact that I still have to fill out a professional development hours sheet puzzles me. After attending two online courses in the last 2 weeks that were far above any workshop I have attended in a while I got to thinking about this. Who do I need to talk to get ‘credit’ for attending these workshops? I get a feeling of what it must be like to be a student and having to do every assignment for a grade. After I attended those online presentations by @shellterrell and @davedodgson I walked away with ideas that were both thought provoking for long term change and applicable the next time I set foot in a classroom. (Shout out to both of them for great presentations!) These were done on my time, did not pull me out of the classroom and were great. (They did distract me from grading papers ) But now I will have to get a sub and find workshops that the state will count toward my professional development and prove to them that I am growing as a teacher.
The fact that the biggest project I am going to do with my 8th graders this will have no grade associated with it really makes me smile. Since October they have taken over 1400 pictures for this project, took an oath of secrecy, logged a ton of hours in the computer lab and done a great job! They are excited about “Project X” and they cannot wait to unveil it and NEVER have they asked “is this for a grade.” One small step of no grading, one giant leap toward educational change. PS – unveiling will happen December 1st! Only 13 short days away!
The fact that I have to now grade the science tests the 8th graders took while I wrote this bums me out too.
Thanks for reading - comments welcomed and appreciated!