Archive for the ‘School Life’ Category

I think I’m procrastinating. I have chores around the house that need to be done, my income tax isn’t filed, and my lessons for tomorrow aren’t ready. Now, I’ve been avoiding household chores for years and it doesn’t really cause me stress anymore and I’ve been teaching for thirteen years so I’m not particularly stressed about the lesson plans, but then again, I kind of sort of am.

I’m stressed because I’ve been inspired to revamp my teaching style and add project based learning to my two classes that haven’t traditionally done so. I have the idea of where I want to go (see my last post about my Literacy Epiphany) and where I’d like to end up, but it’s all new territory for me in those two classes. (Did I mention I haven’t even thought about what I want to do in my class that has always been a project based learning class?)

Yesterday, I went out and bought myself three flip video cameras because my idea may result in kids who want to create videos so I wanted that resource available for them. I vaguely told my principal about my plans, and as usual, he supported me and was excited about the direction I’m heading. (He has even offered to pay for materials for the Literacy project – woo hoo! Maybe when I show him the work I’m doing with the Flip video cameras we can purchase some for the school.)

I was nervous and anxious about going back to work after such an extended absence, but being with my kids on that first day reminded me just how much I love what I do and how important it is that I continue to do it well and continue to reach beyond my own comfort zone.

So, I’m a lot disjointed today, a lot excited, a little bit stressed and a little bit crazy, but hey, I like it here. I think I’ll stick around for a while and figure it out.

Tomorrow, the real work begins — I have to convince my students that I’m not completely crazy, that we can and will try a new way of learning, and that it will be worthwhile for all of us. I think I’m up to the challenge — I hear the Little Engine That Could chanting in the background, “I Think I Can, I Think I Can…..I know I can, I know I can…” Toot toot! Here we go!

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Literacy Epiphany

Posted: March 31, 2011 in School Life

So, I start back to work tomorrow after an eleven month absence. That in itself is a whole other post. As I lay in bed this morning contemplating what I needed to do to complete my day today, I reflected on the past two months. In February, I was encouraged and supported while I discovered Twitter. And Twitter has revolutionized / re-energized / impassioned me. So, now what?

Well, back to my morning epiphany — as I lay there thinking I began to consider what I wanted to do with each of my classes. I’ve promised myself that my kids will have input and that we will use technology (when it’ll enhance the lesson not just dress it up) and that if my classes aren’t ‘flipped’ then they will be project based learning. My Leadership class (GPP30 for you Ontarians) is already project based and has been since the day it started so it’s the no-brainer for me, but my grade 9 academic English and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC), well they’re a different matter.

My epiphany had to do with the Literacy course. I’ve spent time the past two months exploring curriculum documents more than I ever have (well since teacher’s college) and as the requirements for the course wandered through my brain (Writing – News Report, Summary, Opinion Piece and an information piece; Reading – informational / graphic / narrative texts) I kept thinking about how I could give these kids an authentic audience and then it hit me! We (the students and me) can create a student newspaper for our school since we don’t currently have one. What more authentic audience could they have and I think it’ll cover all of the curriculum points.

My next step, what the heck am I going to do with my Grade 9 class? Anyone have any ideas? Oh yeah, I start tomorrow and I don’t have a lesson plan, but that’s okay 🙂

Should I put my hand down?

Posted: February 28, 2011 in School Life

Today as I was reading / working through tweets in TweetDeck and the various blogs in my reader, I kept flipping back to our Board’s email / conference client and sharing links and articles that I found compelling. In under five minutes I’d made over ten posts / emails to various conferences and topics. As I read through a really exciting blog The Learning Nation, I immediately flipped to share it. As I did, I had the most skin crawling reaction that I had become the kid at the front of the class that the rest of the class hates because they know something about everything and can hardly wait to share it.

So, my momentary epiphany gave me pause and I only posted the link to my own school because I know most of my colleagues think I have stuff worth sharing and it was a safe place to share.

I’m relatively new to blogging, Twitter and so many of the other things I’m now exploring, but my excitement is boundless. I wrote a post about being hungry yesterday and Twitter has helped me stay that way. And today I’m concerned that the incredible resources (I think they are anyway) I’ve been sharing will simply be ignored because I’ve ‘had my hand up so many times today’.

So, my question to my PLN and anyone else who stumbles upon my post — should I put my hand down? Should I care that people may simply ignore my shares? This is me thinking out loud, but if anyone has any experiences to share or some insight, I’d love to hear it.