Monday, March 30, 2009

Sometime you have to see who is throwing them in!

My husband continues to remind me of this analogy that a professor shared with him during his MSW studies at UNE: (It goes something like this...)

Imagine this river with people floating down struggling to survive the current. There are people on the shoreline watching. Some walk away. Some watch. Some try to help.

One-by-one the struggling floaters are pulled to safety. More, however, keep coming. Soon there are too many to save. Some continue down river to rougher currents.

One of those helping with the rescue of the strugglers stops and walks away.

"Where are you going?" one of the rescuers ask. "I need your help. You can't go now."

The person leaving responds, "I'm going up river to see who is throwing them in and stop it."

I'm sure others have heard this antic, but I keep thinking about it as I am presented with tougher and tougher groups of students. I ask, "What is going on in these kids' experiences that are causing all of their struggles? Can things change? What can I do to help?"

I'm not just a teacher. I'm much, much more. Do all teachers feel the same way?

I'm Worthy Too! "Personalizing Education for Teachers, Too" (based on Will Richardson's thoughts)

Personalizing Education for Teachers, Too

Posted using ShareThis

It is very frustrating to be a teacher, who differentiates learning as well as she can for her students, thrown into a staff development day that reviews the basics of differentiation. Surprise! I still have hair and eyes--as I refused to succumb to the desire to remove both.

As I browse my Reader, I often star blogs and sometimes begin my own blogs based upon their content. (I wonder if that's a practice others have.) I realized today that the link to Will Richardson's February 28th Weblogg-ed blog "Personalizing Education for Teachers, Too" was still sitting untouched as a draft. (I wish I could manage my time to include blogging weekly or daily.) We need to remember the teachers' needs for differentiation as well.

Though I haven't read The Element by Sir Ken Robinson as was the focus of Richardson's blog, I hope to soon.

Richardson states in his blog:

"As I thought about those points, I started thinking about how we treat teachers and their learning as well. So much of professional development is throwing everyone in a room and having them learn the same stuff. Maybe there is some choice in the offerings, but by and large there is very little attempt at creating a customized professional development curriculum for teachers. Yes, we have our PIPs, but those usually address deficiencies or weaknesses, not passions."

At this point there are 63 comments to his blog post.

It is worth the time to review and follow Will Richardson's blog. He's a connector in this shifting world.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Most Healthy States

The Healthy States in America
I'm surprised to see that all of the New England states placed within the top 11 in the country!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Is Potential Ours?

I love my reader and wished I had more time to spend exploring more bloggers' work. However, today I was able to spend some time exploring and felt (yet again) that wow! sensation of knowing that I can, that I need to, make a shift in my teaching as I have with my learning. From Cool Cat Teacher's Blog my Aha! moment began.

What a motivational video produced by kids for us, their teachers. Makes me ready to shift it up a whole lot. What a great job they did touching on something many educators seem to forget--their capabilities.

As if that wasn't enough, Mrs. Patterson, a first grade teacher that has her students blogging, replied with a link to the following video:

It is just amazing what students are capable of doing. They don't get there when we don't believe in them. They don't get there when we limit their creativity. They don't get there when we limit ourselves to the "test" or to past practice or even best practice. They get there when we start teaching them how to learn, how to reach their potential, how to be the best they can be.

All of this brought me back to the first blog that I found in my reader today. Clarence Fischer's blog Remote Access blog entry called Tinkering is both enjoyable and motivational. He displayed the following video as he reflected on the various posts that encouraged the notion of tinkering as vital to fostering lifelong learners.

Imagine becoming that one teacher that allows students to learn on their own because they want to learn. Imagine their future in education. How do you learn best? I certainly have found that with the technology that I have become exposed to through Jeff Utecht's course I have found that by doing, experimenting, and taking a chance I learn best. When I can tinker, I will learn.