Saturday, June 8, 2013

Teaching with Passion!

We are down to the last day and a half of the 2012-2013 school year.  I look back with very fond memories.  I truly believe the entire building made great strides forward.  I look to 2013-2014 with great anticipation!

It would be easy to finish the year with a blog post that reviews the year, but another topic has churned in my brain for some time.  In late May I participated in the #IAedchat that focused on a student named Jeff Bliss.  This was a HOT topic and I was very curious to share my thoughts and listen to others.  To front load everyone with the background, here are some details:  First, this video is shot by a high school student.  The student doing the talking is Jeff Bliss.  Apparently this video was during or around the time that the state of Texas was giving standardized tests.  One other tidbit, Jeff's mother is a teacher.  The video is 1 minute and 27 seconds.  There is an expletive in the video, I apologize if you are offended by this swear word.

The first time I viewed this I was stunned by the disrespect.  I immediately thought this student was way out of line.  Then I viewed it again.  I encourage you to watch it again.  Listen to the message, listen to the teacher, observe the teacher and check out the students.  Take it all in.

After I watched a second time I began second guessing myself.  I started thinking, what would I have done?  I came to a realization that I would not have sat at my desk.  Truth be told I rarely ever sat at my desk, so I can guarantee I wouldn't have sat there.  Second, don't fool yourself, a lot of students feel this way in school, but most don't do what Jeff did and most are not videotaped.  Third, I do believe Jeff was disrespectful, I do believe there was a better way to handle the situation, but I also believe that this rant will provoke change.  Finally, I do believe there is more to this; we only get to see 1:27, but this teacher has clearly not created a community, and this teacher has not established a relationship.  We all know relationships are the foundation.

My big questions are:

1)  What would you do if this happened in your school?

2)  Someone video taped this and posted it on YouTube. As an educator I do not like this, but this is the world we live in.  The educational landscape is changing, you won't like everything.  Do you still believe relationships are the foundation?

3)  This was a high school student. Do you believe this could only occur at a high school?

4)  Jeff refers to a lack of passion and being taught with packets. Are you the educator you dreamed of always being?

I realize this is a serious video and a serious topic, and it would be status quo to simply do a year in review.

I would simply hope that you would enter into summer with the renewed focus of always being passionate.  We became educators to make a difference in kids' lives.  I hope you take the summer to "sharpen your saw", re-energize your batteries and get well deserved rest.


Monday, June 10:  5th Grade Graduation (5th graders leaving at 9:20am)
Tuesday, June 11:  K-3 Field Day
Tuesday, June 11:  Half-Day, dismissal 12:05
Tuesday, June 11:  Staff Lunch 12:15-1:00
Tuesday, June 11:  Teacher meeting 12:45 in Library
Wednesday, June 12:  Curriculum Camp at Baker College
Thursday, June 13:  Curriculum Camp at Baker College

*  Please make sure you have scheduled your exit discussions with me

Topics include:
- student growth
- professional development
- goals
- reflection on school year

Articles Worth Reading:

Marzano's "casual" evaluation system  shared by @tomwhitby

74 Creative Ways to Stop Summer Brain Drain  shared by @Ev_Giannopoulos

Using iPads and Footballs to encourage reluctant boys to write  shared by @tconstantine

If Schools Embraced the Power of Twitter  shared by @NMHS_Principal

Techi Tike blog  by @JennaVDixon & @ErinMastin

PLN - Powerful Learning Network  by @MrPowersCMS

Fix-it-in-Five (Ideas to improve student blogging)  by @edrethink

Videos Worth Watching:

The East Coast is being overtaken by cicadas right now, check out this 7 minute video.

Ellen reading weekly Tweets! (1 min) @TheEllenShow

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE it when you put Ellen on there!!! It always winds things up with a great laugh!! Thank you! :)