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.
NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:
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
- student growth
- professional development
- 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