Growing up with a brother often means taking on odd risks. I remember some ridiculous things we did as kids. The whole "I dare you" or even the dreaded "double dare", would push us into precarious spots and test our manhood. I'm not proud of it, but we watched a lot of WWF wrestling and this would typically start the rambunctiousness. I do remember a specific dare that I took, and if you know me, I'm not really a daredevil. As kids, my brother and our two cousins, played this game that we created called Shin-Up Steve. We were nuts. We chased each other through the woods with a rope and some kind of object (rocks, etc) attached to the end trying to whip it at the others. Obviously, this often inflicted physical harm. I'm pretty sure the whole game started as a dare. There's something about accepting a challenge that lights a fire in many of us.
Just last week I was challenged again. I was challenged by +Brad Gustafson and +Tom Whitford to do the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. I had heard about the challenge and I even watched a few celebrities do it, but I didn't know how it started and I couldn't tell you much about ALS. This is what I did know, I knew ALS was synonymous for Lou Gehrig's disease. I knew that once diagnosed a person's life expectancy was less than five years, but I didn't know a whole lot more. That didn't stop me, I took the challenge...
But then after I took the challenge I realized the importance of understanding the how and why. My two boys helped with my #ALSIceBucketChallenge and I could quickly tell it was all about the challenge and not about ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). So the dad and educator in me decided to share, but first I needed to be a bit sharper with my facts. So this is what I learned:
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects your nerve cells in your brain and the spinal chord. That's a mouth full. So what I told my boys was, ALS often includes muscle weakness/loss, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing and breathing.
My words seemed to make a small difference, but then I decided it would be best to sit down and watch the #SCFeature, Pete's Challenge. It was after watching this video (below) that my 9 year old started to truly understand that this was more than just a challenge.
So often our society and our children see the final product, but often times the story is an afterthought. I believe the stories are what provide the lasting impacts. A few weeks ago I didn't know the name Pete Frates. Now, I'll never forget the name. We as adults have the power to take these viral moments and create teachable moments. I urge you to take the time and educate our youth. With knowledge comes power to be a true difference maker. Pete Frates' impact on society is only possible if we choose to learn his story and share the real reason behind the #ALSIceBucketChallenge.
Kids around the World are heading back to school, and viral moments will continue to happen. Will we choose to treat them as "teachable moments?" I know that the #ALSIceBucketChallenge is more than just a trendy social media phenomenon...it's people joining together to create a genuine movement.
NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:
Sunday, August 24th: Back-2-School Bash at the Gilpin's 5-8pm
Monday, August 25th: New Teacher Orientation
Tuesday, August 26th: (Optional PD day) All-Staff are welcome to come to Parma at 11am for our Nurtured Heart Training. 11:30 - 3:00pm
Wednesday, August 27th: 7:15 All Staff BKfast followed by Welcome message
Wednesday, August 27th: MAISA Writing PD day
Thursday, August 28th: 8:30am All-Staff meet at Jackson High School for Ruby Payne
Thursday, August 28th: 12:15pm Staff Luncheon provided by our PTO!
Thursday, August 28th: 1:00pm Staff Meeting followed by classroom time
Thursday, August 28th: 5:30-7:30 Back-2-School Night
Articles Worth Reading:
5 #ALSIceBucketChallenge Takeaways for Educators +Joe Mazza @Joe_Mazza
10 Things to do with QR Codes on Back to School Night +Gwyneth Jones @GwynethJones
Looking for a Silver Bullet? It Begins with Us. +Jimmy Casas @casas_jimmy
Some Ideas for Book Clubs +Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp
Bright Ideas: How Voxer changed my personal & professional life +Angela Watson @Angela_Watson
The Most Dangerous Phrase In Education +Terry Heick @TeachThought
Opening Day! +Jeff Zoul @Jeff_Zoul
15 Examples of Student-Centered Teaching +Terry Heick @TeachThought
Classroom Cribs Challenge +A.J. Juliani @ajjuliani
OK, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Worked, now where will the dollars go?
25 Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel
Videos Worth Watching:
Lou Gehrig's famous speech... (1 min)
Moments to Fill Your Heart (5 min)
Facebreakers with Jimmy Fallon (3 min)