"No one likes to hear someone talk about failure, I was wrong" (Phillips, 2012). As we grow older we tend to want to fail less because we are scared that we will lose big!! I chose this video for many reasons but one of the biggest reasons being that so many of my students are afraid to fail as such a young age. I believe the biggest reason for this is because we as teachers have not embraced failure as a form of growth. We have decided as a society that someone who fails is not worthy of many things that people that don't fail should get. But in reality failure is all around us and the people that fail multiple times are the same people who take multiple risk. I want to show this video to my students when we school starts again because I'm sure they have never heard a speech about failure put this way. For me this speech reminds me of a commercial by Michael Jordan where he speaks about how many times he has failed in his life, from not making the winning basket to being cut from his basketball team.
As an individual this speech hit a chord because as teachers we are so scared at times to try something new because the administration will shut it down or because we just think it won't work, but in the last two years I have become less worried about that and I have realized how much happier I am when I try things and they work on don't work because at least I tried and the best part of it all is that I learned a valuable lesson to share with others and to continue to improve on.
Phillips, C. (2012, November 29). Failure to Find Passion: Cass Phillipps at TEDxGoldenGatePark (2D). Retrieved July 28, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLg46AVDD_Q
Scott Dinsmore (2012) discusses how to find the work that you love. I wanted to look at this particular video because I have long discovered that the happiest people are the ones that do what they want and not what they want to. Now you might ask how this relates to education? Well before I became a teacher I was a stock broker at a very prestigious company. But I felt empty at the end of the day, unfortunately I was too scared to leave that job, I mean who leaves a nice salary where everyone respects you and wants to know what you are thinking. It took me three years to quit and drive back across the country to start new! I'm so happy I did and took a chance at working on what I love, which I found was education and teaching.
On the journey here I had many friends who asked me why I was throwing this great career away. How would I support myself in a teacher salary they said? I just told them I wanted to be happy and trying to run up the corporate ladder was no longer a fun goal. Somehow by the luck, destiny or whatever I ended up teaching at a school that was a blended environment and from that moment on I fell in love with the combination of technology and education.
I can not tell you how many times I have stayed up late night with a cup of coffee trying to work on a presentation or a lesson. I don't find this a work of money but a work of love!!!
Now back to Dinsmore, people don't know their limits until they break those limits. I didn't know I could teach until I was on that stage and did it. I can still remember being super scared (wait thats everyday when I start the day) but is not the same scared I felt when I would go to work to a place I didn't want to but a scared of not pushing my limit and the limits of my students.
*surround yourself with people that will push you and make you a better person.
Dinsmore, S. (2012, November 29). How to find and do work you love | Scott Dinsmore | TEDxGoldenGatePark (2D). Retrieved July 28, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpe-LKn-4gM
After watching the Ted Talk video "The Danger of a Single Story" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a very powerful video that discusses what I learned in the Bilingual Education Program at San Diego State University (SDSU). According to my professors at SDSU one of the most important things we can do as teachers is to reach students through accessing their background knowledge. Students will become more engaged by using books, stories and folk tales where their culture and what they know is already represented.
However, telling just their stories is just a way to hook them into a greater picture of what the world is all about. Telling only one story prevents students from learning beyond their boundaries and it prevents us as teachers from expanding the knowledge of our students. It is difficult to teach beyond a single story unless we as teachers become researchers and people who want to break the walls of ignorance down.
One way we can as teachers document more than one story is to actually document our story. To fight against the single voice that wants to tell everyone else what to believe and to show the world that we are not one single culture but a society of many layers that somehow end up being one country.
In the end documenting my story has allowed me to understand how important a process is versus the result. Sometimes we focus so much at the results that we forget that the process is what helps us grow. When I documented my story I realize how even something as simple as taking photos and creating a story out of them is a difficult process that must be done over and over again until we become comfortable with it and this is what my fellow teachers must do with technology.
Ngozi Adichie, C. (2009, October 7). The Danger of a Single Story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | TED Talks. Retrieved July 24, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg&feature=youtu.be&list=PLbRLdW37G3oMquOaC-HeUIt6CWk-FzaGp&safe=active
After looking at the two websites from the Diigo list I was impressed by how these two people were able to use technology that I take for granted to teach and do it in a way that is fun an innovative. In the first example that I looked at "If great authors of the past posted to Instagram (and other great authors commented) " I was impressed by how Instagram was used to show if this person knew what they were talking about. By this I mean that the level of knowledge displayed by the author was impressive, not only did they need to know the author posting and their work but also the authors responding. If I was doing this in a literature class I could use this as an assessment tool to know if my students read the material.
The second website I looked at was Catlin Tucker titled "Instagram Scavenger Hunt" where once again Instagram was used a tool but this time for engagement. I recently took my students on an 8th grade field trip to San Francisco. The trip was for students to be able to look at colleges beyond the ones here in San Diego. Now, on this trip I was fortunate that my class was for the most part engaged, but I could of used this either way to have evidence that they were. Now for the students who did not have Instagram I could of paired them with a buddy but in general I now feel I missed an opportunity I won't miss next year. Once again I was impressed how a social tool can be used to teach.
Finally, after looking at these two examples I have begun to realize how important is for me to share my knowledge with the world. For so long I have been trying to keep all my knowledge for myself but that has only lead to me knowing and my staff not knowing how to implement technology in the classroom. As I move forward on this path I need to let go of my fear of sharing and share my knowledge with the only community.
Abraham. (2013, Sep 11). If Great Authors of the Past Posted to Instagram (and Other Great Authors Commented). Retrieved from http://goo.gl/bthoY2.
Kleon, A. (2014). Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. New York: Workman Publishing Company.
Tucker, C. (2013, February 26). Instagram Scavenger Hunt. Retrieved July 17, 2015, from http://catlintucker.com/2013/02/instagram-scavenger-hunt/
Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. ... We found that they don’t predict anything" (Friedman, 2014, para. 1). This is so refreshing to hear, when I was younger I had to make a decision of what college to go to and after spending so many years working through high school AP classes and IB classes. I decided I wanted to attend a school where grades didn't matter, what matter was how you applied your knowledge. For this reason, I decided to attend the University of California Santa Cruz, where we did not have GPAs (I still don't for my undergrad) but we were given narrative evaluations based by our professors. I still cherish those evaluations because they are a testament to knowledge and not grades. In the classes I have taught unfortunately I have to give grades but I also know that not all education is equal and that not all students are equal so when ever I grade I look at the whole individual. I look at their ability to deal with set backs and how they manage those. I won't say my system is perfect but I know that when I was a student I always hated getting judge by some test that was out there to trick you and I feel my students feel the same.
After reading the article I feel like I am preparing my students for a job at google!!! Yes there are definitely things that my students still need to work on and these became apparent when I decided to "allow" my students to research their own project. As I pointed out in my Storify, my students were not ready for so much responsibility and they required more guidance than I could of imagined. Having said that in the end my students pulled through and were able to create projects that achieved the point, but it did open my eyes to all the work I still have to do with my students to bring them to the level of what I believe a 21st Century scholars need to reach.
Side note, unfortunately due to pressure from several different sources, UCSC no longer gives narrative evaluations but now provides GPA's for their students. For those who are wondering, I've never had to worry about my GPA in either job interviews or when applying to schools.
Friedman, T. L. (2014, February 22). How to Get a Job at Google. The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/opinion/sunday/friedman-how-to-get-a-job-at-google.html?_r=3
After reading the article "A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned" posted by Grant Wiggins (2014) I feel do lucky and so sad for other teachers and students around the country. In her first take away, the author of "A Veteran teacher" (2014) mentions that "students move almost never. And never is exhausting" (Key Takeaway #1, para. 2), which is depressing because at my school we are encouraged to take brain breaks every 30 minutes in order to have the students get energize about our lessons. One thing we do a lot is have students stand up and do dance revolution videos on Youtube. Another teacher has his students do jumping jacks just like the author of "A Veteran teacher" (2014) mentions in the article. In the upper grades, we constantly have students sitting outside using their chrome books working on their projects so they can get some sunlight. When I taught, I constantly had my students stand up to walk around for 10 seconds every 30-40 min and talk to a partner, beyond all the think pair share (tps) we do as well as many total physical response (tor).
On the second takeaway, the author of "A Veteran teacher" (2014) mentions that students listen for about 90% of their time in class. Once again this is not the norm at our school. Last year we noticed this as an admin team and what we decided to do is to set a standard a a school of how much a teacher needed to talk and how much a student needed to talk. We called this student talk vs teacher talk, we did several rounds of peer observations and in the end we were able to not only achieve the goal but maintain the goal of having students talk for about 70% of the class period. In order to accomplish this, we as teachers had to give up some control and provide depth of knowledge questions that would encourage our students to discuss. Additionally, we set up our classrooms with Partner A and B as well as table groups so students had someone to always talk to when we asked a question. As a result of this our CELDT scores have gone up in the last two years and we are now focusing on reading time across the school.
After reading this article now I know that I am very lucky to have a school like mine were innovation and challenges are addressed.
(undefined, October 2014). A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days - a sobering lesson learned. Granted, and.... Retrieved June 21, 2015, from https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/a-veteran-teacher-turned-coach-shadows-2-students-for-2-days-a-sobering-lesson-learned/