I started this blog more than two years ago. And this last post will soon join all of the others I've done in the great Internet Archive in the sky (luckily still searchable!). But before we say goodbye (for now), I want to gather up part of what I've learned, contributed, and where I went wrong.
Civic duties involve doing things in the world—pushing us to go beyond knowledge, thinking skills, and values within our classrooms. Civic education requires practice working with others to take action.
My high school math textbooks felt like a barrier preventing me from connecting with the teacher and discipline, but I think I have found a way to use the CPM resources to forge deeper relationships with my students.
Instead of accepting the premise that high achieving young people won't be engaged by teaching for an entire career we ought to attack it. Share stories of the ways in which our 10th or 20th or 30th year teaching has changed our thinking or challenged ideas we used to hold.
We need traditions that show a value for big educational moments. Ones that point younger students towards meaningful goals and reaffirm the work that we all do to raise the next generation of citizens. Learning and celebrating learning should be a priority. This means that it should take precedence over life-as-usual for ALL people in a community, not just those with direct connections.
Kindergarten teacher Sharon Davison provides an example of how educators can serve as advocates in the current political climate.
I hope that our school will be around long enough for future students to look at 100 years worth of picture in our hallway, but it won't unless we instill value for this kind of knowledge in our students and our leaders.
As one of the professionals whose work life they know as well as almost any other, I owe it to my students to model what healthy labor looks like. Here's an annotated list of a handful of ways I try to teach them about healthy work through example.
It is a complicated world and it feels like it gets more complicated every day. I'd never suggest to a student that I know how to navigate this complexity, but I do believe that there are some etablished principles that can help. One of these is to develop a road map to use to track where you are going and evaluate whether or not you've gotten there. Requiring students to devise a plan for a complex problem and discuss that plan in detail in order to graduate high school will help them develop that map for the problems to come.
t). Early in my career, I tried to teach with a running internal monologue. I would scroll through the various external factors that were changing moment-to-moment and search for ways to effectively respond to individuals while maintaining fidelity to my class and school goals. I needed a .mantra. The following phrase help to quiet the constant chatter and re-establish focus on a few things that I can control.