Monthly Archives: November 2014

What Students Really Need to Hear

I just said the same thing to my classes today because they didn’t do some homework. The point wasn’t that they didn’t do their homework. The point was that they didn’t even try because it was “too hard”. That thought drives me nuts! As I told me students: Step up and figure it out. Life’s hard, get a helmet.  This essay is exactly what I wanted my students to hear.  The point of school isn’t the academics, although those are good things to know, the point is to step up and learn to overcome difficulties.  Thanks for writing it. 🙂

AFFECTIVE LIVING

It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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rethink my classroom

The Buckeye Union High School District just passed its bond on Thursday. This means that my district gets some money to build some badly needed buildings (cause we have on average 40 students per class and no more rooms for new teachers), some extra buses (cause our district is growing like crazy), and a laptop for each student. BUHSD is going one-to-one with technology.

This is an interesting change to this district. Buckeye is a fastly growing community and I see this as a step in the right direction for the school and the community at large. Time to enter the 21st century. Students that I teach are going to fact completely new challenges than the ones that my generation is facing and technology is going to be key to their success. These students need to use the resources available to them is super important and often overlooked. We expect these kids to know how to use technology because they have smart phones, but the truth is that they are just as clueless as other sects of the population. They just know how to snapchat better. It boggles my mind when I ask students to look something up. Most just Google the exact question asked, read on the first link (they don’t actually click on it), Yahoo answers or Wikipedia. They don’t know how to use key words or how to look for creditable sources. So that becomes a challenge as a teacher.

The second thing this bond does it’s make me think about how to redesign my curriculum in order to effectively use these new devices. Students having laptops completely changes the way I need to teach. No more PowerPoint notes and worksheets. Or is there still a way to use those? How do students turn stuff in? Which program is best to use for file sharing? How do you administer tests? How do you charge 30+ laptops in a class using the four outlets available?

All these questions need to be thought out and answered. But despite going into the unknown, I’m excited for the change. This will be something good for my students, my school, and the community. It’ll be exciting to see how it plays out next year.


Feels

I watched Big Hero 6 this weekend and it was so good!  Disney just keeps hitting them out of the park.  Whatever formula they are using, it’s working.  We are back in the golden age of animation and Disney is winning.  Mainly because of the feels.  Between Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen and now Big Hero 6, Disney has managed to make people really feel something for their characters.  In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph is someone people can relate to because he’s just trying to do his job and have people recognize that he’s doing it well.  Frozen gets away from the typical princess falling in love story to make it about family and supporting each other.

Now Big Hero 6 does something similar.  It takes grief and healing and loss and weaves a beautiful story that is both funny and touching.  Baymax, the robot character, is just as lovable as other Disney robot characters such as Walle and Eve.  And Hiro, the teen genius hero of the film, is a nice change from princesses and thieves as a main character.  Plus, he is into science and engineering which is fun.

Big Hero 6 = so much win!


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