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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Computer Science Teaching Tips



Alfred Thompson on Episode 182 of the 10-Minute Teacher show

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Alfred Thompson talks about the trends in teaching Computer Science. Topics include:

  • How to get kids moving as you teach programming
  • What happens when a school has every student learn Computer Science
  • How to engage young women in Computer Science Programming

Today’s Sponsor: WriQ from Texthelp is a new FREE Add-on for Google Docs that helps teachers easily assess student writing and track progress over time by automatically scoring students’ spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. It also incorporates rubrics so teachers can provide meaningful, qualitative feedback to encourage the writing journey.
This handy free Google Docs add-on tracks things like: time spent writing, spelling-grammar-and punctuation error rates and pulls it into a clear graphical view in your teacher dashboard. To learn more about Wriq go to http://ift.tt/2y91EpU

Listen Now

Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

Computer Science Teaching Tips

Link to show: http://ift.tt/2z2U7t5
Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Vicki: Today we’re taking a trip into one of my favorite Computer Science teachers’ classroom, Alfred Thompson @alfredtwo I feel like I’ve known Alfred forever. He is not only a national and international voice for computer science education, but he teaches in the classroom.

So Alfred, tell us about your classroom. What do you teach, and what’s your philosophy of teaching computer science?

Philosophy of Teaching Computer Science

Alfred: We actually have a series of computer science classes in my school. Pretty much all of our freshmen take a course we call “Explorations in Computer Science.” It’s a one-semester course. We focus really on concepts, giving them vocabulary, helping them understand the role of computers in the classroom, and we also spend a little bit of time — a few weeks — on to get started with programming. We want them to understand how a computer works.

Then we have next level we’ve got an honors programming class and a mobile applications class, also both one-semester courses. That’s for kids who want to get in a little deeper. Of course, we cheated a little bit. We make a full year of computer science a requirement for graduation.

Vicki: Wow! We do at my school, too. And it’s been a great thing.

Everyone Takes Computer Science at Alfred’s School

Alfred: It really has, because it’s forcing kids to look at things. Now, of course, it’s forced us to have more options, too. Next year for the first time, we’ll be teaching both AP courses. So yeah, we’ve been teaching AP Computer Science A for a while, and it’s really great for the kids who are heavy into computer science and already thinking that’s the way they want to go.

Next year I’ll be teaching the computer science principles course, which I’m really excited about. You know, it’s a breadth course. It’s not solid programming like the A course is, but it’s going to give us a lot of time to talk about the issues in computer science, the role in society, the different ways computer science is used. So I’m really excited about the chance to explore the wider world of computer science — you know, beyond programming — with a good group of kids. I’m really excited about that!

Vicki: That’s exciting! So, Alfred, what’s the most transformational … Give me an example of a project or something you’ve done in some of these courses, that you’re like, “OK. This is what it’s supposed to look like.”

A Semester Project instead of a Semester Exam

Alfred: You know, one of the things we started doing a few years ago was — rather than having a semester exam at the end of the course, we have a semester project. What happens here is the kids get to pick their own projects. They’re going to create an application, something that interests them. So you know, we give them some possible suggestions, but it’s their project.

It turns out that they learn a ton — because when they’ve got a project that interests them, they’re really motivated to learn beyond even what we talked about in class. That’s always the goal, I think. You know you don’t want kids trying to learn just enough to pass the course. You want them learning more because they want to solve a problem. So I think that — we do projects all along, but that semester project really transforms the course and finishes it up with a bang.

Vicki: So what would be something that somebody might do in that semester project?

Semester Project Examples

Alfred: Okay, well you know, for our freshman have only had maybe four weeks of programming. So they’ll write a simple game — you know, a tic-tac-toe, a Lights Out game.

We’ve also got kids doing some projects that are the mind games that are supposed to help you improve your mental acuity. And they involve timers, you know, they are going to go for 30 seconds.Then things are going to happen with every time. They’re totally unaware of what they might learn.

But other kid, like in the honors programming course, do their own version of Pac-Man or Space Invaders. I’ve had kids do projects that help them with their physics courses, for example, which they’re really excited about! And frankly, so are their teachers.

Vicki: So what do you think the biggest mistakes are that schools are making these days about computer science?

Mistakes Schools are Making with Computer Science

Alfred: Well, I think a lot of schools still think that it’s just for a special set of geeky kids — you know, the white and Asian male students. That’s a huge mistake, because girls are awesome at it, especially if you give them projects that they’re interested in.

I think the other thing that schools make is the assumption that there’s a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. You know, the same projects work for everybody. And that’s definitely not the case. I think they don’t spend enough time asking kids about projects that are relevant to them.

I had a student tell me one time, “I really like when you give us projects that are relevant.

And I said, “Oh! You mean like the program we did that balances checkbook?”

And she said, “No, I mean like tic-tac-toe!”

Vicki: (laughs) OK, That’s interesting! (laughs)

Alfred: (laughs) Right? Because what we as adults think of as relevant is not necessarily the same as what students think of as relevant.

Vicki: Yeah.

Alfred: And that’s fine.

Vicki: So Alfred, you see computer science across the whole nation. You’re on the board for CSTA. Do schools have to put in an official computer science class or are there other ways to pull computer science into other classes?

How to Bring Computer Science into Other Classes

Alfred: They are definitely other ways of pulling computer science into other classes. One of the things that my wife has done with her middle school students she works a lot with reluctant readers and reluctant writers. She had a student who was kind of a problem in English class. He wasn’t into writing. As a reward for behaving well, she had him creating stories using Scratch.

Vicki: Hmmmm.

Alfred: So there was a reward there. He saw it as playing a game, but he was really learning how to tell stories but in a computational way. I like to see teachers integrate computer science tools in a lot of other subjects. I see teachers science teachers, for example, having students analyze data using Excel. I think they could do a lot more if they learned a few of the computer science concepts that Excel excels at (laughs) — quite frankly, like conditional formatting, for example.

Decision structures — like Computate — you get the whole decision structures thing. It makes things more interesting, it makes things pop out at you, for example. This kind of thing, getting more out of these computational type tools — because you understand the concepts behind them — can be a powerful way to enhance all of the curriculum.

Vicki: Yeah, and it’s all about getting kids to create their world and not just be consumers of it.

Alfred: Oh, absolutely. You know, I find the kids… you know, they pretend like they just want to sit there and soak stuff up. But they really want to sit there and ignore you.

Vicki: (laughs)

Alfred: They really do. And they’re really great at it. Awesome at it. They don’t even need fidget spinners. But you know if you get them motivated to do something different, motivated to get them up and moving? One of the things I’ve been working on a lot this year, and which I want to continue doing is getting kids to learn on their feet.

Vicki: Yeah? What do you mean by that?

How to Get Students Moving in Computer Science Class

Alfred: Well for example, when I introduce loops, I’ll have a kid stand up.

And I’ll say, “Take seven steps.”

He’ll take seven steps, and we’ll talk about, “How did you know when to stop?” and “What was the set up? Basically, when you were walking, you were doing all the things we do in a counting loop.

Or, “Walk back to this point here.” That’s a “while loop.”

Vicki: Yeah.

Alfred: You know, kids love money. I’ll take out a handful of change, and I’ll ask one student, “How many coins are here?” Alright, that was counting.

Now I’ll give the same handful of coins to another student and ask, “How much money is here?” Then we’ll talk about how that student is basically using an accumulator.

These are things they do in real life, but they don’t realize how they relate to computation. So seeing that real-world connection, getting up and physically moving around…

You know, when we do sorting, I have the kids moving all over the place. You know, “Sort yourselves by age. Sort yourselves by height.”

There’s a really nice Radix sort exercise from CS Unplugged that we use. We have kids walking around. It makes them stay awake. They’ve got to follow the directions.

Vicki: Yeah, and you get that bodily-kinesthetic learner going!

So, educators, we’ve learned a lot of remarkable things from Alfred. I think that it’s important for us to understand. I love how he’s constantly iterating, and he’s saying, “OK, I’m excited about doing this, or I’m excited about doing that.”

Here you have one of the people who is known to be one of the leaders in computer science education. You do not see him settling. You see him making it relevant to students. You see him bringing the real world in. You see him harnessing student passions.

And these are the things that we need, to be remarkable.

 

 

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Alfred Thompson is a high school computer science teacher at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua NH. Alfred is a member of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Board. He has been a professional software developer, a textbook author, a developer evangelist, a school technology coordinator, a school board member and more. Alfred sees himself as a computer science education activist working to help reach more young people with the knowledge that they can make the world a better place through software. Read more by Alfred Thompson at his Computer Science Teacher blog (http://ift.tt/16Gqz3t).

Blog:Computer Science TeacherTwitter: @alfredtwo

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Computer Science Teaching Tips appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2z4pNym
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Shattering Perfect Teacher Myths



Aaron Hogan on episode 181 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Aaron Hogan shatters myths about teaching. Empower yourself as a teacher with the knowledge you do not have to be perfect. Learn how to build collegiality and support other teachers.

Today’s Sponsor: WriQ from Texthelp is a new FREE Add-on for Google Docs that helps teachers easily assess student writing and track progress over time by automatically scoring students’ spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. It also incorporates rubrics so teachers can provide meaningful, qualitative feedback to encourage the writing journey.
This handy free Google Docs add-on tracks things like: time spent writing, spelling-grammar-and punctuation error rates and pulls it into a clear graphical view in your teacher dashboard. To learn more about Wriq go to http://ift.tt/2y91EpU

Listen Now

Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure.  For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

Shattering Perfect Teacher Myths

Vicki: Today we’re talking to Aaron Hogan @aaron_hogan about shattering the “Perfect Teacher Myth.” He has a book of the same name that we’ll be sharing in the show notes.

So Aaron, you know, as a teacher… You know, sometimes I feel like I have to apologize. People will walk in my room, and everybody’s going crazy. We’re learning! But it doesn’t look like what we think we’re supposed to look like. Why are we as teachers so uptight? Why do we feel like we have to be perfect?

Aaron: Right. So I think that first — you’re not alone. I’ve run across several people who’ve had that feeling. I think teaching is is one of those professions that is unique in a lot of ways. One of those unique qualities about teaching is that you’re the only adult in that room, making the magic happen while you’re in there. So it’s hard to know what’s going on on the other side of those walls. I worked in a building with brick walls, and those brick walls are pretty thick.

It’s hard to know what’s going on on the other side and so when something happens that maybe has been explained to you as kind of a quick fix, “Hey, just do these things, and the kids will do this in response.” When it doesn’t work, then you feel like, “I must be the variable in the room, right? It must be me that’s leading to this not going the way that I would hope.”

And I think that’s not true but I think that almost every educator has had that feeling, that, ”You know, some things aren’t going right. It must be that I’m the problem in this situation.”

And wouldn’t you agree — I mean I’ve been teaching six years — and every year has its own unique problems.

Aaron: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Vicki: I mean, we don’t arrive at perfection, do we?

Aaron: No. No. Never. I think it’s one of the things that keeps it really fun — that there’s always something new there for in the classroom.

Even though those things worked great last year, you get to figure out, “OK. It’s going to work great for these kids this year, but maybe not for for this group.”

And then you’ve got that new challenge of, “How am I going to reach that next group? What am I going to do to take care of them and to meet their needs? How is that going to build that arsenal of ways to really reach kids the way that we want our own kids to be reached in their classrooms?”

Vicki: So, how do we shatter the “perfect teacher myth”?

Tip to Shatter the Teacher Myth #1: Know the Myths

Aaron: OK, so the first thing, I think we’ve got to know what the myths are before we get out there to shatter them. And I think even before that, know that there are these myths that are taking over.

When these myths start to creep in, they make teachers feel like it’s time to lose all their self confidence. It makes teachers feel like a failure, when really it’s a measurement that no one could actually stand up to.

Myth: Do this and then kids behave

It’s things like, you know, that feeling of, “If I do these sorts of things, then all the kids will behave.”

Myth: Buckle Down, I can do it alone

Or, “if I just just buckle down, then I can do all these things on my own.” Then that’s some level of perfection.

But those things aren’t true.

The reality is that when we go in and we realize that maybe those behavior expectations need to be taught. And they’re going to be forgotten, just like other things — the academic content that people might forget.

We realize that, and then we have a different sort of standard to live up to. It’s just that we need to be responsible and teach those expectations.

It’s the same thing with that isolation. When we realize, “I can’t do all of these things on my own. I’m so much better when I lean on the other people who need me just as much as I need them.”

When we work in collaboration with other people, we can reject that isolation that makes us feel like we are the only one who’s going through these sorts of circumstances.

Vicki: We are not alone. I think it’s important to learn that.

Aaron: Ah, but it can feel that way.

Vicki: Goodness knows it can. Because you know that when you close the door, it’s you and them, you know?

Aaron: Right.

Vicki: So what other myths — you’ve talked about two or three now — what other myths do you think can paralyze us as teachers or even make us want to quit?

Aaron: Sure. I think there’s a couple that I want to hit on here.

Myth: You have to be perfect.

One is this idea of value in vulnerability. That, for me for a long time, and even now I have to fight against valuing that that idea of looking like it I have it all together.

And really, when I can get past that, when I get to that point where I can say, “You know what? I don’t have it all together. I’ve worked on some things. I know some things, but I have a lot to learn. What can I learn?”

It opens you up to the space where you can learn from someone else. And they feel like they can learn from you — because you’re not the person who just has it all together. It’s a “We’re in this together learning from one another.”

Let’s be kind to beginning teachers

Vicki: I know somebody who is coming in from the business world who is teaching. And you know, some people can be very impatient with beginners. It’s I don’t know why we expect people who are beginning teachers to have it all together and have all their classroom management. But I kind of think that sometimes those of us who are a little more veteran might not be fair to beginners.

Myth: We have to learn how to teach on our own – we don’t learn from other teachers

Aaron: I think so. Some of that, it may be a sense of, “f I had to work through it on my own, then other people might need to also.” But I think that’s flawed thinking.

If we are people who’ve had to work through those things on our own, we need to pay it forward to those teachers who are working through through now. Say, “Hey, when I was a first year teacher, these are all the ways that I blew it. Or I felt like I blew it, at least, in front of my students.”

Realize that others struggle too

Any time we can open up ourselves to that powerful response of “Me, too,” where somebody else can realize that, “Hey, this other person from down the hall, during the passing period, it looked like she has it all together. But really, she’s been through the same sorts of struggles I have.”

We want that community of learners for our kids. That brings us together. We can extend empathy to others. That brings us together as a staff in a way that’s just really powerful.

That’s when we can see some transformation, moving forward, and people believing the right things about themselves.

Vicki: So What’s another myth?

Myth: You have to be monumental to change lives

Aaron: One of the other myths is that it takes a huge, monumental-like, life-changing act to be one of those memorable teachers for kids. What I really believe is that it’s those everyday things that make a kid remember teacher for a lifetime.

All it takes is being that person who’s consistently there, giving somebody a high five, giving somebody a fist bump, even just at that smile every day in the hallway. Those are the things that end up making a really big impact for a long time. We can still have those big impressive things that people will remember, “Oh, that one day…”

But students, I think, are much more likely to remember the impact that you made over 180 days, rather than over one or two really impactful days.

Vicki: Well, I’m thinking back on Tuesday. We showed this movie. We kind of have them Chapel time at my school on Tuesdays, and I had a student who kind of sits behind the screen.

I said, “don’t you need to need to come in front of the screen?

And he said, “No, I watch your laptop.”

Well, I took the laptop and just pointed it at him and just kind of nodded.

He nodded back at me.

But the look on his face was, “You didn’t get on to me for sitting behind the screen. You noticed that this is kind of where I want to sit because I kind of want to be by myself and be over here. and you just turned your laptop so I can see it better. And that was thoughtful.”

Because you’re right. Sometimes, it’s the little bitty, ordinary things and noticing somebody that makes all the difference.

Aaron: Right. I had a student once — I came back from being out. I was just out doing some district training, and I came back to school the next day.

She said, “Mr. Hogan, I was having a bad day yesterday, and you weren’t here, and you always notice, and it made me sad that you weren’t here.” a

And I still don’t know what I did on the front end, but that’s the outcome that we want. I like it that I don’t even know what I did it’s just, “Be there in those everyday moments to really engage with kids. That leaves a lasting impact.”

Vicki: If you have to pick one big myth that you haven’t mentioned yet that you think could be life-changing if we busted, what would it be?

Myth: That someone can tell us what to do to make us a great teacher

Aaron: This idea that we can imagine better for our kids. I think the myth, sometimes, is that the best teachers excel at by meeting those existing expectations. “Just tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it well. I’ll do better than everybody else, and that will make me successful.”

But I love this idea that JK Rowling shared. She says, “We don’t need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.”

And that idea of looking past what we’ve always done, looking past what the status quo has been, looking past what maybe even expected of us… and trying to figure out how we can do the best for our kids — not in like an “I’m going to work my myself for 80 hours a week and exhaust myself,” way, but, “Just with what I have to give, how can I do the absolute best for those that I serve?”

That’s really important to me that we’re not thinking through change for change sake, but just thinking about what is the best experience that we can provide for students if you’re a classroom teacher, or for your staff if you’re that campus leader. What’s what can we do to imagine better for those who we serve.

Vicki: Teachers, as we finish up — I’ll we will link to Aaron’s book in the show notes — but I just wanted to give you a, “Me, too.”

You know, I have bad days. “Me, too.”

You know we all struggle.”Me, too.”

We all sometimes feel like, “Why are we doing this, and are we even important?” That’s a ”Me, too.”

These are things that we feel as teachers. We struggle. We have hard days. We mess up. But I will tell you this — there are those moments where you realize that we’re doing something that is really, I would say, one of the most special impactful professions on the entire planet and I would say, ”Me, too.”

Aaron: Absolutely.

Vicki: I’m making a difference too, just like you, Aaron.

Aaron: There you go. That’s what it’s all about, finding those ways to connect with kids and do what’s best for them.

Bio as submitted


Aaron is a husband, dad, educator, blogger, speaker, and author. His recently published book, Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth: 6 Truths That Will Help You THRIVE as an Educator, highlights a few myths that many teachers don’t even realize are there and replaces each myth with a truth that will help teachers get out of survival mode at school.

Blog: Aaron Hogan

Twitter: @aaron_hogan

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Shattering Perfect Teacher Myths appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2z4yLNQ
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

5 Ways to Be an Unforgettable Teacher



Chuck Poole on episode 180 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Chuck Poole shares five ways to be an unforgettable teacher or an unforgettable coach. He also gives us links to some free cards he shares with students and parents. Get inspired with some fantastic advice on reaching students.

Today’s Sponsor: GradeCam can save you time! Quickly create assessments for any grade or subject without special forms or equipment. Instantly scan and score with any mobile, desktop or document camera. Automatically transfer grades into any digital grade book. Find more time for teaching and living. Sign up for a 60-day free trial at http://ift.tt/2gzEf8G and save time!

Listen Now

Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

Five Ways to Be an Unforgettable Teacher

Shownotes: http://ift.tt/2hnDwbX
Date: Friday, October 27, 2017

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Chuck Poole @cpoole27 of the Teachonomy blog and podcast about five ways to be an unforgettable teacher.

So, Chuck, what is our first way?

Chuck: Well, our first way — because you know on Teachonomy I like to say, “Be the teacher they never forget.”

I love talking about this especially to help inspire teachers.

Unforgettable Teacher Tip #1: Start with a Relationship

The first way, I think, is probably the most important that we’ll even talk about. I want to start with it, and it’s relationship.

I believe that there’s a big difference between having a relationship with someone where you know maybe we say hello or or we have small talk, and then nurturing one that we actually care about. I think that it’s in creating those genuine relationships that you become unforgettable.

Vicki: So, how are some ways you nurture those relationships?

Chuck: Whether you’re investing in your students, or your colleagues, or even people at home, I think that the key is simple. I think that you hit on this a lot on your site just from experiencing it. I think that the key to it is we need to let people know that they matter.

Vicki: (agrees)

Chuck: And then our relationship will grow as we build trust. But I think one problem that people have is that they don’t know where to begin. So one thing that I would recommend and one thing that I think is very tangible — it’s what I do, and I have found that it’s an easy way to break the ice and begin nurturing a relationship — is through simple notes. So regardless if you’re super outgoing or extremely shy, these notes can kind of serve as a bridge to help build a relationship.

What I do is I actually have two sets of encouraging note cards. I actually had a designer create them. I like to print them, and I keep a stack of them on my desk. So I have one stack that was designed specifically to encourage teachers and one that’s for students and parents and everyone else.

And what I do is, I will literally take one — and they have inspirational quotes and things like that on them — and I will turn it over and hand write the note. I’ll drop it in the colleague’s mailbox, or in the student’s notebook, or even give it to parents during parent-teacher conferences. I find that it’s opened doors to relationships that I would never have otherwise had.

Vicki: Now you’ve got these. We’re going to add it to the show notes, so that the listeners can download, too, right?

Chuck: Yeah so I have them on Teachonomy, but I’ll give you the links for both sets of those, so that way people can download them and share them with their colleagues and their students. I find that they are just really accepted well. People always smile when they have a personalized note from someone. One thing that I did find — just to wrap up this particular idea — is that these notes have given me the opportunity to build relationships in a way, where I’ve gone from the person that someone is smiling at, to the reason why they’re smiling. I think that there’s a big difference.

Vicki: Ohhhh. I love that! OK, what’s our second?

Unforgettable Teacher Tip #2: Be the Coach in the Classroom

Chuck: Our second one is to be the coach in the classroom. Now this one hits home with me because I’ve actually been a coach for over 20 years — in athletics and in sports.

One thing that I’ve learned is that in order for my team to be successful, I need them to know three things:

  1. They need to know that they can trust what I say.
  2. They need to know that I believe in them.
  3. They need to know what their goals are, and that I am someone who could help them achieve them.

So when they have these three pieces of knowledge, I’ve had successful teams, and I’ve become a coach that they remember.

So in order to be a coach in the classroom, I think that we can grasp those concepts and put them into our classrooms. I think before students can learn from us, and before we become unforgettable in their minds, they have to know these three things; they have to know that they can trust you, they have to know they that you believe in them, and they have to know that you can help guide them toward accomplishing their goals.

Vicki: I love it.

Chuck: Once they know those three things, then you can truly coach them and guide them and really become unforgettable.

Vicki: Awesome. What’s our third?

Unforgettable Teacher Tip #3: Face Your Fears

Chuck: The third one is to face your fears. I’m a firm believer that no one ever moves forward in life by standing still. I think in order to be an unforgettable teacher, you have to be willing to get rid of the excuses that kind of get us stuck. We have to be willing to take the risks that scare us in order to move forward.

And this is cool, Vicki. I read a statistic the other day, that said in our world today our knowledge doubles every three months. so that means that today, we know double what we knew just three months ago.

I think as a teacher, that kind of tells us that we need to be willing to embrace change. In order to stand out from the crowd — and change tends to be something that we often fear because we fear that with that change comes failure.

Vicki: (agrees)

Chuck: I think one way to face that fear is to look at failure a little bit differently. I think if we were to change how we look at it. Instead of looking at failure is something that we did wrong, or we couldn’t accomplish, but we look at it rather as something we needed in order to learn and move forward, I think we would be able to face those fears and embrace change a little bit differently. Once we embrace that change and we face those fears, we begin to eliminate the excuses that once got us stuck, and we help students become even better than we thought possible, even if it scares us to death.

Vicki: Yeah. Once I heard an acronym for FEAR. False Evidence Appearing Real. That is so true many times. So what’s our fourth?

Chuck: Yeah I agree that is awesome, that acronym, actually.

Unforgettable Teacher Tip #4: Exceed Expectations

The fourth one is to exceed expectations. Now, great teachers, I think always exceed expectations, and I think most people that are listening to this probably would fall into that category.

I find that a story that was once told to me kind of transformed the way I look at how I teach. I just want to share that, because I have a friend and a mentor that’s outside of teaching so it’s not someone that is a teacher. But they told me a story once to kind of explain a point about his daughter.

He told me that when his daughter was younger, she loved to play games on his iPhone, just like any kids would. She would constantly ask for time to play, and he would oblige and say,”Yeah, sure. That’s fine.”

But there was one time that she came in, and she asked him if she could play on his iPhone, and he said no. So she walked away and she was kind of sad. He said he stopped her, and he said, “No, just wait one second.” He reached in his bag and he pulled out his iPad. And he said, “You can’t play on my iPhone, but you can play on my iPad.”

He was saying that you know, from a loving father he wanted to give her much more than she expected.

I think as teachers, we should strive to give our students an iPad experience when they’re expecting an iPhone.

Vicki: I love that! OK, what’s our fifth?

Unforgettable Teacher Tip #5: Be Quiet

Chuck: Our fifth is to simply be quiet.

Vicki: Ohhhh, that’s hard!

Chuck: What I mean by that is that think that teachers should really never be the loudest person in the room — which we’ve heard that the people doing the learning should be the ones doing the talking, which is something that I heard in a conversation as well. I think that we all understand that the importance of collaboration and discussion is crucial. But to be unforgettable, I think we need to be quiet in a different way.

Here’s what I mean. One thing that I did this year — and I found it to be a game-changer — was I implemented a weekly meeting. Literally, what I did was I took one class period. I took it out of the curriculum, and everything. It was on Fridays, and every Friday we have one class period that was dedicated to having an in-house meeting with my classes. I teach middle school, so I have multiple classes.

What we would do is each week with each class, we focus on three things.

1 – Evaluate me as a teacher

The first thing I told him was probably one of the most important, and that was where they had to evaluate me as a teacher. They have to tell me what I did well, what I did poorly, what I can improve on. I gave them that voice to kind of give me the criticism that I would need in order to help me get better.

2 – Class meeting about learning

Second, I told them the concepts that we be focusing on the next week, and together we would brainstorm how they wanted to learn them. So then it was my job to kind of develop the unit or lessons around it with it how they themselves learned.

3 – Plan together

Then third, we’d literally plan together. We would work out things like rubrics or strategies or things like that together so they had a full understanding of the expectations. They knew the expectations going into the following week, and they essentially helped create them. It gave them ownership of their learning.

I found that even with boring materials, they were more engaged after implementing these meetings than they ever had been. So I think, you know, when we take the time to be quiet and listen carefully, and we give our students that chance to give input, we become just unforgettable.

Vicki: Oh, I love that! Like, I’m so doing that, Chuck!

Chuck: (laughs)

Vicki: I’m sitting here thinking about, you know, the greatest PD for me is very often podcasts, blog posts, but even when educators who care share… So when you talk to somebody like you, and you have these amazing ideas, it transforms us.

I’m so excited about striving to be unforgettable. Thank you!

Chuck: Oh, you’re welcome!

 

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Chuck is a teacher, a coach and the visionary behind Teachonomy (http://ift.tt/YQZsjS). He is the host of the Teachonomy Talks podcast (http://ift.tt/2onW3XB), and blogs weekly on topics that encourage, equip, and empower teachers and leaders around the globe. Chuck has been teaching for over 15 years and believes that those who teach and lead have the unique opportunity to live life out loud and become the champions of those they serve. Chuck lives in New Jersey with his wife and enjoys mentoring others, creating laughter in the classroom, and the continued pursuit of his next adventure.

Blog: http://ift.tt/YQZsjS

Twitter: @cpoole27

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post 5 Ways to Be an Unforgettable Teacher appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2gNXdbT
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Why Teachers Should Talk about Teaching



Tom Rademacher on episode 179 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Tom Rademacher, author of It Won’t Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and slightly unprofessional) Book About Teaching, shares why teachers should tell their story. (And how they can do it without losing their job.)

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

179 Why Teachers Should Talk About Teaching

Tom Rademacher @MrTomRad

Vicki: So I’m here at the National State Teachers of the Year conference (NNSTOY). Do check out their website.

I’m with one of our teachers, Tom Rademacher, from Minnesota. He is the author of It Won’t Be Easy.

Why teachers need to talk about what they do teaching

Now, Tom, you kind of think that a lot of us teachers should start telling our story. Why?

Tom: I don’t think there’s enough people doing it. I think, ultimately, just as busy as I am as writer, and how many people are asking me, and I’m not that interesting. (laughs)

The stories that happen in individual classrooms start to feel normal and everyday. But really every classroom is full of really amazing and really ridiculous things that happen.

To tell those stories, I think that those are the things that are missing from the national conversations about education. What does an actual classroom look like during the day?

Teachers have this tremendous power to share those stories, and I don’t think that we’re a profession that likes to talk about itself that much. I think it’s a really important and powerful thing that we can do, to have more of use writing about what we see everyday.

What do you say to teachers who say “I’m not that special”

Vicki: I totally agree with you, but I will say that it’s intimidating.

You feel like, “Well, I’m just a teacher,” of “I’m not that special,” or “I don’t want to draw attention to myself.”

What do you say to that?

Tom: I get that. I think the best teachers are humble, and they teach with humility. And so, as a profession it’s hard for us to reach out of our classrooms and feel like we’re not somehow betraying that quality.

But I think in a lot of ways, it serves us as professionals. I think it serves us as teachers to do that in some way — to enter the broader conversation.

When I started writing about teaching, it was really for me. It was a really powerful thing for my own practice — just to get things out, to reflect on them, to write about some of the harder things that happened. By writing them out, it kind of put order to them in my head.

You know, we don’t PAUSE when we’re teaching. Ever. We don’t have 5 minutes to think and sit and reflect on something, unless we make ourselves take it.

And so it made me hit PAUSE on big events that happened in my classroom, and really reflect on them.

So there’s a service to doing it, to writing beyond, you know, getting attention, or whatever for yourself.

Vicki: (agrees)

Tom: So, yeah, I understand how people don’t really want to reach out all the way. But it’s a really valuable thing.

 

Vicki: So, I totally agree with you that educators who care… share. That’s just what we do.

But you know there’s a lot of concern. Some administrators don’t want their teachers writing about their classrooms. Some teachers are afraid. “Well, if I write, I’m going to lose my job.”

Now you and I are both living proof that you can write and keep your job.

But what do you say to those who have that concern?

Tom: I think it’s a really legit concern.

I think, really, unfortunately, you run into egos when you are in school systems.

There are plenty of people in building and district offices or departments of ed — who aren’t interested in a teacher “stepping outside of their lane,”

I guess is how they would look at it, right?

So when you start to be a teacher that gets more attention than your principal, maybe, or has people asking for your input, and not your superintendent, there are people that definitely push back on that.

I think that’s where we want to go as teachers.

I think that “lane” we’re put in — that school is something that happens to us, rather than something that we help design and run — we want to change that.

I think that a way to do that is to elevate as many teacher voices as we can.

And — if you’re smart about, right? I mean, hopefully, you don’t believe bad things about kids. Because if you do, then you shouldn’t be teaching.

Vicki: Right?

Tom: But we all get frustrated, right? We have a frustrating day, and maybe we’re just — honestly, sick of the class we have or sick of whatever. That’s probably not the time to go writing…

Vicki: (laughs and agrees)

Tom: Think about what you’re writing and putting on the internet, knowing that parents might see it. Your bosses might see it. So you want it to reflect your honest experience, but you also want it to… This is not a place to attack kids.

Vicki: Yeah. Well, Abraham Lincoln, when he died, they went in, and they found a whole lot of scathing letters that he never mailed. So I call it, “Lincolning my letters.”

Tom: Nice.

Vicki: I take it, if I write it. The best stuff you write is in the heat of the moment. It just is!

Tom: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Vicki: So I’ll write it. Then I sit on it for six months. So nobody can tell where it came from.

You know, some of the best stuff I’ve ever written — “What do you do when people hate you?” — is the most popular post I’ve ever written.

And that was a “Lincoln Letter.” I waited six months to air that.

And the other thing is that we need to be part of an Eco-System and not an Ego-System.

When you’re part of an Ego-System, that makes it really, really hard.

So, Tom, what is the difference maker for you? Have you had somebody who’s encouraged your writing in your school or your district that has kind of helped you have this voice?

Tom: I have a teaching team that I’ve worked with for a long time. My book is partially dedicated to them. We call ourselves “The Family,” because we saw each other for many years more often than we saw our actual families.

I write for them in the way that I know that in the conversations we’ve had with each other as teachers, they would call me out anytime I was being too fake, anytime I was trying to be political, anytime I wasn’t being honest with myself about what was working or what wasn’t.

I mean, they were the best kind of coworkers to have. Those ones who knew me, who knew when I wasn’t pushing myself and called me on it.

Those three teachers are really who is in my head when I’m writing about teaching. I know they’re going to read it. I know they’re going to call me out if I’m being anything other than completely honest.

Vicki: I think we’ve hit on something because I asked my curriculum director to read everything I write.

Tom: (agrees)

Vicki: And we discussed it.

So, you had accountability.

Tom: Yeah. Absolutely.

Vicki: So maybe, do you think accountability is the difference in the safety, and the being honest, and having longevity?

Tom: For me, honesty is the most important thing in teaching writing. I think when accountability is somewhat else but to yourself, that you are truly being honest about what you believe.

You’re not trying to write a “popular” piece. You’re not trying to write a piece to fulfill a political agenda. You’re not trying to write a piece to make your boss or your union or the policy group you work with be happy.

You’re writing because you’re sharing your authentic truth. I think that’s the most important thing we can do with our writing.

If we don’t keep ourselves true to that path, I think that’s where you start to see writing that is disingenuous.

I don’t think teachers as an audience have time to read something that isn’t honest.

PAGE_BREAK: PageBreak

Vicki: (laughs) YEAH!

Tom: They will spot it instantly because we know what the real deal is.

And that’s what we’re looking to read.

Vicki: Give a 30-second pep talk to teachers who are wondering if they might have a story to tell.

Tom: Well…

1) You all do. I mean, I don’t think there’s a day that goes by in school that something happens that people outside of school wouldn’t believe if you told them. (laughs)

So you have a story to tell. You can tell it, if you are honest with yourself.

2) You don’t need to put everything you’ve ever thought about teaching into one piece.

Vicki: (laughs) Oh, that’s true!

Tom: Right? So tell your story. Make your point and be done.

If you think about the way that you write — or read — online, most people skim.

So don’t worry about it.

It doesn’t need to be a long piece.

In fact, shorter pieces often go really well, and work really well.

3) Don’t burden yourself with what the final product will be, or if it’s long enough, or enough things.

Know that there are so many people out there — hungry for stories from teachers.

Vicki: Yeah.

Tom: There will be an audience for everyone’s stories to be out there. There’s room for everybody’s to be out there, writing and sharing.

Vicki: So, educators… If you care, share.

Please. Share your story.

And would you tweet me @coolcatteacher when you share your stories, so we can share it with the broader audience.

His name is Tom Rademacher. His book is It Won’t Be Easy.

Take a look at the Shownotes. We’ll give you lots of links.

Thanks again to NNSTOY for letting us record here at their conference!

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford: KymberliMulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Tom Rademacher (Mr. Rad to his students) is the Minnesota Teacher of 2014. He writes about teaching. His book, IT WON’T BE EASY: AN EXCEEDINGLY HONEST (AND SLIGHTLY UNPROFESSIONAL) LOVE LETTER TO TEACHING, will be available in April of 2017 from University of Minnesota Press.

Blog: http://ift.tt/1Jl7526

Twitter: @MrTomRad

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Why Teachers Should Talk about Teaching appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2hccljZ
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Applications Open Now #steam



Sponsored by Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Teachers of grades 6-12 in the United States are invited to apply for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. This contest challenges public school students in grades 6-12 to address a local community issue using their STEAM skills (science, technology, engineering arts, and math). Solve problems and win.

Colorado Students Engineer a Prosthetic for a Veteran

 

This blog post is sponsored by Samsung Solve for Tomorrow. All opinions are my own.

One of the national winners from the 2015-2016 program was a group of middle school students from Colorado. They engineered prosthetic enhancements for a veteran in need. Their mission was to build a comfortable and safe prosthetic for a veteran they knew. The veteran, Kyle Kelley, came in for an interview and measurements. They won a share of $2 million awarded nationally to community-improving STEAM projects around the country.

Many other winners have done amazing things including:

  • Classroom furniture for those with special needs
  • An EV Charging Station
  • A smartwatch app to warn pedestrians of oncoming traffic
  • A Hiking safety app

 

This contest is a fantastic way of helping your students use their skills to improve the world and win technology equipment for your school.

How does the contest work?

  • Entry Period (now through Nov. 9): Teachers from across the country complete the Solve for Tomorrow online application with an idea about using students’ STEAM skills to positively impact their community.
  • First Round (Nov. 22 – Dec. 6): Samsung announces 255 state finalists selected to submit a lesson plan for how their proposed STEAM classroom project will improve their community.
  • Second Round (Dec. 13 – Feb.22): Samsung announces 51 state winners (total including the District of Columbia). Each school receives $25K in technology and a technology kit to produce their presentation video.
  • Third Round (Mar. 1 – 25): Samsung announces 10 national finalists to receive $50K in school technology and a trip to the Pitch Event. Online voting for the Community Choice winner begins.
  • National Winners (Early April): 10 national finalists present their prototype to a panel of judges. Samsung announces three national winners who will each receive a $150K technology grant for their school, plus a Community Choice winner who will receive an additional $15K in technology for their school.

Refer People and Enter to Win

New this year, Samsung has created a referral giveaway program to get all public school employees involved. While only teachers of 6th-12th grade may enter the contest, employees at U.S. public schools can refer their educator colleagues to complete a contest submission and they will be entered for a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Note8 or Samsung 65” TV. Teachers must name their referrer in their application, and Samsung will randomly select five referral winners.***

***Not open to the general public: No purchase necessary to enter or win. Open to employees at eligible schools in the fifty (50) United States/DC twenty-one (21) years of age or older. To enter/official rules: share the Contest with other educators by directing them to http://ift.tt/2y2afh9 to complete the application form including referral fields with all required information. Referrals may come from teachers, administrators or faculty members. Sponsor: Samsung Electronics America, Inc., 85 Challenger Rd., Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660 Void where prohibited. Ends 11/9/17.

Last Year’s Winners

To get some examples of the winning projects, here are last year’s winners.

Selected 2016-2017 National Finalist Schools and Projects

These are some of the finalists as selected by Samsung to give you examples of projects they have selected in prior competitions.

School

Location

Project Overview

Beebe Junior High School

Beebe, Ark.

Designed and built a robotic car seat to alert adults when children are left in hot cars
Snowflake Junior High School*

Snowflake, Ariz.

Created a low-cost wildlife detection system to alert drivers of animals crossing the road and mitigate accidents
Gulfport High School

Gulfport, Miss.

Created a vending machine to supply free hygiene products to the homeless
Gering High School*

Gering, Neb.

Developed a drone-powered spraying system to target weeds and use fewer chemicals on crops.
Pinkerton Academy

Derry, N.H.

Created an app that helps youth get support anonymously when bullied in school
John P. Holland Charter School

Paterson, N.J.

Created a safety app to track students’ route and call for help if needed when walking to school in high-crime areas
Secondary School for Journalism*

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Created an app that helps students in need get an after-school meal from local restaurants that might have otherwise gone to waste
Ross High School

Hamilton, Ohio

Created an emergency notification app to detect and alert faculty and first-responders of any suspicious activity in schools, such as an active shooter
Crownover Middle School

Corinth, Texas

Built temporary natural disaster relief housing for those in need
Pineville Middle School

Pineville, W.Va.

Designed a website connecting students in need with donated food, clothing, and other living necessities.

 

*National Winner

How do we apply?

Applications are open until November 9, 2017. Apply online for consideration.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored blog post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies that I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

The post Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Applications Open Now #steam appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2ldH7gT
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Helping Students Find Passion and Purpose: Barbara Bray



Barbara Bray on episode 174 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Barbara Bray talks about personalizing learning in the classroom. She teaches us strategies and helps us think about how to make our classrooms better. (Note: There were so many great quotes in this show, I’ve made some graphics for you to share. Enjoy!)

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure.

***

Enhanced Transcript

Helping Students Find Passion and Purpose: Barbara Bray

Shownotes: http://ift.tt/2yZw3du
From Audio File: 174 Barbara Bray

Vicki: So today we are talking with Barbara Bray about finding our passion and purpose. Now we’ll put it in the show notes Barbara has her own podcast,“Conversations on Learning“ and I want you to check that out.So Barbara, we as educators, you know, sometimes it easy to kind of go, Why am I doing this?

How do we find our passion and purpose again?

What happens when you wake up one day and realize you need to find your passion and purpose again?

Barbara: Well, teaching is hard and teachers aren’t valued. And we have to figure out a way, or they have to figure out a way to find that passion again because as soon as you start expressing what you love, something happens. The kids get excited because you are modeling that passion for them. And when I see teachers do that it’s so exciting.

What if you’re scripted?

Vicki: Well, what happens when a teacher says I’m scripted, I can’t put my passion into the classroom.

Barbara: Well, I do a lot of coaching and I work with different organizations and districts where what we need to do is figure out, is that really going the way that’s going to help your kids? And so, I’m actually working in Georgia. So there is a coaching group where they go in the classroom and they work with the teacher to see where the gaps are. And see what’s going on, why can’t they go off the script.

Barbara: Sometimes teachers need a little nudge or need someone to model it for them. Kids need you to go off the script.

Vicki: So this is just so tough. If I was scripted, I couldn’t teach. I just wouldn’t do it. Because me and a script, we just wouldn’t go together. I kinda write my own but I just talk to lots of teachers who said, ”Vicki, I would love to do what you do, but nobody will let me“. And I guess, how do we either help them break out of the straight jacket or feel some empowerment, even within a script, where they can bring their passion and purpose?

How to connect and go off script safely

Barbara: I think what you do is when…if you really want to go and try something, take one lesson. Just one lesson. And look at a way you can give your kids some voice. And sometimes the way to do that is to open the conversations with them. And tell them that a little bit about why you are doing that and your own experiences, so they see you are vulnerable but you also had to learn in different ways. And sometimes, if we just stick to the script we don’t take the time to build those relationships. Sometimes you need one on one supports.

When you’ve lost your purpose

Vicki: Ok so we talked a little bit about passion. How about those teachers who say, ”This is not the same profession I got into, I don’t know if I have a purpose.“

Barbara: Well I think it’s time to find the purpose. Because, if you’re going to school and you are going through the motions – the kids know it too. So we have to figure out what we can do to bring the passion back so we can find or discover your purpose. If your purpose, most teachers go into make a difference in a child’s life. So how can we do that? And sometimes, a way to do that is to stop, take some time, and to really breath and rethink what you’re doing with your life. And so this is more competent coaching that takes you into your personal life and your professional life. I call it personal professional learning. How can you tie what you love with what you do?

Vicki: I love that. You know sometimes, I even have to remember and reflect. Because it is so easy to look at today that you forget that special things do happen when you bring your best and your passion.

Building relationships matters

Barbara: And kids want to know you and get to know you. It’s about those relationships. If outside of school you’re a rock climber and you’re taking risks and the kids don’t know that. What if you bring that in and just tell about what you do in your life? And then get them to talk about what they do and what they’re excited about. The conversations change in the classroom, it’s just not rote, following the script. It’s starting to be some fun. It’s just about those relationships.

Why do we lose our passion and purpose in the classroom?

Vicki: So Barbara what do you think the mistake is that teachers make that causes us teachers to lose our passion and purpose?

Barbara: I don’t think it’s the teachers. I think it’s the system. I think that we’ve been taught to follow orders or to be compliant ourselves. And the system is changing all over because we have to. The problem is that we are kinda caught into that compliance mode because we’re scared, we’re not sure what’s going to happen. So we have to look at the ability to build relationships with administrators who hopefully give us a little bit leeway, so we can take those risks and not feel that we are going to get in trouble.

Vicki: Well you know, this is a hard topic, Barbara. Because I think most teachers want to be passionate and want to have a purpose. We do. It’s just so easy to like…ants are a little thing here in the South but you get a whole bunch of bites and you just go running. And I don’t think it’s a big, huge attack of a dragon.I think it’s a thousand tiny ant bites sometimes that get teachers to forget.

Barbara: Well, maybe we need to…how do I … That’s an interesting metaphor. I don’t know if I want to bite that or….

Vicki: Go bite back – go for it

How to regain your purpose

Barbara: Well, I mean the idea of how do you eat an elephant, it’s a bite at a time. If you look at things really big you’ll never be able to tackle it. But if you take one little lesson or one activity and give the kids voice. Move the chairs around, try to figure out some other strategies so you can just kind of test the waters. And all of a sudden, if it doesn’t work you can ask the kids, what would work, what would you like to do differently? Get them involved more so there is voice in it. It really changes the whole culture in the classroom. And I think that’s a problem unless they experience it they don’t know.

Vicki: Yes, you know I think there’s power in rebooting and saying, Ok we are rebooting the classroom, even alpha, and beta testing. Saying, hey kids we’re gonna test something new today. I mean, doesn’t that just spark something?

Ask the students

Barbara: Oh yeah, especially if you ask them. I mean, no one has ever asked them. How do you like to learn? What would you like to learn today? Hey, let’s take everything off the walls. What if we start all over? And you help me design the classroom? Wow. I did that in a 6th-grade classroom in Oakland. The kids every day they said what if we want to change it more often and I said go for it. I mean it’s amazing what the kids want to do if you give them the opportunity. And they own it.

Yes, yes. Like, let’s do this together, this is not me doing everything and you sitting here. Learning is not a passive activity.

Barbara: And all the research shows that. And we know that. But we can’t let go because we are supposed to cover instead of uncover the learning. And I want them to figure out if they can just open up and uncover some of those gems that are inside and even go outside. Look at learning in a different way. Just try one or two activities. Something maybe you love.

Vicki: So give us a thirty-second pep talk about finding our passion and purpose.

How to find your passion and purpose again

Barbara: “Go with your strengths to find your passions so you discover your purpose“ and that was a quote I wrote almost fifteen years ago. It kinda goes with this a little bit. And when I wrote it, there was a principal in Ohio that said,“Could I put this on my gym wall?“ So it’s up on a gym wall somewhere in Ohio.

Vicki: So teachers, we need to find our passion and purpose. And you know to be fair, I’ve asked Barbara some hard questions. That’s just because you guys are asking me hard questions. And I feel those questions, but she’s totally right.

Take everything off the walls and reboot your classroom.

Let the kids be involved.

Talk to them about how they want to learn.

Try little things.

You don’t have to do huge big things.

But also, open yourself up and talk about your passions and what you’re doing on the weekend. Sometimes it really…believe it or not, it was a while before I talked to my students about what I did on Twitter and what I did outside the classroom. They think it’s kinda cool. And you’ve got some cool things too, so let’s really bring our passion and purpose back. And it starts with us bringing our passion and purpose as educators.

Bio as submitted


Barbara Bray is a creative learning strategist, author, writer, speaker, instructional designer, and coach who connects people and ideas around transforming education. She uses the design thinking process to facilitate moving to a culture of learning and redesigning learner-centered environments. Barbara is the co-author of Make Learning Personal and How to Personalize Learning and co-founded Personalize Learning, LLC with Kathleen McClaskey. She is also the founder/owner of My eCoach (my-ecoach.com) that is based on a coaching platform for educators, and on her website Rethinking Learning (barbarabray.net), Barbara blogs and hosts her new podcast series Conversations on Learning with educators and change agents from around the world.

Blog:http://ift.tt/2yYv7WC

Twitter:https://twitter.com/bbray27

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Helping Students Find Passion and Purpose: Barbara Bray appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2yYJqul
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Teenage Bullying Story



Sarah Beeghley on episode 173 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Sarah Beeghley @the-geeky_girl has been called by a US Senator to tell her story as part of anti-bullying legislation. Hear her story or triumph and advice to teachers.

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Below is an enhanced transcript, modified for your reading pleasure. All comments in the shaded green box are my own. For guests and hyperlinks to resources, scroll down.

***

Enhanced Transcript

A Teenage Bullying Story

Shownotes: http://ift.tt/2yuUCvA
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Vicki: Today we are talking to Sarah Beeghley about her battle against cyberbullying. And I do have to give a shout out to my good friend, Jim Beeghley, who works with my website and does so many amazing things to help the Cool Cat Teacher blog behind the scenes. But Sarah, I’ve interviewed you before, and we’ll certainly link to that. But tell us your most recent news about your work with Senator Casey.

Speaking about Anti-Bullying

Sarah: So, Senator Casey of Pennsylvania, is proposing an anti-bullying law. And I found out on Facebook actually, so I gave his office a call, saying like I’m supporting him, I’ve been bullied and cyber bullied before. And I get a call, last Monday saying that they want to use my stories and possibly use them for going to Congress and just all over Facebook and all over the internet.

Vicki: So, if you got called to Congress today, what would be the first story, if you only had one story to tell.

Sarah: If I could only tell one story, it would definitely be the story of when I was bullied and cyberbullied in middle school. This girl who I thought was my best friend, started calling me names behind my back. And next thing I know, it’s going online. And thankfully my parents got on my emails at that point, but she had posted a quiz. And this quiz had questions that were mainly directed towards me and all of them were really offensive and hurtful towards me and my integrity. And we had talked to the parents, and the parents didn’t really do anything. And then, we got the school involved because it didn’t stop, it continued. Name-calling online and name-calling when we were at school too. And she got three days of in school suspension and then she had to sit out for the basketball playoffs. That’s about her punishment.

We are Survivors, not Victims

Vicki: You know, it’s tough, and I know from being picked on. There were times, you know we didn’t really take about bullying back when I was in..that age. But it was very hurtful. There were times people would say things like,” You bring this on yourself. This is your fault.” Don’t you feel like that is still the case, sometimes people blame the person who is being bullied?

Sarah: I definitely feel as though that happens, but especially online. Because of what people post online, but it doesn’t always have to fall back on them, on the victim. It is the people who are bullying the victim that are the ones who are kind of putting it on the victim because they’re figuring out the worst.

Vicki: And I have a word that I would love for you to start using so…back when we had three tornados hit Camilla my hometown. And we were really struggling, and there were so many people impacted. We used the word tornado victims. And one of the people came in the psychologist and said,” Stop calling them victims. They’re tornado survivors.” Because that is…I think of empowerment. I’m not a victim. You’re not a victim. We have stood up for ourselves, and we have said this is just not something that is okay to do. Do you feel like you are a survivor or do you feel like you are still in victim mood and feel helpless?

Sarah: I definitely feel as though I am a survivor because I know how to get over situations. Different situations that don’t even involve bullying or cyberbullying, because of what I went through.

What mistakes did teachers make in Sarah’s situation?

Vicki: What are the mistakes that teachers make? That you can think of that teachers make when dealing with similar situations?

Sarah: The biggest one was that girls will be girls, and boys will be boys. And then turn the other cheek and don’t care. I didn’t have anybody to turn to. And I’m in college now and I’m going to be a teacher. One of the biggest things I’m gonna do for my future students is I want to be there for them. Because nobody was ever there for me. Like somebody could be going through this and they just need to have someone there for them.

Vicki: But honestly, your parents were there for you, and my parents were there for me. So, fortunately, we had parents. But we have to remember that not everybody has somebody. So, you think that if they had just listened and realized that you were serious.

Sarah: Yes. Things would have been….like punishments would have been a lot different but they didn’t realize that.

Vicki: But do you think punishments really help?

Sarah: I mean, the punishment that was given to the girl…like the worst part of my story…didn’t help her at all because she continued to do it. But now, at least in Pennsylvania, cyberbullying is a misdemeanor of the third degree. People can actually go to jail for it. And I read somewhere recently that the cyberbullying rates have dropped because of that law.

Research-based methods that work

Vicki: This is just a hard thing. So, Sarah, I’ll interject this here. The Olweus method of dealing with bullying, which is really empowering bystanders, is really the only research-based anti bullying method that I’ve seen. I’ve kinda been through that, but even then it basically teaches you that the best thing and the only thing that works is empowering bystanders. That’s so hard Sarah, don’t you think?

Sarah: Oh, it’s so hard because I know for a fact that my friends didn’t want to stand up or say anything because they were friends with the girl. And it’s almost like the bystanders have to pick and choose, and if they pick the wrong side they’re going to be called a snitch.

Vicki: Get called a snitch or feel like they’re next.

Sarah: Yeah.

Vicki: Being bullied is a very lonely thing. I just remember in my case, I lost all my friends, I had two and a fella in our class had a skiing party and he invited everybody but me. Those two friends went to him and said, “Oh, you need to invite Vicki” and said, “Well you can choose. You can either come to the party or be Vicki’s friend” and they chose the party. But I will tell you, I used to tell the good Lord I wouldn’t thank Him for it, but now I thank Him for it every day because it’s being used for great good. Even talking to you and understanding, you know, because Sarah, you will never forget, will you?

Sarah: No, because after this entire situation I’ve learned to trust in the Lord. I’ve learned to just be a bigger person. I’ve learned how to overcome different situations from the skills I’ve gained through being bullied.

Vicki: So, Sarah, how do you think about the fact that you may end up in Congress about this? Does that scare you?

Sarah: It scares me a little bit, but like I’m so excited. Because somebody is actually taking initiative for it. And it’s not just the state of Pennsylvania either. It’s across the United States.

Vicki: People care. So you find that really encouraging.

Sarah: Yes. Like I’m sitting here and I’m so excited.

Vicki: Well, you know, I’ll be following you because we have a backchannel, we connect all the time. Teachers, I just want you to hear Sarah’s view because this is a view from a student whose feelings are still pretty raw in feeling all of this. There are things that are being done. Take it seriously. It’s not boys will be boys or girls will be girls. And I will just tell you this. Just know that it’s a lonely thing. We used to call it being picked on. When you’re being picked on, it’s a lonely path even if you have your parents on your side. It’s hard. I cried everyday for five years. I don’t wish that on anybody. No child deserves that. None.

Bio as submitted


Sarah Beeghley, a college sophomore, has experienced cyberbullying her entire life. Now she is advocating for it in many different ways.

Blog: http://ift.tt/2gJpa2Q

Twitter: @the-geeky_girl

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post A Teenage Bullying Story appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://ift.tt/2ywRY8S
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.
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