We hope this Take5 helps you stay in the educational loop and informs your teaching and learning practice. We've done a lot of the work, now you have to take 5 minutes to sit back, read and gather your thoughts. -Corey
School culture matters. It's especially important in times when teachers feel overworked and underpaid. A recent piece from ASCD InService discusses one middle school's approach to building culture through their journey to tell "the story of learning." This model addresses culture from three avenues: curation, conversation, and celebration.
As we near the end of the year, Justin Minkel writes about the importance of reflection in our teaching practice. He raises five questions for teachers to ask themselves as school let's out, noting, "whether we stagnate or become better every year has everything to do with taking the time to reflect, then finding the courage and tenacity to change." I love his idea of just taking 15 minutes to contemplate these questions.
Any educator or parent, should read this New York Times article, entitled "How Google Took Over the Classroom" which explores the increasing involvement of Google Apps in classrooms across the country. Whether you have taken a side or didn't even know there were sides in this argument this is one worth reading.
The Netflix Series '13 Reasons Why' is a hot topic of discussion between students in classrooms and hallways throughout the country. As a Middle School teacher, I urge everyone who works with young adults to know about this movie whether you plan on watching it or not -- here's a place to start. I haven't see it (read the book), but plan to watch it (even though I really don't want to). I work with young people and feel that we are better at our jobs if we stay current with their culture. So in short, I don't have any opinions about this film, other than the fact that it is important to our kids, which means we need to pay attention.
Do those fidgets belong in classrooms? Teachers are divided on the answer. I found this article in Edweek helpful in articulating some of the challenges and benefits.
Share your thoughts on these articles and any others that you have run across in education.
Have a great week-
Gretchen & Corey
5/16/2017 09:31:19 pm
As a student, I don't think that it is necessary to watch 13 reasons why if you would rather not. I agree that it would be more benificial than not to stay connected with the students' current culture, but you really don't have to. And the fidget spinners are just an annoying trend that I can assure you will be gone and donw with by next year, so just say that if people from other tables can hear them, and if you are sharing them with other people, then you should probably take it away for a bit.
5/24/2017 08:14:09 am
Hi JohnJake, Thanks for your insightful comments on staying connected to current culture. I read the book a few years ago when it came out and then watched the show recently as a middle school teacher and a parent to be in the loop. And, I 100% agree with you on fidget spinners -- a passing trend! We'll be on to the next thing soon.
5/16/2017 10:25:28 pm
"Thirteen Reasons Why" is compelling, if for no other reason than it tells the story of a "non-cool" kid dealing with the difficult issues that many of our students face. I think it can be an excellent starting point for parent and child communication at a time when that type of communication is so necessary, but ever so difficult. I would recommend watching it together (probably too intense for younger siblings) and using it to get the conversations flowing in both directions! While I do not feel that the message from "beyond the grave" is the best or only way to give this message, it does give an important message that words and actions hurt and have consequences. Something many of our students struggle with, and something we, as parents, HAVE to teach them.
5/24/2017 08:05:45 am
Stacie, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I watched the show and I 100% agree -- if a family decides it is appropriate to watch, the program is a conversation starting point for parents and teens on an incredibly important issue. Knowing your child and his or her maturity level, watching it together, continuing to talk are all key in approaching this program.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Who We Are
Join our list!