I can’t believe it is December already, but time tends to move fast when you love what you do 🙂 There are so many great things that I saw this last week, that it was tough to decide on just three, so I picked four instead. Some of the links that I am going to share this week literally brought me to tears, and whenever I feel that emotion from what something shares, I think it is essential that I share with the rest of the world.
1. A Father’s Personal Accounting – Stephen Kennedy, wrote this beautiful and reflective post about his own three children and the education that he thought was important for them. I love personal posts as I truly believe that it is emotion that will move school forward, not only data. If people are invoked to do something by the heart, they are more likely to do it.
Here is a quote from his post:
I believe my children – and to be fair to my extraordinary wife, “our” children – are unique, bright, and creative young people. But I have to tell you, yours are as well. Where education has to go next is personalizing itself to bring out that uniqueness, that brightness, that creativity in all children. We’re lodged in conventions that work – but they don’t work as well as they could.
Things are changing. My children, your children, and all of us have to collaborate, communicate, and conspire together to minimize the lost opportunities. I take that process personally, very personally.
2. Making Learning Visible – Neil Stephenson, an educator at the Calgary Science School, shared some awesome work from his students and educators, which always provides other educators with some amazing ideas on how they can implement this into their own work. It is a simple, yet powerful post that discusses not only the final product of learning, but the process. It is essential that students are given the time to reflect on the process of learning, to not only understand what works for them, but to also understand how far they have really come.
3. Learning About Blogs For Your Students – Silvia Tolisano talks about the importance of reflection in the process of teaching, and takes some of the “push-back” phrases that she has heard and deconstructs each argument:
I do see blogging as a journey. It is not as simple as waking up one morning and deciding “Let me blog with my students” or attending one Professional Development workshop or conference presentation about blogging and thinking to yourself: “I’ll start blogging on Monday.”
The journey begins with reading blogs, but it has to continue with WRITING.
I firmly believe, that an educator who expects his/her students to blog for learning, NEEDS to be blogging for their own learning.
Blogging has been something that has really helped me to reflect and grow in my own practice and it is something that I institute regularly into my own practice. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks this is important. (You can also read this great post on blogging by Dean Shareski.)
4. What’s Going On – This video was shared today with the #psd70 hashtag by Jenni McIlhone and I was blown away by the power and the emotion of this child trying to reach out after being bullied for several years. I remember my own childhood being bullied and know that those scars last forever, and I found myself remembering how tough it was to be a kid while I watched the simple sentences this child shared. As he moves forward, you can see the struggle that he is going through yet is obviously trying to use a venue like YouTube as either a cry for help or therapeutic means.
Please be aware that although this is a great video to share with kids, there is some strong language in the names that the boy is being called. It is uncomfortable to watch but again, it gives a picture of what the child is going through.
I am hoping that there is something within these four links that will help your practice or will continue to push thinking ahead. I am always inspired by the work of others; no wonder the year goes so quick!