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I love it when an anonymous person online treats us like they are a jealous brother-in-law. The comment smacks of 'you owe me' and I disagree completely. You owe your family, students, and to a degree your community. You don't owe us anything. I appreciate what you are willing to share and if you want to promote things too, that is fine by me.
To a certain extent, I think Twitter has become our flipped classroom. We learn about what we are passionate about then share it on Twitter (or through blogging). I wish my faculty meetings had the same sense of urgency and energy that I feel from my tweeps.
Bill, You make a great point about delivering the information without distraction or disruption. If I tried to talk for 15 minutes in my classroom I would lose the kids quickly. I figure if I talk for more than a couple minutes I am wasting our time. Typically I give an overview of the lesson and have them get the information from the class blog. As a professional that is passionate about teaching and learning, I spend a lot of time outside of the classroom learning. If I give homework to my students they are having to spend time on learning something they may not be very passionate about. This also limits the amount of time they have to pursue their own passions. Our curriculum is way too narrow to justify that. I believe you are right to expect teachers to be passionate enough about teaching and learning to want to engage this way in meetings, I just don't think that necessarily transfers to our students.
Hope you are ready for some push back :) What if I don't want to watch/listen to a 15 minute video by a principal? If I don't have the background knowledge needed to discuss things with my peers, how will those 15 minutes remedy that? If 15 minutes is enough time for me to be given the information I need, why is it necessary to do it before the meeting? Is this really what we want to model for teachers to implement in their classrooms?
Bill you wrote: "But whether we like it or not, it is absolutely essential to master the grind—to be confident that you can work through a piece no matter how text-heavy it really is. #thatslife" Why is it not "essential" but "absolutely essential" that our students master the grind? Are you assuming that our students must master this difficult skill to be better citizens? To be better parents? Or, is it to be better students in high school and/or college? #thatslife for whom? Honestly, it won't be for most of my students. Students that I still want to learn to love reading even if it is on a sixth grade level. Can our students take nonfiction that is a "grind" and convert it to audio and learn it that way? Many of them are much better listeners than readers. What if the audio was accompanied by pictures that go with the content for our students that prefer visual stimulation? I realize this is about graphic novels, but perhaps this needs to be two conversations. One is on the quality of the graphic novels themselves while the other should be about the use of the graphic novels as a teaching/learning tool. There is something I am wondering about and I can't find an answer to it. I have asked many students that read poorly at the middle school level questions about their reading. Invariably when I ask them if they can "see" the stories they read (I am referring to fiction) in their minds, they say no. I can't speak for everyone that loves to read, but I know that I "see" the stories in my mind when I read and I must not be alone since I have noticed a lot of people complaining about actors cast in the roles of beloved story characters simply because they don't fit how that character looks in their imagination. Perhaps picture books/graphic novels give them enough of a concrete picture for them to engage more fully in the story? If so, we should be championing them as well as demanding their quality improves.
Wmchamberlain is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 5, 2011