Ode to My Feet

From ballet barres to bar room floors,
From taps on hardwood planks to bare feet on marley mats,
From shagging at a family wedding to hula lessons on a family cruise,
From 5,6,7,8 right back to 1,2,3,4,
From sequin leotards to printed lapas,
From twirling batons to safety falls,
From the best teachers to the best students,
From the top of my axial skeleton to the tips of my beautifully callused toes,

Thank you, Dance, for keeping me on my toes while staying grounded, and providing the best challenges in the most familiar spaces!

Happy National Dance Day!

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Shut Up!

I bet you’re reading because these words provoked you.  I’m sure if you haven’t heard this exact phrase, you’ve felt it, or maybe even said it.  It’s a lot easier to hear yourself think and to say what you need to say when everyone follows these orders.  I can’t honestly say that I’ve never thought them, but I can say that I’ve never said them.  “Shut up” was not allowed in my house growing up.  Why? It’s hurtful to be told shut up.  It directly tells a person that what they are saying is bad, annoying, wrong, messy, and other negative ideas.

When we think about how we want to be treated (uh-hum…the “Golden Rule”…) we certainly do not want to hear this.  So why is that people in power tend to default to these kinds of phrases?  They feel challenged and they can’t think of anything else to say?  They think what they have to say is more important?  They don’t have time to listen to others’ thoughts/concerns?  All of this is unfortunately true, and more!  The underlying issue that when a person gains power and influence, they feel entitled to exert that power over whoever they deem to be below them.  Why?  Because that’s probably how they were taught.  I don’t think anyone had to tell us that this is how you gain control, but we learn it from observing those who had power over us.  Maybe it worked out well for us.  Somehow we made it to a place of power.

I have observed this type of communication from MANY people of power.  Students who feel empowered often try to gain power over other students this way.  Often, they are attempting to do the right thing, and sometimes it produces the desired effect (everyone shuts up).  However, in the process, what they are creating is not order, but rather fear.  In a student’s world, it’s usually fear of social abandonment.  In a professional setting, it usually produces fear and anxiety about the worth of your thoughts.  In a public setting it can produce oppression and hopelessness.  By silencing others, many leaders gain a false sense of effectiveness, but often nurture a greater sense of insecurity because the effects often lead to less positive feedback as well.

So what do you do in a situation of chaos?  It would be nice if leaders were always able to avoid chaos by leading by example (listening to everyone, remaining calm, reciprocal positive feedback and challenging ideas).  We all know this is nearly impossible to sustain 100% of the time.  It would also be ideal if leaders were able to simply ask for order and followers comply, but this is problematic when emotions are involved, which they often are.  So…what to do?

I am no expert, by any means, and I sometimes fail at maintaining order, but I find that most of my students value my approaches (and the approaches of many other great, understanding teachers) so I thought I would share just a few of my “best practices”:

  1. “Be here, now.”  This is an exercise I learned last semester in Tai Chi.  It is a meditation that doesn’t take very long, but provides almost immediate success most of the time.  First, have students close their eyes (seated, or preferably lying down), lower the lights to the safest level of dark, and have them notice their breathing.  Next, have them bring focus to their thoughts.  Instruct them not to judge or try to change their thoughts, and try to stay focused only on the thoughts they are having in that specific moment.  Give them adequate time to think (about a minute to two minutes), then shift focus to their physical body.  Have them notice any muscle soreness or tightness.  Instruct them not to try to change or judge their bodies in that moment but to just become aware.  Finally, do the same with their emotions.  Make sure they are focused only on their current emotional state without trying to change or judge them.  Next have them mentally acknowledge that they are there (in that room) with their thoughts, and others are there with their thoughts.  Do the same with bodies and emotions.  Finally, I have added another step.  I have them imagine all of their thoughts, physical feelings, and emotions as balloons.  
  2. They imagine that they are holding a handful of balloons each with a different feeling or thought on it.  Then they can choose which balloons to keep and which to release.  They do not have to let go of negative balloons unless they want to.  They imagine the balloons floating up into the air, until they are no longer visible.  This is a 5-10 minute exercise that is worth stopping whatever you are doing to complete.  When students return (mentally) to the room, they often feel rested and lighter.  Even if they are holding onto to something negative, they are able to deal with it a little better now that they have identified everything that they are experiencing and acknowledged that others are experiencing their own “balloons”.  Try it once.  If it works, keep it!
  3. Stop what you’re doing and listen.  If you let people share their problems, you can better assess what the roots are.  In many cases, they are harboring something totally unrelated to you.  From there, you can ask for them to try to let those issues go and move forward with the task.  If not, you can offer them an “out” to discuss the issues with someone else.
  4. Share your own emotions.  Why is it that you are feeling frustrated?  By explaining how the behavior is affecting you, you are allowing students an opportunity to understand another perspective that they probably haven’t considered.  Also, it gives the leader the chance to reflect on whether or not the frustrations are reasonable, valid, and/or coming from a place of control.
  5. Apologize when you’re wrong.  This is a common suggestion, but it’s rarely used.  I apologize all the time.  I hate it!  I hate to be wrong!  But I also hate to be unfair or hurtful and when I am, I feel bad.  Even if I don’t apologize in the moment, I make a point to do it at the next opportunity.  I don’t always explain why I was so mad/frustrated, because sometimes it isn’t related to those people, but I try to show that even if I was right in how I was feeling, I was wrong for what I said or did.
  6. Wait.  I hate this one too, because I know that if they would just listen we could get to something more fun/interesting, but if I bulldoze them, their work will be lower quality and then I will ultimately be even more frustrated.  I often inform classes/groups that they have the power to move faster or slower, and they will have to deal with getting less done.  This is particularly effective after a performance.  I never judge one class against another, but they are REALLY good at doing this and they often ask why they didn’t get to do something that another class did.  I am very honest in explaining that the other class was more focused, built trust (with me and each other) and therefore, the quality was increased.

These won’t work for everyone and I certainly did not invent any of these ideas.  I have learned from some of the best teachers I know and I truly care about students as people.  In the end, it won’t matter if I taught every middle school dancer a pirouette, but it will matter to me if they quit taking dance because they felt they had no voice or that I only wanted to do what I wanted all the time.

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“You Can’t Push a Rope” (and other ridiculous insight from my Dad)

Today, my Dad would have been 56 years old.  After thinking about this blog for the last two months, I am almost afraid to write it tonight, because I worry that I won’t capture everything that I would want to say about him.  With that being said… I think most people who knew my Dad really well, and know me really well, would agree that I am a direct extension of him in so many ways, good and bad (depending on your definition of bad…)

  1. “You can’t push a rope.” I can imagine your wheels are spinning right now trying to find a way to disprove this theory.  I know I have spent a lot of time (maybe too much) trying to decide if this quote is viable or hogwash.  At age 28 (after about 15 years of thinking about this phrase), I am here to say that there are many ways you can push a rope!  You could spray it with something to stiffen it, then it would be easy to push.  You could put it on something hard and push it, but that might be cheating.  You could push it until it bunches up (no one said how far you have to push it).  I think, though, that what he was saying is that a rope is like dead weight and without altering it, you can only push so far before you’re pulling it…  I’ve found the wisdom now, after becoming a teacher (a job my Dad didn’t think I would be good at or enjoy) that people at any age have to be willing participants in any change that you want to make.  If they’re not, you’re not going to get very far and you’re going to be frustrated.
  2. Just dance! My Dad was a great dancer.  I don’t know that he was technically great, but what he lacked in technique, he made up for in passion.  He felt the music, he loved the spotlight, and he made dance fun!  I now teach a whole unit on the history of social dance to my new 6th graders because I learned how powerful social dancing is to people.  When I was maybe 6, my dad took me on a “date” to see the Nutcracker.  I danced with my Dad at every family wedding as far back as my memory goes (which is a loooong way).  My dad came to school in 3rd grade to demonstrate South Carolina’s state dance, the Shag, to my classmates.  When I turned 21 I did the Hustle with my dad in our living room.  When I got engaged and moved home for the four months before the wedding, my Dad asked me to take Waltz lessons with him for our father-daughter dance.  Many of my best milestones in life are marked by dance and my dad!  Which I have believe is why I love to dance so much and why I choose to share that passion every day.
  3. I’d rather be speaking in public than most anything. My dad was a great speaker.  My brothers are amazing orators.  And I have been a successful public speaker my entire life.  When I talked with my brothers (26 and 22) we all agreed that this was a skill we inherited from him, and that he helped nurture.  He always pointed out that we were easy to hear and understand (in contrast to our friends who mumbled and didn’t have a clue how to use a mic).  Everyone loves to get praise from a parent, but it means even more when they recognize something in you that you admire about them!  I encourage this skill in students when I emphasize the importance of being able to express yourself clearly so that others will take you seriously and listen.
  4. Relationships are key. My dad truly cared about all of his friends and family.  He made a point to see them in person when possible, and to pick up the phone when you couldn’t see them in person.  I treasure the special visits he made to see me when I was in Auburn.  We would go grocery shopping, go out to eat, and anything else I wanted to do.  The ironic part about this statement is that my Dad and I could fight like you wouldn’t believe!  I don’t mean just disagree, but actual screaming (maybe a curse…or two) often to the point of tears.  I don’t regret those fights at all.  Actually, I think in a sick way, we learned about each other through those fights, and loved one another for being so honest and passionate.  I don’t think my Mom enjoyed it so much…  Now I am able to stand up for what I believe in, and I respect others who do as well.
  5. What’s your plan? I hated that question!  I now realize that I pretty much live by that question.  It’s a strange thing to realize that you actually learned something from the things you hated about your parents as a teenager.  I have found that question is powerful when someone is stuck in negative thoughts.  It helps people begin to think about the future and what actions they need to take.  Humph!  Ok, I’ll give him that one.
  6. Here are a few other things that my Dad did well, that I also enjoy: naps, cleaning a kitchen (deep cleaning), helping a worthy cause, glass of wine, talking, movies, holidays, cooking, talking, caring for dogs, parenting, talking, eating sushi, being on time, and talking.

My Dad was a very unique man who told the truth and had his own way of leading.  He wasn’t afraid to say what he thought, but he was also very thoughtful when someone needed him.  He had a difficult childhood, but he was a success story that I aspire to daily.  He taught me to love people and animals.  He taught me to be outgoing and welcome new people.  He taught me to be independent, strong, and never accept defeat.  He showed me how to work hard and play hard.  Most of all, he taught me to love my Mom and family and to say it and show it as much as possible.  Even if they don’t mean it that way, I always take it as a compliment when people say to me, “Alright, Cliff…”

This sushi’s for you!

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Assessment – A dance teacher’s reflections…

Here is my assessment assignment for DCE 646 – Reflective Practice in K-12 Dance Education.  It’s long, but hopefully a good read.  I welcome any and all comments, challenges, and edits (my APA is weak, I know).  This is, obviously, unpublished, but I would love to submit it after further review and edits, so give me all you’ve got!

Assessment in the Arts (If you prefer the Google Docs version)

Amanda Cook – MA in Dance Education Candidate
DCE 646 – Spring 2011

Policy and Political Problems Associated With Arts Assessment, Some Key Issues and A Vision for the Future
There are three basic problems that seem to permeate the conversation about arts assessment, and I would offer that these issues also plague many, if not all, other content areas.  The three basic problems are:

  1. Attitudes about assessment
  2. Determining assessment criteria
  3. Use of assessment data

Attitudes are basic human reactions toward issues and while a common phrase like, “You need an attitude adjustment,” suggests that humans are capable of deciding what their attitude about something will be.  I believe attitudes are much deeper.  Our attitudes are based on our past experiences with a topic and our perception of the current context.  For example, in Russ Shultz’s article, “Apples, Oranges and assessment,” (2002), Shultz states, “Although assessment seems to have overwhelmed and consumed us.”  This statement suggests that Shultz (and he assumes others) feel that assessment is oppressive in some ways.  This attitude is probably based on the fact that Shultz had previously been a part of a less assessment-focused system in which he felt comfortable, and now feels outside pressure to conform to a more assessment-driven system.  His reaction to the change is as natural as any evolving species that is forced to realign their survival habits in a short period of time.  Perhaps, as Robert Sabol suggests in his 2004 article, “The assessment context: part one,” Shultz was trained with a Lowenfeldian philosophy, “which holds that children’s artwork should not be assessed” and is now being asked to function in a discipline-based system, which “advocates assessment.”  Whether Shultz resides in a Lowenfeldian or discipline-based camp, his language suggests unrest with the current state of arts assessment.  His attitude echoes the attitudes of many arts teachers.  Richard Colwell may be able to identify why arts teachers feel so defeated by the assessment/accountability systems under which we now operate.  In his 2003 article, “The status of arts assessment: examples from music,” Colwell says,

Assessment is so deeply embedded in the teaching of skills that there has been no perceived need for a greater emphasis on assessment—with skills-based instruction, we need primarily to improve our feedback and communication.
Colwell’s words struck me as I read them several times.  I immediately understood what he was saying because what he was saying resonated with my struggle with assessment, both my assessment of students, and administrative assessment of my teaching.  Whenever I am observed, by a non-artist, I find that I spend much of my time explaining how 21st century skills like critical thinking, reflective practice, collaboration, etc are being used in the class.  It seems so inherent to dance that every activity, from technical skill-building to critical analysis of choreography requires those 21st century skills, but outside observers are looking for such a short and specific list of easily identifiable activities, that they often miss what is obvious to me.  Because I have been enveloped in dance assessment, I forget how hard it is to see for others, so I have often attempted to qualify my assessments.  I have given daily participation grades, project grades, self-assessment grades, written exam grades, video performance grades, and many more.  As I write this, however, I cannot remember a time where I was questioned, by a student, administrator, or parent over any grade that I have assigned.  Therefore, my attitude toward assessment, in the recent months has shifted toward the Colwell suggestion of focus on communication and feedback.  In my informal assessment of student values I have learned that they, for the most part, do not value letters or numbers, they are not bothered by zeros, and they have not (possibly will not) take time to ask for a reversal of any numeric grade.  However, they do value affection, praise, improvement, pride, personal comments, and challenge.  Maybe my attitudes will shift again, but for now, I will use formative assessment as much as possible, and use summative assessment only when necessary.

Moving away from the less formal, and more personal, subject of attitudes toward assessment and into the complex issue of determining assessment criteria I am tempted to rant about the relocation of the responsibility from the teacher to the district, state, and sometimes nation.  This is an appropriate conversation to have, but I will attempt to remain focused on the role of the arts teacher in the K-12 classroom.  Richard Colwell reminds us that, “In the arts, we rely on auditions, portfolios, published reviews, and written doctoral exams,” (Shultz 2003) for determining which artists are accepted and which are not.  All of these methods of assessment, granted some only at a higher level than K-12 education, rely on the expertise of other artists to determine what good work is.  This suggests that assessment in the arts and of artists may be slightly more complicated than assessment in other disciplines that rely on right or wrong answers, like math, but I am sure history, science, and language arts teachers would argue that their disciplines should be assessed more like the arts.  If we take the panel approach in K-12 assessment who would our panel consist of?  Unfortunately, many arts educators are the only person in their area at their school.  Perhaps the theatre, music and visual arts teachers could understand well enough to help a dance teacher with assessment, but that would require a great amount of time outside of the school day.  Perhaps students could participate in the assessment of their classmates.  While asking for their input could provide useful for assessing their evaluation of works of art, most teachers would be hard-pressed to explain how they were able to avoid subjective opinions of students in this type of assessment.  Perhaps students could assess themselves.  This is a very valuable tool for students to use in developing reflective practice, but might draw fire from administrators on the value of self-assessment as the only tool for determining student learning.  Finally, we are left with the option of teacher-determined assessment (which I imagine accounts for most arts assessment).  After all, the dance teacher is most likely the best educated dance expert in a school.  But, as Robert Sabol points out,

In the field of art education, content [is] largely idiosyncratic and lack[s] uniformity.  Numerous factors account for the divergence: difference in local resources, needs and values of the community, funding, facilities, and staffing. In addition, art education often reflect[s] the art teachers’ individual interest or skills and the quality of their pre-service training. (Sabol 2004)
What Sabol is suggesting is that because all art education programs are not uniform and not all schools/communities are the same, it is barely reasonable to expect that, left to their own devices, art educators will function uniformly in their assessment of student work, therefore, it is not feasible to expect all programs to conform and assess according to national standards.  This is problematic for art educators who fight for the arts to be recognized as core subjects.  This is also problematic for beginning teachers, or teachers beginning at a new school, who must quickly take inventory or students’ previous learning, interests, and values, while also learning the ropes of the administration’s methods for evaluating teacher effectiveness.  My response to this challenge of assessing students has widely varied as I have grown as an artist and educator.  I first determine what learning I can best evaluate.  For example, I have the greatest experience with ballet technique; therefore, when we do a unit on ballet technique I give specific corrective feedback daily, and give a structured movement based test at the end.  On the other hand, I have limited experience in West African dance.  When I teach this technique, I focus on the culture, exposure, and community building aspects.  My feedback during the unit has little to do with the technique and much to do with how students are branching out, interacting with classmates, and valuing the culture from which the dancing is born.  The second determination that I make when considering my assessments is the values that my school promotes.  My current school struggles with reading and writing literacy.  With a high percentage of students involved in special education and struggling with English as their second language, I strive to incorporate rich experiences involving reading and writing.  These experiences involve the use of technology, finding authentic audiences (so that students will do their best work), and constant reflection and evaluation of themselves and of me.  All of these methods are subversive in a sense because the students are rarely aware that I am trying to enhance their reading and writing skills.  Finally, third in my process for determining assessments in my class, I consider purpose.  I often ask myself, “Who benefits by me assessing this?”  This questioning was not inherent for me, but rather developed through the exhaustion of pouring over assessment data in an attempt to fairly grade each of my one-hundred-eighty (give or take a few) students each quarter.  In the beginning, I would kill myself with data.  Then the next quarter, probably because of burn-out from the last quarter, I would lazily just assign subjective grades (which were usually higher than what students would have earned based on assessment data).  But, as I mentioned before, I never heard feedback on any of the grades, intricate or lazy, so I began to ask myself what the data was for.  Since then, I have administered many assessments that were never calculated into a student’s report card grade.  Those assessments gave me feedback or provided a check-in for group assignments.  Other times, I am looking to provide students with individual feedback and goal setting ideas.  In those cases, I want students to know where they are currently, and where I think they are capable of getting.  I see myself continuing on this path until I see another way.

Up until this point, I have generally agreed with Colwell’s (2003) and Shultz’s (2002) writings on assessments, with regard to attitudes and determining criteria.  However, use of assessment data is where Shultz and I take a different path than Colwell.  Looking back at 2002 and 2003 (years in which I was not even pursuing an education career yet) it is fair for me to assume that both Colwell and Shultz have developed their views on assessment even more, but, for the sake of this paper, I will consider only their evaluations at that time.  Shultz states, in his discussion of the political power in funding/judging education, based on accountability, based assessment data, “Therefore, the population assumes, even if superficially, that implementing these assessment models are responsible political actions.” (Shultz 2002)  I would largely agree that most of the public responds best to statistics.  This is a concept that government and business use to their advantage whenever possible.  For example, “We improved our graduation rate by 10%!”  This statistic sounds good, but if one were to probe, they might find that the requirements for graduation were lowered to include more students, or that a certain population (i.e. EC or ESL) was moved to another school, reducing the drop-out/retention rates.  These statistics are simply not true representations of the actual picture.  When dealing with accountability, Shultz and I agree with Einstein, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”  Just as teachers are warned to differentiate assessment in order to get true pictures of student learning this logic should be shifted to the bigger picture in education.  Lawmakers, citizens, administrators, and others should be questioning how assessment is being used.  Colwell states, “When accountability elicits discussions about education, the results produced usually are positive.” (2002)  While this may be true in some cases, in many cases the conversations lead to the public humiliation of teachers’ low test scores, or schools’ methods for dealing with discipline, or a states’ decision to allow more charter schools.  These are dangerous effects and misuses of assessment data.  Even Colwell admits, “Schools are more apt to be held accountable than students.” (2003)

So where does this leave arts teachers in the public debate over assessment and accountability?  In my opinion, a very scary place.  Do we conform to the push for high-stakes testing in order to “qualify” our programs to the public? Or do we continue to argue the intrinsic value of the arts which cannot (and perhaps should not) be measured?  Maybe there is a hybrid where students fulfill a mandated number of hours in the arts?  Or, I would offer, perhaps art educators should use their expertise in differentiated and individualized assessment to advocate for a new type of education.  Maybe our understanding could propel a restructuring of the current education system which values all subjects and strengths.  This gives autonomy to the teachers for assessing, and at the same time promotes accountability to the learner, school, community, etc.  What would this look like?  Democracy.

References


Colwell, R. (2003). The status of arts assessment: Examples from music. Arts Education Policy Review, 105 (2) (November/December), 11-18.





Sabol, R. F. (2004). The assessment context: Part One. Arts Education Policy Review, 105 (3) (January/February), 3-9.





Schultz, R. A. (2002). Apples, oranges, and assessment. Arts Education Policy Review, 103 (3) (January/February), 11-16.


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#MondayMorningGlory 1.0 (Cross-post from Media and Technology Blog)


When everyone’s gone, and the lights go off on school, ever wonder what drives the people? What are teacher’s passions, goals, and daydreams. What brings wonder into our lives? Here are a few stories from Week 1.0 of the #MondayMorningGlory.
Imagine this Amanda’s surprise when she received this picture by text! First, that the 60-year-old grandparent knew how to send pictures by text, and second, that her 2-year-old was controlling the computer by mouse (a feat that was exhausting him just 12 hours earlier). Passion for new experiences drives learning. Passion for anything drives living!

Maybe you think that children should get outside and play more… It’s true that fresh air and muscle engagement tend to contribute to happier and healthier (and longer) lives. Take it from Bob, when you do what you’re passionate about, it feels like you never grew up.
For Tara, passion can mean overcoming great challenge, like climbing to the top of Mount Everest! I’m sure that anyone who’s reached that peak would describe how passion helped them to keep going when it seemed too hard or even hopeless. I’m sure they would share the inner dialogue that consumed them, reminding them of the hard work it took just to start this journey, and of the reward they will receive when they reach the top. Probably they will speak of the connection they share with the climbers who came before them, and the human connection to nature and challenge.
Whether its climbing the highest mountain, or floating in the clearest waters, passion can make a dream come true. As you go about your week, take time to talk about your passions and ask others what they are passionate about!
Our inspiration? Christopher Herz’s #sundaymorningstory, connecting people from around the world each week http://herzwords.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/sunday-morning-story-2-19-11/.

 

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Xtranormal – Twitter war, organized for commenting!

XtranormalI know it was hard to read, for those of you who tried, and I can’t stop thinking about the exchange I had on Saturday. So I spent some time organizing the Tweets into an Xtranormal movie. For the sake of fairness, I did edit a few things like abbreviations, but I did not alter the messages that were sent for content. Also, I made myself a superhero, because teachers are superheros! And I chose the setting of the superhero being caged because I feel that people like @dropoutnation are trying very hard to cage teachers and subdue their voice. Love to hear your comments!
http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/11210068/

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#Mondaymorningglory (Cross-post from Media & Technology Blog)

Just completed Twitter training with our entire staff on Friday and decided to try the following: (I totally stole this idea, so feel free to steal away for your own school/workplace!)

Twitter Challenge – #mondaymorningglory Week 1.0

Hey folks! So, in an effort to get people using Twitter, [T-Bear], [Tree-Hugger], and I have designed a little collaborative project for teachers to participate in. I have recently been participating in #sundaymorningstory with @herzwords where folks from around the world tweet pics in of what they’re doing on Sunday morning and he weaves them together in his blog herzwords.wordpress.com. So, we thought it would be fun for our staff to share exciting things that are happening in (and out) of the classroom. You can tweet them anytime during the week and check-in on Monday to see what people have shared.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Recognize a moment of “glory” in your week and take a pic of whatever is happening.
  2. E-mail your pic (and text if you like) to 633joimah@tumblr.com OR, if you have a smart phone or are really tech savvy, tweet the pic with the hash-tag #mondaymorningglory.
  3. Check in msmstech.tumblr.com or search the hash #mondaymorningglory on Mondays and see what our staff has shared!!

I will try to weave the pics together on the Media and Technology Blog… I am actually planning to Skype with Chris Herz, author of the #sundaymorningstory next week. So if you think you might be interested but want more info or have questions about how to do it, e-mail or tweet me @dancecookie,  and I’ll get you hooked up. There are a few things to consider:

  • Don’t take pics of students’ faces. Try to get creative (backs of heads, hands writing/calculating, etc)
  • No student names or other staff (unless they approve). Many bloggers give nicknames to their co-workers (in an effort to protect the innocent I presume).
  • Be prepared to explain yourself…LUCYYYYYYY! This might create interest in innovative practices, so be prepared to share your lesson plans, resources, and successes with others!
  • No “brown-nosing”… the point is share your passion, so try to think about choosing something you are really proud of or that represents you… if you really love your word-wall, fine, ok, but there’s no point system in this, so pick things that are unique to you!

If this sounds “lame” to you, or a waste of your time, fine, no biggy. This is not mandatory by any means. I hope you will check-in to see what others shared and if you like what you see, swallow your pride and participate next week. This is a great opportunity to get to know other professionals in the building while sharing favorite practices!

If you are a perfectionist, don’t stress over this! In the tech world, this project would be considered “BETA” so we expect there to be a learning curve on how to accomplish this challenge. I, for one, love to be a part of the BETA stage, because I love to solve problems and overcome challenges. If you’re not like me, feel free to wait it out until week 2.0 and jump in once the bugs are taken care of, but don’t write yourself out until you at least give it a chance!

Happy tweeting!

 

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