Saturday, July 27, 2019

I Am A Warm Demander: Caring and High Expectations Are Not Exclusive

If you listen to the late Rita Pierson's TED talk, you have a perfect example of the term, "Warm Demander". 

As I was perusing the latest Edutopia articles, the title  "The Necessity of Having High Expectations" caught my eye. We, in the education field seem to have moved away from this mindset. The mindset of holding our students accountable, expecting the best, their best, from them.

We have led ourselves to believe that because our students are dealing with trauma, living in poverty, or any of the myriad of issues that they have to deal with, we should lower our expectations for them. If anything, as mentioned in the article, we should do the exact opposite, but in a caring, empathetic, manner.

I had never heard the term "Warm Demander" although this term seems to have been around for years.  When I read the definition, I knew it was a description of how I see myself as an educator.

This Warm Demander T chart  places educators in 4 categories, The Warm Demander, The Technocrat, The Sentimentalist, and The Elitist. And while it is not perfect, each category sums up educators I am sure we have all witnessed, some because of their deliberate actions, and some because they believe they are doing what is best for their students.

We can be better for our students. We have to make sure, that no matter what our students' circumstances, we meet their needs, but at the same time, hold them accountable and let them be successful without lowering our expectations.

 It is possible to do both. Be a Warm Demander. 

Warm Defender T-Chart Credit: "Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain" 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Podcasting in the Classroom! Giving Students a Voice!

One of my classroom goals last school year, was to have my students create a classroom podcast.
It was literally the end of the school year when they worked on making it happen Literally, maybe two weeks left, and not even full days. But they did it!

I asked who would be interested in working on a podcast. I chose a leader and they put together a committee of willing workers. I was the facilitator, and provided them with samples of podcasts and articles on podcasting. They developed their own format, which included an interview with our 2020 Teacher of the Year, original content, and a brainteaser.

I ordered a Tascam Mini Studio Creator from Amazon through DonorsChoose. I have to be honest, I did not have a clue what to do with this equipment, but my kids did! Not right away, they taught themselves, and of course, then they taught me. They used Audacity to record it and I, yes I, uploaded it to Anchor. (I learned this at ISTE).We also got some help from soneone I know in the communications field who was willing to come out and guide the students as they worked on the podcast.

Watching my students, who had never done any podcasting, work on this was amazing! The way they put it together, added sound effects, developed intros and outros, figured out how to edit it,was such a learning experience for them and for me. Imagine what they can do with this knowledge in the future!

I attended many podcast sessions while I was at ISTE2019, and realized I didn't know as much as I thought I did about podcasting. Jeff Bradbury has a site called Educational Podcasting Today that you should check out, it's full of information that can help with your classroom podcast journey.

My eyes were opened to the various ways we would be able to produce the podcasts and share them, Synth, Anchor, and Garageband are just a few of the tools out there.

I wish I could share everything I learned at ISTE19, (International Society of Technology and Education), but this post would go on forever.:) Hopefully though, the information provided leads you in the right direction!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A CLASSROOM Teacher Goes to ISTE2019!

On May 15, 2019, I received the information below in an email. I had applied for the ISTE
(International Society for Technology in Education) scholarship after a friend posted the information in our FB group. (What would I do w/o my PLN?) Shout out to Regina S!
I was thrilled, because if it was not for this scholarship, even though ISTE19 was only an hour commute, I could not attend. I had no funding, that $500+ registration fee was no joke! I am not a Tech coach, or a Technology insructor, I am "just" a classroom teacher with a HUGE appetite for integrating technology in my classroom, and sharing what I learn with others.

As I sat in workshops, all I could think about was how I was going to USE these things I was learning in my classroom. I thought about how I could share them with my colleagues.

My mind spun with the information that I gathered from each session. Here's the thing. I know a lot about integrating tech in my classroom, but I will be the first to admit, I don't know everything, Each session, whether workshop, poster, or playground, was a chance to "Ooooooh", "Aaaaah", and "Gasp". Oh, and don't forget, "So, that's how you do it!" or "I never thought about using it that way."

All I thought about were the innnovative changes I was going to make when I got back to my classroom. I am already meeting with my admin to discuss two programs I want to bring to our school, not to mention resources I will be able to pilot.

Attending ISTE is an amazing experience for anyone, but it's especially amazing for a classroom teacher!

A special thank you to those sponsors who provided our scholarships,sources like DonorsChoose, and others, who are willing to send a classroom teacher go to ISTE!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Tell Me WHY You're Awesome!

I was at a session and we were talking about getting students' feet wet with podcasting and someone said he tells his students to record themselves via a podcasting tool, explaining why they are awesome.

I haven't been able to get this out of my head.

Not tell me if you think you're awesome, or what you can do to be awesome, but tell me WHY you're awesome. This teacher is not leaving any doubt that the student is actually awesome! LOVE it!

His message to his sudents?

You are awesome. I know you are awesome. I just need you to tell me why.

What a delicious way to start off the school year, having your students believe that you know that  every single one of them is awesome, no matter what happened the year before, or the year before that.
No matter what stories Negative Nellie or Negative Ned whispered, texted, or emailed, to make sure that teacher "knew what they were getting."

When a student is given the opportunity to tell why they are awesome, it's the building block to beginning a meaningful relationship because you trust them to tell what's good about themseves.

No matter what happened in the previous years, this is their chance to describe their awesomeness, and through podcastng, no less! You can even use Flipgrid, if podcasting is not your thing.

I never got a chance to ask the presenter what happened if the student did not believe in their awesomeness. Hopefully, they all do. And if by chance, I come across one who doesn't, I hope I can help them find at least one way in which they are.

Hey Teach, tell me why YOU'RE awesome!:)