Blue Serials (1/17/16)
I Read The News Today, Oh Boy...
In a state where it's always a tough time to be a public school teacher, we're seeing new lows in state revenue, intellectual honesty, and warm fuzzies towards public ed. It matters, and many of the strongest edu-bloggers and reporters in the state are writing and analyzing and challenging and inspiring all over this mess. You should totally go read them (start here or here if you're not sure where to begin).
But this weekend, in this weekly wrap-up, we're not worrying about all that - not right this moment. We're thinking 'bout something else for a bit - something other than news.
This is easily my favorite Blues Brothers tribute video filmed on Greenwood that also features Weird Al alongside Tulsa's own Hanson shut-up-I-like-them.
Stuff You Shouldn't Miss From This Past Week...
Learning to Listen - Jennifer Williams, aka JennWillTeach, shares a week-long series of strategies for helping kids worry less about grades and more about - get this - learning and appreciating literature and music and stuff - and they didn't even have to use their ESA Vouchers to go to a 'good school'! I love everything about this approach, and I don't even teach English. You will, too. Love Jenn's approach on the Twitters at @jennwillteach. #oklaed
Keeping People At The Center - Kris Giere of Involuntary Verbosity puts I Corinthians 13 back on his stairs (metaphorically enough). "What if the point of love is not the emotion itself but the people... the missing connection between us and the best versions of ourselves?" If you don't love your kids, folks - you're doing it wrong. Love Kris on the Twitters at @KrisGiere.
Complicated: What Westerns Mean to Me #Western106 - Maha Bali, on Reflecting Allowed, responds to a... it appears there was a... You know what? Never mind why she wrote this. I was entranced. On Western movies and Country music, colonialism and being 'the other'. And Country music. I wonder if she'll be my friend? Be entranced by Bali on the Twitters at @Bali_Maha, and wear your boots.
The Art of War, The Art of Judgment - Dan Tricarico, aka The Zen Teacher, shares an experience of which he's not particularly proud. I don't know about you, but I often find those much more encouraging than the ones where everything goes the way you'd hoped. He also underestimates how well he handles a situation in which I'd be... less Zen than he. Perhaps I should change my blog title to 'The Perpetually Spittling Rage Teacher' - but would that even sell? Follow Dan on the Twitters at @TheZenTeacher.
Excuses, Excuses - L.Z. Marie on LZMarieAuthor.com takes on writers' excuses for not, well... writing. Thing is, they sound uncomfortably like the excuses my students use, and you use, and, um... I use... to avoid just about anything I know I'll feel better if I do, but don't. Plus, she's just snarky enough to make you like being abused by her. More, L.Z. - scold me harder. Benefit from L.Z.'s abuse on the Twitters at @LZMarieAuthor.
Questions for Educator Consideration - John Bennett, on Considerations (no relation to Rep. John Bennett of the Oklahoma legislature) responds to Seth Godin's "Ten Questions For Work That Matters." I love how comfortably Bennett prompts us to think through the important things again - defenses down, minds clear, no need for pithy wordplay or clever snark. I suspect my blood pressure would go down if I worked across the hall from him. Follow Bennett on the Twitters at @jcbjr. (Honorary #oklaed)
Finally, From Just Outside the Edu-Blogs...
A Woman Called Bitter - Maralee Bradley, Her View From Home. "A couple weeks ago I listened to a sermon about Ruth. As part of the backstory the pastor talked about Naomi’s transition to the name Mara and what a miserable name that would be to have. That part of the sermon felt a little personal to me... If you look for the meaning of my name, it is the same – bitter." This one's not about the classroom or edu-policy or child development. But read it - I'm positive there's a reason I couldn't let it go until I included it here. Follow Bradely on Twitter at @amusingmaralee or on her own blog, A Musing Maralee: Welcome To My Circus.
Go be amazing this week. No weariness, no hesitation, no rational thoughts of giving up and moving on. We are fools whether or not we dance - so we might as well dance.
Dance like there's nobody watching, babe.