Blue Serials (September 6th, 2015)
Ah, early September - what a great time of year. The 'new' is wearing off of back-to-school, we've already messed up at least THREE of the things we promised ourselves we'd do COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY this year, and we've yet to see our first meager paycheck for the school year...
You'd think I'd revisit some of those 'Why I Teach' or 'Hey Look I'm A Teacher-Martyr and Somewhat Morally Superior to You' posts - some of which I've even WRITTEN.
Sorry. Not this week. This week is mostly sobering... but important. Let's be thankful, however, for the miracles of the interwebs and social media which allow us to share, join, inspire, and challenge one another all across the edu-world.
See? That sounded kinda motispirational, didn't it?
OK, here's another mixed blessing - now that so much of #oklaed has started a new school year (the part we tend to love but which is crazy hectic), AND still love Supt. Joy, AND have an amazing #oklaed chat every Sunday evening at 8:00, they don't seem to be blogging their little hearts out. Come on, people - let's not let a silly thing like forming new relationships with the future of 'Merica interfere with my weekly summaries. Priorities, PLEASE.
But OMG the GREAT STUFF that WAS created this past week! In case you missed it, here are some essentials...
Nurturing Your Natural Strengths As An Introvert - While not specifically about public education, there are still many well-intentioned teachers out there who don't fully 'get' introverts or the special flavor their stress takes on in a school setting. I love how well Elan Morgan covers introvert self-care here. You can follow Elan on the Twitters at @schmutzie. or check out her regular website Schmutzie.com.
Imagine - I'm so glad Rob Miller didn't go with some variation of 'Watching the Wheels', although he'd have had to change fewer words to make it apply to some of us. THIS, though, is pretty nicely done. If for some strange reason you're not subscribed to A View From The Edge and following @edgeblogger on the Twitters, let's just pause a moment and go take care of that NOW.
"And so this is summer... and what have you done? Another grade finalized... the part-time gig at Sears is just begun... School is over... if you want it...."
Can Tech Fix Teacher Shortage? - Not to ruin the ending or anything, but - well... no. Not a chance. Peter Greene at Curmudgucation explains why, only better. And funnier. And a bit longer than this - but not much.
For Special Education Students, A Hefty Dose of Corporal Punishment / The Punishment Gap: Schools Discipline Special Ed Students At Higher Rates - These aren't blog posts and Nate Robson's not a blogger, but he and the crew at Oklahoma Watch DO keep a close eye on all things #oklaed. As the titles suggest, here Robson discusses troubling patterns in how some of our neediest students are being handled by their schools. Follow Nate Robson on the Twitters at @OKWnate.
Test Prep for 5-Year Olds Is A Real Thing. Here's What It Looks Like. - I know, I know - ALSO not a blog. But the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss is nevertheless essential reading for any of you involved in public ed, or who have kids, or who care about America, or who aren't horrible people. This piece was largely written by an elementary school teacher describing the experience of dragging her kids through test prep. Patiently. For the machine. Follow Strauss on the Twitters at @ValerieStrauss.
And one of my favorites from the days gone by...
Use Your Arms! - First Generation #11FF Sherri Spelic makes me so jealous. Here she challenges us to look past our own platitudes and seek ways to help our students build true agency, true efficacy. I wish i could write like this. Subscribe to Edified Listener and follow Sherri on the Twitters at @edifiedlistener.
Be amazing this week. Find that one kid you don't really like much yet, and try to figure out what's amazing about them as well. It will lower your stress level down the road.