Blue Serials (10/16/16)
I know a place, ain't nobody cryin'. Ain't nobody worried. No smilin' faces, lyin' to the races. I'll take you there.
Mercy now - I'm callin' callin' callin' mercy. Mercy mercy - let me. I'll take you there.
i know you're tired, in more ways than a few. We're all ready for the elections to just happen so we can get on with the inevitable Apocalypse and be done with it. But in the meantime, my darlings...
Here are a few things you simply must not miss from the past few weeks in Edu-Bloggery:
Is Your Classroom Academically Safe? - Jennifer Gonzalez, Cult of Pedagogy. I almost overlooked this post. I'm not a fan of reminders to be warm and fuzzy, and as a teacher of high school freshmen I have limited patience for the "po' bebbee" school of teacher-scolding.
But then this bit caught my eye:
Here’s where I start to get irritated. “So did you say something?” I ask. “Did you tell your teacher you didn’t understand?”
“No,” my kid says. Then she adds, “I didn’t want to get in trouble.”
THAT's something I deal with every day. Kids so trained in the terror of being wrong that they either lock up and do nothing or stick with the safest possible non-answers and filler, perfectly formatted but accomplishing nothing. So I read the post.
Gonzalez wasn't quite going the direction I anticipated, but she's tricky like that. Here, she analyzes reasons kids don't know what's going on even when we're positive we covered it eleventeen ways and gave every opportunity for them to ask. It's not about teacher-blaming, and never about kid-shaming, but it is thought-provoking and... *sigh* OK, I'll admit it. It was a bit warm'n'fuzzy as well - but in practical ways, dammit!
Get practical with @cultofpedagogy on the twittering and let her provoke you as well.
Stranger Things and the Upside Down World - Scott Haselwood, Teaching From Here. Haselwood has a passion for #edtech, mathematics, and kids. In his world, however, the first two are always about reaching, challenging, and uplifting the third.
It's what keeps my eyes from crossing every time he's all excited about another app. Instead, we're practically mothers of a different brother. Or... something like that.
In this post, Haselwood starts with the Netflix Series "Stranger Things," talks classroom realities a generation ago and today, and ends up on the importance of saving kids from the big darkness. I know it sounds odd, but I assure you - it comes together just fine. The video clip from the show is creepy as hell, but other than that - bring in the unicorns.
Follow @TeachFromHere on the twittering and get frightened-yet-enlightened on a regular basis. #oklaed
While neither of these are goals in and of themselves, Miller thinks they matter. And he makes a pretty good case, with the grace and deftness we've come to expect from pretty much everything he writes.
Follow @edgeblogger on the twittering and get graced up and defted out on a regular basis. For realsies. #oklaed
Why Are Teachers So Stressed? - Peter Greene, Curmudgucation. Greene is perhaps edu-bloggery's most prolific and pithy watchdog when it comes to ed-reformy nonsense, political b.s., and every other assault on actual learning, equity, and life-not-sucking for all the little children.
It's easy to take for granted where he's going with some of his favorite topics, but you risk missing the richness in so much of what he says. It's like listening to music - sure, you can have it playing while you work on something else, but sometimes you've just gotta stop and close your eyes to hear it fully. THIS is a post you should stop and process fully.
Although, I mean - obviously you'll have to have your eyes open to do that. Let's not take the analogy too far.
Follow @palan57 on the twittering and keep processing.
5 Helpful Answers To Society's Most Uncomfortable Questions - David Wong, Cracked.com. This one breaks several rules of the weekly roundup.
First, it's over a year old. But I just discovered it this week, and I'd argue it has fresh relevance and will probably (and unfortunately) remain relevant for some time to come.
Second, it's not really an edu-blog post. It's not by an educator. It's not even school-appropriate. Which leads me to...
Third. Oh the potty mouth! Tsk tsk. Unforgivable vulgarity. Must have been brought up in public schooling. You've been warned.
What Wong tackles here, though, are some of the more antagonistic questions of our day - generally posed by those holding top slots in society's power structures, and annoyed at what they perceive to be stone-throwing from below.
So, even when personal choices finally come into play, you're still choosing within that framework -- you can choose between becoming a poet or a software engineer, but only because you were raised in a world in which other people had already invented both poetry and computers. That means every single little part of your life -- every action, every choice, every thought, every emotion, every plan for the future, everything that you are and do and can potentially be -- is the result of things other people did in the past.
Look, just go read the thing. Have I ever led you astray before? And follow @JohnDiesattheEn on the twittering for more thoughtfulness disguised as snarky humor flung your way like truth poo.
That's it this week my beloved #11FF.
I'm trying not to talk #OKElections16 in the weekly wrap-ups, but please educate yourself and those around you and advocate for thoughtful voting - especially at the state level.
You're doing more than you realize, and better than you think. I promise.