Blue Serials (12/6/15)
Tis the season, eh?
In the midst of our anticipation and preparation for family, festivities, or maybe just a few weeks curled up on the couch Netflix-binging, so many thought-provoking and challenging things are being written and discussed in the edu-blogosphere. Some are uplifting, some are rather discouraging - but the stuff you really really shouldn't miss from this past week is all right here.
It's my early gift to you, 'cause we're tight like that, yes?
Breaking The Silence - Hopefully you've watched the video by now (it's embedded in the post on the off-chance you've missed it). 12 minutes of teacher reality from the good folks at Moore Public Schools. David Burton of Idealistically Realistic certainly has, and adds his own experiences to the mix. You should too. Then, follow @APTeacherBurton on the Twitters. You'll be one friend better as a result. #oklaed
A Little Thing Called Love (and Education) - Many of you read the post from OKWU regarding overly sensitive students this past week. I forwarded it along myself, albeit with a few minor reservations. Shortly after, I was approached by a colleague who'd graduated from there and who had some real issues with the letter and its tone. She made good points, and I started to wonder if I'd hit those 'Likes' and exploding heart buttons too soon.
Jennifer Williams, aka JennWillTeach, has some of the same reservations as my colleague, and expresses them so very well here. #TriggerWarning - Christian themes, possible sarcasm, hints of unicorns and rainbows levels of caring for young people. Find @JennWillTeach on the Twitters - but don't expect her to coddle you, no matter how nice she seems here. #oklaed
Side Note: There's a fascinating article in Psychology Today about students' supposed 'emotional fragility' and the reactions to an earlier piece by the author on the same subject. It's a long read, but worth it if this is a topic in which you're interested beyond the occasional snarky post.
A Call To Arms - I do so resent having to repeatedly fight the same old voucher battles and other efforts to suck the remaining marrow out of Oklahoma public schools. Worse, it's always done with such gilding - it's always for 'choice' and 'the children' and 'healthy competition' and all the same euphemising and verbiaging we always see when it's time to reward #whiteprivilege or otherwise cut loose the neediest from the public lifeboat.
Thankfully, Rob Miller at A View From The Edge is able to address the issues with less hyperbole and bitterness than myself, and lay out clearly - AGAIN - why this latest round of "dump on their dinner and call it dessert" is bad for kids, bad for schools, and bad for the state. Santa Claus can't possibly be bringing these people ANYTHING this year, can he? Follow Rob on the Twitters at @edgeblogger - I promise you, he's much more calm and rational than I am about these things. Then again, who isn't? #oklaed
You Can't Blame Her - On a much more uplifting note, Erin Barnes at Educating Me shares one of my favorite testing stories of all time about her six-year old daughter - who is clearly MUCH smarter than Pearson or ETS or whoever made the stupid test she had to take. If you want to do something smart as well, follow @elynnlll on the Twitters. I just love her. #oklaed
Finally, and somewhat uncharacteristically, this piece from a non-educator about a topic not at all specific to public education.
In Which I Tell You How Your Religion Works - I'm not that familiar with Luther Siler or his blog, Infinitefreetime.com. But this post resonated with me so strongly that I'm passing it along here, despite the very political and religious nature of the subject matter. He's, um... rather blunt about what he has to say regarding faith, terrorism, and turning away refugees. Regular readers know that's completely fine by me - especially when he's so very right as well.
If you're the sort to get fired up over social or political opinions inserted where you're not expecting them, this is probably one of those times. Read it anyway - I'll trade you being mad at me for you being exposed to what he says here. If you're NOT pissed and DON'T unfollow me as a result, feel free to find Siler on the Twitters at @nfinitefreetime and see what happens.
Whatever your social or political leanings, go forth boldly this week and teach the crap out of those kids in your room! Love them despite themselves and be excellent despite the system in which you labor. Illegitimi non carborundum! You are FAR more amazing than you realize - and they need you so much more than they can possibly conceive.
I leave you with more Bellwether Squares for Xmas: