Blue Serials (3/6/16)
Things I've Learned This Week...
1. It's not practical to hold a full-time job AND try to keep up with all possible pending edu-slation. I just can't. So we'll rework that goal for next year.
2. People are visiting the #OKElections16 pages - as much or more as anything else I post. I don't know what that indicates in terms of results, but someone is reading them. The Candidate Profiles seem to be the most popular.
3. People are also visiting my Who Killed Avery Chase? Document Activity with great regularity. It's been in the Top 20 pages visited since I posted it about a year ago, often in the Top 10. I have yet to receive any indication whether that means anyone is using the activity, likes it, hates it, has changed it in some amazing way I didn't think of, or what. But... I'm glad it's being visited. I hope I've revolutionized hundreds - if not thousands - of classrooms with my mad pedagogical skills.
4. Far more Americans than I'd previously allowed myself to believe are some combination of ignorant, hateful, racist, and possibly fascist. Sadly, 'ignorant' is the least troubling element in that mix.
5. At the same time, there are SO many really good teachers, blogs and essential posts out there. You can't read them all, but there are some it'd be a true shame to miss!
I can't fix or solve everything, but this last issue is one I can at least mitigate.
Stuff You Absolutely Should Not Miss From The Past Week...
...or two. Or the past month. I've been behind - which is ironic, I realize, but, um... HERE:
The Schools We Need vs. The Schools That Need Us - Molly Tansey on Young Teachers Collective wrestles with the inherent tension between going where you can grow - or at least survive - and going where you're most needed. While the specifics of her situation will resonate with some more than others, the larger questions about why we do this - where we do it - should seem familiar to most of you no matter WHERE you are. Go read this. Several times.
"He'll Never Catch Up" - Conor Pierson on Young Teachers Collective recalls the not-overly-supportive words of one of his teachers to his father sixteen years before. Hopefully we've collectively grown a little when helping students with dyslexia, but how often do we less overtly believe something similar about other kids? How often do we tell them without telling them? Here's to struggling students who become teachers.
Now - seriously - if you're an educator and you don't follow and support @YTCollective, you're doing it wrong. I realize they lean young and idealistic, moreso than some of you fully appreciate, but how many bitter old conservatives are entering public education these days - at least without reapers and flamethrowers? Thank god for smart kids with missionary zeal and enough moxie to speak truth to power.
White Man, Black Boy - Jon Harper, aka Bailey & Derek's Daddy - "Because we are not the same. We never have been and we never will be. Dr. King did not wish for all people to be treated equally because we are the same. He wished for all people to be treated equally because it is right." Harper is an old white guy in a school full of young black children. He's also one of the most introspective and caring edu-bloggers out there. Follow @jonharper70bd on the Twitters and be introspective, too.
Should Teachers Have Strong Opinions? - Steven Singer on gadflyonthewallblog is a bit of an antagonist. Personally, I can't imagine what it's like to spout off vehemently every time something's on your mind, but it seems to work for him. (If he doesn't reign it in, though, I'm telling Jay. I've already bookmarked at least THREE instances of shocking language - and I don't mean grawlixes!) Spout off with @StevenSinger3 on the Twitters with or without naughty words - but know your stuff before you start something. He's feisty.
Did These 2nd Graders Debunk The Myth That Tests Measure Learning? - Mark Barnes on Brilliant or Insane? wraps us up this week with a piece that's short, accessible, and wise. Also, there are paper airplanes - so... bonus. Follow @markbarns19 on the Twittering and bask in the brilliance AND the insanity.
Next Weekend's Blue Serials Wrap-Up will kick off a week of self-absorbed Blue Cereal Celebration - honoring 24 months of unbridled edu-bloggery.
Who better to write about me all week than... me?
Until then, my Eleven Faithful Followers - arms locked, minds set, no fear. Thank you for fighting the darkness, in and out of your classrooms and offices. You don't have to fix it all - just do your part so audaciously that they simply can't ignore you.