Blue Serials (4/17/16)
It's Testing Season. Shut Up And Be The Same.
OK, yeah - I don't get the video either, but the sound quality is so much better than the remaining options and besides, THAT'S NOT THE POINT.
Stuff You Shouldn't Miss From This Past Week
You Are Not A Test - Rick Cobb, OKEducationTruths, with possibly this year's best dose of perspective regarding state testing and real live children. What can I say about Cobb that hasn't been said before - at least, that's safe for publication? He's such an institution in #OklaEd that I'm not sure we consciously stop and appreciate what he brings to the table anymore, we're so used to it just... happening. Speaking of which...
Show @okeducation some love this week on the Twitters, or bring him candy and flowers or something. Perhaps a good, stiff drink. #oklaed
Now Listen Here - Laura McGee, on Cimarron Middle School, does a particularly nice job of rainbow-toasted unicorns here, while never completely cutting the kite string or hitting 'play' on the schmaltzy music. There's no such thing as 'too many' reminders this time of year just what it is we're supposedly trying to accomplish, and so little of it has anything to do with these silly tests. I could read this one daily for the next few weeks and never get tired of it.
On the other hand, I have no idea what to call this site. It doesn't look like an official middle school page, but neither is it your typical blog. Leave it to Edmond folks to ignore orthodoxy in these things. I'm 77% certain, however, that at least some of the blame/credit goes to @CordellEhrich, so follow him on the Twittering and see what other rules he's breaking. #OklaEd.
Today I'm A Dad - Scott Haselwood, Teaching From Here, is traditionally one of our go-to positive-way-forward guys. But not this week. This week he's a dad troubled by what 3rd Grade Malicious Child Standardization Procedure is doing to his pride and joy.
"WHY ARE WE DOING THIS TO OUR CHILDREN? WHAT IS THE POINT? TO DRIVE THE LOVE OF LEARNING RIGHT OUT OF THERE SOULS?" Well... yeah, Scott. You think Educated, Inspired voters are going to keep re-electing the folks making these rules? People with souls don't do such things.
Haselwood is right to be troubled, but make sure you notice the picture of his daughter at the end of the post - particularly her expression and all it implies. If you've met Scott, or even a photo of him online, you'll see it immediately. She's definitely going to be just fine.
In the meantime, follow @TeachFromHere on the Tweetbooks. I promise, he's normally quite solution-oriented and leaves the frustration and bitterness to others. Like, for example... me. #oklaed
An Open Letter to Private School Parents: Stop Trashing Public Schools - Ali Collins, SF Public School Mom, happens to feel quite strongly about her local public school. She's not anti-private, anti-charter, or anti-anyone else, but she WOULD appreciate it if you'd stop validating your educational choices by misleading others about hers.
Public Ed advocates from ANYWHERE will appreciate this one. I love her voice and passion, applied to clarity and good sense. I didn't know they even ALLOWED rational people in San Francisco.
Follow @AliMCollins on the Twittering and find out what other things she feels strongly about. There are several, I assure you.
Do Look At Me That Way - Rob Miller, A View From The Edge. Teachers remind each other a LOT not to let the gig become about the gradebook or the forms. That's OK, though, because some of us require regular reminding.
Notice the kids in your class, and your hallway, and otherwise crossing your path. If the spirits tell you something's up, start that conversation and take that risk. Sometimes you'll just end up feeling awkward or foolish (unless that's just me), but there's a flip side - sometimes they need you, whether they realize it or not. Sometimes they need to be heard, or asked, or otherwise engaged. Sometimes.
Consult the wisdom of @edgeblogger in the Hall of Tweets and see what else the spirits have to say. #oklaed
Finally - and I really didn't want to include this one, because it kinda stings - there's this...
Burning Down The House - T.C. Weber, Dad Gone Wild, has been reflecting a bit lately on education and politics, outrage and empathy. He's been questioning his own approach to confronting bad policy and attacking real people who aren't always real to him when he does. Sound at all... familiar, Blue?
While there are a few specifics related to Nashville edu-slation and shenanigans, this one is worth a read for any of us who are trying to speak truth to power, or satirize the evils brought down on our kids in hopes of robbing them of some of their power to destroy. It might hurt a bit to read, however, because many of these doubts and regrets about approach and effectiveness are... well...
Let's just say I've heard that some people wrestle with these closer to home as well.
Wrestle with @norinrad10 on the Tweetness and find out what else Oklahoma and Tennessee have in common, for better or worse. Plus, he writes real good too.
I'll leave you with one of my new favorite, um... video things. Adam Ruins Everything?
Be amazing, my darlings. Don't let the system crush you just yet. Those same kids you want to flush... well, one of them will need you this week. Be ready.