Life Reflected

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Thoughts on education, dance, art, tech, the environment, and other randomness

Girl Walk // All Day - Chapter 1: School's Out

This is the most amazing thing I have seen in a LONG time. A colleague shared in the midst of one of the worst weeks in a while and it has been saving me every day. I binge watched the chapters the other night and have been watching / listening to the soundtrack every day. Even if you can only commit to a chapter a day it will be worth it. The music, dancing, and filmography are brilliant.

Epic, thought-provoking, and just plain happy. Go watch!

buildingmosaicsoutoflife:

thinksquad:

Kindergarten teacher: My job is now about tests and data — not children. I quit.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/03/23/kindergarten-teacher-my-job-is-now-about-tests-and-data-not-children-i-quit/

TOO [ ] REAL




Really engaging read. I kept coming back to the same theme, that the problem isn’t necessarily in the what but in the how. I see the importance in having high expectations for students and teachers, in wanting clear and intentional instructional practices for content and pedagogy, and in having a body of evidence that includes meaningful data that is acted on responsively. The difficulty, for me, is often in how these expectations turn into initiatives and programs with weak rationale, that the PD is so poorly designed and delivered that hours of precious teacher time are wasted for no valuable adult learning to occur, and that each of these things is created in isolation and does not allow for teachers to spend the majority of their time where the highest impact lies: spending valuable instructional time with students. Large class sizes, a myriad of things that take teachers away from an instructional focus to assess / collect data / attend meetings / attend to intense behavioral needs, and impossible expectations are contributing to a shift away from the joy and personal connections that so many valuable student experiences are built on. When you look at these situations holistically it becomes apparent that they are so often draining teachers dry of the love, light, and healthy personal lives they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability and be amazing teachers for our students. 

At the same time I am continually encouraged by the shifts I see happening towards empowering teachers and students to take back their educational experiences. It is my sincerest hope that these exciting movements continue to take hold and spread to all districts and states sooner rather than later, because at the end of the day we need teachers who are as passionate as this woman and who strive, above all else, to do right by kids.

buildingmosaicsoutoflife:

thinksquad:

Kindergarten teacher: My job is now about tests and data — not children. I quit.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/03/23/kindergarten-teacher-my-job-is-now-about-tests-and-data-not-children-i-quit/

TOO [ ] REAL

Really engaging read. I kept coming back to the same theme, that the problem isn’t necessarily in the what but in the how. I see the importance in having high expectations for students and teachers, in wanting clear and intentional instructional practices for content and pedagogy, and in having a body of evidence that includes meaningful data that is acted on responsively. The difficulty, for me, is often in how these expectations turn into initiatives and programs with weak rationale, that the PD is so poorly designed and delivered that hours of precious teacher time are wasted for no valuable adult learning to occur, and that each of these things is created in isolation and does not allow for teachers to spend the majority of their time where the highest impact lies: spending valuable instructional time with students. Large class sizes, a myriad of things that take teachers away from an instructional focus to assess / collect data / attend meetings / attend to intense behavioral needs, and impossible expectations are contributing to a shift away from the joy and personal connections that so many valuable student experiences are built on. When you look at these situations holistically it becomes apparent that they are so often draining teachers dry of the love, light, and healthy personal lives they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability and be amazing teachers for our students. At the same time I am continually encouraged by the shifts I see happening towards empowering teachers and students to take back their educational experiences. It is my sincerest hope that these exciting movements continue to take hold and spread to all districts and states sooner rather than later, because at the end of the day we need teachers who are as passionate as this woman and who strive, above all else, to do right by kids.

(via grayer)

thesnarkyschoolteacher:

biliouskaiju:

My new favorite gif set. 

Cat gifs make me love tumblr so much more. The fourth one.. I can’t even. Laughing so hard.

It wasn’t until the end of the set that I realized I had been narrating each picture as I watched it.

(Source: iraffiruse, via beckieteaches)

Apps I Am Currently Using (And You Should Too)

rorysacks:

Not all apps are created for educational purposes. In fact, almost none are. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be leveraged for education. As teachers, you have to be (almost constantly) thinking outside the box on how to utilize software to help make your lives easier and to benefit the…

Yes! A couple others I love: unroll.me and hojoki for keeping my inbox less cluttered with subscriptions and notifications, and OneTab- Chrome extension that allows you to put all your tabs into one page and keeps track of them for you even when you restart your computer or close your windows.

Ewan McIntosh on Design Thinking & PBL

Great, powerful ideas in this podcast. I thoroughly enjoyed thinking along with this in the car today, though it’s going to need a 2nd listen when I can jot more notes and ideas. Definitely worth a listen.

Stand Up Meetings

What would happen if you asked team members to stand for the duration of your next meeting? School-based staff are so often crunched for time and feel an intense urgency, but is that urgency focused towards a clear goal? What if a productive urgency were transferred to school and district level meetings?

In software development (particularly the Agile framework) there’s a meeting that occurs each day during a sprint called the stand-up (or sometimes daily scrum). This check-in is a time for the dev team to share a brief (no more than 2 minutes each) update of their progress. All team members who are physically able stand for the duration of the meeting, the idea being that a level of discomfort for standing too long will discourage meetings running over the allotted time.

Impediments / stumbling blocks are noted by the Scrum Master and a resolution is worked on outside of the meeting. At most, a team member may make a brief statement in reply, such as, “Let’s connect more on that after the meeting.” No detailed discussions happen during this meeting.

Other Guidelines:

  • All members of the development team come prepared with their updates.
  • Meeting always starts precisely on time, even if some team members are missing.
  • Meeting should happen at the same time and place each day.
  • Meeting is timeboxed to no more than 15 minutes
  • Anyone is welcome to attend, but only core roles speak.

Things I Like:

  • Daily collaboration among team members so everyone is aware of each other’s progress.
  • 15 minute limit values each team member’s time.
  • Opportunities for offline discussion, problem-solving, and establishing a thought partner when needed without the rest of the team feeling locked into the meeting.

What benefits could this have to projects and meetings you lead / are involved in? What challenges to this kind of meeting structure do you see? Could this be applied to your PLC, data-cycle, or staff meetings?

It’s not just Pi Day. It’s Pi Month.

hisnamewasbeanni:

hithertokt:

hisnamewasbeanni:

rosworms:

Month 3 in year 2014.

3.14

fuck you, i’m having pie every day for the rest of the month.

This is what I was telling people at school!

…Except those people were English teachers, and were not pleased at the prospect of more Mathsy goodness for a whole month. I wasn’t a popular man.

image

Who doesn’t support pie for a month? I should be your co-worker; those English teachers are crazy.

hithertokt, there are so many reasons you should be my coworker…

Yes! And just think how exciting it’ll be next year on Pi Day at 9:26.

Also, you should all go watch this epic Pi video that I forgot to post on Friday. I can’t get the html to embed it properly, but it is worth the click through. I promise. 

http://youtu.be/BDMBtQjS1bQ