I waste a lot of time on Voxer. I listen to entire conversations that have little to no impact on my lessons. I do not mind. I miss days at a time because there are just too many voxes from too many people about too many subjects. I do not mind. People talk about grilling meat and eating buffalo wings. I do not mind.
I do not mind because the conversations that organically flows from pedagogy, to technology, to engagement of students to some tangent that has nothing to do with the conversation, and then back again to education because they yield nuggets of gold that I am willing to sift through the river of voxes to capture them. One of the biggest nuggets came from Lynn Burrows. She stated that she doesn’t use the common terms for moving in different directions that most physical educators do. We call the movement zig zag directions. Lynn uses the terminology of acute angles, right angles, and obtuse angles. This little crossover from math to physical education is what I am always on the lookout for. Every lesson I plan I will now ensure that I attempt to organically infuse cross-curriculum standards or interdisciplinary information into my teaching.
I do not mind that Rafranz Davis is a fiery passionate woman. This week she found an injustice in a slavery simulation game that I found racially insensitive at its best. It was unsettling to see a game go into development with funds from our own government. Funding for this odious game was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. What I learned from her outrage and our conversations (me being corrected), was that my lessons should infuse culture in it as organically as it does math or reading. I use George Washington Carver to teach about legumes. This brainpopjr video is a great lesson for the students to see a black scientist and make sure that our students understand how there are successful minorities in all fields of life. I will make a conscious decision to explicitly teach cultural literacy in my class all year long and not just when it is highlighted in February.
I do not mind listening to experts in my field speak because I know that eventually there will arise a statement or an idea that will influence my teaching. The last example of this was Nick Spencer stating that his go signal was the phrase “never smoke”. How awesome is that to reinforce a concept that we want kids to master outside of school thousands of times over the year? The students will consciously or subconsciously internalize that. If one student in the life of my teaching turns down a cigarette because I had created a negative associate with it than it is worth that small switch in my teaching vocabulary.
I do not mind dedicating a lot of my spare time to Voxer because I want to be great. Yes I said it to you in plain text. I want to be great. The only way to become great is to find the greatest people in the world and latch on to them. Create a relationship where you can pick their brain and do what they do. If I take the best from everyone I meet and implement their greatness into my teaching than I will become great. This week I made progress toward becoming great.
Q2: What is your favorite way to get pd? #slowchatpe
Q3: How do you infuse cultural literacy into your class? #slowchatpe
Q4: How do you infuse different subject area content into ur lessons? #slowchatpe
Q5: What is a trick of the teaching trade ts should know? #slowchatpe
I always enjoy ur blogs.. Thought provoking and I like how u get energized from others.. Then u apply it to ur standards and teaching practices..
Great post! Love Voxer!