Posts Tagged ‘21st Century’

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

To begin with … I am, and have been, a supporter of social media. ¬†I have been on Twitter since June of 2012 when I went to the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Summer Workshop in Austin and went to a session on using Twitter as a tool for personalized learning. I talked to my teachers about it and many of them have also joined in and use Twitter on a regular basis for their own learning and sharing. ¬†I also use Instagram to share pictures and information, mainly because most of my students use it, and I wanted to be able to get information to them as well as show off the good things that are happening at our school. ¬†I do see the value in social media !!

However, I have not ever been on Facebook even though I knew it was the most widely used form of social media. The superintendent at my previous school would not allow us to have a Facebook account for our school (he called it The Evil Empire), so I just didn’t worry about it for my school or for myself.

Facebook

I have been contemplating getting on Facebook for a while now, not really personally, but for my school. ¬†I think we have done a fair job this year of reaching parents, but I knew it could be better. ¬†I got with one of my teachers the other¬†day and she talked me through creating a personal Facebook account so I could then create a Facebook page for our school. After doing this, I linked it with our school’s twitter account so now when I post on Facebook, it automatically posts on Twitter. That was one benefit … one post goes to two places, but the main benefit so far has been the ability to reach so many more people. ¬†To be honest, I was really amazed and pleasantly surprised. ¬†In just a few days of my school being on Facebook, we have tripled the amount of people who we reach and that are able to get information. ¬†Now¬†more people can see all the good things that are happening at our school. ¬†It is important that we tell our stories of all the good things that are happening in our schools because many people never hear about the good … they only hear the bad … and if that’s all they hear, then that’s all they think is happening. ¬†People thrive on the negative, but¬†I want to spread the positive.

So with that, I am now officially personally on Facebook and I am a little shocked.  It amazes me not only the sheer number of people that are on Facebook but also how much time people are on it as well as the amount of information that gets posted.  I have used Twitter as a tool for my own learning and then occasionally I would share something that is just useless random information.  But with Facebook, I will have to get used to people putting every bit of their personal information out there for people to see and read about.  And I will have to caution myself to not do that as well.

Being on Facebook for these last few days has really opened my eyes even wider to the value of social media and the ability to reach so many people.  It also has reminded me to be wary of the pitfalls and that we should exercise some caution while connecting in the world of Facebook.

And to anybody who is my friend on Facebook, please be patient with me as I am still learning.

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Super Heroes

Posted: July 6, 2014 in Teachers
Tags: , ,

When I was a kid, it wasn’t like it is today …¬† I only had 3 channels on the TV (not over 500) and we had an antenna outside that we could turn to a certain spot and MAYBE get the 4th channel.¬† Cartoons only came on Saturday mornings and were only on only for a little while.¬† Today there are on entire channels, and they are on 24 hours a day.¬† And today there are so many different cartoon characters whereas back in the day it was Mickey Mouse and his friends, Bugs Bunny and his friends, Scooby Doo and his friends, and then there were the Super Friends … Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman & Robin, and Aquaman.

Super Hero -- All 4 together

They were a part of the Justice League that had its headquarters in the Hall of Justice.  If there was an emergency the Super Friends came to the rescue.  They all had very different powers, and they used their different powers toward the common goal.  They would always save the day.  They were able to resolve whatever conflict came there way.  They were individuals but they could work together.  They fought for the good and they won!

There are superheroes in every school, and they all have different powers and work toward the common goal.¬† They are teachers. ¬†¬† In every school in every city in every state, they use their super powers to help save the world. ¬† They work hard everyday to make sure that the students have the knowledge and ability to think and solve problems.¬†¬† They fight to save the day.¬†¬† They haven’t won yet, but they are winning.

Each of our super heroes … the cartoon super heroes and the real super heroes in our schools … even though they all have different powers, there is still one super power they all have in common — COURAGE.

  • Courage to fight the fight!
  • Courage to face each day with its monumental obstacles and sometimes insurmountable odds!
  • Courage to accept the challenge!
  • Courage to win!

 

 

Super Hero -- Teacher

 

Aren’t we all lucky to have super heroes !! ¬†

What do you think?  Leave a comment and let us know.

 

social media

 

 

It’s OK to use social media in school!

There, I said it.¬† It is a part of our student’s lives and we must embrace it in our schools.

We must change our mindsets of what we think schools are about.  We are no longer the only source of knowledge for our students.  They have access to information 24 hours a day if they want it.    Students today have access to so much more than what most of us had growing up, so we must look at our toolbox for teaching and learning and be ready to embrace the use of social media and other digital learning tools or we run the risk of making our schools obsolete.

It is now time to accept this and make sure that we provide a positive teaching and learning environment that includes the use of social media.

Here are links to two articles that really do a great job of analyzing the use of social media in education.  They give real examples of how teachers and administrators are harnessing the power of social media to create better learning environments and making schools relevant for our students today.

The Barriers To Using Social Media In Education (Part 1 of 2)

How To Use Social Media In Education (Part 2 of 2)

 

What are your thoughts on the use of social media in schools?  Are you for it or against it?  Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Teachers … How would you describe your class?¬† Are you an out-of-the-box type of teacher?¬† Do you get your students to think outside-the-box?

Administrators … How would you describe your school?¬† Do you promote out-of-the-box thinking?

outside the box

This is an awesome video! 

I can’t think of any other way to describe this video, created by Paul Bogush, an 8th grade teacher at Moran Middle School in Wallingford, CT.¬† You can visit his blog and see what all he’s about as well as follow him on twitter @paulbogush.

 

I agree with Scott McLeod when he says, “I want this for my kids. And yours. And everyone else‚Äôs. More of this, please!”

Is this out-of-the-box and unusual, or can this the new norm for modern teachers?  What do you think?

BU001683

The start of the new school year is right around the corner.  In just a few days, teachers and students will be back in school , back to the routine that is all so familiar to us.  While some teachers and students will say they are not ready to come back, most really are ready.

Ready to learn.  Ready to teach.  Ready to make a difference.

Here are some questions to think about.

  1. What are you going to do this year?¬† Will it be the same as you’ve done every year?¬† You know, the saying … one year’s experience, twenty-five times!
  2. Are you ready to do something different?  Are you ready to put in to action what you learned from your summer professional development?
  3. Are you willing to commit to it?¬† Will you go right back to what you’ve always done because that is what you are comfortable with?

Is this what your classroom will look like this year?

desks - straight

Do you rely solely on textbooks to teach your class?

textbooks

In this video from John Maxwell, he talks about the value of a rubberband.  It is  intended to be stretched.  Can you be stretched?

Here’s my challenge to you … What are you going do to stretch yourself ??

Learn and Grow

What is the purpose of school?

It doesn’t matter if it is Elementary, Middle School / Jr. High, or High School.¬† The purpose of school is for the students to learn.¬† It’s our job as educators to teach them so they can learn.¬† It’s that simple!

As teachers, we already know everything, right?  We know everything there is to know and we can teach it to every student that walks through our doors, right?  And we know the best way to teach it to them so they can learn it, right?

Really!  (Can you detect a little sarcasm here?)

So what do teachers do to learn?¬† This is a good question … a question that doesn’t have just one answer because all teachers learn differently, just like their students.¬† There is not a right way or a wrong way.¬† What’s important is that you have to learn.¬† If you don’t, your students will suffer.¬† And that is unacceptable!

Your students depend on you for help.  Your students depend on you to learn so they can learn!

Here’s the challenge:¬† get connected, reflect, explore, read, watch, listen, model, collaborate, search, take notes, blog, lurk, discuss, encourage, share, and¬† …………… grow!

grow

Help Wanted

Before this school year started I did a session on using Twitter.¬† Some of the teachers that attended have really taken to using Twitter and have done a lot with it throughout this school year so far.¬† Others, though, for various reasons, have been a little more reluctant to take advantage of it.¬† It’s also no secret how many of my teachers feel about some of the professional development opportunities that have been forcefully made available to them in previous years.¬† In many instances, I feel the same way as they do.¬† That’s what is so great about Twitter.¬† It puts the teachers in control of their own professional development through the connections they individually make.

As a principal, my main job is to make sure that the teachers are effective in the classroom.¬† Effective instruction is the best way to increase student achievement.¬† Each one of my teachers has a unique set of abilities that helps them to be effective in the classroom; however, each one of them also needs improvement.¬† We all do!¬† Those teachers who think they don’t ever need to improve should get out of this profession!!¬† I’m extremely lucky.¬† I have a great group of teachers at my school that are willing to do whatever they can to make themselves better.

As a principal, another part of my job is to get my teachers the tools they need to be effective in the classroom.  This is where I am asking for your help.  I want to help my teachers make connections with other teachers.  In turn, they can meet other teachers who have the same passion for learning and self-improvement.  In turn, they can learn something new that they can use in their classes.  In turn, they can become better teachers and have more effective instruction.

Here is a list of my teacher’s Twitter handles:

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Wright, Lesa @WrightLisa
Nixon, Shane @NixonCoach
Henson, Wendy @WendyHenson225
MATH
Jones, Jamesa @JamesaJones
Soper, Ze Ze @ZeZeSoper
DeLorme, Lily @LilyDeLorme
SCIENCE
Antes, Kerri @KerriAntes
Cariker, Sally @carikers
Brach, Vince @BrachVince
SOCIAL STUDIES
Touchstone, Keith @CoachTouch
Eudy, Jordan @JEudy24
Smith, Doug @smithd0710
SPECIAL EDUCATION
Montgomery, Kim @MontgomeryKim1
ELECTIVES
Anderson, AnthonyBand
@andersona54
Clawson, Rita — Art @RitaClawson
Coleman, Johnny — Ag @JohnnyColeman16
Jones, Roger — Ag @RogerJones2009
Evelyn Nieves — Spanish ¬†@nievesetu
Mock, Amy — Family and Consumer Science @AmyMockL
Rogers, Jennifer — Technology @rogersjochs
Heflin, Nathan — Assistant Principal @NathanHeflin
 

If you are interested in making connections with them, please send them a message.  Post a link to an article and include their twitter handle.  Invite them to a chat.  Read their blogs and send them the link to yours.  Give their Twitter Handles to other teachers.  Re-Post this blog.

I appreciate your willingness to help me help my teachers.

Have fun making new connections!