7 Key Characteristics of a Digitally Competent Teacher

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It’s about Perspective…This is a “Our” Problem

A great post on the tensions in St. Louis right now from the superintendent of my district.

eknost's Blog

There is no doubt we have watched a tragic situation unfold in Ferguson this past week. A young man’s life has been lost, hearts are heavy with grief on all fronts, and much confusion has perpetuated in the days following the original incident. Unfortunately, our society fails to realize a very important factor about the prevailing confusion… it did not originate as a byproduct of “this” event.

It appears, as we would all expect, everyone has an opinion, and many are quick to share their thoughts. But perspective is more important when considering this situation, and perspective is significantly different than opinion. Without perspective, understanding and resolving the depths of this issue remains extremely complicated.

It’s about so much more than the demonstrations. It’s deeper than the riots and looting. It’s beyond a single police officer’s handling of an encounter with a citizen, and yes, it’s even more complicated than…

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Building Relationships with Your Students

My principal shared this video with us before the school year started. Definitely a must watch for all teachers and school staff!

We Were Meant to be Teachers!

Rita Pierson explains how we absolutely have to connect with our students before they will want to begin to learn from us. We need to figure out how to raise a child’s self-image while raising his academic success.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ted-talks-education/speaker/rita-pierson/

At Time to Teach, we consistently stress about how much you must connect with your students, while maintaining your professional stature. We call it Unconditional Positive Regard. Please contact me via my email for more information.

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Surreal Life in St. Louis County #Ferguson

I wasn’t going to comment on this.  I wasn’t going to blog about this but I just can’t stop thinking about it.  I get up every morning and read about the violence, looting, protests, militarization of the police… and go about my day in an area where everything seems to be normal as always.  Life here is so not normal though.

I may be miles and miles from Ferguson but that doesn’t mean I’m untouched by what’s happening.  A friend from high school lives in Ferguson with his family, his kids have yet to go back to school due to all of this.  My sister-in-law, a police officer, has been called up to assist with the situation.  My uncle, also a police officer, has been placed on call with the possibility of being called up to help.  A fellow teacher’s husband is one of the officer’s that has been up there several nights.  My brother works at a large outdoor store, last week there was rumors online of people hitting stores selling guns, his store is nowhere near Ferguson and yet County police were in and out all night to keep an eye on the place.

The national media is here, celebrities are commenting on what’s happening, the eye of the country is focused on my hometown.  Yes I say my hometown because I’m a native of the St.  Louis Metropolitan area.  Ask anyone from one of the suburbs where they’re from and their initial response will be St. Louis, the follow up question might be what town, or which city, but more likely as joked about in a Pizza Hut commercial years ago when they made St. Louis style thin crust pizza the follow-up is “where’d you go to high school?”  For me it’s always been a way to connect with others, “oh hey I knew __________ that went there” or “oh isn’t ____________ restaurant, store, whatever there I love that place”  I’ve heard St. Louis referred to as a large city with a small town feel.  I love that, maybe that’s why everyone here seems to know someone in Ferguson or someone involved in some way.

StL has long been in the top 10 most dangerous cities in the country list, yet most people outside of the city wouldn’t know that, well before now they wouldn’t.

I’m sad to see what is happening.  This whole thing is a tragedy.  I don’t care how you feel, protest all you want you have that right as long as it stays peaceful.  You have your right to be heard.  You have the right to express concerns of racism, to request transparency and a complete investigation.  I respect those that are exercising those rights peacefully.  However the looting, shooting at officers, throwing molotov cocktails???  I’m at a loss, Mike Brown’s family has asked for it to stop and yet it doesn’t.  I don’t see how people think this is helping?  Take your opportunism elsewhere and leave those that are protesting peacefully to do just that.

I hate to see what’s happening and I worry what will happen the longer this goes on.  How many more people will be hurt?  How many more businesses will be looted?  When will this end?  Will this end?  Will the kids in that area ever get to go back to school?

My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Brown’s family as they grieve, to Officer Wilson and his family, and to my city in general.  I can only hope that somehow we can heal and grow from this.

Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew Before the School Year Begins

definitely worth a read for all parents and teachers

Topical Teaching

great listA great list courtesy of Lisa Flam:

1. Happy parents make happy teachers.

“Keeping parents happy is definitely the hardest part of the job for teachers,” said Adam Scanlan, who teaches fifth grade at E. W. Luther Elementary School in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “We have 25 sets of parents in our classes, many of whom want different outcomes from one another.” The need to please parents, more than anyone else, he says, is “constantly in the back of your mind,” he said. “I think a lot of parents expect perfection from teachers but in reality, we’re humans, too, and we do the best we can.”

2. Give new teachers a chance.

Have you crossed your fingers wishing your child would not get the newbie teacher? Kristina Hambrock was nervous as she made her teaching debut a year ago. She was often still working in her classroom until 9…

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Oh Captain, My Captain

Hearing about Robin William suicide last night left me in a state of shock.  He always seemed to be so full of life. I know seeing kids act out in class, being the class clown that often they are the kids struggling most with life so maybe this shouldn’t have been such a surprise but it was

I have been a fan of Robin’s for literally as long as I can remember.  I was 2 when it first aired by the last season I was watching it in the evening with my parents, one of the few shows they let me watch.  I watched it in syndication after that.

The shock wore off this morning when a local radio station played the “Carpe Diem” quote from Dead Poets Society.  All of sudden I was sniffling and tears filled my eyes.  My kiddo asked me what was wrong, we were on the way to his school.  I couldn’t seem to answer.

Robin you will be missed, and I promise to keep my eye out on those class clowns, help them when they’re suffering.