Skip to main content

Fighting Words in Education

Edgar Dales says some pretty powerful words. For some teachers, they may even be fighting words. The kind of words that cause us to take offense and defend our position on how we do business in our classrooms. But the reality is if we only remember…

10% of what we read

20% of what we hear

30% of what we see

50% of what we see and hear

70% of what we discuss with others

80% of what we personally experience

And 95% of what we teach others…

What does that say about the actual learning that goes on in the classroom and how- as teachers- the typical “stand and deliver” methods must change? ISTE has caused me to truly think about the way my classroom is handled. I may be a phenomenal teacher, but if my phenomenal status hinges on content or lessons I am delivering to my students, despite how focused and on-task they may seem, it doesn’t make me a phenomenal teacher. It simply means I deliver content well to an audience.

For me, it means my goal this year needs to be providing opportunities for my students to connect their reading and writing to real-world events and people as much as possible. It means integrating Skype and other collaboration tools which are readily available that enable our students to not only discuss with others what they are reading, seeing, and hearing in the classroom, but also experience collaboration and world-awareness outside of the four walls that encompass our classroom.

A chat that centered on professional development was underway when I made the comment that I was glad I was the teacher and had the opportunity to watch & learn instead of actually teaching PD. These are the 2 comments from my friend, Rafranz Davis:
Teach??... Adults?... ME...?? Ummm...... No.
Then this tweet followed:
It was when I read this second comment, sighed with relief and thought, "Well yes- I can share all day long... teach? Not so much," that I had my lightbulb moment. For some reason sharing doesn't seem as intimidating, yet in many ways is the same. It was in this moment I thought about what an awesome summer it has been as far as growth. I have read others' blogs, lurked on many a Tweet Chat, seen face to face many educators I learn from and rely on, discussed various topics in education, and personally experienced the power of having avenues to share and collaborate. It will definitely be a summer to remember... and yes- I can definitely share my experience with others. But all this will be diminished if I don't provide the same learning opportunities for my students. It's not enough for them to read, see, and hear the content; as Edgar Dales said, it needs to be discussed, experienced, and shared with others if I truly want to say that my students learned from me this school year!


Popular posts from this blog

Change and the Top 5 Things I Learned This Year

.... and there is was. I loved my classroom. I loved my kids. I loved those things and they were great... But I wanted something even more than that. I wanted to be able to focus on reading with small groups of students at a time in order to understand their individual needs; to try to get a glimpse into why they struggled year after year, to be a source of encouragement, and ultimately to help them be a little better at reading and comprehending than before they'd ever met me. So... to do this- to go after what I wanted but had never had, I had to do some things I had never done. I had to leave my intimately cozy school where I truly considered each person there a part of an extended family unit. I had to load up 8 years worth of materials and teacher junk and haul it to a new school; and not just any school... to a MIDDLE school! The horror! I had always sworn I would never... COULD never teach in a junior high/middle school setting, and here I was scrambling over boxes and giv…

True Confessions of Your Teacher


If you were any animal, what would it be? 

While I would love to say a cheetah for its stealthy ability to run and its sleek body movement in the wild, the fact that I am a wood duck proved more accurately after a recent field trip to a Botanical Garden and boat ride on the bayou.
While I've gone with classes in the past on this same field trip, ridden this same boat through the bayou, and heard about the wood duck nesting boxes erected along the side of the bayou- I guess I had never really given much thought to the special nature of the baby wood duck and the mother duck who calls her babies to literally fall out of the wooden boxes since they are unable to fly.
I think the mother wood duck must feel like a teacher most days of her motherly life in her little nesting box. Why?
Because as a teacher I worry and fret about what I'm doing in the classroom to help my students be successful. Sometimes as a teacher you feel like your kids have automatic hearing they can turn o…

Making Appointments- a collaboration strategy

Autonomy and collaboration are two buzz words you hear often right now in the realms of education chatter. And for those days when collaboration means within our own classroom, it seems like this is the day autonomy needs to be focused on the most. I can take the same two students and match them up to work as partners, who would have normally joined up anyway- but there is something about the teacher doing the matching that often times sets things on a bad foot right away. I noticed this when school first started. I would watch the groups and partners gather in clusters when I simply said for them to partner up- versus watching their reactions when I actually called them out, putting them in very similar groupings. There is something to be said for students feeling like they have a say in who they work with. I guess we are no different as adults.

I saw a strategy at a workshop last year called "Making Appointments" that I envisioned as a complete train wreck, but one day last…