I'm making myself an E-Folio! That means I am transferring old content from a Semi-professional Blog I was using, as well as uploading current content. Please bar with me:)
In all of yesterday’s sorting and tossing and organizing and recycling and re-piling and filing, I came across my collection of Art Lessons. They were shouting, “Share! SHARE!” and since 1 of my 327 incomplete projects is to actually scan and archive my Art…
Here’s one inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, a maverick woman artist at a time when women were quite less than welcome in the World of Professional (male) artists…
This lesson was done with a class of third-graders. First, we read a biography about Ms. Okeeffe so we could learn a little about the time she lived in and about the art she made, as well as a little bit about her philosophy as an artist. Then, the students tried blending their pastels on a practice paper. Next, they got to pick from a variety of close-up photos of flowers. Their goal was to emulate Georgia O’Keeffe’s style.
VARIATION… CUT INTO ENOUGH PIECES FOR THE CLASS A LARGE PHOTO OF A CLOSE-UP FLOWER (OR, USE SEVERAL PHOTOS). GIVE EACH CHILD A PIECE… AT THE END, REASSEMBLE THE ARTWORK AND PHOTOS.The lesson (as I see it) of this lesson, besides the artistic curriculum expectations met (see Ontario Curriculum documents, if you so desire), is this:
Take time to notice and tend to the little things in life… Maybe they aren’t so little? And, more than likely, each little thing is part of a bigger thing and its importance is often overlooked until the little thing is gone or broken. And, then, the big thing doesn’t work as it should. I am intentionally speaking in such broad things because it can be applied in most situations.
And, once we accept this, then we may see the importance of every little thing we do, from completing our part of a group project to doing our part to ensure a happy classroom environment; from noticing flowers to friends…
“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
- Georgia O’Keeffe from Goodreads
Take time to tend to a friend and chat to a flower,
or is it, chat to a friend and smell a flower.
I am usually too over-whelmed on Twitter. I mainly use it professionally, so my connections are either Educators or Local News & Events. Still – I usually find it all too much all at once. And by too much, I mean too much relevant information that has the potential to make me a better educator, and a better person, in general. So, I mark some of it for for later, share some on Facebook, or save inSpringpad… and then loose it… forever.
Not this time! This time, I will share my Exploration into Twitter Chat Land. I have pulled out some examples of Top Tweets (as determined by myself for myself, but also for others in a similar situation). As well as some of the links to Blogs and other resources. In a follow-up blog, I may include these to create The Compilation of Mega-Advice for Successful Job Interviews. Of course, then…
I WILL LAND MY PERFECT FIT TEACHING JOB!I am a Twitter Newbie…. kind of. I’ve been on it for over a year, but I am more of a passive user – for now – I think I might try a chat one of these days, like the New Teacher Chat (#ntchat), moderated by Lisa Dabbs @teachingwthsoul. You can check out the Wiki here.
Also note that I did not notice this wonderful and extremely relevant chat until the end. I scrolled through and was impressed by the succinct, yet helpful comments and links to informative blogs.
So, for all you other Twitter Chat Newbies out there, here’s what seems to happen…
The moderator will tweet the topic details, like this:
Lisa Dabbs Join me in 15min for New Teacher Chat #ntchat Today, Wed. 7/11 8et/5pt Topic:Tips for Performing Your Best at Your Next Interview#edchat.
Next, she introduces herself and the chat (just like if it were a f2f convo!):
Welcome, All!! I’m the founder and moderator of #ntchat Join me for this time of learning and collaboration!! To join the chat you may want to use Tweetdeck, tweetchat or other client that allows columns. Use the hashtag #ntchat to join the convo! We are a small, but mighty chat…dedicated to being practitioner focused and supportive to new teachers! Before we get started…Let’s take a minute to introduce yourselves. Share who you are and where you’re from! Thanks… To be supportive we do a “structured chat” for first 20 min: Q1, Q2, Q3 with A1, A2, A3 to have everyone participate!
And, the chat begins:
QUESTION 1: WHAT’S THE FIRST THING (A NEW TEACHER) SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW? LET’S SHARE IDEAS!Participants contribute to Q1:
A Teacher’s Life Have a clear educational philosophy that you can discuss in a few minutes & a prospective discipline plan for your classroom.
Jerry Blumengarten Prepare a portfolio preferably Digital http://tinyurl.com/4btmvrg Have an ed philosophy, Practice answering questions…Must show how you would differentiate learning but also they look for classroom management skills which are very important …
Karl LS Research the school they are interviewing with-the more specifics you can reference about the school the better.
Blanca E. Duarte Read about the community, visit and observe children at the library, the stores, the park. Know your community and it’s children.
Dave Burgess I think it is very important to be able to speak from a place of passion about why you want to be a teacher. Also important to show you are a learner.Talk about what you have recently done to grow and a recent relevant book you have read. One way I got my job (revealed to me later) is because they asked what I had read recently and I knocked it out of the park.
José Popoff The focus needs to be on what you can do for the school not other way around
QUESTION 2: HOW DO YOU PRACTICE FOR THE INTERVIEW TO BE SURE YOU SHARE WHAT’S IMPORTANT?Lisa Dabbs Schedule a day of introspection. Think about your career, your goals, and your past experiences. Organize your work samples!
RT @PrincipalDunlop: RT @cybraryman1: A2 Video your practice sessions and you will see/hear things you can work on.
RT @guster4lovers: #ntchat I’d say make yourself a website with as much work/info as possible. it’s how I got my last job
RT PrincipalDunlop: A1: ask a mentor about possible interview questions. Do a mock interview. Painful but so helpful!
Two Teacherz Make Top 5 List of key words that represent most important items; at end of ALL interviews you get floor. Use them! Be able to express how you can reach, teach ALL learners (differentiated instruction).
QUESTION 3: HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK IT IS TO MEMORIZE THE THINGS YOU WANT TO SAY, BUT STAY CONVERSATIONAL? COULD BE TRICKY?Sue Dunlop instead, organized experiences into themes: literacy, numeracy, assessment, classroom management, PLC’s etc Have a framework to organize your thouhgts, especially if you tend to ramble or if you get paralysed… had an art teacher bring in art pieces done by students. Fantastic!
Lisa Dabbs I think it’s important to have some strong talking points prepared. Then feel confident to go with the flow and SMILE! Know what you want to emphasize but don’t memorize – you’ll have enough on you mind that day! Stay focused on the interview question. Do not ramble. And it’s okay if you do not know the answer. Be honest!
Melissa Edwards Practice speaking slowly and distinctly without saying “ummm”. Know a few things you want to emphasize but don’t sound rehearsed.
Cheryl Morris Try to give a general principle followed by specific example: “I believe in x. In my classroom it looks like y.” Bring water so u can pause to think/drink. ALWAYS ask on the phone beforehand. then bring what they tell you to. if they say nothing, then listen to that.
QUESTION 4: WHAT KINDS OF PRESENTATION ITEMS DO YOU THINK ARE IMPORTANT TO BRING TO THE INTERVIEW?(WE MAY HAVE SHARED THIS, BUT…)RT @Miss_Doig: An iPad if you can so that you can refer to examples quickly. Make sure your digital portfolio is well organised. (I KNEW I was right in proclaiming, “I need one!“
Lisa Dabbs I loved it when new teachers brought in actual artifacts of lessons worked on. Really impressive. I also had a prospective interviewee, bring in a video she had done of herself teaching a class! It was great to see.
Billy Spicer My experiences on interview committees is that you have to embed your portfolio INTO your responses. I’ve interviewed candidates that created websites, infographic resumes (cool!), & @prezi to use in interviews. You MUST stand out.
Jimmy Casas If I were interviewing for job today I would ask permission 2 teach a class so they could see my skill set in the classroom w/kids.
QUESTION 5: HOW DO YOU DRESS FOR THE INTERVIEW?William Gabriel Suit and Tie. I try to wear a tie that matches the color of the school. Subliminal message. It was what my g-father taught in.
RT @dalehancock: Be confident with humility. Most of all, be yourself. That is who you’ll be your first day on the job.
Lastly, the moderator will close the chat with suggestions on “where to go from here” for follow-up:
Wow! Where did the time go!! A HUGH heart felt Thank You to all of you for stopping by tonight! Be sure to follow some of the new friends you met here, tonight at New Teacher Chat #ntchat to continue the convo! Archives of New Teacher Chat will be on the wiki soon http://goo.gl/yLYf See you next week for our chat w/@KleinErin on Pinterest. OK friends…remember we are here for you. If you need a mentor…you need to check out our group! (http://tinyurl.com/8ylavvm) Be sure to check out & LIKE our New Teacher Chat Facebook page!http://goo.gl/kZCPv Share it with your FB buddies! I also have a list of interview questions that I will post to the wiki as soon as @evernote comes back on line!!
There it is, in a nutshell… Do check out the archives because there were many more super contributors. Always remember:
Faige Meller Be true to yourself. Don’t try to impress. Share who you are and why you want to teach.
The clincher testimonial to convince one of Twitter’s potential…
Mary Bertram Hi! Cant stay for the chat today but just wanted to drop by & say all the weekly #ntchat convos helped me get my first job!
SUPER BONUS LINKS THAT I WILL BE DELVING DEEPER INTO:…and this is why teachers should have blogs - George Couros
10 Tips to Help You Break to the Front of the Interview Pack! - Randee Kallison
#MentoringMonday An Article a Day…Might Just Save Your Teaching Life – Lisa Dabbs
10 Mistakes to Avoid In Your “Hire Me” E-mail – Carrie Jackson
http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/Task4.html – This is an Educational Philosophy Task that is good for Newbie & Not-So-Newbie teachers alike!)
Here is a tremendous gift that has been passed from somebody’s parents to their child upon embarking upon his future:
Whenever you have to make a tough decision or you are in a challenging predicament, read this list of words. Then close your eyes, be quiet and something amazing will happen. One of these words will jump out and steer you in the right direction…
Now, I am passing the Magic of these words to you:)
(Original Author Unknown)
Technology has great potential to “level the playing field”. It also has great potential to divide it even more.
Unfortunately, it may be the latter statement that is true in many cases. I am speaking from the point of view of an occasional teacher who goes into different schools across a large city. I am not a consultant or an expert, and thus, this blog is simply my humble opinion.
There are a lot of great teachers doing great things with technology in their classrooms. That is Truth. I’ve seen it; they share it; the students love it and they are engaged. These are all facts. And, this is all very Awesome.
But, what about all of those teachers who would love to get in on all of this only to find that the school they teach at does not have the technological resources available to do so? What about the students who do not get to build an application for an iPad because their school does not have even one iPad? What about the schools with no Smart Boards, or classrooms without one computer, never mind a pod? What about the school without digital cameras or the means to create a Podcast, or to Skype professionals around the world? What about those schools where the main concern is the Food Programs because the students are not coming to school with enough food?
Sure, you don’t NEED technology to teach. We’ve been doing it without forever, but wouldn’t these students benefit from the experience gained and the engagement that technology can provide?
I am not at all suggesting that any teachers stop what they are doing with technology in their classrooms, but something needs to be done. It seems that education is all about, “No Child Left Behind” and “Every Child Matters” and similar such Sentiments. It is being said by Boards and Provinces, but is it really being reflected? Not all the time. It comes down to money. It always comes down to money. Technology seems to be furthering the divide between the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots”, perpetuating the cycle. Some of our young people will be fluent in Digital Literacies and others will not be. I wonder who will have a better chance at getting into higher education, and then better-paid careers? Who will be more likely to remain engaged in their learning and stay in school?
(*Just something I’ve been pondering this week.)
BUMP IT UP – Do Better to Be Better!
Reflections about a technological world...
I have recently come across this article by Marc Prensky, 2009, in which he 'examines ways in which existing technologies and future developments in the digital world could facilitate the development of wisdom and wise decison making.' http://www.wisdompage.com/Prensky01.html
In other word's, digital technologies are allowing us to think in whole new ways. Further, the speed in which these technologies are being created and changing keeps us on our toes. To our students, this is second-nature them. They do not get the problems that their older teachers and parents may be having with all of this. Basically, it is change and it is coming at us faster than ever. Change in Education has always been met with resistance, but, now, instead of the Evolution of Education, we have a Revolution of Education.
To understand some of the resistance, we can look at the purpose, or function, of Education. But, of course, it depends who you ask, and do we mean, "What should the purpose of education be?" versus, "What is the purpose of our present education system?"
Of course rote and memorization and facts and 'only one right answer' is all very measurable. But, critical thinking skills and creativity - how on Earth do you quantify that? You can, however, see the results of this new thinking by looking at what our students are producing; by listening to what they are saying; by looking at the jobs the first of the Digital Natives are doing. We are beginning to be able to see what the effects on our world are that Digital Technologies are enabling.
"Kids have it too easy, nowadays. They don't have to find anything. It makes them lazy. When I went to school, if I wanted to know something, I had to physically look for the answers in books, such as encyclopedias, maybe even in the library. Kids, today, just use Google and the answer comes up. They can just be lazy. Plus, they can't even add without using calculators!"
Albert Einstein recognized that, "the problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."
The same person got into a discussion about the state of politics in our city, which is the same in most places, I believe. Everybody complains about the idiocy of government, but instead of taking the chance to elect an all-new council, only 3 out of 15 were new, and the Mayor was similar in age and beliefs as the last bunch of mayors. Thus, the grumbling and complaining persists.
Digital Natives are those who grew up with digital technology from birth, whereas Digital Immigrants are those who were already socialized in predigital ways when digital technology arrived on the scene. For more information, see Prensky (2001).
Our students are Digital Natives, myself and many of my colleagues are Digital Immigrants, but many people are just Analogue, I guess.
If I knew then what I know know.....Le sigh. It's a cliche, I know, but geez, it's so very true! I really wish I was more interested in History and Politics when I was in school… now, I am interested… and isn’t that a fundamental issue of education? So much of what we try to teach our students do not interest them at present, and no young person believes it when adults say, “Believe me, I felt exactly as you did when I was your age…” I know I didn’t believe them, and I smile slightly when I find myself using that same line with young people today, secretly believing that I may actually get through to them, as I’m sure the teacher saying it to my class secretly believed exactly that.
So, the question is, “How do we reach young people, so that they realize that History and Politics do affect them?” Maybe, just maybe, most young peoples’ brains are just not ready to grasp these concepts. They are dealing with their own dramatic worlds as they grow up and figure out how to be adults. I am not being sarcastic or belittling in any way. I believe that being a teenager is a naturally egocentric time. A lot of stuff is going on, so how do we reach young people?
Here is a comment I found on Facebook, expressing this sentiment: “I have a question – our 5 daughters and their spouses aged 20 – 26 all refuse to vote as doesn’t make any difference. Even when we stress that voting is a privilege they don’t care. Is this normal? How do we stop the apathy? I am embarrassed and wonder how we missed teaching them this lesson. It perturbs me a lot.”
And, just to be clear, I am not blaming anyone – not the parents, not the teachers, nor even the youth – Blame is not going to help. What is clear, is that we need to find solutions.
Rick Mercer has tried to do this…
Raffi has a campaign to catch the “Beluga” generation as adults with the voting message…
Perhaps, we need to do more of this sort of thing… and who better to do it? Who better to show they actually care about the citizens of the very Country they want to Lead, than Politicians? Nobody! Perhaps, instead of wasting so much money on those sleazy slanderous campaigns full of lies and blame and belittling and creative story-telling, maybe they should spend money on ads informing the public HOW OUR ELECTORAL SYSTEM WORKS, WHY IT IS A RIGHT AND A DUTY and definitely A PRIVILEGE, and HOW ONE PERSON CAN ACTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE. They need to encourage people to vote. And, if they aren’t willing to do this, then perhaps they don’t really want people to vote… (Oh, I get it.)
Come on, Politicians, Bump It Up – You gotta DO Better to BE BETTER!
INFOWHELM…. too much info!!! There is a lot, like virtually an infinite amount, of information available to us at any given moment....
So, what can we do? We simply educate ourselves and our families and friends — everybody, really! There are countless articles and videos available on the Web. I've pointed out just a few to get you started.
NOTE! — It is important to realize that (once you know how) the actual mechanics of checking the credibility of information only takes a few seconds of clicking, copying & pasting, searching, and judging for yourself. THE PART THAT TAKES THE MOST WORK IS LEARNING TO DO YOUR OWN JUDGING!!!!! - And it is vital that we teach our students about safe-gaurding themselves.
While “surfin’ the Net”, whether it be for fun & folly, or for work or school, ensure you have your ‘Crap-Detectors’ out – “Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him.”
—Ernest Hemingway, 1954
A good question to ask yourself, particularly if asked to download anything, is: “Might someone be trying to put one over on me?” — This could be anything from actual cash, to the more common phishing spam, going after your personal info.
For example, there is one going around Facebook about a horrific roller coaster accident… Never click on a link from a friend if you think it is not something they would normally send, post, or say. Also, if you see numerous posts with the exact same comment, it is probably suspect.
Here is a wonderful article explaining how these types of spam work, as well as what to do if you’ve clicked one of these:
Howard Rheingold has written some excellent guidelines about basic information literacy that everybody should become familiar with, plus some lesson plan ideas to use in the classroom (if you are a teacher):
(He also provide many informative links.)
This website, too, has some great information for lessons… http://globaldigitalcitizen.org
Here are 2 videos about spam!
Happy Judging, Questioning & Critical Thinking, everyone!!
And, don’t forget to BUMP IT UP — DO BETTER TO BE BETTER:)
Nicola Schneider, Occasional Teacher, 13 years