Find 5 Friday
1. I know I read in one of the blogs about the concern for using Twitter. I forgot who it was but don’t worry you are not alone. I know Twitter has been out for quite some time and I feel that I am somewhat technology savvy, but I am lost when it comes to Twitter. I did read the directions that the professor supplied but I still don’t feel confident. I found this video and step by step directions about how to use Twitter. I read the steps, and watched the video. While the video was playing I stopped, started, and repeated to follow the directions. It was helpful for me to watch the video and put the steps into practice.
2. I looked at the personal stories that the professor shared with one and viewed the one of Brianna Crowley. What stood out to me in the key takeaways is “don’t assume connectedness is automatically exciting or engaging. It can be just as scary for students to feel connected and to put their work out in the public as it does for adults who are not as open to technology.” I often think that as educators that we assume our activity/lesson that we have planned is going to go well or it is going to be engaging for the students. Brianna became a connected educator because she wanted to learn more and have conversations. She wanted to become a better educator. It was interesting to see how Brianna started out and where she has taken it. At first I never thought I could be a connected teacher, it all seemed overwhelming but maybe I will get it.
3. While reading about Brianna Crowley and how she got started as a connected educator she mentioned where she got started. She mentioned the Center for Teaching Quality. What I took away from the site is that they really believe in the teachers as the most powerful tool for educating students. It is not the administrators or policy makers. It states “A high quality public education system for all students will not be achieved without a bold brand of leadership from their teachers.” The three strategies to achieve this are; cultivate, incubate, and scale. They want to assess the impact of teacher leadership on learning, improve school designs, and spread teacher knowledge and skills as leaders.
4. Part of process of being a teacher is being evaluated by your administrator one or two times a year, depending on if you are tenured or not. Your observation is then put into some sort of formula that then indicates what kind of teacher you are. As a kindergarten teacher, and having my tenure, I think the idea is great. Teachers should be evaluated to make sure they are doing their job. I find too often that teachers that have been in the profession for a long time lose their passion and just fall in a rut. They aren’t worried about their observation or evaluation because they have tenure and won’t lose their job. I came across this blog about an idea a state representative had in Florida. They were going to add money as an incentive for the first seven years. A teacher could earn an additional $8500 a year depending on their students ACT/SAT scores. I obviously don’t think this would work or this is the right way to motivate teachers. Really, I don’t think you should need to be motivated. We get into the profession because we want to educate and have an impact on students’ lives. I found the blog to be interesting and found it amusing that the representative thought the answer was to throw money at teachers.
5. I really enjoyed reading this blog. There has been many times in which I have walked out of professional development and felt like my time could have been used much more wisely. Much of last year we spent our PD learning about SMART Notebook and SMART boards. If you don’t know what a SMARTboard it is a large interactive whiteboard that is connected to the teachers computers. You can display activities, pictures, videos, etc. and the children can interact with the board. I was able to receive a board the previous year to be the “guinea pig” for the building. There was concern that the boards wouldn’t work in our building because we have kindergarten and first grade only. Once we all had our boards, all of our PD was geared to SMART technologies. I was fine, but the other 99% of the staff was lost. I really enjoyed this blog because it talks about administrators thinking like a teacher. As a teacher we have to differentiate our instruction for our students, so why doesn’t administration differentiate their PD?