Originally published on ohedchat.wordpress.com on March 8. 2013
Earlier this week, I tweeted that we should focus more on what is good in education instead of what is wrong with education. Little did I know when I sent that tweet that I would be challenged to write a blog post on my thoughts. But it is this exact challenge that is central to what is good in education. We all know teachers who come to school every day to challenge and inspire students. They put aside the politics, the testing, the outside pressures, and choose to challenge and inspire students to become lifelong learners. If you know a teacher like this, and I suspect that you do, today would be a great day to let them know that they are central to what is right in education today.
Recently the school board in my district made a decision that angered many parents and community members. As a result there has been a contentious board meeting, negative press coverage, and a flurry of comments flooding social media. Through all of this, the staff in my office have come to work each day with a positive attitude and continue to strive to do what is best for students in our district. Today, a few of us decided to bring in breakfast and jot down what is great about education. Some of the positives that made our list included:
- Teachers on Twitter
- Collaboration and sharing ideas
- Authentic feedback for improvement
- Teaming with parents to meet the individual needs of students
- Involving students in goal setting
- Celebrating student success
- School garden projects
- Technology that engages and enables creation
By all means, our list is not all-inclusive. As a matter of fact, we hung the list on the wall so we could add to it everyday.
A few weeks ago Leah Lacrosse (@LLacrosse) from Huron tweeted that she was looking for another 5th grade science class that wanted to collaborate virtually. We immediately accepted her offer and Debbie Hicks’ (@FennHicks) 5th grade science class will be using a Google Hangout to meet Mrs. Lacrosse’s students. Jolene Speckman (@JoleneSpeckman) joined Twitter last month and has already had Twitter conversations with new Apple Distinguished Educator, Rebecca Wildman (@RebeccaWildman) on how she can integrate iTunes U in her second grade classroom. These two examples show the power of Twitter, collaboration, and technology – all of which made our list. These examples also exemplify teachers who are willing to challenge themselves and students to learn and grow. These teachers decided to do what was best for their students and to expand the walls of their classrooms to challenge their students.
So I conclude by challenging you to sit down with your colleagues, students, parents, or any other group of folks who are passionate about teaching and learning to write your own list about what is right in education. I encourage you to share by adding to this list (Google Doc). Together we can grow the conversation about what is right in education.
-Stacy Hawthorne (@MedinaTech)