Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Slice of Life - What Awesome Stuff Is Happening In Your Classroom?

Slice of Life is sponsored on Tuesdays by Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March we are posting a slice each day on our blog. Join in!

I posted yesterday about the non-negotiables that I have in mind when I think about teachers. So many of your shared yours in the comments. I also could see how frustrated some of you are. Or, more accurately, we all are at times. As I wrote in that post, this is a hard time in education. Standards, testing, growth model, and more are weighing us down. My school has its share of struggles like any, but I try hard to look for the amazing things happening like:

Mr. Garrett and Mrs. White’s kids at tables in the hallways writing on the netbooks. Reading each other’s writing. Critiquing, suggesting, helping each other to inspire.

Mrs. Garrett and Ms. Voss’s students working in centers, sharing their learning.

Mrs. Donahue, Ms. Burkett, Mrs. Hayes, and Mrs. Shaffer’s students working in small groups to make huge leaps forward in growth.

Mrs. Meyer, Mr. Wadleigh, and Ms. Lauschke’s students, buzzing with excitement as they switch classes.

Mrs. Coffman and Mrs. O’Brien’s kids sharing with me the cool things they are learning in Social Studies, Science, and Math as they come in for reading.

The amazing special classes that we support in our building – Art, Computers, Library, Band, Chorus, Music, Physical Education.

And my students – emailing me, messaging me, posting to Instagram over break. Sharing their writing and reading even when we are apart. Suggesting books, making plans to meet up at the bookstore, commenting on my blog.

There are good things happening in my building daily. I’d be willing to bet we can find good things happening in every school. The bad is easier to see – and I could have made a list of it here – but I’m choosing not to focus on it. Hank Green said in one of his videos a few weeks ago that our brains are hardwired to fixate on bad news. It was a matter of survival in the past. He said it takes as much as three times as much good news to make us feel positive as one piece of bad news does to bring us down. That’s just one reason I try to focus on the positive here. The media is already doing a stellar job showing the negatives in public education. I think we need to step forward and show what is absolutely awesome about what we do.

Over and over this year I have heard the phrase “share your story” from so many different people. That’s what I’m trying to do on this blog. I love my job. I love my students. I love my school. How about you? What is your story? What amazing things are you doing? Please share.