Thursday, July 31, 2014

Random thoughts…

Do you ever get to the point where you just can’t handle the news anymore? I mean, I do like to be informed, and I am well aware of the fact that there is a lot to be concerned about right now. However, sometimes I wonder if the world is truly so much worse than it was when I was young. I tend to believe that the news chooses to focus on the bad, not the good.

My favorite television show of all time was this:

Man, I miss that show. Beyond feeling a bond with Lorelai over her addiction to coffee and the speed in which she talks, I just loved it. (How I wish it were still on the air. There is nothing I want to watch now.) At any rate, in an episode called Welcome to the Dollhouse, Lorelai tells Lane she is going to start a newspaper called The Good News Daily where they only report on good news.

Lane: So, what's going on in the world?
Lorelai: Nothing...
Lane: Nothing?
Lorelai: Good. Nothing good. There's absolutely nothing positive going on anywhere in the world. How could that be?
Lane: That's why I don't read the paper anymore.
Lorelai: You will mine. I am starting my own. The Good News Daily -- nothing but good news every day.
Lane: Sounds good.
Lorelai: "No civil war in Canada"- big article. "Cars drive down road without incident" - front-page news. "Puppies- how cute are they?" In-depth exposé. And the subscription is free. How happy is that?
Lane: I'm in a better mood.
Dialogue taken from Wikiquote

Can I sign up for that paper? Actually, I want both – The Good News Daily and the headlines. I want to know what’s going on in the world, I have no desire to be naïve, but I would like some sort-of balance.

I try to make this space positive as well. There is so much negativity in education today, and I’m not immune to it. I have grave concerns over CCSS and the assessment piece that my students will be starting this year. Funding is ridiculous. We could go on and on. I do think we need to speak up when we can, but we need to celebrate too.

I took Liam to the pool today to squeeze in a few hours of summer into a packed day. While there, I visited with several students – three going into sixth, four into eighth, and one that just graduated high school. Out of the eight I spoke to, six were passionate about the books they were reading, one had just abandoned a book, and one hadn’t read anything all summer. Immediately I wondered what I could do to help the eighth grader who wasn’t reading, but I then reminded myself that I was only focusing on what I saw as my failure. I need to also celebrate the seven kids that were reading, that former students came up—unprompted—to talk to me about books.

I need to celebrate the good stuff in my classroom—we all do. One of the reasons I started this blog, beyond needing to figure out writing so I could teach my own students, was that I think we need to reshape the narrative of education today. What is your story? Are you sharing it? My friend, Colby, reminds teachers of this often. If you don’t share your story, who will? And how can we teach our students to share if we don’t do the same. So much good is happening in our classrooms, we need that message to be the one everyone knows.

As for me, I want to move to Stars Hallow, talk fast, drink lots of coffee, and be surrounded by amazing people. Come to think of it, Monticello isn’t too far off. Now I just need a great diner where I can hang out and I’ll be all set.