So now I am looking at the notes I took while watching Chris Lehmann's ISTE Keynote and thinking of what has been the basis of my teaching career for the past 21 years: my students. It has always been and will always be about the relationship I build/have with my students. Here are some key ideas taken from his keynote that will guide me in the next days as I plan for a new school year:
- Thoughtful, Passionate, Kind
- "The ethic of care" I care about my students and I care for my students - a family
- Inquiry, Research, Collaboration, Presentation, Reflection
- Okay to fail as long as I am learning
- Never doubt the Wisdom of the Voices of children
- Teach them to ask powerful questions
- Head, Heart, Hands, Voice
- Technology should be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible
I am a mathematics teacher. So it is easy to get caught up in the high stakes testing and endless standards. But this year will begin differently, it will begin by acknowledging passion. I have read the The Passion Driven Classroom by Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold this summer. So to begin my school year I plan on incorporating passion in the following ways:
- Passion Paper Blogs from McTeach - Karen McMillan I will use this to teach blogging and to create a Passion Wall so that students will know what their classmates are passionate about.
- Using google docs to provide a collaborative opportunity by having students write a collaborative passion essay (Collaborative Wiki Project from Bill Ferriter)
- Connecting math to real-life and then using the students passions to connect our pre-algebra standards and Algebra 1 standards to the passions of our classroom (Real Life Problem Solving)
I'm thinking that this is not the beginning my department chairman is expecting. However, as I sit here listening to Phil Collins sing "You'll Be In My Heart" I think of the incredible students who have touched my heart for the past 21 years. It is about the students first, then the mathematics I am supposed to teach.
Now I have the perspective I need to start my new school year!