Monday, January 25, 2010

A Phone Call

We don't say, "good job" enough in this world. I know that I am supposed to affirm my students when they succeed and I do at times, but I rarely think about how great it feels. It feels great when we hear these words. As children we want to hear these words from our parents, and as adults it is nice to hear.

Last Saturday, a fellow teacher called me. Not to reveal his identity, I will call him Mr. Slice. We have a long standing golf competition. He rarely wins. So Mr. Slice was a teacher in Cincinnati before moving to Michigan due to a promotion taken by his wife. We taught together at Glen Este for a year, and I always thought he was an outstanding teacher.

I'll get to the point now. He came across my British Literature and Humor and Satire blogs. He was impressed with what the students were creating. We spent the next ten minutes discussing and brainstorming ideas. It was fantastic to hear someone say affirm the work I am doing with my students.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1st day

Today was the first day of the second semester. Today I had five new classes. Today I was giddy thinking about using the netbooks with these students. Today we talked about them and I noticed the glimmer of interest in the student's eyes. Not all of them, but some. On Friday we are heading to the Media Center to create student blogs. Should be exciting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sea of Technology

One month ago I was told by my school district that I would be receiving 30 netbooks for my classroom and for my students. I wrote a proposal for them, but never did I think I would ever receive them. I did. After a celebratory minute I started thinking about the task I had just taken on. Crap...what do I do now. This is only my third year of teaching and this is the first year that I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing. It is such a trial by fire job. I remember Chet Laine, an amazing professor at the University of Cincinnati, said it took three years of teaching before he felt like he was even thinking about his students. In the three years that I have been teaching I have been given some compliments, but that doesn't change the feeling of uncertainty.

In this blog, I am going to try to focus on my journey through the use of technology in the classroom. For the past couple of hours, I have twitted, blogged, ninged, and even rode a google wave. It truly is a sea of technology. There seems to be no beginning and no end.

I love teaching "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell because of the line "Time is like a winged chariot." Truer words have never been written. Time is always coming. There never seems to be enough of it. It is the most valuable commodity that I have.

Yesterday I met with Cary Harod. Something that she said really stuck with me. This is a loose quotation. "Don't think about how you will use technology, but think about the content goals first and then find ways in which technology can enhance it." Or something like that. I don't want the use of technology in my classroom to be just for the sake of it. I want real collaboration to take place. I want real creativity to take place. I want real thinking to take place. I want real learning to take place.

The tone of this blog may sound drab or down, but that is not the intention. I'm excited about using the netbooks with the students and I'm excited about what they will share, produce, and invent.