Being Bold


on the edge

Walking into my classroom of 8th graders having them excitedly tell me about their holiday activities – Guitar Hero, playing videos, posting You Tube videos, and how many texts were flashed around the vacation world, I am struck that these kids now have to “power down” to get back to the traditional school day. Oh, I am one of the lucky ones who can provide laptops to my students and I provide a project driven class, but it within the context of 45 minute classes that are rotated around 8 periods a day. It is not the fault of the school – I am also fortunate to work at a supportive and collaborative building. But how do we get to the point where students are excited about education and don’t have to “power down” in order to get back to the traditional classroom? Listening to Daniel Pink, Alan November, Tony Wagner speak about the need for educational transformation and what our kids will need for future success, I am determined to join others in trying to be a force of change. But I also see 8th graders going through the motions of school. In my annual unit of Holocaust/Anne Frank/Europe students are usually excited about finding the right picture, quote, and music to portray their own unique digital story. They love the process including choice, voice, and being able to share their stories. This year I have not seen the same excitement. It is what Tara was experiencing and I think part of it is that this unit is not enough anymore. I need to reflect and ask critical questions about how I can get this unit even more student centered than it already is. I won’t give up. I am passionate about the need for all of us to “get it.” Our kids depend on us “getting it” – that we need to transform education into 21st Century learning. I will begin to be bold.


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