Monday, April 18, 2011

A Rising tide lifts all boats.

I have been lucky enough to work with some tremendous educators.  One teacher I worked with loved naval analogies.  When I left one school, he gave me a tremendous book and inscribed it with a quote about how the US Navy judges the size of it's ships by the amount of water it displaced.  The first time I read the quote, I thought it was a fat joke.  Later, it became clear that he meant it as a compliment. 

This master teacher constantly was sharing ideas and discussing ideas.  He often stated " A Rising tide ifts all boats."

This is one of the reasons I have come to love twitter and my PLN.  The chance to share and steal with other colleagues means so much to me.  After attending TSETC with Andrea Mystrena, we became convined of the need to share and colloborate with our collegaues.

We have tried numerous efforts some successul and some unsuccesful.  I am proud of the way we have gotten web tools into every weekly principal message.  Andrea and I planned a Web Wednesday - where we hosted a web sharng meeting after school.  We have hosted 10th pd  (we have a 9 period day and pd a play on prof development).

Here is my new idea and new challenge.  We need a way to engage more educators and spread the word about the power of twitter.  It is too easy to speak to like minded people.  I want all of us to send emails to co-workers with the title "I got this from Twitter".  Hopefullly by sharing the great resources and the great ideas available we can excite those teachers in our buildings who could enjoy having their pilot light re ignited.

Here is one of the problems; I wanted to call it Word Out Wednesday but #wow is claimed by Opie and Anthony and let's just say we can not afford that confusion.  OandA have female fans use that tag on wednesday - awkward.  I tried #WW but that is also writer Wednesday.

Do you have any suggestions?
Who on your staff can you reach out to?
What should we call this initative?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Climbing the Mountain.....

So, this is my first entry on The Soup Box and there is so much I want to say.  More importantly, there is so much I want to ask other educators.  Ultimately, that is my concern can this blog allow me to accomplish 2 goals.  First, I want to be a participant in the on going discussion about my chosen profession.  Additionally, this will serve as my sounding board as I continue evolving and discovering as a teacher.

Here is what I know:

1) I don't know much.  I thought I was a good teacher but as the years progress, I realize that I owed my students so much more than what I was giving them.  Too often, my lessons resorted to gimmicks, humor or the power of my personality.  What is sad?  I was successful that way - even won a student selected Teacher of the Year.  I don't really like the guy that won that award.  That guy would never have flirted with flipping his class.  But now, I know it is their class - I remind myself - "Get out of their way!"

2) Communication is not as easy we think it is.  How often do you find yourself flummoxed that someone did not understand what you are saying?  Just this weekend, I lost 5 minutes from my life trying to get gift receipts at HOME DEPOT.  As communication becomes more typed, more jargon dependent, and at times limited to 140 characters; misunderstandings increase rapidly.  The story of the misconstrued e-mail is everywhere now but I have one I love.

After college, I was hired as a GA basketball coach.  I would speak to the AD and Head Coach about my apartment and other arrangements and they would tell me - "I BLITZED them about that".  Hearing that filled my sails and my ego, to me blitz meant making an all out effort; I thought they were doing it to make sure I was all set up.  This assumed effort made me think they saw huge potential in me as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.  No one working there ever knew how crushed I was when I attend my first training on our e-mail system - BLITZMAIL!

There are few things I have attempted as scary and as exciting as kicking off this blog.  I know some of my ideas will get laughed at; some of my typos will be obvious but so many of the people I admire have encouraged me to do this - so here we go.  I hope my twitter friends, my PLN, and #sschat folk make this blog a part of their reading schedule.

As I hit publish post then jump over to twitter to promote, I am reminded of another great quote from 12 Angry Men - "Let's put it on the back porch and see if the cat laps it up".