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".


David said...

I hope no one laughs at you, that would be really disrespectful. You'll do fine!

Remember that the purpose is not just to share your thoughts with an audience but also to keep a record of your thinking for yourself as well. You are your most valuable audience member.

SAkerson said...

Anybody laughs at you my 6th graders will come beat them up.

I will most certainly be reading the soup box!

Great first post!

Becky Ellis said...


You're the idea godfather... and you've proven it again by writing "I realize that I owed my students so much more than what I was giving them". If only we all had that kind of self dialogue. Yes, by all means write away... I for one, will be an anxious reader of what you've chosen to set out on the porch.

Bill Burkhead said...

Brad, first off, I love your blog title and background-very creative! The hardest part is over, actually creating the blog and having the courage to put it out on the web. You have a strong PLN and I am proud to be a member, and look forward to your future posts!

Denise Krebs said...

I'm the lucky fourth commenter! Great start, Brad. Your two goals are reasonable and will certainly be accomplished. You already are a participant in the conversation about education, so this blog will just add to your participation. And you've probably already experienced this one post as a sounding board for your ideas and evolution as a teacher.

We will enjoy lapping up The Soup Box.


MDS said...

First, how do you get so many people to comment?! I always ask for feedback and rarely get it. Second, I completely agree with #1. I barely recognize myself from even last year let alone the guy who started 11 years ago. I was even a Teacher of the Year for the school and for a graduating class and that teacher couldn't hold a candle to what I do now.

In this age when information is at your fingertips at any moment, we just need to point the students in the right direction and let them figure things out on their own. It will be scary for both you and them, but I think the end result will be worth it.

Looking forward to the next post!

ReadyToLearn said...

I read so many lines in this that echo my own thoughts. I used to relay too much upon my personality. I was successful, but I can see the course need to take to hand my classroom over to my students. Keep writing. I'll keep reading.