Monday, March 21, 2016

Fatherhood!


On February 29, 2016 I became a father for the first time.  It is such an amazing experience that it can be hard to find the right words to describe such a life-changing event.  I've had people ask me many questions about the experience, my new daughter, and how it has changed my life.  Every time someone asks me about it, I seem to find myself in the same position...struggling to find the words and wondering to myself exactly how it has or will change my life.  These are precisely the reasons I've chosen to write about it here.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Expectations for Student Device Use in Classrooms

I was recently engaged in a conversation with other educators of my PLN about a controversial topic that continues to surface in education. With the influx of devices for student learning, there is often controversy and differences of opinions around use, restrictions, and requirements for students. The conversation I engaged in was surprisingly rich and provided a variety of different view points. As a result, I seized the opportunity to reflect on my own philosophy and thoughts about the topic. The following are not suggestions nor my agenda in regards to student device usage but rather, the ways in which I've thought about and implemented practices with students for many years.

I've been able to find success in a wide variety of environments using this philosophy and some of the strategies have been designed with the help of my students. I've always seen the inclusion of student voice and opinion as a necessary component to making any "rules" or expectations that were present in the classroom. This strategy has helped me achieve high levels of success with even what some educators would term "the most difficult students". I've always seen it quite differently but that is a conversation for another time.

In thinking about rules and expectations for student device use in classrooms, I think it's imperative that educators consider first and foremost their audience: the students. If students and their best interests are at the foundation of any decision we make as educators, it can be very difficult to travel down the wrong path. Students don't always know what is best for them in the long run but they do know what they are passionate about and what inspires learning. Inspired learning leads to engaged learning and as a result, can greatly reduce behavioral or defiance issues in any classroom.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Supporting Teachers with Creating Magic

Education has faced recent criticisms from all angles and stakeholders and for good reason. Students in many schools speak of boredom, disengagement, and lack of learning.  Parents have also chimed in expressing dissatisfaction about student preparedness for college and the 21st century workplace.  Why is the typical education for most students, and specifically those in public education, not meeting the needs? Why do schools continue to operate in a traditional sense regardless of changes to the world and its societies?