I am a HUGE Pinterest fan. I often find myself spending hours scrolling through someone’s board in fascination of what they have accumulated. Teacher blogs are very similar. I just spent several hours clicking on link after link to different teacher blogs filled with creative ideas for all grade levels. However, as I am a 6th grade teacher, the middle grade blogs struck a chord with me. It is important as professionals to continue to evolve and look for new ideas. Teacher blogs are the ultimate source of ideas and inspiration.
Ms. Dykes is a technology coach who believes that technology integration increases student learning. With her extensive knowledge of Web 2.0 tools, Ms. Dykes has become an expert on using social networking in the classroom and building a professional network.
One of my favorite posts by Ms. Dykes can be found here. In this blog post, Ms. Dykes describes what it is like to be live with ADHD. As someone with ADHD herself, she certainly seems to know what she is talking about! I find that I may have a bit more sympathy for those in this situation now, and will hopefully be more patient.
I find this blog to be very well written – straightforward, and honest. In this post, Who do you Work For?, Ms. Dykes asks teachers to remember who they are working for… students or themselves? We should look for opportunities to make at least one child’s day easier, or “give them the chance for an ah-ha moment,” by integrating new technologies in our classrooms. This is why I became a teacher (again).
David Grossman posts frequently about his own perspective on teacher issues as well as his personal reflections about events that occur during his day.
One of my favorite posts, titled My Blue Ninja ,Mr. Grossman reflects upon a gift one of his students gave him – a small, action figure of a blue ninja. Mr. Grossman recognizes that teachers do not frequently receive tokens of appreciation from students that are authentic, meaningful gifts. This specific student appreciated Mr. Grossman and wanted to share something that was special to him – a small, plastic blue ninja of little monetary value, yet it is a priceless reminder of the positive impact a teacher had on a student. To quote Mr. Grossman, “We’re not perfect, and we’ve got a long way to go, but we are making a difference – we do matter.” This is important to remember!
While browsing through a plethora of middle school teacher blogs, I came across a blog that began with the question, “What do we do when what we do is still not enough?” I was intrigued by the writer right from the beginning. This is one question every teacher has asked themselves and always struggle to answer. Mrs. Ripp poses this question in order to garner responses from the education community as she had just experienced a frustrating day (month?) at school and needed to hear some words of encouragement. The responses point to one of the single best reasons to have a blog – a blog creates a community of like-minded people who can help each other. I highly suggest reading the comments!
An additional post that I enjoyed, “Why Do We Hold Students to Higher Expectations than Adults?”, reminded me that students are just that – students. In addition, they are human and cannot be perfect every day. Students cannot be expected to be 100% engaged and ready to learn every single hour of every single day. Mrs. Ripp reminds the reader that it is not always a reflection on what is happening in the class, but could be because they just are “done” for the day. Don’t take it personally!
I highly suggest reading Mrs. Ripp’s posts as she takes time to voice the concerns that many teachers have on a daily basis. I left her page feeling validated and ready to start another day forming the minds of our future.