Challenge Accepted

Challenge Accepted – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires.

My friend Jody Green (@peerlessgreen) challenged me to #makeschooldifferent. So I decided created a HaikuDeck to sum up my thoughts on how I plan to make school different.  But let me clarify on my challenge…

#1 Freedom
Give students the freedom to choose their learning journey.  Let them choose the path.  Yes we have standards to cover…but why not give students the freedom to choose how they demonstrate mastery of those standards?  Of course they will need guidance, but we need to step aside and get out of their way.   Don’t be an obstacle to their learning.
#2 Rethink
Technology forces us to rethink how we teach, but it’s easy to become complacent in the tech tools that we use.  Switch it up.  Do some app-smashing.  Collaborate with different peers.  Exchange lesson ideas.  Expand your PLN.  But more importantly, be open to new possibilities…even those that may come from students (see #1).  

#3 Slow Down
Teachers often get caught up in pacing guides, fervently rushing to cram important information down the throats of our students and for what?  A standardized test?  Slow down.  Breathe.  Give students time to explore issues that are relevant to them.

#4 Engagement
Who doesn’t want to have fun?  Life is hard enough.  Let’s give students the opportunity to learn in ways that are creative, fun, and engaging.  Tests aren’t fun.  But tests aren’t going away (at least not any time soon).  So why not make learning fun in the process?

#5 Advocate
If we don’t stand up for what’s best for our students, who will?  We can’t rely on politicians and those outside of academia to decide what needs to go on in the classroom.  Teaching is a craft and those of us in the trenches day in and day out know what’s best for our students.  Stand up.  Speak up. 

I challenge my friends Gregg (@tattedteacher), Chris (@mrhousepian), Sarah (@mrshousepian), and Adrian (@teacherlucero).  How would you like to #makeschooldifferent?

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