Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hey You! Go Make Some Change Happen!

What are you waiting for?

I mean you. You, Kindergarten teacher who's got your hands full with five-year-old needs and their sweet charms. You, elementary P.E. teacher whose jump-ropes keep going missing. You, eighth-grade science teacher who's got a love for biology you want so much to transmit.

You've all got wants, needs, and complaints about how things are. Maybe you dislike your schedule. Maybe your administrator is unresponsive. Maybe you oppose testing. Maybe you want to promote positivity amongst your staff but you don't know how.

Guess what? None of these challenges are going away by themselves. NONE OF THEM. Just like in your real life (the other, non-teaching one) there are parameters but mostly your happiness is up to you. You have to make the changes you wish to see in the world.


I take my own advice to heart. I've been super inspired this year to do some of this in my own world (the teaching one). Let me share. First of all, I've been tweeting into the Breakfast Club daily twitter chat; it meets at 5:30 am and the hashtag is #BFC530 if you are so inclined to join. It gets me going EVERY MORNING.

One of the ideas I got during #BFC530 one day was to create a shout-out board. I made it with a twitter theme - here's a pic after just a few hours. Two weeks later, the board was filled with shout-outs.

First tweet ever in Salish? 

Another idea I conceived was the Reservation Ambassadors club, a club dedicated to building relationships with off-reservation schools in order to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes. The first meeting of this club drew 25% of the high school population. We quickly got moving to make connections with teachers and their classes. The photos below show our kids in action, working with these schools from different areas. We've based our work on shared videos and texts. When we can't get to a school due to distance, we skype!
Our master planning board!

Skyping with New Trier school in Chicago

Working directly with 6th graders at Target Range Elementary in Missoula

Guess what? I hate useless furniture and wasted classroom space! A long-time desire of mine to change my classroom is finally coming to fruition as I commission the shop class to demolish my counter (made possible by removal of desktop computers, made possible by adoption of chromebooks by the district). Moved the whiteboards, painted the wall, putting up bulletin boards...oh yeah! It's a work in progress. My final move will be to replace the desks with round tables, lamps and power strips.
Before, during, and ... after is coming!

I'm also not satisfied with my certifications. I want to be the BEST teacher I can be! So I've embarked on the journey to National Board Certification, which everyone says has made them more reflective and purposeful. I'm relying on my NBCT colleagues to push me along.

I can't do any of this alone - notice how all of the above require support from others? Yep, I try to remember that at all times. However, nobody but me initiated any of this. That's because I have the desire to do it...and who knows what else I'll decide to change in the coming years?

So: take some time right now to think about one thing you want to change. One thing you can change. One way to make your life better. One way to improve your world... and go do it.

1 comment:

  1. Love all that you are doing Anna! Next step blended, self-paced learning? I'm thinking NBCT is my next step also.