Friday, December 15, 2017

Teaching Tip #70

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #70

I've managed to reduce my unread email messages from over 300 to just under 100 now.  I went a little overboard last year sending myself links to articles that I thought would be interesting.

I'm sure they would have been interesting.  I just didn't have the time.  So I had to whittle them down as much as I could.

Hope is a nugget I found from those 200 unread emails.

Why Teachers Want Technology

With 1:1 in a matter of days, we'll get all the technology we can handle.  I can't wait.

The lower category on the right is what I'm looking forward to most.  This might be a year away, but I'd love to see our focus on technology get to the point where we bring in some of our high flying, tech-savvy students to teach teachers how to use an app or website during our common prep sessions.

How much fun would that be?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Teaching Tip #69

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #69

Here is an interesting approach to meetings or even to building lessons in class: always be capturing.

Not only do they give some great ways to capture ideas, but they also give the excellent advice: "if you can't capture it, stop talking."

If it's not vital and relevant to the lesson, why am I blathering?

Now I can see this being more important in a meeting setting where you should be laser focused.  But I like the free nature of a class period (especially when you're on the block) to veer and stray and make connections and associations that might prove relevant to what we're learning about with some more analysis.

But I love the idea of capturing the content we create (whether it be with iPhones, iPads, Google Docs, or Dropbox).  Then I'd add one more layer - publish it.  Push it out to a class blog, a class Twitter feed or Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Teaching Tip #68

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #68

Now this is interesting, The Future of Work.

How are we preparing our students for a world of work that doesn’t even exist yet?

Look around.  Besides churches and schools, what really operates the same way it did when we were in high school?

That thought hit me when I had a physical this summer.  My doctor had me hop on his computer and fill out a page that allowed me to access my medical records and ask him questions and to see my lap results as soon as they came in.  I even downloaded the app to my iPhone?

How long will it be before each of us has our own app for our classes?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Teaching Tip #67

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #67

This article is preaching to the choir:

Shocker, I totally agree.


Here are the reasons I believe teachers must give your kids your cell phone number and follow them on Twitter.  I'm going to phrase it in the first person though from my point of view.

#1 I like kids.  Nothing says (to this generation of kids) "I don't really care much about you" than not following them on social media or allowing them to contact you when they have questions.  Two years ago I had a student email me via our my prowler account.  I got back to him via my smartphone in about 20 minutes.  He sent me another email thanking me and telling me how surprised he was.  He said most teachers took a day or two to get back to him, if they even got back to him.  And this isn't a run of the mill kid.  He'll be the top student in his class in two years.

It worked to have that separation between teacher and student for Gen X.  But not anymore.

#2 If you show that you like them and care about them, it helps create a positive culture.  And in the words of our leader, "Culture eats strategy for lunch."  As one of my students said at the honors banquet last year, "I texted Mr. Reynolds at 11:30, praying he'd get back to me and not be too mad that I had procrastinated so badly on my paper.  And within a minute he got right back to me and answered my questions.  I knew he cared about me and his students."

#3 There is never an excuse for a late assignment

#4 The kids deserve it. When I was a high school student I did my work as late as possible.  Not so anymore.  I will get a text or a Tweet from a student at 4 in the afternoon as they're on the bus to a game.  Then I'll get another one at 7 when they get done with practice.  I'll get another at 9 when they're off work.  And I'll get another at 11:30 when they're stuck and really sweating it out. 

Compare your life as a student to these kids.  My life in 1990 was not close to as busy as the lives of these kids.  They deserve to have a teacher on the clock 24/7.

#5 Be a role model.  When a kid fires off something stupid on Twitter, be there to show them how to be a responsible intellectual who loves learning and life.  Don't act like a moron (and just check Facebook, you'll see a ton of adults acting this way) who wants to act like they're 18 even though they're 42.

Give them something to aspire to grow up to be.

#6 promotion.  Show the world all the great stuff you do in class.  If you don't do anything great, what are you doing in this profession?

If you don't do these things, you'll be a great teacher,  For the kids who were in high school 25 years ago. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Teaching Tip #66

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #66

Here is a useful one for all teachers: 10 Do's and don'ts to using PowerPoint to delver a lecture

Or just ask the kids.  They'll tell you what they hate about Powerpoint presentations.  Or - better yet - ask yourself.  We as teachers go to enough professional development speakers that we know a great presentation when we see it.  And we know a terrible one.

Avoid the stuff that makes for a terrible one.

I like what LinkedIn is doing to eliminate useless meetings.  They get rid of the presentation/Powerpoint period.  In other words, they are flipping their meetings.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Teaching Tip #65

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #65

This is why I dub myself a “chief inspiration officer.”

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Thursday, December 07, 2017

Teaching Tip #64

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #64

In education it is an incredible understatement to say that building leardership (as in the principal) is vital to the success of the entre school.

We at LHS are living proof of this.

In the last ‘90s through the early 2000s, we had an old school leader who would have been excellent in the 1980s, but times changed on him and he was a fish out of water.

Enter Mr. Zutz who transformed our culture and entire school.

So, if you are experiencing new leadership – or what to get more out of your current leadership – here are five questions to ask your leader.

And if you are a leader (and I’d argue strongly that any teacher is a leader), these are questions you can ask yourself.

Question #5 – What will your “fingerprints” on this building look like after you leave?