If you have seen the video at the top of my home page, you have a little glimpse into what my day was like yesterday. I spent a year trying to get these wonderful tools into our school. I am so grateful Tim and Deb stepped up to let me get them here.
My day with the makeymakey's started with my students. These are some incredible men. They have the talent, curiosity, resilience, and perseverance we strive to show students everyday. I literally explained I want to let teachers try the makeymakeys out and I needed there help, then unboxed the makeymakeys and got the heck out of their way!
I showed them what a makeymakey was and how it had been used. I showed them the task I wanted teachers to undertake and asked them to test it out for me. I had a two hour slot with teachers to fill with this activity. The students looked at the instructions (found here) quickly un boxed the makeymakey and blew my socks off. In 5 minutes they had test coursed complete and confirmed the scratch program we were set to use worked just fine. That was the end of my formal input.
It was then a flurry of " Jonesy can we use this, can I try this?" "That didn't work now what do you think we should do next guys?" and a whole lot of "It works!". I haven't see them this excited yet. they pleaded with me to bring them back for double block. " Jones we really have to try and make a better power glove, I have so many ideas"
I thanked them for trying out the teacher portion and to be honest got worried I had made it too easy.
After school I set up the 3d printer and the makeymakey supplies up in our Multipurpose room and hoped that teachers would have even a sliver of the fun the boys had. As I talked about what a makeymakey was, how the boys had tried it and how teachers might use this in their courses, I felt the tension in the room rise . It was visible on the faces of most teachers. I thought I was sunk!
I underestimated the life long learner in my colleagues. They stepped up huge. They jumped in, even with their trepidation. They asked questions they made mistakes, and had some technology glitches that they just worked through. It was possibly the best experience observing teachers I have ever had. I got to see teachers be students and then reflect on that for their teaching. I was honestly in awe of their resilience with a very new situation. I hope every student watches the video so they can see that teachers model learning, that they themselves are still learning.
The tension left the room and all I could see was concentration, laughing and fun. Just fun! I want to be in the mix next time. I feel really fortunate to have watched all of this but at the same time wished I could have just been one of the kids.
It is amazing to me that I get to work some of the people I do. Teachers giving up so much "free" time to work on a direction that will benefit students so much. I am truly lucky to be a part of such a heroic endeavor. Thank you all so much!
I could have written this last night. Its is spot on! To my students you are the reason I do this. I am lucky to get paid to do this :)
"It’s 4 a.m. I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep. But, I can’t. Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain. Why? Because I am stressed about my students. Really stressed. I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.
This is what students really need to hear:
First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself. And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be honest with you — both in what I say and how I say it?
Here’s the thing: I lose sleep because of you. Every week.
Before I tell you why, you should understand the truth about school. You see, the main event of school is not academic learning. It never has been. It never will be. And, if you find someone who is passionate in claiming that it is about academics, that person is lying to himself or herself and may genuinely believe that lie. Yes, algebra, essay writing, Spanish, the judicial process — all are important and worth knowing. But they are not the MAIN event.
The main event is learning how to deal with the harshness of life when it gets difficult — how to overcome problems as simple as a forgotten locker combination, to obnoxious peers, to gossip, to people doubting you, to asking for help in the face of self-doubt, to pushing yourself to concentrate when a million other thoughts and temptations are fingertips away.
It is your resilience in conquering the main event — adversity — that truly prepares you for life after school. Because, mark my words, school is not the most challenging time you will have in life. You will face far greater challenges than these. Sure, you will have times more amazing than you can imagine, but you will also confront incomparable tragedy, frustration, and fear in the years to come.
But, you shouldn’t be worried about the fact that you will face great adversities. You should be worried because you’re setting yourself up to fail at overcoming them. Here’s the real reason I lose hours of sleep worrying about you: You are failing the main event of school. You are quitting. You may not think you are quitting, but you are because quitting wears many masks.
For some, you quit by throwing the day away and not even trying to write a sentence or a fraction because you think it doesn’t matter or you can’t or there’s no point. But it does. What you write is not the main event. The fact that you do take charge of your own fear and doubt in order to write when you are challenged — THAT is the main event.
Some of you quit by skipping class on your free education. Being punctual to fit the mold of the classroom is not the main event of showing up. The main event is delaying your temptation and investing in your own intelligence — understanding that sometimes short-term pain creates long-term gain and that great people make sacrifices for a greater good.
For others, you quit by being rude and disrespectful to adults in the hallway who ask you to come to class. Bowing to authority is not the main event. The main event is learning how to problem solve maturely, not letting your judgement be tainted by the stains of emotion.
I see some of you quit by choosing not to take opportunities to work harder and pass a class, no matter how far down you are. The main event is not getting a number to tell you you are worthy. The main event is pulling your crap together and making hard choices and sacrifices when things seem impossible. It is finding hope in the hopeless, courage in the chasm, guts in the grave.
What you need to see is that every time you take the easy way out, you are building a habit of quitting. And it will destroy your future and it will annihilate your happiness if you let it. Our society cares nothing for quitters. Life will let you die alone, depressed, and poor if you can’t man or woman up enough to deal with hardship. You are either the muscle or the dirt. You either take resistance and grow stronger or blow in the wind and erode.
As long as you are in my life, I am not going to let quitting be easy for you. I am going to challenge you, confront you, push you, and coach you. You can whine. You can throw a tantrum. You can shout and swear and stomp and cry. And the next day, guess what? I will be here waiting — smiling and patient — to give you a fresh start. Because you are worth it.
So, do yourself a favor: Step up. No more excuses. No more justifications. No blaming. No quitting. Just pick your head up. Rip the cords out of your ears. Grab the frickin’ pencil and let’s do this."
– C. Mielke
original post @ https://affectiveliving.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/what-students-really-need-to-hear/
Striving to explore flip explain in order to engage!