Dry Spell I’ve hardly written anything for the last half of 2016. Up until July, I had been highly prolific. Though my brain has been running in hyperdrive these past six months, few thoughts have […]
Here at Never Summer, we have been working hard on a wide range of projects since edOS in June. We have been absent from the blog 😦
Truly… we were stunned by the huge quantity of amazing work resulting from the energy all educators brought to the table that day. We should have shared it all with you before now. Sorry. We just weren’t sure what to do with everything we learned. We didn’t truly understand what we held in our hands. But we get it now. And we’re ready to move forward with a few insights and hope you will chime in and add to the deep conversation.
Sometimes it’s easier for an outsider to see a situation more clearly than an insider. The whole forest-for-the-trees thing. When we are too up close and personal, it’s all too easy to miss the simple solutions to complex questions. The longer we live and work among the trees, the more attached and invested we are in nurturing the growth of each one individually. It is ever so easy to lose sight of what is happening in the forest.
And vice versa. We know there are always two sides to every story or another viewpoint to balance our own. I have had the privilege to live in the forest and among the trees in EdWorld. I have a story for you. It is a true story.
My sister-in-law called in a panic the other day:
Come help me with math! Now!!!
Good thing we are a family of math nerds. Between my husband and myself, we got her covered all the way from long division to calculus and perhaps even differential equations if the need should arise.
No sweat, Mary! We’re on the way!
We immediately donned our superhero capes and raced across town in the Batmobile.
Let me give you descriptions of two typical students and see if you can relate.
The first is an 8th grade boy in my math class. Veteran teachers know that classroom behavior is critically dependent on seating placement — where and next-to-whom a student sits is often an accurate predictor of how much learning will sink in. But with this kid, it doesn’t matter in the least. Front / back / side / middle / friends / no friends, he will not learn. Even if he brings paper and pencil, he won’t use them. [He showed up empty-handed to the last test.]
I Hate Math!
Math is hard for middle school students. Too many young minds believe they will never be good at math because numbers and logical thought processes are simply too complex to grasp at first glance. [They may have even heard an adult or two say: It’s okay. I’m not good at math either.]
Plant An Idea
It all started innocently enough. I said to my 7th grade math class:
Please don’t crumple your papers when you put them in the recycling bucket. More can fit if you leave them flat.
Several of these students had participated in the Towers of Power challenge and had learned the properties of paper compression.
Dear Students —
I want you to know how glad I am to be your math teacher and how happy I am that you are in my class. #Truth. For real. No lies.
Onward, Brave Voyager!
At #NeverSummer, we are about growth as much as success. Perhaps they are one in the same. But it is a disservice to lump them together. They are each powerful in their own right.
Growth requires setback. It requires failure. Setback and failure are of course not the goal, but they are necessary nonetheless. Without them growth moves at a snail’s pace.
So Little to Do… So Much Time
Strike that… Reverse it. On we go!
Classic Willy Wonka… and so opposite of what this time of year is all about. Public school teachers and administrators maxed out trying to get ready for students to reappear for another year.
It may seem like odd timing to dive in and learn new tools for the classroom now with so much professional development looming in the coming days before students arrive, but this is a perfect time. JumpStart: DT Primer just launched for busy educators like you.