Yes, I’m only a bill. The Schoolhouse Rock refrain echoes in my brain even after all these years… I’m just a bill. Yes… I’m only a bill… and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill. We […]
A Day in the Life of an 8th Grader
I had just finished my morning coffee. Looking out of my office window, I saw AC entering the building with his sister. I popped up from my desk, met him at the door and asked, “Are you ready?”
“Yep,” he eagerly replied.
From there, we proceeded to breakfast in the cafeteria. I could tell he didn’t know quite what to think about the fact that his principal had dressed in ‘regular’ clothes and was planning to follow him around school the entire day. I wondered how students and teachers would react when they saw me in class.
Digital vs. Analog
Many of my colleagues in the field believe Every Student Stem. By upbringing and by trade, I am not a programmer. A gamer-at-heart perhaps, but not a programmer. Yet I believe in that mantra as well.
It is silly for us to view today’s student as anything but a ‘STEM’ student. As a parent I often times find myself comparing my 4-year-old’s vocabulary to mine at his age. His frequent use of the terms profile and wi-fi astound me. When he fires up our XBOX 360, I must ask him to make sure he signed out of his brother’s profile and signed in with his own in order to avoid deleting anything.
My parents never said those kinds of things to me. We didn’t connect around Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo or King’s Quest on our Tandy 1000. I spent my childhood on a bridge between analog world and digital world – a bridge that my parents saw no use in crossing. A bridge that many saw no use in crossing.
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.
It began with the need…
At West Grand Middle School, student need was not being addressed. Something had to change.
Parents knew it. Admin knew it. Teachers knew it. What they didn’t know was the answer. More importantly they didn’t know the question.
‘We’ve tried X, Y and Z before. They don’t work.’
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.