Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teaching is personal.

I don't often write about emotional things on my blog, but today I'm feeling emotional.  Often, John Spencer's posts remind me of how I feel.  Teaching is personal.  One he posted today reminded me of that yet again.

I've cried two times within the past 24 hours in my classroom.  One experience involved parents and another students.  I was talking to Russ (the best husband in the world) about this last night, and he made a good analogy.  Sometimes we as teachers are treated like customer service representatives (ya know, the people you call on the phone when your internet is down...we all love them so much...*sarcasm*).  We hear snippets from parents and kids. We hear the negatives, often in quick spouts of anger or complaining.

Many parents and most students don't truly understand the passion, effort, and care we put into our craft.  They cut us down because we made an error; they comment about how boring things are; they comment negatively on how or what we teach.  It's rare that we hear how great we're doing.  It's rare to hear appreciation for the passion, effort, and care we put into planning and facilitating the learning in our spaces.  Just like customer service reps rarely hear that a product is awesome and meets or exceeds expectations.

Teaching is personal.  We are blessed with the few outside our profession that notice this.  I had an brushing with one of those today.

"Hey, Mrs. Goerend, I saw you crying in the principal's office yesterday.  Are you ok?" - student
"I am.  Thanks for asking." - me

It was a simple exchange but meant more than this student could know.

So I have a request for you.  If you are a parent to a school-aged child, contact your child's teacher(s)  to share your positive "customer service experiences."  Teaching is personal to them, too, and I know they will appreciate you noticing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update: If you give kids a meaningful project...

The AVerMedia project was a success, and we don't even know if we are in the competition for the company prize!  The students learned so much about the products!  I tried to get the AVerPens set up to film our commercial and was struggling with it, but many kids stepped up and helped solve the problem.  Everyone participated in filming the commercial even if they weren't given permission by their parents to be IN the film.  Those students were the videographers.  We got all the filming completed for the video in just a few hours and the rest of the students were quiet and attentive while others were filming. 

I'm so proud of them and how they well they did with this project.  They worked amazingly in their small groups because they had a direct purpose - learn about the product and then create a short clip on a problem it solves. 

Below is the final commercial.  You'll see 5 small problem/solution segments.  Each segment was put together by one of the 5 teams.  Our commercial had to be 2 minutes or less, so it's quick, but I was able to get it edited together to be 1:58!  Enjoy!