Friday, May 30, 2014

Reflections on my first year as an elective teacher.

I was becoming exhausted as an elementary classroom teacher. I wanted something new. So, I ventured into the elective teacher world. I wrote previously about my new gig here.

One thing I did love in the elementary classroom was the deep connections and relationships I could form with students throughout the year. I even felt myself become a little sad that I probably wouldn't experience that this year. I have 300 kiddos come in and out of my room over the course of two days.

Cue the last day of school. A student, who I truly had connected with, showed up at my door with a plant and a two page hand written letter.

Cue the tears.

I knew I had build a special relationship with her, just relating to common experiences, sharing common interests. I really had no idea I'd made SUCH an impression. Thinking about her, she really is just like me when I was in sixth grade. I'm so glad I connected with her.

Just like that starfish story, I made a difference with that one.

It was a great reminder to me just to keep doing what I'm doing. This year has been wonderful. I have really enjoyed the world of electives. And I still can forge those deep connections.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thoughts on Wikipedia

Today I introduced my students to their next research project for communications class. Each were assigned a social media site and asked to answer some questions about its history, purpose, and use by individuals and businesses. We have quite a locked down web filter in our school at the present, so most of the sights they wanted to research about are blocked.

I told them flat out, other teachers may tell you to avoid Wikipedia, but I want you to use it. It might be your best source of information.

Yep. That's what I believe.


I told them..

Yes, pages get changed. Yes anyone can edit it. But, most pages that get messed with are the controversial ones.

If you're unsure if the page is correct, check another source like you should be doing anyways.

The footnotes of most Wikipedia pages are treasure troves of other resources you could check out.

People adopt and edit Wikipedia pages to make sure they stay clean. 

These pages may be the most up to date information you can find.

Use it.

Be critical of it.

Wikipedia is not bad.

It's good.