This is the time of year in which students’ impetus to volunteer, join clubs, school wide activities, and community drives overrides the necessity to finish out a school year. Many justifications are given for not being in class — and how could I blame them? A record cold winter and delayed spring bloom kept students pent up indoors. Educators must balance learning with exposure to curriculum content, student progress with student awareness, and standardized assessment with school wide finals. Aside from this, I must concentrate on what role technology will play in a 1:1 mobile device classroom
Recently I mashed a world history unit on 19th century industry with student discussions on the history of change in education. A TED Talk illustrating Sir Ken Robinson’s reflections on transforming education away from standardized practice prompted student discussion and agreement on the need for time spent on creativity and artistic expression in all classes. However, the conversation soon turned to a surprising conclusion about productivity and the value of learning. The consensus was that learning needs to be systematic and routine with a majority in agreement that tangible skills need to be taught, such as filing income tax. On
Every year I collaborate with colleagues to host a high school field trip to a local college campus. We explore art collections, tour the campus and give students time to explore the nearby downtown for a brief respite. The goal of connecting artistic perspective to their interpretations of world history is tangential to the elation students enjoy with a day away from school. This encourages me to create a study planner for the art collections that guide students to and through analytical process without it seeming a chore. This year, I made it user friendly for the iPad or any
The most arduous day of my education career was a day centered on Facebook. I was completing my principal practicum, and just before my hours were finished, a student made a death threat on that social medium. I spent the day calling an array of high school students to my principal’s office, where I took testimony about what was said but more so about what was typed. Twelve hours and hundreds of pages of notes later, I knew that I no longer wanted to be a principal. But I also quickly came to the belief
It is a relief to find a few digital tools that continuously serve learners despite the accelerated nature of change in technology. Google Docs allows me to meet the varied needs and writing levels of almost all students. It gives me wings, allowing me to reach past classroom walls and time constraints, to converse and edit with undivided attentions to each and every individual. I have learned though that as applications update and modify over time, so must my teaching practice. There are wrong ways to use Google Docs. If the use is not transformative, if the
Welcome! I'm Franchesca Warren. I taught high school for 13 years and currently work as a learning consultant and instructional coach based in Atlanta, Ga. I created this site in 2012 because I love not only collaborating with other teachers, but I wanted to build a network that shows that teachers are the experts in education. Please join our community of over 30 educators as we write about what's really going on in our classroom!