Dear Blake Families:
Hopefully this update finds everyone well, having enjoyed some 'milder' weather over the past few days. We had a relatively low-key weekend, mixing commitments and engagements with some family time (sports, walks with the dog, etc.), and had a nice time watching the Super Bowl as a family.
This past October I attended a workshop facilitated by Robert Kegan, Immunity to Change, and I shared at the time that I was committed to take the challenge from Kegan to 'take on' a change. He encouraged all participants to recognize an area of growth in ourselves, and for me it was one of 'balance'. Looking back at my blog following the workshop..."'Balance' is a struggle for me, yet I know the endeavor of working towards a healthy one is important, as an educator, husband, colleague, parent, and friend. I certainly do not have the recipe or algorithm figured out, but I am committed to the process and am going to maintain an openness to change." Well, to be honest, this continues to be a significant challenge, yet it is one I know is important. With this in mind, I am highlighting a few articles that pertain to the week ahead - Professional Development and Technology - and then 'unplugging' to take a break, refresh, and try as best I can to just be.
With our faculty meeting yesterday and our professional development day coming up on Friday, these posts speak to the importance of continual reflection and growth in our profession.
Making Professional Development a Habit
post by Dawn Casey-Rowe
"Professional development must stay in the rotation on a permanent basis. It must be calendared in as we would an important appointment–it’s an appointment with ourselves. In a way, it’s a lot like physical fitness. Many people fail to reach physical fitness goals because they do not have the right approach. By committing to work out regularly, doing a favorite activity, and maintaining positive consistency, you will see improvements in all areas–not just physical. Professional development is the same thing."
"Lifelong learning is important whether you are four or 40. It is an example to set for our own students. If we continue to learn, it validates learning for them, too."
Why Some Teachers May Question 'New' Education Trends
post by Katrina Schwartz in Mindshift
Quote within by Carrie Oretsky, a veteran teacher from Oakland, CA: “If we stop asking, Does this make sense, we’ve lost what’s its all about."
Technology Integration and our Digital World
With our focus on technology integration, it is important to articulate and maintain an understanding of its role and implications for our own use as well.
Learning Without Technology
post by Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby)
Whitby, an educator a retired educator and avid blogger, has become a source of real professional development and inspiration, pushing me to think on a deeper level about my vision and our work in the classroom.
"Yes, good teachers can teach without technology, but to what end, if the student will need to master technology to compete, or even exist in a technology-driven environment?...If we are educating our children to live and thrive in their world, we cannot limit them to what we were limited to in our world. As things change and evolve, so must education. As educators we have a professional obligation to change as well. We must retain a sense of relevance and that requires effort. Relevance does not come to us as we sleep in the night. Educators need to employ the very skills they are passing along to their students. They need to: curate, collaborate, communicate, critically think, and create. All of this is best accomplished through the use of tools of technology. An education without technology does not prepare our students with the skills that their world will require. Technology should be ubiquitous in education."
Rethinking My Daughter's Digital Footprint
post by Melinda Miller
Miller's post offers a great perspective for all of us, as adults, reminding us to 'model what we teach' and think about what we are posting.
As I said back in October, despite the challenges and obstacles that can inhibit the path towards 'balance' (often self-imposed), I am committed to this process of growth. Through conversations I have had with many of you, this is a shared endeavor and I hope you will continue to help push me and keep me honest. It is not easy, but as with all areas of growth, it is important.
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