The other day in class we discussed our “digital footprint” and ways we could hurt/help our image. This post is not so much about creating a footprint as it is about discussing the possibilities of a blog…
I found while I was student teaching, little consideration of the student’s interests was taken into account when planning lessons. It’s hard! Standardized curriculum (don’t even get me started on that) stifles creativity and student involvement. The very people who screw up our economy seem to think they can do a better job with our educational system (2 strikes). But that is not the point, I am getting off topic. Blogging is such a great idea for bringing student interests back into the classroom. How many students in high needs areas do not have access to a computer at home? Would it really be such a loss of time to allow them 15 minutes a school day to just relax on a computer, checking up on their favorite blog, and seeing what is going on in the world of their favorite interests? I’m sure 99% of the guy’s blogs would be about sports but who cares? The student is getting a second to breath in school. One of my best friends from high school, Sam, graduated top of our class. She took EVERY AP course you could imagine. In fact, I think they created some just for her. I took three in high school and that was enough to make me feel overwhelmed. Could you imagine taking one in almost every subject? That has to cause all kinds of stress.
Not only would this give students a chance to breath and relax, it would also teach them some appropriate social skills, even though high schoolers are already pretty advanced in this (sarcasm). Teach them the proper etiquette for communicating with others over the internet and set guidelines. It’s a risk, no doubt, but as a teacher part of your job is expecting the best, and planning for the worst.
I don’t know if you picked up on this yet but my biggest pet peeves in life is bullying, especially when it is something beyond a kid’s control (I talk about it in almost every blog). To make fun of another peer because he walks funny or because he slurs his speech really hurts not just the student, but also me. Remember that commercial we watched in class? Of the guy in the bear suit and how everyone gave him a hug because they couldn’t tell who was inside the suit? That really hit home- a student can become part of a community on line where they are accepted regardless of what they look like, how they dress, or their (dis)abilities. Let’s stop making school such a sprint were we leave the kids who can’t keep up or who don’t feel like they are a part of it all on the side of the proverbial road.
I just found a blog on a city in Korea that I want to teach in when I graduate: how cool! I’ve made this guy a contact, and even though we don’t know anything about each other besides what we choose to share, it still is awesome to have that back and forth communication.