the call to teach

Have a listen to Bill Ayers The Call to Teach and To Teach

He asks some good questions about the role of teaching.

 

Let you teaching values guide your teaching life.

 

 

Commitment #1 – I will see every child that comes into my classroom, as a person of incalculable value… I’m going to treat that kid not as an object, not as a thing, I’m going to treat that person as a full human being worthy of my awe, worthy of my reverence, worthy of my respect.

 

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being multiliterate

To survive in this new world, it is important to be multiliterate. Whilst new technologies have been heralded by many as “the totem of educational change” (Drenoyianni, 2006, p.401) and the solution to a variety of educational problems (Cuban 1986), other research indicates that their effectiveness as a learning tool relies on the pedagogy, teaching methods, curriculum and context in which they are used (Peck, Cuban & Kirkpatrick, 2002; Tsiakalos, 2002, as cited by Drenoyianni, 2006). Peck et al.’s (2002) study recognized the potential for improving educational outcomes, but found very few teachers capitalising on this potential…

Saville, M. (2010). Robotics as a Vehicle for Multiliteracies. In D. Pullen & D. Cole (Eds.), Multiliteracies and technology enhanced education: Social practice and the global classroom (p. 215). Hershey, PA.

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In reading Multiliteracies and technology enhanced education by Pullen & Cole, there have been definitions of literacy presented as well as cases made for using technology in the classroom. These cases have been backed by studies the authors have chosen to present. One thing a majority of the studies show is that teachers are just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to transforming student’s practice. Generally it has been teachers using a technology tool or program in order for students to complete a traditional literacy task on a computer – for example a writing task using MS Word. There is so much more that can happen and take place. Teachers and educators need to be able to see the value of a tool and how it can help students produce a multimodal text, one that has an authentic purpose for it’s creation.

I will admit that there have been times when teaching that I was guilty of simply having the students use the computer to complete a task. In saying this, I do recognize that in the beginning when learning to use a tech tool, for both teachers and students, it’s use can begin as a substitution for an already existing practice.

Interestingly I came across Blaming and Shaming Teachers for Low-Level Tech Practices by Bill Ferriter. The article contributes to what I have mentioned here and provides additional thoughts and ideas around technology use within the classroom.

A challenge for myself and other educators to overcome in order for technology to be more than a “tool” to complete traditional literacy practices and tasks and to transform the ways in which students are learning and producing texts.

families

Pg. 96-97 of The New Teacher Book” by Rethinking Schools:

Families are groupings of individuals who may or may not be living together, but are perceived by the child to be “family.” They may be permanent, temporary or fluid. Children define their families as units that include adults who make them feel safe and happy. They want stability, tradition, and love. Many children get this in large doses, and for others it’s more elusive. Even in cases of abuse, children may still choose to be with their “family.” As children from all types of families face challenges at home, the school setting should be one that offers comfort and that validates all family structures.

Teachers can walk a fine line between validating all types of families and singling out students for that validation. By providing appropriate curriculum, media materials, and visual images in the classroom, teachers can send a powerful message about respect and diversity without embarrassing students or violating their privacy.

Pg. 98:

You know, I think we [teachers] overlook issues of family diversity because they are not as obvious to us as other issues of diversity. We have leadership and resources for other topics of equity and culture, but because our students are so private in many ways about what is going on at home, we don’t necessarily think about it when planning curriculum.

Also, I really love the story “Heather’s Moms Got Married” by Mary Cowhey in “The New Teacher Book” by Rethinking Schools. Pages 103-110.