This writing is just one educator's view from this side of the desk.
I knew I had a good group of students this semester when I suggested we do READ photos with their favorite books and….everyone got excited…everyone got dressed up…everyone had a book. Being an advocate of literacy isn't always easy. I can't tell you how many times I have bitten my tongue when hearing a preservice teacher exclaim with pride that s/he doesn't read books or hasn't read a single book since being made to read in high school. I always want to ask if s/he would like to say that to the parents of their students. Would one be impressed to hear that from their child's teacher? To be honest, some parents would laugh and agree that they too are in the same boat, but many (actually I believe most) would be horrified. Horrified.
So this semester when my group of students (who will be teachers within the next three years or sooner) eagerly and easily found their favorite books, I felt very hopeful. In our crazy race to the top in order to leave no child behind, we often forget about our quality future educators. I have watched them spend countless hours and energy to design interactive lesson. And I have listened as they have expressed their dismay over visiting classrooms that emphasize the worksheet machine rather than truly igniting a passion for learning…and reading.
This time of year we typically give thanks for all that is good in our lives, and for me, I give thanks that the future of our classrooms is bright. Today I'm not consumed with worrying about testing mandates or low-performing students. Today I am thankful that a group of bright and eager readers are ready to take their place as teachers in your child's classroom.
Over the past twenty four hours, I have posted several proud tweets about my students' work. I only picked three videos to highlight with tweets, which is misleading because there were other videos that deserved the same attention. But I hated to bombard my Twitter followers with constant tweets. I felt it would be equal to how a mother of a new baby constantly is posting baby pictures. But I AM SO PROUD of my students! I asked them to step out of their comfort zones; in fact, I REQUIRED them to do so. They were hesitant and did not know how they would accomplish it, but the results are wonderful! When you watch the videos (all are uploaded to my YouTube channel), you will see imperfections. Some videos could have better sound, and others should probably refine the timing. But those details are not as important to me as the fact that they worked very hard to produce a product about which they had no experience or substantial knowledge. They had to learn, experiment, and collaborate with one another. In my opinion, THAT is what teachers are doing every day.
I highlighted three videos in particular:
Clare created a video about Mirror, and she crafts music and sounds together to create an understanding of two cultures.
Kathryn created a video about A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea! Her storytelling is fun and interesting!
Lillian created a video about The Day the Crayons Quit. She worked tirelessly to create a video with awesome special effects!
So take a moment to browse the videos. If you find one or two that are done particularly well, please share with your students or other teachers.