Friday, February 25, 2011

Passion-Driven Conversations

Hi Amy and Angela,

Here in Aurora, Ohio we were so delighted to meet the two of you in person on Thursday, Feb. 24 – two passionate, visionary advocates for children! Your message and examples remind educators around the world of why we said “Yes” to teaching and learning. The conversations that are emerging throughout our district are inspiring signs of new directions!
We cannot allow federal, state, local mandates, 17th century school structures and practices – 45 minute class periods, 180+day school year, political-driven narrow perspectives on teacher accountability, data-driven practices that fail to focus on the “whole child,” standardized assessments void of 21st century learning expectations, financial cutbacks - paralyze educators from taking a close look at their passion for learning. We must choose empowerment over in-action. We, as educators, can make the choice to find creative ways to ignite students’ passion for learning within and outside our district/classroom walls. There is a sense of urgency for our children. Sir Ken Robinson shares – Passion isn’t something that is created but rather the results of the conditions under which learning is allowed to occur.” So…we do have choice. Our challenge is to let go of practices and attitudes that prevent us from getting to know students’ passions, gifts and talents.
Our Feb. 18 PD conversations around Passion-Driven Classrooms and our SKYPE meeting with you on Thursday, Feb. 24 mark the beginning of our collaborative journey here in Aurora. Educators are finding the time to continue the conversation. Several high school teachers meet after school to discuss topics like – culture in the classroom to promote learning, student engagement, social networking tools in the classroom, peer observations, professional learning communities – Are they really working, or are they looked upon as superficial structures imposed by administrators? What is the next level of PLCs? What should they look like if they are for kids? What forums are there for students' voice and ideas about learning and student engagement?
Several middle school teachers will continue their discussions. They agreed to get together the first Friday of each month – after school to share ideas – technology integration, sharing mini lessons. This team is calling their get together – An informal meeting of the minds! Love it.
Elementary teachers connecting with high school Chemistry teacher to learn more about reverse instruction – developing partnership that invites high school and elementary students to collaborate on student passion driven topics.

Many expressed an interest in reading and discussing the book - Habitudes.

Look forward to discussions and possibilities for every day practice.
Our district's technology integration team are so passion-driven! The work they do 24/7 cannot be captured here. We continue to learn so much through their examples and vision for out-of-the box student engagement practices.

Aurora will be a place “where passion meets practice and students learn” because of teachers’ deep commitment to students and their passion for life-long learning! We will continue to share our story, challenges and celebrations!
“Change comes from the questions we ask” (Banach). From the heart...Amy & Angela thanks so much for your gift of time and words of encouragement. Alicia

Friday, October 15, 2010

Educational Reform

Paradigm shifts that need to take place in order for quality educational reform to take place in the 21st century.

Sir Ken Robinson

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Organizing Curriculum Around Big Questions Podcast

Listen to podcast - Captures new direction: Integrating standards, differentiation, and engagement by designing curriculum around big questions.

Jim Burke Podcast

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rethinking Testing for the 21st Century

Information for you to review and respond to regarding your views on testing for the 21st century.

New Directions: Student Assessments

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Content Area Student Personal Learning Network Examples

What do you think of this student video? Teacher requires students to create content area personal learning networks.

Students take charge of their learning

21st century student learning examples

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Survey shows an overwhelming number of respondents

The American Management Association, in conjunction with Partnership 21, surveyed 2, 115 managers and other executives about the importance of the four C's to their organization today and in the future.  Read what the new workforce requires from its employees.

AMA April 2010 Critical Skills Survey

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Forces Shaping the Future of Education:Emerging Trends

There are many exciting changes taking place in education that will impact teaching and learning in the 21st century. The purpose of this blog is to share emerging trends that will define the future of learning. I invite you to explore, question and share your ideas.