I took my Geometry class on a field trip to Home Depot, Menards, Sherwin Williams, and Sears on Tuesday. We also had a great conversation with Tim Marshall of T&T Heating and Plumming. Our House Projects are nearing completion and I am thrilled with how hard my students have worked.
My Algebra students worked with the substitute teacher on Tuesday. Thanks to the great tech tools GKB has provided, I was able to teach while not being at school. I used Camtasia, my Hitachi Interactive Whiteboard, and YouTube to teach. The class worked on problems via Khan Academy and some real education went on, not just busy work! I was able get on Khan and see what work they completed and how well the lesson went. Although, I believe face to face education is truly the BEST way to teach, I can see how this has appeal to many people. Like most teachers, I hate to be out of the classroom. Being out always seems like a wasted day. Tuesday was not wasted, it was just another day of learning.
The last assignment I asked my Algebra students to complete was a Blog Post on Thanksgiving. I have been so amazed at how great my students love to blog and their posts are amazing. I gain great insight on their lives and thinking beyond Algebra. I really think this helps me as their teacher. These blogs are just another tool to connect and go beyond the "traditional" classroom.
I am so very Thankful for my students. I am overjoyed to spend my day with these young men and women. I often hear teachers complain about their kids. In many ways it disgusts me. If you can't find the good in the students you teach, you need to look to another profession. If you get so bogged down with late assignments, lack of discipline, confrontation, dress code violations, and poor academic performance that you can't build a positive caring relationship you need to do something else. If you can't care for the least of your students, how can you teach them or expect them to learn? I don't have the top students in my class. I love them. They are my "day family". They aren't perfect. My classes are the same as most other classes. I have students who don't work hard, they don't complete all their work, they give up, they have too many absences, and have bad attitudes. We ARE family. Like most families, we have good moments and bad. I wouldn't trade them for anyone else. I love technology and what it allows me to do with my DAY FAMILY. But, that only goes so far. There is something special about the relationships teachers build with students that aren't measured on a standardized test. You can't get the caring, personal relationship students need from a computer. You can get great content. Life is more than what you know. Life is about relationships with people.
Thanks to my classes I get to spend my life building relationships and teaching students how to live life.