Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Hadley Harrington Strange Award

Dr. John Strange is a professor of professional studies at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Strange does a fantastic job with his students in his education classes by teaching them how to utilize different types of technology tools and resources that they can use as they continue to become a teachers. Dr. Strange has created two awards, named in memory of his parents, The Hadley Harrington Award& The Ruth Jessee Strange Award. The Ruth Jessee Strange Award was given to a fellow colleague Bill Chamberlain.

I was contacted by Dr. Strange on Sunday. John sent me an e-mail stating that I, along with Jarrod Lamshed, have been awarded The Hadley Harrington Strange Award. I was really taken back by the whole experience. I have never received an award prior to this point, and because this award was based on my educational practices, it really made me proud to accept this award. So, thank you so much Dr. Strange it truly is an honor and I am looking forward to using this money to help better the educational experience in my own classroom.

Mr. McClung


Like Joe, I found out this week that I am a recipient of The Hadley Harrington Strange Award for 2009. It's a very humbling experience, and I'm very proud to share the award with Joe McClung. Joe is a fantastic teacher, and although he is on the opposite side of the globe to me, here in Australia, I feel that I have a strong sense of his teaching through his class blog.

I am currently in my 4th year of teaching and find that reflection and collaboration is an essential part of my growth as a teacher. I thank Dr John Strange for the support he shows my class and I, through his comments on our blog. With so many current teachers afraid of using technology, it is fantastic to see Dr Strange incorporating this into University/College teacher training. This money will further support our online programs and I look forward to being able to share this in the near future.

Jarrod Lamshed

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why I Want to Be More Accessible to My Students

When I wrote my Teacher Manifesto I wrote this promise:

I promise to be more available to my students. I will give them my phone numbers, email address, and Twitter name. I will encourage them to communicate with me outside of school. I will be available to help them with their education when they need help, not just during our class period.

I received lots of comments about this particular promise, and I want to explain why I included this promise.

My students live in what America considers poverty. We have in our school 90% of the students on free or reduced lunch. There are a huge number of students that live in single parent or single parent with extended family homes. These single parents are by a very large majority women. The male role models in many of my students lives are in prison, on drugs, or have other socially unacceptable problems. I may be the closest positive male role-model my students ever have.

While this information may explain why I might feel compelled to be more available to my students, it is not the reason.

I believe that one of the most important things I strive teach my students is to love to learn and to continue to learn throughout their lives. I have learned much more outside of the classroom walls. I continue to learn, most of which takes place at night, on weekends, and over summer break. This is what I want to model to my students. How can I do this if I don't allow my students to see what I do when I am not in the classroom?

I have been reminded often to model to my students the behaviors I want them to see from them. I'm stepping up to the challenge.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Is Your Killer App?

Alex here is curious, he wants to know what are the most important applications to use in school. Is it blogs, wiki's, or Nings? Maybe you prefer Glogster, Kerpoof, or Edmodo? Tell me what program you can't live without.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Teacher's Manifesto

I'm tired. I'm tired of waiting for a vision of education to be passed on to me. I'm tired of thinking about the purpose of education and the purpose of schools. I'm tired of reading about how our schools are outdated, outmoded, and worthless.

I don't command the ear of millions of people. I don't get to set policy for our nation, state, or even local government. The only place I can effect the education of students is in my classroom. I know that when it comes to the education of my students, I can make a difference. Because of this, I make these promises:

I promise to spend more time talking and listening to my students. I will get to know all of them better than I have in the past. I will talk to them about their past and their future. I will show them they are important by creating a relationship with them.

I promise to teach students, not content or tools. I will do my best to meet their needs with their learning. I will adapt my classroom to them, not expect them to adapt to my classroom. I will make the tools and content I teach relevant to my students so that they see a reason to learn, not just because it is on the test.
I promise to be more available to my students. I will give them my phone numbers, email address, and Twitter name. I will encourage them to communicate with outside of school. I will be available to help them with their education when they need help, not just during our class period.

I promise that I will be an advocate for my students. I will speak for them when others talk negatively about them. I will listen to their side. I will try to discipline them out of love and respect, not from anger or annoyance. I will treat them as if they were my own children, because they deserve it.

I believe that when teachers focus on students and nothing else, education will change for the better.


Thankfully, I have had great feedback from the network. There is real value in the conversation between us. Thanks to @Will @dragonsinger57 and others for pointing out the need for this addition. Here is an update to the manifesto.

I promise to model learning in my classroom with my students. It is important that our students see us not as the "great repositories of knowledge", but as individuals that continue to learn as we go. Not only should we model how to learn, but that we continue to need to learn.