Monday, 5 August 2013

The Liebster Awards: Recognizing Smaller Blogs

Thank you Sherri Edwards at What Else for sharing with me the Liebster Award (Liebster meaning dearest in German).  This is a way to recognize smaller blogs with fewer than 200 followers.  The Liebster nomination rules are:

1        1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers. (some places the rules say 3-5 blogs)
3. Answer the questions posted for you by the nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about you.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees to inform them of their nomination.

My nominees are (and I apologize ahead of time if you have more than 200 blog followers; I couldn’t figure out how to find that information out):

Beverley Bunker at Experiments in Learning
Jeremy Inscho at Inscho in School

 My answers to questions from Sherri, my nominator:

1.  Why do I blog?

I blog in order to be reflective in my practice and to document my learning.  Blogging allows me to share my ideas and to learn from others.  Sometimes it is difficult to blog (like now, in the summer when it feels like my brain is overtaken by my family and not by school) and othertimes, the words write themselves. But each time, I come away from the experience feeling like I learned a little bit more about myself and the kind of teacher I want to be.

2.  What’s the most important thing a teacher can do for his or her student?

I think the most important thing a teacher can do for his or her students is to create a positive relationship with them, respect them and truly listen to what they have to say.  Teaching and learning can only happen when there is mutual respect and trust.  After that , we need to awaken wonder and curiosity and passion, which is why I love Genius Hour. 

3.  What is the most important thing a teacher can do for his or her colleagues?

The most important thing a teacher can do for his or her colleagues is to listen and share.  Listening without judgment and sharing what you do creates a culture of openness. (see previous post)

4.  If you could change one physical thing about your classroom what would it be?

My room is very small and it barely fits 28 desks and a teacher’s desk.  It is also an odd shape.   I would change it to be larger and rectangular.  Then, I could change it to have a designated reading space with a couch and a carpet.  

5.  Describe one of your most memorable teaching experiences.

Well, I’m going to take the word memorable to be mean unforgettable.  A few years back, I took my class on a fieldtrip to the law courts.  It was a most memorable fieldtrip.  We travelled by parent drivers because we did not have funding for a school bus.  The fieldtrip began by one of the cars not arriving at the law courts until 45 minutes after our fieldtrip had begun because the driver had gotten lost.  This was in a time before everyone commonly had cell phones, so I couldn’t even call the driver to find out if they were O.K. Then, while we were in an unused court room having a judge talk to the class, the sheriff walked in and told us we had to remain in the room and not leave.  He proceeded to leave the room with the judge and then locked the door behind him and locked us into the courtroom.  This sent the class into some uproar.  We waited about 40 minutes in the room until the same sheriff came and unlocked the door.  He told the class, “Do not look to your left as you walk through the hallway.”  Of course, the kids did look.  They saw a pool of blood on the floor.  Then as we waited for our rides home, one of our drivers did not come to pick us up and I had to phone the school to have one of the staff come and pick up the last group of students.  That night, as I watched the news, I found that someone had come to the courthouse and shot an attorney.  That was the most unforgettable fieldtrip/teaching moment I ever had. 

6.  What memorable experience do you hope your students will have?

There are two types of experiences that I hope for my students. 

There is something very powerful about connecting with a good book and getting lost in it.  I hope for my students to find that love of a good book.

 I also want them to be able to engage in “flow” in their learning- whether it be in writing, physical education or art.  As Daniel Pink describes in his book, Drive, “in flow, the relationship between what a person had to do and what he could do was perfect. The challenge wasn't too easy. Nor was it too difficult. It was a notch or two beyond his current abilities, which stretched the body and mind in a way that made the effort itself the most delicious reward. That balance produced a degree of focus and satisfaction that easily surpassed other, more quotidian, experiences. In flow, people lived so deeply in the moment, and felt so utterly in control, that their sense of time, place, and even self melted away. They were autonomous, of course. But more than that, they were engaged.” I would like my students to have the memorable experience of that level of engagement. 

7.  How many students/teachers do you have at your school?

We have about 500 students and about 30 teachers.

8.  What is your favourite classroom use of technology?

This is a difficult question because we use it for so many different purposes.  One of my favourite classroom uses of technology is connecting globally with other classrooms either through student blogs or Skype. 

9.  Who/what is your teaching inspiration?

This last year, my main teaching inspiration has been my PLN on twitter.  I learn so much from them and I am in awe of what everyone is doing.  I am also inspired by the books that I read and by my children who amaze me in their learning processes every day. 

10.  What is one teaching goal you have for this year?

I will try to be succinct.  I am going to write an blogpost on this question.  One of the main things I would like to do this year is to inspire a love for reading using the ideas of Donalyn Miller in The Book Whisperer. 

11.  In six words, what is your teaching philosphoy?

Connect and inspire passion and wonder. 

11 Random Facts About Me
     1. I love to read the same book as my son so that I can talk to him about it.
2         2.  I never eat the last bite of my sandwich.
3         3. I don’t drink milk.
4         4. I love camping.
5         5. I’m learning how to swim.
6         6. I joined twitter 11 months ago.
7         7.  I have a wonderful job share partner who I have known since high school.
8         8. My dream as a child was to be a writer.
           9.   I think it is important to meditate every day if possible.
1        10.  Sadly, I’ve never had a pet.
1        11. Every year I get bored and feel a need to somehow change or renovate something in my home. 

11 Questions for my nominees.

1       1.     Why do you blog?
2       2.     What’s the most important thing a teacher can do for his or her students?
3       3.     What’s the most important thing a teacher can do for his or her colleagues?
4       4.     If you could change one physical thing about your classroom what would it be?
5       5.     How many teachers and students are at your school?
6       6.     What is one thing you want your students to have learned in your classroom?
7       7.     Describe one of your most memorable teaching experiences.
8       8.     What is one teaching goal you have had this year?
9       9.     If you weren’t a teacher, what other profession would you have chosen?
1      10. What is your favourite use of technology in your classroom?
1.     11. Describe the biggest teaching you mistake you ever made.

1 comment:

  1. Love your answers, Jas. (and I don't eat the last bite of my sandwich either because I do have a pet, a white dog who waits patiently for that last bite.)

    I see that you teach the "whole child" because you understand that relationships and the process of learning is as important as the skills being learned.

    I'm glad you all were safe from that field trip. Scarey.

    Look forward to following your lead to " Connect and inspire passion and wonder."