An Amazing Perk of Teaching – Outdoor Ed!

This past week, several teachers from Trinity School took 68 Fifth Graders up to Camp Will-A-Way in Winder, GA for the first our yearly overnight trips.

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We call these Outdoor Ed – outdoor education. The Fifth Grade takes two trips each year, one in the fall and the other in spring. The Sixth Grade also takes two trips, but they take on a different tone. This post is not about Sixth Grade though. Outdoor Ed is pretty much exactly what its name indicates – education classes that take place outdoors. The students rotated in groups through six different classes; the climbing wall, canoeing, two low ropes challenge courses, ceramics, and horseback riding. It is a time for team building and coming together as a grade level. Coach Brian is the trip coordinator and he instructs the students to think in terms of, “We, not me. What is going to be best for the group rather than what will be best for me.”

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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Saw ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ tonight. It was as good as I was hoping it would be. GQ and I both agreed that we weren’t the biggest Mr. Rogers fan growing up. I remember thinking the King was creepy. I definitely have memories of watching the show, but as a kid, Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street have more of a lasting impact on me than Mr. Rogers.
 
That being said, Mr. Rogers’ message of you are fine just the way you are was and is a message worth putting out there. I’ve read a lot of reviews where people said they ugly cried the whole way through the movie. I think people that are going to do that are either people that don’t work with kids or those who have forgotten their inner child.
 
There were parts that made me smile, parts that tugged at my heart, and parts that surprised me.
 
One of the biggest takeaways I have from this movie is how radical Mr. Rogers was when he started, and honestly throughout his entire broadcast history. While almost every other show was doing physical comedy and showing characters embarrassing themselves in all kinds of ways, he consistently kept his message the same.
 
I highly recommend this movie to anyone. Obviously, people familiar with Mr. Rogers will like it best, but I would think kids who have never experienced him or his show would get some good out of it, too.

Just Like Starting Over

 

(Full Disclosure – this post has nothing to do with John Lennon’s song of the same title. I was hoping it would, but not happening. On with the post…)

Here at Trinity School, we are always striving to increase our ability to help our students. One of the main ways this happens is through the professional development (PD) that Trinity offers. Our PD is meaningful and impacting.

This is my third year at Trinity, and I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that I have grown more professionally in those three years than in the 18 I was in public school. That statement is hard to believe, I imagine. I am sure that you may even think that I am employing hyperbole, but I honestly think it is a true statement.

I have mentioned in a previous post that we are not only expected to continue to grow as a teacher, but it is encouraged. Opportunities abound for teachers and staff members to explore areas and techniques that will benefit us in the classroom, but also in areas of our own personal growth. The administration knows that when we are taking care of ourselves, stretching our minds, learning new things, we will be more effective in the classroom, and ultimately that is our main goal. To become the best  that we can be in the classroom so that our students will get the absolute best education they can while they are at Trinity.

So, how does that tie into the title of this post? That would be the recent addition of the concept of mini-lessons to the classroom. What is a mini-lesson? From the Web Site, Teacher Vision, “A mini lesson is a short lesson with a narrow focus that provides instruction in a skill or concept that students will then relate to a larger lesson that will follow. A mini lesson typically precedes reading workshop or writing workshop, but it can serve as an introduction to a social studies, science, or math lesson.”

I have always been a whole-group teaching kind of teacher. I have relied on my ability to hold my students’ attention through my kinetic personality and delivery as well as finding ways to help the students connect to the lesson. I think I have been successful at this, but after learning about mini-lessons and seeing this approach from some of my co-workers I have made a decision that it will benefit my students more if I adopt this method as well. It is a big change in teaching styles and one that I am attempting to make this year.

Two critical factors in successfully implementing the mini-lesson strategy are keeping the lessons short and concise and the conferencing that occurs with individual students while the remainder of the class is independently working. I’m not necessarily known for being one to get directly to the point. My students learn that pretty quickly. I am learning to cut down my delivery to the very essence of the lesson I am introducing or teaching to the class. Doing so will help to ensure that the engagement of the students will be held. One on one conferencing takes time, practice and a very different approach than a whole-group style of teaching. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m not a quiet person, but in order to not distract the other students, I am going to need to find use my inside voice.  I have one, I just don’t use it very often. Learning to be unobtrusive as I make my way around the classroom to confer with students is something that I can see may be another challenge for me.

Luckily, I have the knowledge that challenges make me rise to the occasion. I have 20 years of experience in education. I have so many tools in my toolbox (teacher lingo, y’all). Most importantly, I have the support of an awesome administrative team and co-workers who will help me with this challenge. Their encouragement, advice, and observations will guide me along this path to taking my teaching to a new level.

To top it off, I am inviting my administrators and colleagues in my class to watch me this year as I am starting over. Robert Kaplinsky has issued the #ObserveMe Challenge, a chance for teachers to invite others in to observe them in the moment and look for specific feedback on different goals the teacher lists on a sign outside the classroom door:

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I am excited about this and a little nervous. As I said, it is a big change for me, but one that I know will be beneficial for my students, and above all else, as a teacher, I want to be the very best I can for my students. (Maybe I should have had a David Bowie song in my head?)

What challenges are you facing and what goals have you set for yourself this school year? I’d love to hear from you on these topics.

 

Book Review – /The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth/ by Alexandra Robbins

preface statement – I hate that I can’t underline or italicize the title up there

book cover

I found this book on one of the tables in the Teachers’ Lounge at Trinity back in late April or early May. I wasn’t sure I’d get to it, but it’s title grabbed my attention. I started reading it a few days after I took it home and got drawn in pretty quickly.

The author, Alexandra Robbins, follows six individuals for a school year. Each one is given a categorical label along with their name:

  • Blue – The Gamer
  • Whitney – The Popular Bitch
  • Regan – The Weird Girl
  • Noah – The Band Geek
  • Eli – The Nerd
  • Joy – The New Girl

In addition to introducing each of these people, Robbins also gives background information on what she calls the cafeteria fringe – “People who are not part of or who are excluded from a school’s or society’s in crowd.” She goes on to explain how very often those who a part of the cafeteria fringe go on to much more successful lives than the popular, or in crowd, people. She acknowledges that getting through those times of lack of popularity is not easy, and is a “gut-wrenching social landscape”. Robbins backs up her claim of the cafeteria fringe’s post-high school successes with something she calls Quirk Theory – “Many of the differences that cause a student to be excluded in school are the same traits or real-world skills that others will value, love, respect, or find compelling about that person in adulthood and outside of the school setting.”

The book is divided up into six parts, late summer-early fall all the way to late spring-early summer. In between each section Robbins introduces new ideas, explores different perspectives and shares stories of current well-known people that were not part of the popular crowds when they were in high school.

As I got further into the book I was amazed time and time again with how horrible high school students can be. I saw myself as part of the fringe when I was in high school, but I was really a floater – I could move pretty easily between groups at school. I did not fit into any easily definable category. I wasn’t a jock, but I swam for my school and played softball and basketball for a church league. I definitely wasn’t a nerd, my grades were far too low to be considered that. I didn’t drink or do drugs, so I wasn’t a stoner. I liked punk rock, but also many other types of music, so no to that too. I had the good fortune to be able to make the choice to walk away from the popular crowd at the end of 8th-grade. I say this as opposed to those that were never given the opportunity to be part of that crowd, more than an arrogant boast.

Robbins’ stories of her subjects are fascinating, sad, alarming as well as funny and touching. One of the subjects has an interesting twist that I won’t spoil. I highlighted over 30 parts of the book that struck me. There really are too many to go into, so I’m just going to try to hit some of the ones that really stuck out to me – positively and negatively.

The whole idea of popularity is split into the standard way of looking at it – the opinion of a person from another to perceived popularity – “how students rank a classmate’s reputation rather than their personal opinion”.

The part I am going to include now really blows me over. Even reading it again for this part just leaves me speechless. This comes from the mini-chapter, Understanding the Popular Bitch

When I asked a popular boy from Arkansas how people at his high school treated               students who were different from others, he said, “We crushed their dreams. We             had a kid who wanted to be cool, but he wore eyeliner, so we invited him to a party,         got him drunk and pushed him into a fire and then some guys peed on him when he         passed out. He moved the next week. [Supposedly due to technicalities, charges               against the aggressors were dropped.] We cut off a Pentecostal girl’s hair and hid             her skirt in gym class, just because we were all Baptists and thought Pentecostals             were weird. We felt it our right to do whatever we pleased. Part of being cool was             uniformity and anything that isn’t part of our hive mind needs to be mocked.”

I’m just going to let that sink in for a minute.

There’s nothing at all that get me to understand that mind set. Nothing. And the thing is, those kids were probably seen around their town as good, upstanding Christian boys and girls. It’s madness!

There is a section called, The Courage of Nonconformists that I really liked. I’ve always considered myself a nonconformist, and in high school I embraced that. Reading this section made me feel good about that, especially with all the science Robbins includes that shows how our brains are mostly hard-wired to conform. Looking at my daughters now, I can see some of the same non-conformity that I had. GQ had and has it in equal, if not greater quantities than I do.

Robbins talks a good bit about how school systems are designed to get kids to think inside the box when almost every article written about what America needs to do to get education back on track is help to develop students that can problem solve, and almost all of those articles mention students that think outside the box are the ones that are usually best at doing that. I have been fortunate enough to work in three schools where the usual is not the case.

The last part of the book that I’ll talk about is the end where Robbins gives three sections devoted to what students, parents and teachers can do to help this situation. For the students, it again is a little heart-breaking. To be told to hang in there, it will get better seems so shallow, even though it is, for the most part, true. I don’t know how many students will read this book, but I think if they do they can find some hope and some connections with the subjects. I guess the part about the parents seems to be what GQ and I naturally try to do for The Girls. I think the part about what schools can do may be just as hard as what students can do. So much in education is set in stone. So many rules and laws and standards come from people that are not in school buildings daily, with the students. Everything Robbins says is necessary, but not easy to attain at all. However, if an administrator or teacher reads this book and recognizes some changes they can make to help students on the fringe feel more valued then that is a step in the right direction.

I think that The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth should be required reading for anyone going into education. I also think that anyone considering being a parent, or has recently become a parent should read it also. It’s eye-opening on many different levels. I think that anyone who relates to children at all can find something that they can use to make a connection where there might not be one currently, and again, that is a step in the right direction.

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth is available for Kindle (currently $2.99!!), hardback and paperback.

Current Favorites (fka Top 10 List)

The Cheeps

These chickens. They’re known as The Cheeps here at the Benefield Homestead. Each year Trinity School kindergarten students hatch chicks. Lots and lots of chicks. Since our last chicken experiment didn’t end up like we had planned we decided to start from scratch. I brought 5 chicks home so they could be with us and get used to us (and all the other animals) and hopefully stick around with us instead of flying the coop. Literally. We spend time with The Cheeps every day so as they get older they will not run away from us like crazy chickens, even though that’s what they are. The two white ones and Tina, the caramel colored one seem to get that idea. The two black/gray ones, not so much. It has been fascinating watching them grow. We think that one of them is developing into a rooster – the black/gray one with the growing comb on its head – that we will give to a rooster-friendly home before he starts to crow.  As summer goes on look for updates and pictures.

Keeping Kids in Motion

I have the great fortune to work at a school with some amazing PE teachers.One of them, Justin Cahill, blogs regularly about exactly what the blog is titled, Keeping Kids in Motion.
He also has a Facebook group under the same name. It currently has 921 members! People from all over submit articles, videos, and pictures of games, ideas, thoughts, questions and more dedicated to helping keep our kids, our students, ourselves active. I love his passion and dedication.

May 28 – August 7

It’s summer break, y’all! It’s awesome. I am so thankful to have this time off. I know there are some teachers that like to say that summer break has nothing to do with their decision to teach. I have no time for that. Of course, it’s not the main reason to get into teaching, but to deny that time off as an absolute reason to celebrate? Come on! This summer break I am trying something new – New Directions! I’ve made a two lists: Things I Need to Do and Things I Want to Do. Unlike years in the past when I’ve made lists of things to get done over summer, this time, I’ve included plans for getting them done. Now, I am sure that not all of them will get done, but this past school year with the help and advice of my department supervisor I started making lists of daily goals to accomplish, so I have somewhat of a habit going. To many of you this may seem like it’s common sense, well, to me it’s still a new thing. The whole planning thing has never been a strength of mine, so I’m trying to develop a new habit.

Summer Swim Season

Both of The Girls swim during summer league. Coco swims year around, but Ramona has several other sports going on, so we give her a break. I absolutely love summer swim season! I understand that it’s easy for me to love it because it’s not me going to practice and exerting all that energy, but I love it nonetheless. I have many, many great memories of my years of swim team summers. The first meet is tomorrow! TOMORROW! And sadly, Coco potentially has strep throat and Ramona is out of town on a choir tour with our church. That’s okay! We have the whole month of June for other meets. I love cheering on all of the swimmers, not just The Girls. Seeing young people with amazing strokes and skills is very exciting. I have seen some amazing swimmers over the past 8 years that The Girls have been swimming. We are at a new pool this year, so a whole new batch of swimmers to cheer on!

Good Music

The Avett Brothers, “Ain’t No Man”

JR JR, “Gone”

The 1975 – “Love Me”

Fitz and the Tantrums, “HandClap

The Lumineers, “Ophelia

Podcasts

I have spoken before about how I like to listen to music a lot. I still do, clearly. However, I have recently started listening to some podcasts on my way to work in the morning, and I have to say they have been very enlightening and entertaining. Glitter Queen requests me to put some on her Nano, so I have gotten some from her. Here are a few that I’ve been listening to:

  • This American Life
  • Nerdist
  • Freakonomics
  • The Way I Heard It
  • Nerdette

Freakonomics just recently had a whole month to learning to be more productive. I don’t know if there could have been a more opportune time for me to listen. (I think GQ might have requested those on purpose so I’d get hooked into them) I probably will go back and re-listen to one or two of them because sometimes it is a lot to take in at once.

Trinity School

I have just finished my second year at Trinity School. It was another phenomenal school year. It was a very challenging personal year, but my class, their parents, my teacher team, the administration, and everyone else at Trinity really helped me through a tough time. I continue to grow professionally and personally. I am excited about training opportunities coming up, and equally excited about the upcoming group of students that I will get to spend time with next school year. I am so fortunate to be part of a great school community.

So, there you go, that’s what I’m into now. It’s not 10 things this time. Maybe I’m narrowing my focus a little bit. It tends to be wide-ranging and makes it easy for me to get distracted. Hopefully, this shorter list will help me stay on task a little better this summer.

How about you? What’s good with you right now?

 

 

 

 

30-Day Writing Challenge – Post Challenge Update & Students’ Entries

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This picture has nothing to do with this post. It’s just an old one of Coco’s and it’s one of my favorites of hers so I thought I’d put it here.

My 30-day challenge finished out with a sputter, I guess. The end of the month came on a weekend after a 5th-grade overnight trip. I already knew I wasn’t going to do any writing on the trip, and even though I wanted to finish it out strong, I was just wiped out from that trip.

So, I’m going to put some of my kids’ entries here.

Daily Routine
Ridely R – Wake up, eat and watch TV, brush teeth, sometimes shower, go to school

Gregory E – Wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast

Hayden C – Wake up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, go to school

Grayson C – 6:15 – Wake up; 6:20 – wash face, take retainer out; 6:25 – breakfast; 6:45 – get dressed; 6:50 – do hair and brush teeth; 7:00 – pack bags; 7:15 – leave for Pipers’ house

Lawton J – Wake up, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, drive to school

Finn S – Wake up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat, get in car, go to school

Claire B – “Too long, but 8 steps”

Trick M – Wake up, pack up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to school

Astrological Sign 
Ridley R – Sagittarius – Fits me perfectly

Gregory E – Libra – Yes, I think it fits me

Hayden C – Aquarius and yes I do

Grayson C – A bull (Taurus) No, I don’t think it fits me b/c I am not very aggressive

Finn S – I don’t know  Libra?

Claire B – Scorpio and YES!

Trick M – A Taurus Yes, it fits me

What Would You Say to Actor, Athlete, Musician, Celebrity?

Ridley R – I love to watch you!

Gregory E – I’m your biggest fan. I’m so excited to meet you.

Hayden C – I am a huge fan of them, admire their skills, and ask for an autograph

Lawton J – You’re a good actor

Finn S – I love your videos. Keep up the good work.

Claire B – You are awesome. I love watching and listening to you sing. Awesome job!

Trick M – I would say I want to be like you

Marshall B – You’re my idol

30-Day Writing Challenge, Day 24 (Day 23 Prompt) – My Favorite Relative Outside of My Immediate Family

So, because I am giving my students the option of doing the weekend prompts, I’m choosing to do Day 23’s prompt on Day 24. To paraphrase Mel Brooke’s, it’s good to be the teacher.

My favorite relative outside of my immediate family is my mom’s sister, Mary Alice Wood. She is my mom’s older sister and she has always done a great job of being a part of my life and now my family’s life.

When I was younger she would take me to Turtle’s Records & Tapes for my birthday and let me buy myself a record, tape or CD. She would often question my selections and look at (and read [aloud!]) the lyrics, which my parents never did, and that was embarrassing sometimes. Especially when I was really digging Adam & the Ants, “Prince Charming“. I don’t know why the official video isn’t there on You Tube, but it’s not. Anyway, she always gave me the choice to get whatever I wanted.

When I was getting ready to go to college she gave me this advice: Make sure you talk to friends, especially older friends, to find out which professors are really good and which are really the ones you to stay away from. That’s some advice that I should have taken when it came to my Southern Lit class at UGA. That class resulted in the lowest grade I ever received in writing a paper, along with the comments,”This is barely legible.” and “I don’t know how you ever made it this far writing like this.” Up until that point, I had made really good grades on all of my papers. After that, it completely knocked me for a loop and took several classes to get my writing mojo back.

As I got older, got married and had kids, Mary Alice continued (and continues) to be interested and involved with what is going on with me. As GQ developed herself into the author, Angel Lawson, Mary Alice has kept up with her releases, asking her questions, recommending her books to friends of hers, and buying copies to share with friends. She shows the same level of interest with the Girls.

I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, but whenever I do it’s always entertaining and there’s always interesting conversation. I’m very thankful for Aunt Mary Alice.

30-Day Writing Challenge – Students’ Posts

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The kids of Team Benefield have been doing a nice job of keeping up with the daily challenges. They aren’t writing as much as I had hoped, but they are doing it, and they are willing to share it with me. I’ve picked 3 topics to share some of their responses: 5 Problems w/ Social Media, 10 Interesting Things About Me, and A Place I Would Live, Even Though I Haven’t Ever Visited.

It’s interesting to note that many of them think that social media accounts are open and available for everyone to see. It was a reoccurring idea in the 5 Problems post. I will have to make sure they know they can change the privacy settings, but of course, since they aren’t 13 they don’t have one. (Uhhh…right)

5 Problems w/ Social Media

Andrew 

  1. It’s not always private
  2. Someone that you don’t know can look at your pictures or posts
  3. You can get hacked
  4. You can get tracked down
  5. Some things are inappropriate

Claire 

  1. Too much time posting so kids don’t do HW
  2. Posting and seeing inappropriate things
  3. Anyone can see your posts
  4. People can track you down
  5. Kids download without parents knowing

Marshall 

  1. You can do things you don’t mean
  2. People can get mad at you
  3. It can be dangerous
  4. You can be stalked
  5. It can be awkward

Finn 

  1. Hackers can hack you
  2. Inappropriate pictures
  3. Inappropriate comments
  4. Forgetting password
  5. Anyone can read your stuff

Grayson 

  1. Wasting time
  2. You can lie about your age
  3. Inappropriate pictures
  4. Sharing personal information
  5. Sharing someone’s picture when they don’t want it seen

Katrina 

  1. Anyone can see everything you post
  2. Some people post inappropriate things
  3. People can trace you
  4. People get addicted
  5. Strangers can track you

Kiki 

  1. Anyone can do anything and not get caught
  2. Inappropriate stuff can be posted
  3. No parental controls
  4. Nosy people stalking you
  5. MAPOTI!

Audrey 

  1. Instagram – it’s a good idea but random ppl can create a fake name and act nice, but they could be a weird murderer
  2. Snapchat – random people can see ur story
  3. Accounts can get hacked
  4. Ppl use it to bully or be mean
  5. Ppl can track you

Lawton 

  1. People insult
  2. Post inappropriate things
  3. Leave footprints
  4. People hack other people’s accounts
  5. People spend too much time

 

10 Interesting Things

Finn 

  1. I play PS4
  2. I like cats
  3. I play tennis
  4. I have a sister
  5. I am neighbors Mellow Mushroom
  6. I wear glasses
  7. My eyes are blue
  8. My favorite color is green
  9. I have a cat named Pete
  10. I have a cat named Poggi

Marshall 

  1. I collect lots of memorabilia
  2. I have over 100 stuffed animals
  3. Ketchup is my favorite food
  4. My favorite movie is a lot of the Star Wars movies
  5. My dad and I enjoy watching the Red Sox
  6. My favorite player is David Oritz
  7. I enjoy volunteering
  8. My favorite subject is social studies
  9. I dislike hot dogs, especially at Yankee Stadium
  10. I love hockey!

Claire 

  1. I have 2 cats
  2. I can now swallow a pill
  3. I play tennis tournaments
  4. I have curly hair
  5. I wear glasses
  6. I didn’t apply out
  7. I am allergic to carrots
  8. I suck at golf
  9. I love tennis
  10. I want to go to Woodward

Andrew 

  1. I play baseball
  2. I have a pool
  3. I have two sisters
  4. My middle name is Michael
  5. I play football
  6. I play basketball
  7. I have been at [this school] since I was three
  8. I don’t have a pet
  9. My mom is a substitute
  10. I like golf

Katrina 

  1. I’m allergic to Iodine
  2. I hate vegetables
  3. I’m allergic to dead bugs
  4. I’m lactose intolerant
  5. I love white chocolate
  6. I love Reese’s cups
  7. I don’t like to brush my hair
  8. I love the Beatles
  9. I love to listen to old songs
  10. I love to listen to Spanish songs

Lawton 

  1. I own two guitars
  2. I like Star Wars
  3. I have an electric car
  4. My birthday is tomorrow
  5. I’m going to Galloway next year
  6. I have an Ipad Pro
  7. I love to draw
  8. My Dad’s b-day is the day after mine
  9. I have my own theories about Dinosaurs
  10. I found a coin from Trinidad and Tobago in my Backyard

Kiki 

  1. I take college courses
  2. I am German and Polish making me a “Peace child”
  3. My initials are MAD
  4. My cats have nerdy names, Saturn and Spocky
  5. I am ambidextrous
  6. I am going to Zanzibar
  7. I went on a plane at 4 months
  8. I’m livin’ by the river
  9. 97 year-old piano teacher
  10. My eyes change with the seasons

Audrey 

  1. I have 2 dogs
  2. I have 1 turtle
  3. I play softball
  4. I have brown hair
  5. I applied out
  6. I have a sister
  7. I play basketball
  8. I like climbing trees
  9. I’m a lefty
  10. I like ice cream

Grayson 

  1. I love to bake
  2. I am allergic to peaches
  3. I’m pretty (according to Claire)
  4. I wear glasses 😕
  5. I also wear contacts 😊
  6. I like fruits and veggies
  7. My eyes are hazel
  8. I’ve worn glasses for 3 years
  9. I’ve had braces before
  10. I am a UK fan

Where would you live even though you’ve never been there?

Andrew  – I would want to live in California, or the Bahamas, or Great Britain

Claire B- New York City!

Marshall  – I would live in Fiji

Finn  – I would live in Hawaii even though I have never been to it

Grayson C- I would live in the Galapagos Islands. There are so many cool creatures and the water is beautiful!

Audrey  – I would live in Dubai because I’ve heard the buildings are awesome

Kiki – I would live in Australia in a heartbeat

Lawton – Australia

Katrina – I would live in Australia even though I’ve never visited it

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 1

social media

  • source – http://hivechicago.org/portfolio/social-media-working-group/

I gave my students a 30-Day Writing Challenge today. I have asked them to do this just to get them writing some each day. I know that some will do the very bare minimum that they can get away with. I also know that some of them will dive right into it. I will be randomly choosing students from my bag of Luck, Chance and Fate to share their thoughts. I am attempting to complete this challenge as well, and I will be sharing some of my entries with my students to let them see that I am taking part in it, not just giving them an assignment.

Day 1 – 5 Problems With Social Media

  1. Too many kids don’t understand the permanence of it.
    • I have two Facebook accounts. I started my second because former students used to find me and friend request me. I’m not embarrassed of anything that I post, but I’m an adult with adult friends who sometimes don’t have the same judgment I do when I ‘m sharing, and I don’t want to be responsible for exposing them to something that an adult friend may post. So, a separate account for former students. I can’t tell you the number of pictures I have seen of my former students engaging in…inappropriate activities for their age as well as pictures that will live forever on the Internet.
    • To be a 13-year old girl on social media
  2. I spend a ridiculous amount of time on it.
    • I have a problem with it. I do. I know this. I have gotten better than I used to be. It’s mostly Facebook and Tumblr that are my big problems. In the past year, I went through and unfollowed a long list of sites from my Tumblr account b/c I was spending too much time on it. It’s a rabbit hole, and I fell down it every single time.  What I try to do now is scroll through once, and if there isn’t anything that really catches my attention, or leads me to an article to read, get up and move away from the computer. It used to be (and sometimes still is, truth be told) too easy to just refresh again and again and hope for something new. I want to add that this is at home at the end of my day when I’m tired and sitting in my desk chair is MUCH easier than getting up and doing something productive.
    • b5cef-crackbook
  3. Too many parents aren’t aware of what their children are doing on it.
    • This ties into #1, but there’s more. I have current students who are on social media now. That would be fine except that I teach 5th-grade and 5th-graders are 10 and 11 years old and to have an account on almost all (if not all) social media sites you are supposed to be 13. I spoke about my laziness in #2 (ha, ha #2), but the laziness of letting children on social media without monitoring it is a big concern of mine. That being said, these are parents making choices about their children, not mine. GQ and I just offered our 14-year old an Instagram account this past December, and she declined. Our 11-year old can’t wait to get on, but wait she will. That’s how we roll.
    • Unaware Parents
  4. The people that say that it’s useless
    • I have no time for those people that don’t see the use of social media. I get a little annoyed and a little sad when I read an article that says how social media does more to separate than bring together. It depends on how you use it. I find the opposite to be true. I have made connections with people through social media that I would not have made otherwise. I have been fortunate enough to make some very good friends through social media also. I am a part of no less than six groups on Facebook. Each group centers around a specific thing that I am interested in, and discussions there are entertaining, sometimes enlightening, and help me connect with friends in a variety of ways. Social media is what you make it. It can be a drain, it can be a bridge, it can introduce you to new people and new music, books, ways of thinking, movies, and more.
    • Debate – Has Social Media Made Us Less Social
  5. When it is used to bully and intimidate.
    • Unfortunately, there is a part of social media that is a haven for people who treat others horribly. I don’t know if it’s that you can say whatever you want about a person or an idea without saying directly to another person’s face, or something else. I have read more articles than I care to number about teenagers getting bullied so extremely that they have taken their own life. I can’t think of anything to say about that except that it is beyond sad. This ties back into my second point also; parents not knowing what their children are doing or being exposed to on social media. Just because kids today intrinsically know how to use technology doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be monitored. In addition to monitoring, we can’t expect them to know how to use it properly if we don’t teach them how to be responsible with social media. Easier said than done? I don’t think so. I think it’s just staying plugged into what your kids are doing. Yes, if they really want to do it they will find a way, but that’s a whole other can of beans, isn’t it.
    • Cyber-bullying Statistics
    • Cyber-bullying

Whoo! Just made it! The first entry in my 30-Day Writing Challenge. I am excited about this, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from it. See you tomorrow!