Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dare to be great!

I was struck while reading Dave Burgess' Teach Like a Pirate by the following question: Do you want to be great? The question really made me think about my role in the classroom and the impact I have on the people I interact with everyday. Why is our profession one of the few where striving to be great could be considered a negative, slightly arrogant even?

I do not think professional athletes would say no to the same question. Definitely not chairperson's of companies. What is it about being an educator that makes us hesitate at wanting to be great?

This question has inspired me to try to create greatness in my classroom. I continue to work hard at creating an environment in my room where my students work hard and are not afraid to make mistakes. I honestly feel I have reached that several times over the last few years. That's pretty good considering I teach middle school math.

In my quest for a "great" classroom, I have had my students create podcasts in class the last few days. The groups were allowed to pick their favorite lesson(s) and given an iPad to work record and download to iMovie. It has been a pleasure being a part of the activities in my room the past few days.

I can honestly say the engagement has dramatically increased. Students that before were passive members of my room are not leading groups and editing segments of their video. I was concerned about not having a "normal" lesson for them, but I was noticing they were talking about math and correcting their problems for the podcasts! There is learning displayed there, right?

I am going to blog more after the podcasts have been finalized. I had an alterior motive for having my students create these...I always wanted a collection of podcasts for parents or students to use if they had questions. And the nice thing is, they were created for me!


Dave Burgess said...

Thanks for the mention of Teach Like a PIRATE, Jim! I can't wait to hear more about how the podcasts turn out. So glad to hear engagement is ramping up!!

Jim Cordery said...

Thanks for taking the time to read my post, Dave. The podcasts are almost ready for posting. I will post some links when we are finished. Thanks again.