Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Information Overload

July Blogging Challenge Day 8

One of the nice things about summer is I get to spend a little more time reading my Twitter feed, scrolling through Pinterest,  and reading some PD books.  The problem with this is my mind is ready to meltdown right about now!

There are a few stories that I found myself drawn to that really wear me out.  The first one is the anti-charter school movement.  Now, I completely agree with a lot of what the anti-charter people say, however, my school is a charter school and I love it.  We are public, we have to follow all rules and regulations just like any other public school, we can't turn away kids even though we do have a cap on the number of students in our school (we use a lottery system-and I've seen it being drawn...its pretty cool!) and we have special ed students.  We are a small school and we really work together as a big family.   I think we are definitely needed in our community and we serve our community well.

The next is this article http://teacherunderconstruction.com/2014/06/28/advocacy-in-the-age-of-colorblindness/ which led me to other articles and a lot of nasty racism talk.  This is a tough subject for me.  I am a white teacher in a school with 0% white students.  I don't even want to give an opinion like the ones in the first article because it doesn't seem like there is any valid argument to the the author's statement: "Another irritating argument includes that “it doesn’t matter what color a teacher is, as long as the teacher is good, that’s all that matters.” That is completely missing the point of the importance and benefits of students of color having teachers who look like them (see: Study: Minority students do better under minority teachersWhy students need more Black and Latino teachers). Yes, all teachers regardless of race can be trained to be effective teachers of black students, but black teachers can “be more adept at motivating and engaging students of color.” Additionally, by having students of color see people who look like them in successful positions, it can help prove to them that they can hold such positions too. Also, comments such as “color doesn’t matter,” is possibly one of the most racist statements one could make. By saying, “I don’t see color,” or “color doesn’t matter,” is basically saying “I don’t see your experiences, your stories, your struggles. Those elements of your identity and life don’t matter to me.” Colorblindness is not justice, equality, or being a good teacher. Colorblindness is ignoring the very issues that your students need you to fight against."

However, I know many parents who are white with black kids, either through mixed marriage or adoption, are these people not good parents? Its something I don't get. I want to agree with the statement that if a teacher is a good teacher it doesn't matter what color they are. I know that when I went to high school one of my best and favorite teachers was African American. He had a lot of influence on me even though I didn't look like him! I just knew that he cared about me and my classmates and that was all that mattered. But then again, what do I know, I'm white so my situation is totally different. I just know that I love my students and want them all to succeed. I refuse to believe that I can't help them do that.

Next up is grading. In theory I am 100% for standards based grading. I am not ready to take it on all by myself. I am reading and studying everything I can about it to hopefully start to transition slowly towards it. I've already started last year with giving retakes on all tests and quizzes. Tonight I am going to join in on the Global Math Department's conference Standards Based Grading, Where to Start and How to Go Deeper and hopefully this overloaded brain will get something out of it!

Then I have my books. I've done a few posts on my reading list, but they include real books and ebooks. I have found that I love reading novels and fiction on my Kindle app, but non-fiction, PD type books not so much. Do you feel the same?

I guess that's it, but it is enough to make me feel overwhelmed.  Don't get me wrong I love every minute of it.  I just hope I don't burn out too much before school starts!


  1. I feel the same as you about feeling overloaded in the summer with everything you want to do, read, accomplish before school starts. I know once school starts I won't have time to focus on any of the creative things/meaningful PD I like to do in the summer.

  2. I also feel overloaded with all the great ideas. I prefer reading my PD books on Kindle because I'm not afraid to highlight and annotate and I love that I can access those notes from my amazon account.