Writing my way through the school year!

Archive for the ‘Blogging about Education’ Category

Should We Let Go of EXPECTATIONS?

There was a post on Twitter about a mother who sent her kid to school knowing they had tested positive for COVID.

As I am wont to do, I dived into the comments.

 A constant stream ran through the thread, noone should be upset with the adult. Instead we should blame society, the school, etc…., anyone but this adult who made the choice to send a kid to school with COVID.

Have we gone too far with expecting very little, or nothing at all, from our students and parents?

READ MORE…

“If It Was Raining Meatballs…”

I know DESMOS was made  for Math , but I have been using it for my Morning Meeting activities. I try to switch up the things that I post for them to do.

I found this list of “50 Icebreaker Questions for Kids” during my frantic search for ways to break the ice in September. 

The question that  most recently caught my eye was, “If it was raining meatballs, would you eat them?” 

Their responses made me laugh!

READ MORE…

The “Waiting Room”

I open my Zoom “door” at 8:40 a.m. every morning. Alexa helps me stay on track. My planning period is at 8 a.m., and sometimes, as you know, we get wrapped up in what we are doing and lose track of time.

Any way, one day as I was immersed  in the Bitmoji  FB group, and I came across a digital “Waiting Room.”(“Sharing is caring!”). 

 I was like, this is so cool, I want this for my students. I did what I so often do, I copied it and modified it a little. It had the rules, like “Mute Yourself” , a cool electronic timer, a Bitmoji character, and these really cool colors. READ MORE…

Digital “Getting to Know You” Icebreakers

It’s time to go back to school.

And whether you are face-to face or virtual, making connections with your students is vital.
Here are a few digital  ideas for getting to know your students and/or letting your students get to know you. 


1. BINGO.The great thing about BINGOBaker is that there are thousands of ready-made cards or you can create your own BINGO. You can post images, text, and numbers on the BINGO card. 

There is a $14.99 LIFETIME fee if you want all the extras. I chose to go with the extras, which are very cool! There are also very simple directions on how to set it up and play on the site. (Looking at my old posts I realized I had written about Bingobaker in 2013)
READ MORE…

Originally posted on “Diary of a Public School Teacher”…(Blogger)

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Shut Up and Teach!Silence is Golden?

This tweet. (See below)When I read it, someone else had retweeted it, the first thing that stood out to me was her use of the simile, “like wild animals.” Hmmmm…..
So she, and I am sure she is not the only one, has a problem, because educators aren’t being silent about the issues America has with systemic racism. Educators had the audacity to bring what is happening in the world into #Edutwitter! Gasp!
She doesn’t believe that educators should post their anger, sadness, their emotions, that they should continue to “share resources and build each other up, and model digital citizenship.” READ MORE

Originally posted on “Diary of a Public School Teacher” (Blogger)

“The Power of a Caring Educator” : My TEDxWilmingtonED Talk (Video):An Idea Worth Spreading!

Ever since I saw Rita Pierson’s TED talk, I have wanted to do a TED talk.

So, when I received an email saying that TEDxWilmington was looking for speakers, I jumped at it.
I have to be honest, I started filling out the app, and got discouraged. It was due the next day, and I had to submit a video, arrrgh! READ MORE

I Am a Teacher And You Want to Arm Me?

I wiI will not be armedll NEVER carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise, in my classroom.

I will NEVER keep it locked in a safe.
I say this with the utmost certainty.

There is a huge debate going on about whether teachers should be armed in order to protect their students.
As usual, teachers’ voices are muted by the roar of non-educators who believe they know better. READ MORE…

My Students, Dr.King, and the Civil Rights Movement.

They don’t understand.

When they discuss Rosa and the bus boycott, see the photographs, and videos, their voices echo, “But that’s not fair!”

As we study Dr.King, they question, “Why?”

I explain to them that it was the law. Segregation and Jim Crow laws. I explain to them that not everyone was like that. That people of different races came together to defeat this awful thing that made one group think they were better than another. READ MORE

5 Reasons I Am an EdTech Ambassador.

Top reasons, I am an edtech ambassador.

1. I LOVE the resource.

I use it. Often. That’s why I was chosen. Whatever the edtech tool or resource, it is a part of my classroom toolbox. It works for me and my students. It’s a tool that helps me, help my students. If it did not accomplish that task, I would not use it, and I definitely would not be an Ambassador.

2. I get to provide feedback that someone actually listens to. 

Think about it. Who wants feedback from a classroom teacher? Hardly anyone. The teachers in the classroom are rarely asked what they think, how they feel, how could we make this better? We are given the latest books written by authors who are not in the classroom, scripted curriculum, and orders about what next “new”thing we are to do with absolutely no consideration of our experience.

As an ambassador, teachers provide feedback, and get this…the edtech companies listen to us. We get to tell them what is working, what isn’t working, and what we would like to see happen with their product. We get to Beta test new features and give them our opinion about how it would work in our classroom. They are asking the advice of the people who are in the classroom, taking our advice, and making the product we use better!

3. I get a little swag.

FREE. The word teachers all over the world love. Why? Because much is expected of us, little is given. I have NEVER, and I mean never, in the years I have been an ambassador for any company, felt compromised. See #1. I write blog posts about it, share on Twitter, talk about it in Voxer, but these are things I would do anyway. We get some swag, a tshirt or keychain, items to give out at presentations, and maybe upgrades on the resource we are using. I have never been given a trip to the Caribbean.

4. I share with others.

When  I came across an edtech resource that enhanced the way I taught the curriculum, I did not want to keep it to myself. I came out of my comfort zone and became an edtech presenter. At that point in time, there were no teacher ambassadors. I was a teacher who had the ability to make another person more comfortable with integrating edtech. The edtech companies realized how we could benefit from each other and took the steps to create Ambassadors.

By the same token, who do I want to hear ideas from? The edtech creator or the ambassador in the trenches? Kudos to the edtech companies for providing a platform for teachers to share their knowledge with others!

In a week, I will be presenting on an edtech resource I started using last year. This company doesn’t have an ambassador program. If they get one, I will definitely take advantage of the opportunity to join. I am excited to share this resource with others because I am sure it is something they would love in  their classroom, as much as I love it in mine. And that’s the point.

5. Networking/Building your PLN(Professional Learning Network)

Integrating tech in the classroom is not everyone’s “thing.” Sometimes it is difficult to find like-minded people in your physical space. Being an ambassador provides that link to like-minded people all over the country and the world. The connections are limitless. I know the feedback they have contributed has helped many of the resources I use evolve into what they are now.

I don’t understand how teachers became villians for working with edtech companies as Ambassadors.

Here’s the problem.

From the viewpoint of our naysayers, we are “endorsing” a brand. Actually, we are sharing something that works in our classroom, a resource that we use and like anyway.


Good teachers don’t give up all other resources, and focus on the one(s) they are an Ambassador for.

It’s funny that athletes recieve millions of dollars to endorse a brand, people in Hollywood get designer clothing and jewelery worth thousands, sometimes millions, to wear to celebrity events.

And teachers are horrible because they get a tshirt and a premium subscription to an edtech resource?

Building Relationships with Students That Last Forever!

A colleague ran into a former student of mine. He was in my class 10 years ago. She shared how he felt about our school, but she added, “His favorite teacher was Mrs.Mims because  I knew she cared about me.”

“She cared about me.”

Let it sink in.

We need to understand, and remember, that we are dealing with children.

Many of our children come to school with issues adults couldn’t fathom, much less handle. When they walk in that door, many need a respite, a safe place, from wherever, or whatever, they came from.

They don’t need to hear that they are late, again. They don’t need to hear that they have been absent for X many days.Why tell them how much work they need to make up before saying, “Good morning, glad you are back?” It’s the little things.

And I,am by no means perfect. There are those kids throughout the year that no matter how hard I tried….it didn’t matter to them, and it made our relationship, difficult.

With my students, there is no question that they are loved. They know that I care. They know I will “fuss” when it is needed. I will hold them to high standards. I will listen to them. I will have fun and be serious. I won’t tolerate “mess.” I give and expect respect.

Is it easy? No, not always. I have had instances where I had  to bite my tongue so I don’t say something I have no business saying to someone else’s child. They will take you there.

But I keep working on it. I have become better at building the relationships in my classroom over the years.

Because 20 years later, they will remember that I cared.

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