Monday, July 23, 2018

{Being The Change} Part 3 #cyberPD


It's the 8th Annual 
#cyberPD Summer Event!
Join in our #cyberPD Google+ Community to participate! We want YOU to join in the conversations!

This July we are reading and learning together around the new title 
from Sara Ahmed 



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My Thoughts and Reflections for Week 3: Chapter 5 & 6

"You have to be able to see the humanity in others before you can activate your empathy by self-identifying and making connections." 
(Ahmed, p.103)

Takeaways: 
  • Sara shares two more lessons that will provide a great depth on reflection and conversation, both geared towards upper grades.
    • Our Universe of Obligation: Naming people and groups that we feel responsibility for, those that you will be an upstander for, and how this circle may include others in certain situations. 
      • My circle was pretty tight, but I also know that it would expand and grow to include others in various situations. But I have to consider, as Sara suggests: "Are you actively living a life where [you] are proximate to people and experiences outside [your] own identity circle?" (p.112)
    • Intent versus impact: Thinking about what we say and how we say it (intent) and also considering how others receive it (impact)
      • Funny. I have these two words written down on a sticky note in my classroom. Someone shared a tweet about intent vs. impact in regards to teaching. We may have the best of intentions, but we need to also consider the impact on the choices we make. More to consider ...
      • I love the focus Sara puts on active listening: "The most important things to consider here are your partner's thoughts and opinions. Remember in difficult conversations, we want to listen to understand, not just listen to respond. You and your partner may not agree. The best thing that can happen is that you learn a new way of looking at something that you didn't consider before" (p.122)
  • Sara's last chapter, Facing Crisis Together, has me reading and rereading, highlighting and agreeing, wondering and contemplating. This is heavy, hard, heart work. But it needs to be done: We are all change agents needing to cautiously consider:  
    • Understand that everyone's identity is at stake
    • Get proximate to the human story
    • Be an authentic listener
    • Get out of your echo chamber
    • Measure the inclusiveness of your community
    • Commit to a learning stance
    • Shine a spotlight on the upstanders
    • Be proactive with your privilege



Thank you, Sara, for leading us through this work!

"There is no magic formula for making the world a better place. It happens in the moments we break our silent complicity, embrace discomfort, and have 
candid conversations about what stands in the way. As educators, 
you and I are tasked with giving kids opportunities to show compassion, 
to be upstanders, and to realize the impact they have in society. 
It's an awe-inspiring responsibility, but it's something that you and I
--people who believe in kids--are uniquely qualified to undertake." 
(Ahmed, p.103)

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As always, thank you for taking the time to read and sharing your voice!

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    Join us for a #cyberPD Twitter chat!



    Join in the #cyberPD conversations this month!
    • Grab your copy of Being the Change and start reading!
    • Make #cyberPD work for you and your schedule this summer! It's a no-stress, no worries, join when you can kind of book study!  
    • Reflect and write:  a blog post or share your thoughts in the Google Community.
    • Participate in the conversations. This is where the magic of #cyberPD happens!  
      • Visit the Google+ Community and participant blogs.
      • Comment on at least  3 participants reflections during the week.  
      • Continue to share on Twitter as well using the #cyberPD hashtag! 
    Additional Resources:


      Questions, comments, or concerns about #cyberPD?  

      Contact Cathy Mere or Michelle Nero  ______________________________________________________________


      Read.  Reflect.  Share.  Respond to others.  Then repeat.

      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      Tuesday, July 17, 2018

      {delightful messages of joy} #sol18

       
      Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
      Join in and share a slice of your life. 
      _____________________________________________________


      Every evening, we take our Harley-dog for a family walk. The girls are never too excited about just walking the neighborhood. Thankfully, they are creative and fun, and figure out a way to manage the boring walk.

      Some days they decide to hop on their scooters.
      Some days they create a game along the way full of hops, steps, and jumps -- worth points.
      Some days they ride their new bikes.
      Some days they guess and then count the number of steps until the next shade tree.
      Some days they roller blade.

      But, tonight, they grabbed a bag of chalk. All along the sidewalks through the neighborhood they left delightful messages of joy ...

      Messages of joy: Love, Be amazing, Enjoy the sunshine, Be Awesome, Smile, Never give up,
      Learn new things, Follow your dreams, and for the dogs: Wag your tail! And lots of smiley faces too!


      {Being the Change: Week 2} #cyberPD



      It's the 8th Annual 
      #cyberPD Summer Event!



      Join in our #cyberPD Google+ Community to participate!
      We want YOU to join in the conversations!




      This July we are reading and learning together around the new title from Sara Ahmed 




      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      My Thoughts and Reflections for Week 2: A Little Late


      Chapter 3: Being Candid

      "We have come a long way together and I am watching  your minds and hearts grow a little stronger every day." 
      (Ahmed, p.73)

      Takeaways: 
      • At first I thought ... social comprehension was more of a SEL approach.
      • Now I think ... social comprehension is an inquiry approach at it's best with the students' as the curriculum and students asking the most important questions that matter to them. 
      • At first I thought ... the term microaggressions was new to me and possibly meant small hostile behaviors.
      • Now I think ... microaggressions are happening more often than I think. And I'm just as guilty. I am trying to be more aware of my own bias and reactions to other .... because guess what? My daughters quickly pick up on the small hostile behaviors.
      "We'll move into the territory of honest -- and sometimes hard -- truths, assumptions, and perspectives." (Ahmed, p.42)
      • At first I thought ... Bias was more obvious -- an explicit, blatant belief and behavior.
      • Now I think ... bias can be implicit, unconscious -- and these are the judgements that can harsh. I -- and we -- need to be self-aware of all levels of bias and how are messages are perceived by others.
      Aha!
      • Sara explanation of our brain: system 1 and system 2 - love this!
      • Home Court lesson: our classroom where everyone is respected.
      • Identity statements: empowering students to share their own beliefs about themselves
      I am not intimidating.
      I am knowledgeable and passionate about literacy and educating students.


      Chapter 4: Becoming Better Informed

      Takeaways: 
      • I've always believed in allowing students time to transition to school and share what's on their mind so that they are ready to learn, but Sara takes "our news" to another level -- and it's brilliant!
        • Build upon "our news", connect to my identity, and my ideas for action ** This step is critical for all of us!!! Moves us from just thinking, worrying, wondering, questioning to making a plan and doing something.
          • Thinking about how this may look in a primary classroom - provide a class model and do it together. Example from Katie Keier about reducing the use of straws 
          • Yes, this is how we empower our students to learn together what matters most to them!
      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      As always, thank you for taking the time to read and sharing your voice!

      *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      Join in the #cyberPD conversations this month!
      • Grab your copy of Being the Change and start reading!
      • Make #cyberPD work for you and your schedule this summer! It's a no-stress, no worries, join when you can kind of book study!  
      • Reflect and write:  a blog post or share your thoughts in the Google Community.
      • Participate in the conversations. This is where the magic of #cyberPD happens!  
        • Visit the Google+ Community and participant blogs.
        • Comment on at least  3 participants reflections during the week.  
        • Continue to share on Twitter as well using the #cyberPD hashtag! 
      Additional Resources:


        Questions, comments, or concerns about #cyberPD?  
        Contact Cathy Mere or Michelle Nero

            ______________________________________________________________

        Read.  Reflect.  Share.  Respond to others.  Then repeat.

        *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

        Sunday, July 1, 2018

        {Being The Change: Week 1} #cyberPD



           

        It's the 8th Annual 
        #cyberPD Summer Event!

        Join in our #cyberPD Google+ Community to participate!
        We want YOU to join in the conversations!

        This July we are reading and learning together around the new title from Sara Ahmed 





        *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

        My Thoughts and Reflections

        "... we will give ourselves permission to create learning conditions where kids can ask the question they want to ask, muddle through how to say the things they are thinking, and have tough conversations. We will be proactive in this pursuit. Truthfully, we will not have all the answers. No one does." 
        (Ahmed, p.xxii)

        An Introduction to Social Comprehension and Strategies to Prepare You for the Work Ahead

        Takeaways: 
        • This introduction was packed with so much helpful information!
        • This is the explanation of social comprehension and beginning thinking that I needed to ground myself in the hard work to come in our classrooms and homes.
        • Sara reminded me throughout this chapter that this work will NOT be easy, but it is worth it. And in the state of our country and world today, this work is essential. Previously, I may have turned the other way, ignored the big issues, skirted around hot topics. I cannot do that to our children and our future. I feel the responsibility to do more and be more. We must model caring, kindness, compassion and listening. Our students also need opportunities to practice as well.
        "Avoiding these conversations now -- at a point in our students' lives when they are the most able to consider new perspectives -- will yield a generational ignorance we can't afford for the future. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is a luxury of the privileged and  a barrier to the unnoticed and underserved." 
        (Ahmed, p.xxv)
        • I have to admit, Sara's words have slapped me around a bit, knocking me out of my comfort zone in my privileged comfy life. I needed this shake up right now to learn and understand what my students are living with, struggling with, and worried about day-to-day. And this means we need to be celebrating more successes knowing the challenges they are able to overcome.
        • I need to dig deep into this work first and that is why I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing community where I KNOW I will grow and change and grow in my understanding through our conversations.
        • Yep. Kids first. It's not about me.
        • Love this idea and I want to try it! Make a list of 10 things about each child as a person -- "the pieces of themselves they trust you with" -- and how they would define themselves. Relationships are essential to learning. Find out who they are and what matters to them. 
        • Also, consider the hard work:
          • Silence is a struggle, but necessary. Decenter your normal. I'm not the expert. I won't have all the answers and that's ok. The hard work takes time. 
        • This hard work is HEART work. And it matters: "At first I thought ... and now I think ..." -- this tool will be useful to document our change in thinking.
        Chapter 1: Exploring Our Identities

        "We can help students shine a light on who they are: their hopes and dreams, talents, family histories, how they identify culturally, the languages they speak, how they learn best, the story of their names, what they can teach us." 
        (Ahmed, p.2)

        Takeaways: 
        • I found myself nodding in agreement with Sara's beliefs: The kids are our curriculum. Relationships first. High expectations. Great hopes. Respect who they are.
        • I love allowing students the opportunity to reflect on who they really are today -- not who they want to be or who they "think" they are -- but raw, open, honest reflection. You can't hide behind that ... The power is when we start this process with younger students and build up to those middle school and high school days. Wow -- to know who you truly are every year as you change and grow and learn. This is powerful.






        • Affirming our identities: Identity Webs -- This reminds me a heart map for personal writing, but this takes those stories to sharing and connecting with others.
        • Love that Sara recommends starting with a read aloud -- and provides lots of title suggestions! The mentor text is the window, but then we look into the mirror to create our own identity webs.
        • Sara also provides powerful, clear language when beginning identity conversations with students and how to ask questions respectfully when sharing.
        • I sketched my identity web right inside my book. Later, I went back and added a few more details. One day I want to recreate in my notebook:


        • Placing ourselves in the World: Stories of Our Names -- Names are so important. We always start with our names when learning letters and doing shared writing. Names identify who we are, but Sara reminds us there is more to the story with our names. Kids need to learn the story of their names. I would guess the majority of my students have little knowledge or understanding about their name, but here is where we can open that door -- to learn more, talk with parents, find out the story behind their names.
          • As for me and my name, all I can remember is that my mom and dad really liked my name. There was no family history and meaning behind my name. Thankfully, I can still verify my understanding of my name with my mom and dad. One morning, I sent my mom a text and asked her to share my name story. I'm also thankful participates in the weekly Slice of Life (#sol18) and she wrote a slice about our family names
        • Journeying into Our Family Histories: "Where I'm From" Poems -- Love the idea behind writing these poems, but this caused me the most stress! I had a happy childhood, but memories are hard for me to retrieve ... unless, a story is retold or I see an old photo or even a smell brings me back. I dove into this hard work and tried writing my own "Where I'm From" poems ... from yesterday and today. These rough drafts are captured in my writing notebook. For now.
        "...as kids grow, they are constantly evolving a new sense of self.  Stepping back 
        or beginning the year with a study of  them to feel valued 
        and visible in the classroom." (Ahmed, p.29)


        Chapter 2: Listening with Love

        Takeaways: 
        • First of all, I love this title. We all need to listen with more love more often these days.
        • Second, I am just as guilt as Sara. On page 31, she describes how she "pre-planned" the outcomes of creating a class agreement. I think we all have done this ... set expectations of what we want included. Students need a voice from day one and not the pre-programmed, auto-pilot version.
        • Committing to social comprehension instruction means ...
          • understanding there are more questions than answers
          • the work is messy and there are levels of uncertainty
          • we must "practice the critical components of communication--how to listen, pause, speak, ask questions, and reflect" (p.32)
        • Active listening reminds me of ...
          • Steven Covey: "Listen to understand. Not to respond."
          • James 1:19: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
        • I love the active listening lesson -- that will be necessary to repeat over and over throughout the year! And the anchor charts will help capture this thinking and growth.
        • In addition, I appreciate the language Sara provides -- helpful for students and teachers!
        "Our goal is to make the process of active listening automatic in their thinking and writing, and to treat listening to someone else as an act of love." (Ahmed, p.32)

        *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

        As always, thank you for taking the time to read and sharing your voice!

        *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

        Join in the #cyberPD conversations this month!
        • Grab your copy of Being the Change and start reading!
        • Make #cyberPD work for you and your schedule this summer! It's a no-stress, no worries, join when you can kind of book study!  
        • Reflect and write:  a blog post or share your thoughts in the Google Community.
        • Participate in the conversations. This is where the magic of #cyberPD happens!  
                          #cyberPD 2018: Being the Change Padlet of Resources for all to add and share!


        Questions, comments, or concerns about #cyberPD?  Contact Cathy Mere or Michelle Nero

            ______________________________________________________________

        Read.  Reflect.  Share.  Respond to others.  Then repeat.

        *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *