The Educator's PLN

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So,I miss my innovation! I miss my technology! I miss my creativity! I miss my
time teaching 21st century learning skills! Let me explain, I love innovation.
I became a teacher because I love to learn. Granted, I like kids too but really
I love adding to my knowledge base and I wanted to be able to pass this love
on. I love knowing that I teach innovation and ways of thinking to kids.

've tried very hard in the last few years in my middle school English/Language Arts
setting to move beyond my "required curriculum" and think about what
skills kids need to be successful in life, college and the workforce. I benefit
from having a husband that works in the corporate world, specifically in the
tech field within a major bank. I constantly hound him for insight into what
people need to be successful when they spend their days on a computer doing
"computer stuff" with people all over the world. I also benefit from
working in a district that definitely supports technology and innovation.

However, I also work in a state that will soon (2013) judge my effectiveness (50% of my
evaluation) based on all of my "subgroup's" growth as measured by our
yearly standardized test. So, I began the year (see an earlier post) surrounded
by data. I soon realized that my high kids weren't growing as measured by the
test so I read, blogged, discussed, researched, etc... to find a solution. I
soon surmised that the only way to get my scores up was to buckle down and
focus on the test. I know- I'm a sell-out! I am teaching my content but it is
focused on how that content will look on the test.

Sigh*   So I did. For the last month, I've taught my content with a focus on how this
looks on the test. I've only snuck some innovation or creativity in when I had
time. However, I HATE IT! I miss my time to just talk with kids about something
they find interesting. I miss my time to just read good NF to discuss. But, I
especially miss connecting my kids with incredible technology that spurs
incredible critical thinking: Digital essays to synthesize both pictorial and
musical connections to themes in literature, VoiceThreads to discuss
constitutional issues and their importance to them, blogging to get through
some classical literature, etc... These are the activities and projects that my
former students love to visit and reminisce about.

if you find my innovation could you please return it? I desperately need it.
No- My students desperately need it.



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