Yesterday was a long day. I stayed after school, filling in for Barb, who is the sponsor for our school’s dance team. She had an appointment elsewhere. The girls are angels, so I didn’t mind.
After that, I had to run a couple of errands.
I was tired when I finally pulled into the garage, but I knew I had work ahead of me.
Mr. Principal had come into my room the day before and observed me. After giving me helpful feedback, we determined that there was a bit of documentation lacking on the “official” website that houses teacher evaluation records, so I had to get those pieces uploaded fairly quickly so those empty fields could be filled, he could put in a final rating, and finalize the observation.
This was more time consuming than I’d anticipated. We have four dadgum domains to provide documentation for, and I couldn’t figure out what went where. A few hours later, I finished…I hope.
As an overachiever, I suspect I put too much online. heehee
However, in the middle of all of that work, I began receiving emails…
From my students…
Because I’d spent time the last two days teaching my students how to access their school-issued Gmail accounts.
I’d also shown them some neat features of Google Drive and had created a document for everyone to share writing resources to.
I was surprised when, on Tuesday evening, one of my students actually POSTED a link AND an explanation as to WHY the video was helpful in learning to write.
I quickly sent out a message to that class via Remind101. If you’re in the education field and have not heard of it, visit my link.
As you will see.
In my text alert, I praised the student who had added the resource.
She came into school the next morning and told me that her mother, who had signed up for my alerts, had gone into her room and told her how proud she was of her.
Although I think it embarrassed my student a little, I could also see pride in her eyes as I decided to show her video to my class instead of the one I’d selected.
I also proceeded to show my other classes what she had added to the shared document and waxed poetic, let me tell you.
Several students in one of my classes began adding links to their document around dinner time.
I embedded comments on the document (such a neat feature that we will use when we are doing peer editing through Google Drive).
To my utter shock, one of my students replied to MY comment on another student’s resource!
Oh heck yes!
Folks, one of the things I am struggling with the most as an educator is turning over my classroom to my students.
Common Core demands that our students run the show…with teachers facilitating.
In fact, research shows that the more control students have over their learning, the more growth they will make.
I’m old-school, though, and grew up where students most certainly did NOT teach. Knowledge was imparted TO us, and we were responsible for regurgitating it back to them.
Watching my students get excited about the technology and hearing them say how useful it’s going to be when we go to iPads (we can dream, eh?) is making me float on air.
I started delving into Google Drive because a techie/teacher asked if I was interested in working with him and a few other teachers to incorporate technology into our classrooms with the express purpose of improving student writing.
We are well on our way, as evidenced by the conversations that are happening, face-to-face and electronically.
I am so excited at the potential that’s in store for my students and for myself, as an educator.