Friday, May 20, 2011

How Cool Is That?!

photo by John Langley
Wow! What an amazing experience!

Towards the end of a meeting packed week that also included finalizing senior grades and assisting seniors with their graduation slideshow as well as a successful Student Summit for the NetGenEd 2011 project and a photography/art show at the PPHS Ice Cream Social (a fine arts festival), I was running out of steam. I was so worn out tonight that I was wishing that I could call in sick tomorrow, knowing that I could not because there is too much to do.

What rejuvenated me was a chance look at Facebook where I noticed a post that two English students were working on their Post-Modernism Final Exam Project and were streaming the session live on Ustream with the assistance of one of their friends. How could I resist? Shortly after I started viewing the live stream, they got excited that they had a viewer, and I commented on Facebook that it was me. I watched and commented for a while. The students even discussed setting up a regularly scheduled live show - how cool is that?!

I am so thankful that I was able to be an observer of learning outside the classroom. It fired me up again. I don't feel the weight of everything on my "to do" list now. I feel refreshed and ready to go! I could see that the students were excited that I was watching them work and that I was interacting with them during their live performance. Their creativity and ability to make "work" into "play" made me forget about the work I have been doing. One of my personal goals as a teacher has always been to make learning fun, and another has been to create a culture of creativity and problem-solving. These students hit the mark, and I was priviledged to be able to participate.

I also began to reflect on the "work" of one of my colleagues, who posted a song on Soundcloud this week. Ms. McGovern posted "Words for the Wise" to her seniors and "Rockin Guitar Class" among others. How cool is that?!

What about that Student Summit? Students presented in a web conference of a global project while Flat Classroom Project co-founder Julie Lindsay attended from the other side of the globe - how cool is that?!

Students and parents viewed the award winning photography that was on display during the Ice Cream Social - students were eager to show off their work to their family and friends. The choir and band sounded amazing! I actually got the tingling chills that you get when music is so good that it becomes an emotional experience instead of just an auditory experience. How cool is that?!

How do I cap off this week? I get to present a PPEA scholarship to an amazing student at graduation this weekend. How cool is that?!

How do you avoid burn-out? What keeps you fired up and motivated? Leave comments.

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