Sunday, July 28, 2013

All That Matters: a co-authored poem

This summer, I've spent much of my time writing poetry incorporating the educational setting. I've spoken from the view of a retired teacher, a pregnant teacher, a quiet student, and an aggressive student.

I've even spoken as myself.

But, I wanted to work with a collective group of educators. So, I asked all of my Facebook teacher friends and my wonderful Twitter PLN to write with me. I gave the skeleton for a poem (just a couple of the categories) and asked that the co-authors not touch my last stanza. Then, I opened it up as a GoogleDoc for all to edit and the following is the outcome.

Here's the deal. The life of an educator is not easy. There is SO much to consider. The poem below shows all of the pressures, all of the thoughts, and, finally, the one great joy, the one simple truth.

Thank you, fellow educators. Enjoy the poem!

All That Matters
by
David Theune, Eric Kipling, John Golden, Tracy Meinzer, Michelle Rynbrandt, Danna Yeager, Paul Henry, Amy Perry, Erica Beaton, Tammy Hagerz, Chris Norton, and many Anonymous Authors



All these categories:
Curriculum
Pedagogy
Assessment
Commencement
Instruction
Management
Administration
Special Education
At-Risk
Economically Disadvantaged

All these platforms:
Edmodo
Schoology
My Big Campus
Blackboard
Moodle
Kidblogs

All these buzz words:
Blended Learning
1:1 Technology
Virtual Learning Environment
Makerspaces
MOOCs
Flipped Class
Holistic Grading
Project-Based Learning
6+1 Rubrics
Cross Curricular Integration
Differentiation
The Whole Brain
Multiple Intelligences
Differentiation
Flexible Grouping
Formative Assessment

All these tests:
No Child Left Behind
AYP
ACT
SAT
Smarter Balanced
AP
IB
MEAP
MME
Explore
SRI
DRA
District
Formative
Summative
Interim
Benchmark
NJASK

All that’s measured:
Narrow abilities
Narrow knowledge
Socio-economic status
Parental participation
Multiple choice elimination
AYP
Student achievement
Teacher achievement

All that’s not measured:
Student thinking
Student learning
Creativity
Character
Student Motivation
Citizenship
Ownership
Engagement
Desire
Growth
Excitement

All these meetings:
Staff
Department
PLC
Professional Development
Conferences
School Improvement
Parent Teacher
IEPs
Evaluations

All these meetings:
Quietness and Thoughtfulness
Pencil and Clean Paper
Head and Heart
Evening and Morning
Idea and action
Inspiration, time and materials

All these resources:
Community
Technology
Books
Paper
Ink
Desks
Blogs
Pinterest
Twitter
teachers
experiences
heart
Corporate grants
Instructional Leaders/Coaches
parents/guardians

All these missing resources:
Technology
Books
Paper
Ink
Desks
Supplies
Updated spaces
empathy
Quality professional development
Continuous professional development
parents/guardians
time
time
time
administrative assistance

All these technologies:
iPads
Chromebooks
Macbooks
Twitter
Podcasts
Vodcasts
Screencasts
QR codes
Wikis
Social media
Smart Board

All this support:
Colleagues
Administrators
Parents
Community
Government
Literacy Coaches
PLNs
ISDs

All this missing support:
Colleagues
Administrators
Parents
Community
Government
ISDs
Parent involvement
Caring mayor and board of education members

All these teacher types:
Old School
New School
Open Minded
Non-traditional or New Age
My Way or the Highway
Do What You Love
Do What I Say
Sage on the Stage
Entertainer
Inclusive
Inspiring
Blame the Student
Complainers
Coach

All These Learners:
Loud and Boisterous
Quiet and Thoughtful
Reflective
Confused
Apathetic
English Language Learners
Right Brained
Left Brained
Premature at birth
Home Impaired
Advanced
Adult
Students who Learn Differently
Special Needs Students
English as Second Language Learners

All that's missing:
Student Choice
Student Voice
Time for passion
Time for collaboration
Time for lunch
Time for bathroom breaks
Capacity
Creativity
Celebration
Time for failure
TRUST
Passion
student/parent accountability

All These Hashtags:
#NWP
#teched
#MichEd
#edchat
#engchat
#edtechat
#ElevateTheProfession
#mathchat
#nerdybookclub

All that matters:
Human connection