Category Archives: Respectful classroom

Social Media and Students

Are you “one of those” with social media?  Do you LOVE it and use it as a tool in school with students?  Or do you LOVE it and still not use with students?

Well I must admit that I am quite a sporadic user of social media.  Partially because of the savings I experience by not having a smart phone and one of those “unlimited” plans.  However, I do sometimes miss very important things because of this cost savings.  (I must admit, I really don’t need to know where you are and who you are with so much; but I do like to know what some of your thoughts are!)

While perusing some educational sites today, I came upon a great post on an educational blog  named “Mind/Shift”.  It speaks to how students are very tech savvy and have great facility for using social media.  I know this too since I see many youth using it through out a day.  The post cautions all of us to remember that students need to also be helped to develop concentration and focus – something the constant use of social media does not develop in a young brain.  Maybe that is the skill the adults attending a recent production at the theater needed so they could skip looking at their social media on their phone during the presentation!

I found this interesting.  According to the research study noted in the blog post, students need to have times when the social media is not available.  Not because it is not good, but because they need to focus on something for a longer period of time.  You might want to check out this blog and the research mentioned.  Do you help students learn “focus” and concentration?  It would be a good idea to do so.  They might thank you later when their boss wants something major created and developed. 

Mr. Goldman, a psychologist, said “It’s about using the devices smartly but having the capacity to concentrate as you need to, when you want to”.


Tags: ,

Be Inspired!

Here is a beautiful and inspiring video about educating the whole child! Watch and be inspired.


Tags: , , , ,

Face it! Are there students you may not like easily?

Let’s face it!  Yes, we do profess to care for all students and we do try, but there are students that challenge that belief on some days?  Acknowledge your feelings and then do something about it.  It will help you, the student, and the class.

I am referring to the student with an “invisible challenge”.  I don’t think I would have ever acknowledged that there are some students whose behaviors make them a challenge and hard to like.  After reading this article in an email from Teaching Tolerance, I have a new perspective and had to share it with teachers, counselors in schools, etc. 

The article describes the situation quite clearly from the teacher and students perspective.  However, it goes one step further.  This article describes a process that teachers, learning consultants, administrators, parents and others can use to help themselves, the individual student, and the entire class.  It is a helpful resource and process to follow with the right preparation and support.  Give yourself a break and read it.  It won’t take long and I think you will be glad you did.


Tags: , , ,

It is already the middle of July and ….

It is already the middle of July and for most of you, things are beginning to look forward to the new school year.  No one wants to rush the rest of the summer but here are a few ideas for looking to the beginning. 

The network of teachers on We Are Teachers (WAT) site have put together a set of creative ways to look at that old stand-by of seating charts and classroom organization.  There is always room for one more idea on how to gather students for learning.  Personally I like the idea of giving students an opportunity to use a “gym” ball or exercise ball as a seat.  You do see everyday in a classroom those students who must fidget, well this idea allows that to happen without distraction. 

Enjoy the last weeks of July and begin gathering your enthusiasm for the new school year ahead.


Tags: , , ,

Check this out!

Check out this interesting take on education.  It is great food for thought and just what you might need during a little down time.  It is a great video on which to reflect and create your own understandings.  It simply makes you think a little deeper into why we do what we do each day of the school year.

ASCD has an entire express issue that highlights the new paradigms of education.

Enjoy!!  Perhaps you even have some time to share your thoughts.



Beyond the walls of Education – or is it?

I sometimes like to visit sites that get me to think out of the walls of education.  I hope you do too!  It keeps us creative and in a sense it is the pause that refreshes.

Today I became a new visitor to Ted Talks.  It was a round about path from the ASCD email I had just received that led me to look at improving a power point presentation and then in a comment on that blog I saw Ted Talks.  My curiosity was tweaked and I then went to google it to check it out.

The first post I saw was about balloons in Bhutan!  A few clicks away was this presentation by Chip Conley.  It created balloons in my spirit and happiness too!  If you take some minutes for yourself to wind down or re-wind or refresh, do it to discover your gross happiness and look at the presentation. 

What makes your life worthwhile?  I believe that in this presentation there are many applicable concepts for educators – do we need to count only what counts?  Are there ways to count transformational changes?  In a Catholic school we say that we have something special – can this be part of our School Happiness that can be counted?

What do you say?


Are you willing to “Shake the Cage” in your school?

Welcome to all the new readers of this teachers’ blog In the Classroom!  If you received an email with this new post, you are successfully following the In My Classroom blog.  If you like it, tell other teachers in your school to check it out and subscribe as well.  We want to expand our community and start receiving comments from teachers within the schools.  Theory is only good when reflected upon and evaluated in the reality of the classroom.

Those who have been reading these posts know that I am an avid reader of a great blog called Whatedsaid.  Edna, the author, is a teacher and a learner.  She works in a school in Australia and the school is an IB school.  The premise for learning in the school is inquiry. 

It stresses learning and enjoying learning through discovery not just for tests.  It really excites me to see how an entire school can work together to develop learners.  In a way, many of the posts “shake my cage”.  As Edna describes in this post, to “shake the cage” is challenging a social system to provoke change.  If you have five minutes to treat yourself – click on the link and read the questions for teachers reflection.  It is my treat to each of you who are in the midst of the system!  I do hope you and your peers are willing to provoke change in your school and the Catholic schools of the city when it comes to developing learning. 

If you take time to read Edna’s post, let us know which question stimulates you to reflect and to say – right on!  Or maybe you take issue with something.  Let all of us hear from you.  Click on comment and give us your view.  (Comments come to me before they are posted, but they are posted very quickly!)

The question that really caused me to stop and think was the very first.  Are you a thinker?  I am going to ponder that and see if I think I evaluate a range of viewpoints or just mine.  Bring on those viewpoints. 

Happy reading and reflecting in between those lesson planning and paper correcting moments this Halloween and “shake some cages”!!