Dare to Care

construct, create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

20/Apr/2015
by Denise Krebs
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Day 20 #AprilBlogADay – Now

What are you working on NOW? What are you trying to get better at?

True confessions! This is a bad time to ask this question because I’m mostly working on the basics, like trying to help students listen to each other and me. Spring fever has hit us hard. We still have seven weeks of school, yet I feel like teachers and students are tired and unruly, ready to be finished. I feel students were doing more learning and higher level listening, speaking, writing and reading in January than now.

So, I am working harder than ever, just trying to stay above water.

In fact, here’s a picture of me swimming.

Blue Blotch by Pixabay artist geralt

Topics for #AprilBlogADay.

18/Apr/2015
by Denise Krebs
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Day 18 – #AprilBlogADay – Elevating

What small steps are you willing to take to elevate the profession?

I guess the major small step I can–and do–take is to be a role model to those around me. I try to model what I believe a passionate, hard-working teacher is. That’s easy really. We are what we are, and so people will look at how we act and speak about the profession. In my actions and conversations, I show my pride and joy in being a teacher.

Another way I can elevate the profession is by learning more and encouraging others to, as well. I love to learn, and I challenge myself to learn. Presently, I have two new teaching language learners courses I’ve signed up for. (Actually, I knew about them, and I was planning to sign up, so I just took a break from this blog post and signed up officially.) One of the classes starts tomorrow, and it’s free. Not too late to join if you’re interested. It’s Understanding Language by University of Southampton.

16/Apr/2015
by Denise Krebs
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Day 16 – #AprilBlogADay PLN and PLC

Why are PLCs and PLNs important? Different? Contribute to school success?

My day starts early and is ending as some of you in North America are just getting started. I usually wait until evening to write my #AprilBlogADay post because I need to wait for the topic to come out. No excuses, it’s just that I don’t have very long for the idea to simmer!

Anyway, here is a quick PLN post before I sleep!

First of all, one of my dear friends, Sheri Edwards, has done a lovely post on PLN. For me, I think of them as synonymous, but Sheri and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach know more about it. I’ve also heard of Community of Practice (CofP) and Personal Learning Colllaborative (PLC) from them. It’s in Sheryl and Lani’s book, The Connected Educator. I think Sheri wrote a post about it, but I couldn’t find it.

Anyway, that was a lot of words so far without saying much. I think I wrote this same post yesterday when I wrote about social media. My Personal (or Professional) Learning Network consists of people face-to-face and far away, those I’ve personally met and those I only know through social media. My personal learning network definitely contributes to school success, again I wrote yesterday about the many benefits for my classroom. This is a result of the connections I’ve made with educators far and near.

OK, that’s about it today. Chalk this one up for trying to stay the course in my #AprilBlogADay Challenge.

True both in schools and on Twitter

 

15/Apr/2015
by Denise Krebs
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Day 15 – #AprilBlogADay – Social Media

How has social media changed your classroom?  Personally? Professionally?

Social media has changed my classroom and me–both personally and professionally. Here’s the back story.

It started with this very blog. I wrote my first post on October 17, 2009. My blogging purpose was to help my students publish their work in an eMagazine, of sorts. I had heard a bit about blogs, but that’s all. We fumbled our way through the first steps of blogging, learning together (and with the help of the @Edublogs staff) how to add images and widgets to all of our blogs.

When we got our first comment, I thought it was magical and special. Someone had read our blog post! Looking back, I see I was talking to some vague audience. (I probably thought it was parents who might be reading.)

Well, little did I know at the time, there was a huge community of teachers and students connecting and learning together. I found out about this community through the Edublogs teacher blogging challenge, a whole year after our first comment came. The first post I did for the blogging challenge received 18 comments (a couple by me in response). What a difference! I learned early in the challenge that there was a conversation going on, and I could be a part of it. That first week, I met friends like Sheri Edwards, Nancy Carroll, Marsha Ratzel, Malyn Mawby, Theresa Allen, Tracy Watanabe, and Jee Young Kim. They were also participating in the challenge, and they commented on my blog. It was magical and special, but much more so than the one comment I had received the year before.

OK, so that was how I got started. Prior to that I didn’t really use social media. About the same time as the blogging challenge, I started using my inactive Twitter account. Soon after I got Facebook and a myriad of other accounts.

So, yes, social media has changed my life. Not all for the good, but I’ll leave that for another post.

My classroom has changed–I have used social media in education with kindergarteners, junior highers and college age students. It has broadened our vision and given us experiencesexperts and great resources. The world is not limited, as it used to be, by the walls of our classroom. Now, we have pen pals we can talk to every day on the other side of the world through our blog. I share pictures of my students on Instagram for their parents and friends to enjoy a bit of kindergarten.

I have changed personally. I connect (or at least keep up a bit) with childhood, high school, and adult friends on six continents through social media. I keep connected with my children (all of us on different continents) through Instagram, Facebook, What’s App, and blogging. Not only my children, but siblings, nephews and nieces, and cousins I had all but lost track of. I’ve written more than ever, thanks to social media outlets. Some of the new friends I’ve met on social media, I went on to travel to their lovely communities and meet them in person.

Similarly, I have changed professionally. I go to conferences, meet a new friend and can stay in contact with them through Facebook. I’ve created vlog posts, which is very unlike me. However, challenged by my friends, I was willing to give it a try! (I wish I would have know these people earlier; I probably would have tried harder at singing.) I’ve led more live sessions and webinars in the past five years, than I had all the previous years of my life.

All, of this is not the product just of social media, of course. The experiences, connections, challenges, friendships, and learnings have happened because of people. These relationships with people are sparked, nurtured, and able to grow stronger because of social media. And I’m thankful for that.

How has social media changed you?

 

14/Apr/2015
by Denise Krebs
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Day 14 – #AprilBlogADay – Why I Teach

Why I Teach

Occasionally during excruciatingly busy times in my years of teaching, I’ve dreamt of quitting and becoming a receptionist in a sleepy office where I didn’t care about the service or product.

But I never did.

I’ve stayed in this crazy world of teaching–teaching kindergarten through undergrads (not quite everything in between, but most).

No matter how excruciating the schedule, I want to be here. I care too much about the service and product. Really I care about the sweet souls that I am privileged to rub elbows with, the unique little humans that I get to know and love.

I am honored and humbled that I would be entrusted to teach the precious people in my charge.

I fail a little bit every day, but every day I also have joy in being there to tie a shoe, listen to a story, inspire a writer, and see a light bulb appear over a learner. Every day, the children are why I teach.

What’s your WHY?

The assignment was to write Yy, but the extra message is from one of the reasons I teach.

The assignment was to write Yy, but the extra message is from one of the reasons I teach.

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