Dare to Care

create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

04/Apr/2017
by Denise Krebs
8 Comments

Tipi and Slice of Life Tuesday – No Grades

Today, to be honest, I should not be blogging. I should be finishing my grades for quarter 3, which are due any day now. (Like tomorrow, but I am having a hard time admitting that!)

After a month of blogging daily in March, I am relieved and excited to join the only-once-a-week Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge. I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time on Tuesdays with my new Slice of Life writing tribe, for I know they will help me kickstart my neglected blogging habit. Thank God no one grades me on my blog posts. Instead, encouragement from this group helps me practice and learn, so I can grow as a writer.

On a loosely related topic, at school today my small group built.

This quarter, each teacher was assigned eight students for group work, and with them we were to choose and study a tribe of people from anywhere in the world. We chose the Nez Perce in North America because our supervisor is from the Nez Perce tribe. She has lots of amazing relics, so we were able to learn from her and see first hand some of the valuable art and artifacts from this group of Native American people.

Today my group built a tipi.

It was great, and it was better than thinking about blogging.

It was most certainly better than thinking about and / or recording and finishing grades.

It was exciting.

It was real.

It was math.

It was problem solving.

It was critical thinking.

It was dangerous.

It was kinesthetic.

It was making.

It wasn’t a number on a report card, and it never will be.

It’s like life. We do things, like blogging and baking, but we don’t get graded on them. My students would be shocked and appalled if I tried to assign them a grade for their work on the tipi. It just would be a distraction and a disappointment, no matter what grades were “given” or “earned.”

It’s not that we didn’t do our best. As in life, there are always consequences for what we do. Did we do a good job? Did we figure out what we have to do to make it easier and better next time?

If we didn’t, our next attempt may result in the same mistakes. If we did really learn something from today’s activity, then we’ll be even more successful when we build it again for our presentation.

Can’t we do more authentic activities?

Can’t we do real-life work that doesn’t require grades?

 

Filling the frame with a tipi today. #cy365 #t365project

A post shared by Denise Krebs (@mrsdkrebs) on

More tipi building.

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29/Apr/2015
by Denise Krebs
Comments Off on Day 29 – #AprilBlogADay – My History of Learning

Day 29 – #AprilBlogADay – My History of Learning

Your History of Learning – What have been your greatest learning experiences? (I’m going to tweak this a bit. I’ve learned some valuable lessons, but they’ve happened over a lifetime, not just experiences I can name.)

Two more days of #AprilBlogADay. I’m making it! I really didn’t think I would do it every single day in April! Yippee!

That’s one thing I’ve learned, perseverance. To carry on and keep going. Even when the road gets rough. Like when I was crawling into bed and forgot to write a blog post on April 20, I managed to stand up and turn around and write a really short one. I live by the you-need-to-eat-an-elephant-a-bite-at-a-time philosophy. Just keep on going…

Another thing I’ve learned I already wrote about here on Day 27. Over the years, I have learned to let go and become the chief learner in my life, in my faith, and in my teaching. It has made all the difference.

Another learning that has transformed my life is to choose grace and forgiveness, rather than judgment and bitterness.

How about you? What are the greatest things you’ve learned?

27/Apr/2015
by Denise Krebs
Comments Off on Day 27 – #AprilBlogADay – Letting Go

Day 27 – #AprilBlogADay – Letting Go

How to Build a More Powerful Classroom by Letting Go

I don’t understand fully what happened to me when I became a connected educator. That’s when it started, though. That’s when my classroom became more powerful. That’s when I began to let go. I became the chief learner.

When I started that journey as a reflective learner, about five years ago, everything changed. It wasn’t about blogging and Twitter, necessarily. Those just happened to be the conduits for change.

It was really about learning, thinking about learning, and reflecting on my learning through blogging. Then, with the help of Twitter, it was finding a community of enthusiastic educators that I could follow and learn from. Critical friends that we could rub virtual elbows with.

That’s when my classroom became more powerful, and I was able to let go.

So, my advice to all of us, if we want a more powerful classroom, we must continue to let go. Let go of control. Let go of power. Let go of the illusion that we are sufficient for our classrooms. We aren’t. We need our students. There is so much that our students already know. There is so much that our students need to do and be.

They need freedom to be able to share their knowledge. They need freedom to do and become.

They don’t need us to pretend to have answers. They don’t need us to do and be it for them.

Our classroom becomes more powerful, when we spread the power to all in the room.

What do you say? How do you let go?

09/Apr/2015
by Denise Krebs
4 Comments

Day 9 – #AprilBlogADay – Advice

What would you say to your beginning teacher-self?chief learner banner

I would give two pieces of advice to my beginning teacher-self.

  1. Don’t be such a know-it-all. You don’t know anything, really. It’s OK to not know. It’s OK to admit your ignorance. It’s OK to have questions. In fact, you will not begin to succeed until you become the chief learner in your classroom.
  2. Don’t do any harm.  Don’t take a child’s behavior personally. Hold your tongue. Hug instead. Only love.

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