This is my first post in months, but I’m jumping back into the Blog pool because I’ve asked my AP English students to do the same. Hopefully, my students won’t look back at my entries (and lack thereof) and judge me too harshly. I know they are probably thinking the same thing! So, since this is public territory, I want to share with my readers and students that I have three goals for this blog project and I’m posting them here so that we can see whether or not we meet or exceed the expectations. I think we will all reflect on these three goals at the end of October. Good luck everyone! Your enthusiasm is contagious! Here they are:
We will all increase our technological skills – not just in posting our blogs, but also in working with our school WiFi, learning about other devices, and incorporating links and research.
We will become better researchers – not just because of our Follow a Columnist project, but because we learn how to seek out interesting content.
We become published, public writers – not just because we have to for our class grade (I know how that feels, too!), but because we have a lot to say and we know how to say it in interesting, entertaining, poignant, and professional ways.
Today, I took a break from final exam review and showed my 9th grade English class a TED video on meditation as a strategy for relieving stress and staying focussed. I’ve attached it here. Then, I asked my students to respond to the following question by brainstorming on the whiteboard. “What do these people do or teach to help you cope with stress and mindfully live in the present? 1) Your parents? 2) Your teachers? 3) Your friends, and 4) God/The Bible? The responses were insightful and sensitive, but the most shocking response (to me, at least) was that NO ONE wrote ANYTHING under “Teachers”. I heard the silence LOUD and CLEAR! To these 14-15 year olds, I am a stress-causer, not a stress-reliever. I laughed a bit with them and told them I never intend to cause stress, but I know it comes with the job. I told them that we should all try to clear our heads for 10 minutes each day from now until the very last final! If it helped to relieve stress, then they would have to put me on the board.
That leads me to my own journey as a doctoral student. This week’s assignment/learning is all about a personal knowledge management system (PKM). I have so many new apps on my phone and my computer that I feel dizzy looking at my home screen! I definitely feel bombarded and “pushed” by new information and new voices. It’s getting a little loud, to tell the truth. So, what am I doing about it? 10 minutes a day, huh? That could a life-saver! What do you think?