Wednesday, August 24, 2005

new job

It's been a while since I've updated my online spaces. That's because I've been busy worrying about and preparing for my new job. Last night I bought a ticket for Sept 3rd to San Jose, CA. On Tuesday, September 6th, I start an 11-month adventure tutoring and doing community service with high school students. I will make very little money, hopefully share a house with 4 others in my same position, live with only the things I can fit in a few bags, and try desperately to be able to afford plane tickets for holidays and my sister's wedding and health insurance. I'm scared and excited; I don't know what to expect; I want an adventure, to meet amazing people and to find an opportunity to reach my dream job--traveling, speaking, helping and meeting amazing people all revolving around the education of young people around the world.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

An invitation for practical dreamers is revamping their site. Previously a place where nonprofit organizations can list job openings and volunteer opportunities and individuals and search for organizations to become involved with, the site is about to launch a 100 day plan to become much more. will become a part of a network of advocates in communities all across the world. So starting today, August 12th, will begin with a 100 day countdown to create this network in which people can meet and network within their communities at specific times. Each of these people within the network can then connect during their travels to those in other communities linked to Soon doors open up and the opportunities for people broaden.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

First Day of School

I was reading The First Days of School and have brainstormed a potential first day of school. I read a book over Spring Break which I purchased in Boston. I would better reference this book, but I do not currently remember the title. Anyway, in this book, the teacher had created a way for his students to learn the value of money. He had several jobs in the classroom and had each of his students fill out applications for the jobs. When the student did their job, they received money weekly which match the value of their job. These student then had to use their money to rent their seats in the classroom. This way they had some sort of choice in seat. There were also several other purchases which could be made, and students used this system to work businesses such as real estate, loans and credit cards. I really enjoyed this mini-society which was create for the students and all the learning which was going on that the students had control over.

Back to the first day of school, I suggest that the students and parents receive information over the summer about their classroom, teacher and school. The students will be asked to come the first day of school presentable as if trying to get a job. Then the first day of school becomes an open house for the classroom. It is shown as a sort of business. The students are given brochures about the year describing classroom and school goals, including a vision, mission statement, colors and pictures, current 'employees' teachers, the 'board' principal, etc and investors 'parents', and finally a list of jobs that the classroom 'company' will be hiring for. There will be a station for job descriptions, a bright welcome atmosphere and a refreshments table. The room would not have a blackboard, bunch of desk atmostphere, but rather one of a small business. Parents would be there representing the classroom and the principal/vice principal would come in to speak. After a bit of mingling in the classroom, a presentation would be lead by the teacher, introducing the year and classroom to the students. This presentation would be followed by students placed in groupls to discussed some available questions about the school year and available jobs. Students would then have the opportunity to ask the teacher and others questions.

After lunch/recess, the classroom would now be arranged in separated seating and students would sit down to apply for jobs, writing information and essays telling the teacher why he or she is best for the job and what the students want out of the year and classroom 'company'. The day would finish will active, chosen learning of reading and exploring given activities, such as projects, art, etc.

The rest of the week would follor with clasroom activities allowing the teacher the opportunity to start the curriculum and get to know the students, but between all the work, students would be interviewed for their jobs. There would also be plenty of group work within this week so that students are given the chance to get to know each other.

The next week, students are given their positions and explain the classroom money system further, i.e. what they will be able to use their money for. There would also be time spent discussing the students' and teacher's ideal classroom. Then this classroom would be created. The students now have a great deal of investment in the classroom, both physical from creating it and doing their jobs within it, and non-physical from discussing what they want out of their year and how they want to learn.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Questioning educators

I was reviewing some notes from the School of the Future World Summit and found three things of interest. First, I finally took some time to look at the School of the Future website. It is exciting to see an organized explanation of the school, as well as the design for the school in Philadelphia. Anyone think I could get a job there in 2006?

Second, I had written a question to ask whomever for help finding a job of interest. I found while I was traveling with international students, working with a great company with and excellent cause (takingitglobal), presenting a student perspective of education and meeting amazing educators, I wanted a job doing the exact thing. I wrote: 'What can I do for the educators, for education, my passion and enjoyment of meeting people, traveling and encouraging educators?' I'm tempting to learn how to get a grant to attend NECC 2006 and other similar conferences.

Third, one gentleman at the conference while asking the student presentors questions ask us to raise a question to the audience of educators. I wish I could share this question with the many blogging educators and see the responses: What should I avoid in order to continue my optimism and avoid the pessimism (which some call realism) and keep acting/creating change in education?