Sunday, October 12, 2014

C4T #2

stamp, ink, and fountain pen laid on top of a sheet of paper
For this month's C4T I was assigned to teacher Michael Kaechele. His blog is The Concrete Classroom. Unlike my last assignment, Mr. Kaechele has a formal writing style. My comments were not published on his blog for reasons unknown, but I did enjoy reading his entries.

The first post I read was How to Get Students to Own Their Learning. In this post Mr. Kaechele explained how he started of the school year with a project named The Water Project. It is a project that he and his students started last year. The focus of the post was to give an example of how to get students to own their learning. He wrote, "The Water Project was our best project ever because of how much ownership the students took over it." (para 2, line 1) The Water Project is a year long project. Mr. Kaechele has his students working on it every Friday for two hours. Mr. Kaechele ends his post by answering the question "How do you get students to own their learning?". He states, "Challenge them with real work for real people for a real purpose."

Like I said before, my comment went unpublished for reasons unknown. However, the comment I left for him to approve explained how I thought this was a wonderful idea. I told him that as a future educator I will keep this in mind. Making projects not only relevant but real and being able to see the changes my students are making in our community is a great way to capture their attention. I hope that if I choose to do a project this big, my students show as much enthusiasm as Mr. Kaechele's students did.

The second post I commented on was Don't Put Words in my Mouth. Unlike his last post, this was not a post about the classroom. Instead this post was about him being contacted by a organization that wanted to help him expand his audience. They told him that they could "amplify" his voice and get more media exposure. He also mentions that this group had large political ties. Sadly, while they're intentions seemed innocent, their motives were not. Instead of allowing Mr. Kaechele to express his own opinions, the organization wanted him to focus on promoting the Common Core. Mr. Kaechele turned them down and went on to say in his post, "I won't have anyone putting words in my mouth. I have plenty to say by myself, thank you."

I left a comment agreeing with Mr. Kaechele. It was wrong of the organization to only promote teachers who took their side. They were not truly "the voice of teachers." I hope that if this organization contacts other teachers, they see the problem and take the same route that Mr. Kaechele took.

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