Friday, May 11, 2012

One Teacher's Life

I must admit, this week I have felt like one of the most important people in the world.  Every morning I was greeted with some kind of letter, card or gift expressing appreciation for my efforts as a teacher.  It has made me feel incredible.  So, first things first, THANK YOU to everybody that has contributed to the learning process in my classroom this year!  I love my students, job and knowing I've had an impact on the lives of my students and greater school community.  Coincidentally, the Golden Apple organization (based in Chicago) announced it's new class of Fellows this week.  Congratulations to the winners!  Congratulations also to all the nominees and finalists.  The Golden Apple is one organization that does an outstanding job recognizing excellent teachers and rewarding some of Illinois' finest with great opportunities and an outstanding network of people that care deeply about education.  I still feel fortunate to be connected to another family of educators.  

Now, I could continue a rant and rave about all the perks of being a teacher, but you already know why millions of people choose to teach.  I could stand on the proverbial soap box and demand improvements in working conditions, school resources and compensation for educators, but I think I'd be preaching to the choir on my little blogging stage.  Instead, I'd like to encourage YOU to think about a teacher that touched your life and reach out to them.  Even if that means you track down someone you haven't seen or heard from in years.  The Internet and social media has given us all a new way to connect with people in our world.  Why not take advantage of this opportunity and let an educator know how they helped you become a better person?  It might take a some time and you might have to learn something, but it will be worth it.  Want to start somewhere?  A simple Google search might be a good place to start.  You might also try LinkedIn, Facebook, Ning, Pinterest, Tumblr, E-mail or the school's website where they teach.  For all I know, you might find them playing Words With Friends or the most recent outlandishly simplistic social fad game, Draw Something.
In parting, I promised a couple of my students I would publish one of their recent creations on the front page of my blog.  Most of the work they complete is shared within our classroom and school community.  Occasionally, there are things that are created for a greater audience (like our recent Global Virtual Classroom website). So, I will leave you with this video created to document Sunset Towers from Ellen Raskin's novel, The Westing Game.  This was a read aloud book we dissected together as a class.  Various projects spawned from student interest and ideas.  The video captures apartment rooms designed and built from details in the story.  The whole construction was inspired by the Thorne Miniature Rooms on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Great job, class!  Enjoy!