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Archive for September, 2009

Upper Tonto Creek Camping

September 24, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Leisure, Travel

The weekend of September 11, 2009, Donna, Claire and I joined our friends at Upper Tonto Creek campground where we spent three really relaxing days far from technology and work. It was really nice. We hit the local hatchery, did some fishing, drove up the rim and relaxed.

knowledge

September 06, 2009 By: turtlegirl Category: Uncategorized

“Claire, you are so smart; you’re smarter than adults who should know better.”

“Mom, there’s stuff that you don’t know.”

“No Claire. Sometimes I just pretend not to know stuff so that you feel better about yourself.”

“Oh”

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Social Media & teaching public school

September 04, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

Social media more and more pervades our spaces including our schools. As a school teacher, I know I walk a fine line as a role model. As a role model there are certain rules I have for myself.

I am on Twitter. I make no qualms about this and I was there more than a year before Oprah made it “cool.” I tweet about whatever I want, and I realize my audience is mostly not my high school students. Of course, I am not an idiot either, so I don’t write noxiously about students. If I mention them it’s vague and never comes near a FERPA issue. If I have a strong rapport with a student and they request to follow me on Twitter, if they actually use their account (post, follow, etc…) then I may follow them back. If not, I may actually block them; nothing personal. I protected my updates before, but seriously, this is a place to connect with new people and network so how does that work when things are blocked. Sure people see things they take the wrong way, things they don’t agree with, and things that just annoy them. Well, stay away. You don’t need follow me.

I am on Facebook. I made my Facebook account to connect with a group of students years ago. I use it all of the time, but I use it mostly to see who’s doing what, keep up with old friends, classmates, families, and also networking events. I am friends with hundreds of former students and many current ones. I teach Facebook workshops to Boomers and other groups. There are problems I have with Facebook and things I don’t like, but the positives out weigh the negatives. I don’t lambast people, I don’t post anything inappropriate, and I don’t post controversial stuff. Anything that is mildly questionable, I warn my viewers. You know what, if you don’t like my Facebook, don’t follow me. Don’t friend me. Don’t watch my page. Why don’t I just change my preferences? Make it “Friends Only”? Because, in part, I am on Facebook for the same reason you are. For people I once knew to find me. How will they if I block access because people complain?

When I first followed Heather Armstrong, she was interesting because she’s one of the first people who publicly came out to say that she was fired for blogging. I think her being fired was the best thing that ever happened to her. Her and her husband both now live off the money they make from their blogs.

Social media is going to seep further into our schools. More and more kids will request to follow me on Twitter. Some I will add, some I will block. Others will follow me on Facebook. It’s not creepy. It’s a way to connect with people. I won’t ever lie in either of these venues, but I will not post inaccurate information either. I also am not ever responsible for anyone else’s actions or comments. They’re not mine. If you don’t like a comment, contact that person. If you don’t like what someone writes, ignore them. Don’t try to hurt them for your own personal gain.

The fear is schools will need policy social media. Sure they already block these things, but there is so much good coming out of it. If I wasn’t online, kids couldn’t contact me all of the time for help. I couldn’t podcast to communicate with kids and parents. Kids couldn’t “chat” me on my phone from anywhere in the world. Kids couldn’t call my personal Google voice phone number. My god, I give the kids a phone number now. Tell me one other public school teacher who has their phone number on their syllabus. Go ahead. Without teachers moving online and working with kids where they already are, how do we continue to move forward with making learning meaningful.

I am a teacher. I am a role model. I care.

Graduation

September 02, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Claire

Claire’s been working really hard in all of her classes; I don’t know which she likes (will like) the most, but she was really excited last Friday for swimming. The week before Mama and I got to watch her attempt to pass up and graduate from her beginning freestyle class. She was pretty close, and the deck manager gave her and her teacher some pointers to work on. Claire and I discussed them all week, and she went into Friday’s lesson with them in the forefront of her thinking.

She got up there and didn’t a helluva job. The deck manager wanted to see her try again before the class was over, so both deck managers talked and they decided she was ready to move forward! Claire was so excited to ring the bell and get her medal. She is not moving into Silver class where she will learn advanced freestyle before moving towards breast and backstroke. By next summer, she should be on the team!

Claire_SwimGrad_04


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