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Educational Buzz

It has been a long time since I sat down to blog.  I have not had a ton of time, nor have I made the time.  A few weeks ago, my role in my school changed and I was thrown into teaching reading and writing again.  It is evident that I need to start writing again.  How can I preach to my kids that they should be reading and writing on a regular basis if I am not doing so myself? So, on with some thoughts.

Along with being a teacher, I am also a mom of a preschooler.  My poor daughter has teachers for a mom, a grandma and a grandpa, and a dad and another set of grandparents who highly value learning.  Everywhere she goes, she is encouraged to play “games” that teach her something!  She also has a mom who has been rather discouraged by the fact that she just wouldn’t write her letters! I know that she knows them and under threat of not being able to go to school next year without writing her name, I can sometimes force her to write out the simple 5-letter word.

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday.  While preparing his card, I thought I would ask if she could sign her own name.  I explained that it was for Daddy’s birthday card.  Not only was there no resistance, there was sheer excitement as she said “Oh!  Daddy will just love this card!” Within a few seconds, those beautiful five letters appeared on the card.  We put it in the envelope then I asked her: “How will Daddy know the card is for him?” (Ever the teacher…)  She immediately offered that we should write his name on the outside of the envelope.  I offered to let her write Dad, and again, with a gusto I have not seen from her with regards to writing, the three letters D-A-D appeared on the envelope.  I was thrilled!


Now that she has gone to bed, and I am back to planning, my thoughts wander between my two roles as teacher and mother.  I am often surprised by how valuable the knowledge I’ve gained in one role has helped me in the other and vise versa.  The experience tonight is no different.  It got be thinking about the connections between what happened with my daughter and what happens with my “kids.”

Over the last number of years, as technology, blogging and social media have made their way into the classroom, we have heard the phrases “authentic purpose” and “authentic audience” over and over.  They have become somewhat of education buzz words.  As with anything that buzzes, after time, we stop hearing them.  Or at the minimum, we forget how important they are.  They become part of the background, until they aren’t.

It is clear to me, as I reflect, that my daughter is CAPABLE of writing her letters. She has CHOSEN not to write them (until under duress).  Tonight, when given an authentic purpose, an important reason to write her letters, she eagerly did so.

How may of my “kids” are capable of doing things but have chosen not to show it?  How can I help create authentic purpose for them?  What does authentic purpose look like? I need to revisit these buzzwords like they are new again.  I need to get back to my planning and see if I can infuse more of this into my lessons.

What are some things that you are doing to create that buzz in your classroom?  How do you create purpose for your kids in different subject areas?  Please share!