Enjoy my multimedia journey though the 2014 ISTE conference, courtesy of Storify.
"Darlin Be Home Soon" The Lovin' Spoonful: for every workweek night that my husband and I were apart because either I stayed at school to work, or my husband was working a 12-hour, 11 am to 11 pm, shift at the hospital. We're one of those gross, inseparable couples. Culturally, it's time for our lives to settle down together, but we're both pretty driven in our careers and interests (due to a similar annoyance with monotony). In less than four months, we both graduated with our second college degrees, got married, and started new careers, but in less than a year after all that, we are still constantly involved in juggling professional opportunities beyond our careers' requirements. So, in-between our individual hustles, we find a priority in reconnecting.
"Wake Up" Arcade Fire, "You Get What You Give" New Radicals, "Time's A Wastin" Erykah Badu, & "Blackbird" The Beatles: reminders of the apathy that attempts to dimish or destroy authentic learning and second chances. These are also odes to students who have little to no self-esteem in educational settings because they have not been given the access or motivation to succeed. There is much to be learned from failures.
"Teach Your Children" Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young: a dedication for the powerful impacts and responsibilities that teaching, and parenting, has on each student.
"Express Yourself" Charles Wright: for each time I challenged myself and my students to creatively learn and share.
"Hook" Blues Traveler: an ode to planning and connecting purposeful, and sometimes nostalgic, lessons. My students loved it when I incorporated some Bravo or ESPN content in connection with essential questions.
"All These Things I've Done" The Killers, & "Basket Case" Green Day: for when I needed coaching through understanding, planning, implementing, and reflecting; and also, for when I just needed to vent. I had a wonderfully supportive group of people to run to in my first year; nevertheless, I could never underestimate the satisfaction of spilling some tea or taking off my shady boots with my dogs.
"Today" Smashing Pumpkins, & "It Was A Good Day" Ice Cube: for each day I had a teacher win, but also for days that I needed to tell myself that tomorrow would be better.
"Crack The Code" 311: for each day I had to reinvent my lessons, both pre-planned and spontaneously, to differentiate for students who just didn't get what I was selling.
"She" Green Day, & "Logical Song" Supertramp: for each time I felt held back by outside forces from teaching how, what, and in the timeframe I wanted. The transition from my college courses and pre-service teaching experiences (where every imaginary lesson plan classroom tasted like sprinkles and smelt like roses) to the real world of teaching (where obscenities clouded my thinking and I was initiated into the, "you have to be crazy to teach high school" club) was pretty intense. The first six weeks, for me, was just plain rough. These songs also served as warnings of self-destruction when faced with the threats of uninformed or ill-willed assimilation into foreign teaching styles, and even ethical dilemmas that forced me to "find my voice."
"Welcome to Paradise" Green Day & "Get Out!" Sublime: for when grumpy veteran teachers, and strangers alike, told me that being a teacher in North Carolina was for chumps. The strangers were nicer. While running errands after school each week, I would have at least one rando spot my badge or school parking pass on my rearview mirror and dart toward me with pity just to share a "bless your heart" moment. You would have thought Mike Rowe was filming a day in my life--which, I totally wouldn't mind, anyway.
"Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" Monty Python: for days that I forgot my coffee at home, or when I just needed to get out of a rut.
Feel free to share your comments about my playlist hits and misses. What songs reflect your teaching experiences and why?
I frequent a small watering hole, as many teachers do, to share my reflective wins and fails of teaching. I want to expand my discussion of how to save the world by opening the dialogue in this global space. So, fellow educators, enjoy my reflections, but also get involved and share your superpowers with me!