April 28, 2017

Testing is over now what...A 5 part series (PREVIEW)

Most of us our packing up our standardized tests and we will bid them adieu early next week. This definitely marks an ending in our school year but does it mark THE END??

There is an ongoing myth among parents, students, community members...heck even teachers, that once the end of the year testing is over, the school year is over. That theory was ok when the standardized test was in the last week of school. However, in the past few years our tests keep creeping further and further away from our summer vacation.

This leads to comments like...

"Testing is over, why do we need to still learn?"

"They don't do anything but watch movies anyways..."

Well, in case you are wondering, we are not singing Alice Cooper just yet...

In fact, a group of us has collaborated and decided to help others share the word that "the test" does not determine when our school year ends. We, the Masters of Pedagogy, are going provide insight, ideas, thoughts, whatever to help let ever know that WE decide when the school year ends...not "the test."

So here is what it looks like.

Starting Monday, each of the Masters of Pedagogy will provide a post on his or her respective sites to help get you going and spread the word that teaching and learning will continue and School is NOT out for summer...yet.

Monday: It is me, Mick Shuran! This focus will be on changing the mindset or culture of how it seems testing determines the end of school. No Alice Cooper, School's Not Out for Summer...yet! - http://mickshuran.com

Tuesday: My Chattanooga friend Julie Davis, ed-tech extraordinaire, will share her insight and tips on trying new things during this gray area of non-testing. http://techhelpful.blogspot.com/

Wednesday: Fellow Tullahoma City Guru (and LTL PodcasterChristopher King will share his thoughts and ideas in a different format, a VLOG for all you visual and audial learners http://firesidechats.blog/

Thursday: My fellow social studies expert Jacob Dunn will bring a current "in the classroom" perspective towards what we as educators can do after testing.  https://cultivateedu.com/

Friday: Lastly, from Cookeville, TN (home of the great University simply known as TTU) my friend Thomas Fuhrman provides his analysis and expertise when it comes to keeping the teaching momentum going.   https://tfuhrman.wordpress.com/

Please join us, provide your comments and feedback and most importantly, SHARE IT!

See you Monday!


April 7, 2017

What Hawaii taught me about student leadership...

Yes I know, I was in paradise. It was a vacation for the Shuran family. However, it was not a normal vacation for us considering that we were there with around 200 students and family members from Tullahoma.

Just so you know, the Shuran's usually travel in fours and sometimes in groups as large as 12 but this is our first 200 plus.

Our Hawaii excursion included four different flight groups as well as a minimum of four charter buses in motion in Honolulu at any given time.

We traveled almost everywhere together and believe it or not, it was always a pleasurable experience. We walked everyday in mass to Hard Rock Cafe to eat breakfast and you could not walk on the beach or step in the Pacific Ocean without bumping into a fellow Tullahoman. It really seemed like we were taking over Oahu. People noticed us but in a good way. I saw a bunch of smiles from both sides. It was great!

Now to my point, student leadership...

If any organization is a blueprint for student leadership, it has to be the Tullahoma Band. I have had the opportunity to travel with the band a couple of times. Each time, I appreciate what I see even more.

The main things I notice are...

The students know how to act and recognize the fact that they are representing Tullahoma wherever they go.

If adults are around, they are going to help take care of them (including me). Simply meaning, helping load bags, helping carry the heavy stuff and on and on...

The students know they are responsible for their stuff.

Adult chaperones, teachers and leaders do not have to worry, the Tullahoma Band students know and follow the rules.

The students are respectful to the other people around them ALL of the time (we get comments all of the time).

There are several students who "earn" a spot as a Team Leader. There is a reason they earn that spot and ALL of the band members know who they are and follow their lead.

The student leaders do not expect the other band members to do something they wouldn't do with them.

The band adults give those Team Leaders extra responsibility and do not have to worry that it won't get done.

Lastly, the Band sounds amazing ALL of the time. That is a direct reflection of not only the adult leadership but the students' leadership as well.

Shout-out goes to Justin Scott, Martin McFarlane, Atticus Hensley, Doug Clark, Greg English and Michael Todd. They have faith in their kids, allow them to take on responsibility and encourage them to learn from mistakes. The ability of the adults to let go of responsibility only makes the Tullahoma Band better...and it shows.

In case you want to see proof, check out the video below.