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Here’s another vlog for teachers, based on an email I received form a High School Special Education Teacher named Cynthia.
Sometimes it’s isolating when you’re an outside-the-box teacher with alternative views. It can feel unsupportive.
Sometimes it’s lonely when you want to use non-traditional or unconventional methods of teaching and reaching kids.
This video explores these issues and offers insights, including how to do a temp check with students to reaffirm that you’re on the right track. Thank you, teachers, for every bit of time, energy, care, and concern you give our students. We need you!
Here’s to a great school year — Seth
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Hey, what’s up? Everybody? This is tough. Fro.com. I hope you are having a great day coming to from another pintastic wall in Santa Monica. This is a email from Cynthia Cynthia said I am a special education teacher. I’m excited to have your resources to backup my suggestion for helping my high school students address their organization. Cynthia need me to help back up her idea because oftentimes when teachers are doing non-traditional approaches, they are not getting the support or acceptance that they need because oftentimes schools are very in the box and they often times have a lot of Staff who are we’re not pushing the needle we’re not doing things differently so they can often feel different. So anyhow, she think she appreciate that this helps it back up. As you know, traditional approaches. Don’t work for some students. Obviously, that’s why I do what I do. I wouldn’t be in. I wish I didn’t have a job because schools would have got these need but I am in business because traditional approaches don’t work for some students and I’m left alone when advocating for a different approach. So she feels lonely as a teacher when she’s trying to say. Hey, let’s do this. This isn’t working for the kids. Let’s try something different. I relate to that because I went through that a lot your resources will give me an ally in another source of evidence to support my students. My biggest challenge is working alone with little time and resources to support my awesome out-of-the-box Learners parents administrators and even students have often given up by the time they reach me in high school those who have not given up often resist efforts to try something different because often they’re very Jaded by that point. They’re very exhausted. They’ve been through the game so much that they know that they get beaten down. They put all this effort in nobody notices that we’re not enough people notice it and they really notice schools and teachers. Administrators really notice the things that aren’t going right in there so much focus on that these kids really they were often do resistant give up and they’re they’re very beaten down by the time by High School by the time thanks for your support. She says that she says that her biggest challenge is working alone. How do you overcome that feeling well, I think it’s very challenging. I went through the same thing and I think that has a teacher one of the most important things you need to do is listen to your gut. You are the professional. Of course, the the the career of the teaching career has been D professionalize you are not treated like a professional or you’re just not valued for being a human being people don’t understand that they don’t like you open the box and put you in a closet overnight open the box in the morning you pop out in your teacher that you actually go home and you have a life and you have a family and you take your work home with you at night on weekends that you’re working your butt off during the summer and over break through your student on people don’t see that and people often think of a teacher as they use the word d professionalized. They’re not seeing you then. They have no idea how much talent teachers have administrators parents even other teachers a even yourself lot of teachers. Don’t understand how awesome they are. So part of my advice is really listen to your gut and you are the professional, you know, your kids, you know your students. Okay, you know them differently than the parents do but you know them and you haven’t had the experience in the hours in the passion you do the research about kids about the brain and everything, you know what they need. So trust your gut if you have a hint that something will work for a kid. Try it out and do it anyway and it if it’s feeling lonely, I guess, you know get on Facebook group for Renegade teachers. I interact with me on my blog start your own blog start your own meet up some meetup.com get to know maybe you can get to know a core little group of people who are other disruptors who who you can really connect with. I’m not in a complaining way. I’m not talking about that like the complaint that you here in the teachers lounge or everybody is just whining I’m talking about like people who you’re having real dialogue with that healing for you and that’s positive in that Saloon. Turn based in focused on helping you support each others to do what you’re doing. We need you call Trini juice Society need you. We need you teacher so bad so bad and it’s often hard for outside the box teachers to to feel a sense of belonging even in your own School situation, but finding those few poor people in again, not in the complaining way, but in a supportive way, I’m connecting with people that can help you to feel less alone. That’s part of what you want to do. So I guess my advice is listen to your gut and try to find some other like-minded people that you can really connect with teaching is hard. You have a lot of paperwork to do a lot of time and energy a lot of emotional in the energy that suspended in it and these kids need you. So I guess my last piece of advice would be to ask Your kids your students what they need. So so here is a really cool tip that I use with a lot of student. So it’s called the temperature check. So I’ll talk to a student and I’ll say hey, what’s up? What’s your temperature with Miss Smith? What’s your temperature with math today? What’s your temperature with organization? What’s your temperature with your locker? What’s your temperature with with your social life with your friends and stuff and then they give an answer 1 through 10 so that they they say seven I say pull your social life is a 7y some follow-up is always why and then they say blah blah blah nice a cool and depending on what they say. I say then say what would make it an 8? So what would make your social life go from a 7 to an eight? It’s very manageable when they think from point to point where I say, you know if their organization is a v I might they will what would make it a sexy, you know, if I say, how is your day and they say it’s a one I might say what would make it to these sort of open-ended questions. Give me a lot of feedback with what I can do for the student. And then you’re sort of even though you’re not getting maybe support from other teachers administrators and people who don’t really get what you’re doing. You’re at least getting clear from The Source exactly what they really do need and you can refer them to us. Yeah. I’m on the right track. This is what this kid needs. It may not fit in the box of the system. It may not fit into what you know, the data that the system is asking me to collect and all the the red tape that the system is asked me to do in all the Hoops. I’m being asked to jump through the teacher but I know that I’m doing what is right for this kid in their future and I can rest tonight knowing that I’m doing that even though I’m getting pushed back or not getting congruence with other people in the system. So you got to remember that the system is old it’s outdated and this system or a business and their investors invest in the business and the result was supposed to be having a great future investors will not invest in it because the results are often not working kids are not ready to launch After High School in the fact that kids are not ready to launch means that education is not working at the whole point of edge. Stop get the laundry great future. So they need those tools we ever launched but we are so myopic and we’re so stuck in our ways and they’re they’re people who obviously are profiting off of Education testing companies textbook companies. These are big big big big big big business for example piercings in a billion dollar company. That’s one testing company. They don’t want you to want the status quo 2 Chainz. They don’t want you rocking the boat. They want people who are complaining or not going to question you were going to do the things that they’re told the way they’re told that your job is to serve kids not the de who deserve Pearson or other companies like this. So it’s definitely challenging for teachers to figure out how to navigate this whole world. Anyhow, I hope that helps you I appreciate you I appreciate teachers. We need you so bad. Please keep doing what you’re doing. Please keep your finding your gifts and your talents in your skills and your professionalism and your heart because teaching is in Art is not a sign that is not regurgitation of curriculum that’s been written by somebody somewhere that you never even meet. It is an art you are the artist you get to design curriculum to serve your students in design learning experience. That’s that’s going to serve them. So good luck to you and thank you for doing what you do. Take care.