Viruses?! EEK! That doesn’t sound good! That is… Unless it’s a virus in education! WHAT?! Yes… a virus in education.
That’s what a small group of teachers from Boulder, Colorado are trying to spread throughout their school building, into schools throughout Colorado, throughout schools in America, and hopefully, in schools throughout the world! Each teacher took his or her time describing their personal teaching experiences and how they became “infected” with the “virus.”
First of all, how catchy! And look, even I remembered it. 🙂 Sweet!
Here are a few notes I wrote down about the virus.
1. Viruses always start small.
2. It takes close contact to catch and spread a virus.
Talk to people! And don’t forget about your social media connection!
3. The sources of Infection are…. (drum roll)… RELATIONSHIPS!
Again, talk! Be friends! Listen to people and build trusting relationships!
4. Having an empty chair is POWERFUL!!
Wow, I never thought of this. One of these teachers mentioned that they have an empty chair in their office. They find that by having an empty chair in your office, you are inviting people (staff and students) to come and sit in it. TADA! Brilliant. Think about it, you walk into a classroom and there is a magical chair (cue hallelujah chorus). What do you do? You SIT! But you don’t just sit… you talk! What?! Yes, you talk. Then the teacher talks. Then you talk. This is called a conversation, and it’s when sincere relationships are formed.
So teachers, get an empty chair. DO IT!
5. “Do” literature, don’t just teach it.
6. Instead of Answering right, Ask right!
We aren’t here to answer the questions of students. We are here to teach students how to answer their own questions. We need to ask the right questions. Thinking about our special methods class this semester, I realize so much thinking came when Dr. Ellington would ask us the right questions!
7. Create a salad club.
This group of people set aside a time to meet and discuss issues in their classrooms. They do this over salad. Okay, salad aside,it is important to set aside a time to meet with coworkers and talk.
8. People are so focused on “academic” writing that we forget it’s supposed to be FUN!
Remember when writing was fun? Me neither. Let’s change that.
9. Be VULNERABLE!
Nobody ever became infected by getting immunity shots and drinking 20 packets of Emergen-C. Remember that.
10. The virus is sneaky.
11. Give them a voice!
Do I even need to elaborate?
12. Say YES to your students!
About everything! How, where, why, what, and even WHEN they want to learn. One of these teachers even shared that they have some optional class time. Whoa…. Let’s think about that for awhile…
13. Infect parents!
Parents are here to help. They don’t have to be so scary! Don’t dread parent/teacher conferences, use it! One of these teachers even gives her students parents homework! Haha! Now mom and dad will understand us! Yes, yes they will.
14. Teachers + Administrators = Unity
Use your administrators! You might have to infect them first, but they really are there to help, and they can be your most useful tool.
15. You support students by getting out of the way!