Connected Educator 2014 – Connecting Your Students

connectedI had a extremely brief conversation with a coworker this week about my job as technology liaison and “other people’s edtech jobs”. She said she was sorry I didn’t get a job in the district I’d applied for and that it must be awkward working with the person who did.  I thought about that a second and smiled.

Nawh, it just means I get to stay here and be brilliant.  What I’m doing will look better on my CV anyway.

She laughed, we parted company and I thought about how I WAS able to be brilliant where I was and how that was a good thing for my students, which, at the end of the day, is so much more important than all that other stuff.

Yes, its important for teachers to be connected and to interact with others as we learn and grow professionally and personally, but, aren’t we, as educators, supposed to provide a means for our students to become global citizens?  Isn’t all of “this” about “that”?

I am teaching my 8th graders how to write a resume in a couple of weeks.  Now, for those who follow this blog, you’re probably going, HUH?  I teach science, why teach them about resumes?  Well, because, they need to know about resumes, and interviews and job markets and stuff.  So, we’re in the midst of a chemistry unit and the students have learned the basics of the periodic table.  They will all be assigned an element to study.  Instead of doing something dull like, give me all this info on this list about this element, I thought, why not integrate something.  Why not give them a reason to connect to something bigger?

So, each student will become that element, and the poor thing is unemployed. (something many of them can relate to, unfortunately through their families).  How does one prepare for a job search?  How could Lithium in Group 1 connect with the perfect “employer” in Group 17 for instance? How do I, as the Connected Educator, find the resources to make this happen?  How do I get the students to connect with the people and resources that can teach them about chemical bonding AND resume building?

How’s THAT for higher critical thinking?  (ha)  critical-thinking

Connected Educator Month is about finding the people that can make you a better teacher.  In becoming a better teacher, you are able to then help your students learn how to connect to the people THEY need to have around as they become better students, and eventually, better citizens in our global society.  I’m excited about the resumes.  Oh, there will be “job interviews” (where the students will “test” each other), and career presentations, sort of like auditions, where the elements will show off their skills and attributes.  It should be fun.

It would have never occurred to me to do this without my connections.  Shout out to Loyce, Kyle, and Barb for putting seeds in my brain then watering them on this one.  Now, off to Twitter to get some ideas on how to tweak the presentation portion of this thing… more later, connected educators!

How has your adventure in being connected changed the way you help your students connect?