Welcome to my school, where …


Teaching | Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welcome to my school, where …


The hashtag #WelcomeToMySchoolWhere was a pretty hot topic on Twitter this week.

It was eye-opening.

  • “#WelcomeToMySchoolWhere it’s okay to smoke cigs in the bathroom, but it’s not okay to have your shirt untucked.”
  • “#WelcomeToMySchoolWhere kids would rather skip class and not learn anything and fall way behind to get chik fil a or tropical smoothie.”
  • “#WelcomeToMySchoolWhere if u wear one little bracelet u will get a detention.”
  • “#WelcomeToMySchoolWhere You can’t even open your netbook without being blocked from the server for ‘technology abuse.’”

Something isn’t right here.

Well, I see things a different way.

Welcome to MY school, where …

  • teachers notice a student’s far-off stares and know they need to intervene.
  • assignments are greater than choosing between A, B, C and D.
  • the tools for doing work are more relevant than a pencil and paper.
  • a sense of humor is appreciated and students are humanized.
  • teachers maintain relationships and know about students’ real lives.
  • the school is an almost-24-hour hub because people want to be there.
  • students have access to the world through digital activities.
  • we don’t just teach content … we teach students what to do with it.
  • those supercomputers in students’ pockets are becoming learning devices.
  • learning doesn’t just happen from 8:03 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • class activities create content that the world can learn from.
  • teachers don’t follow the “don’t smile until Christmas” rule.
  • challenges aren’t punishment … they take students to heights they’ve never been.

[RELATED: The digital divide? No. My school is a school of opportunity]

Welcome to my school, where the students have diverse interests and great aspirations for their future. They genuinely care for each other, even if they’re trying to figure out how to show it in their pressure-filled hormone-influenced everyday lives.

Welcome to my school, where, deep down inside, students really want to be at school. They crave the interaction and the engagement. They want to be better than they are right now. They like being at school, even if they can’t (or won’t) show it on the outside.

Welcome to my school, where the staff is trying to ditch that textbook mold that schools have followed since the Industrial Revolution. We’re not perfect. But we care about our students. And we would give our free time, limited financial resources and our hearts and emotions to see the future brighter for the ones in our care.

Welcome to my school, where students matter.

(For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links, “like” Ditch That Textbook on Facebook and follow @jmattmiller on Twitter!)

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