For an antidote to the attention Royal Oak Middle School has garnered in the past week, click go to National Writing Project’s Letters to the Next President site. Teens from all over the country have posted their informed viewpoints and added their voices to a national conversation about issues that matter to them. About 80 of the letters are from students here at Royal Oak High School. The viewpoints span the political spectrum. The site is searchable in a variety of ways, although you cannot search for specific authors. Students publish by first name. As long as you’re there, though, why not just browse? It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the kind of respectful dialogue of ideas that builds bridges, not walls; that democracy craves, and which our future voters are proving they are willing to have.
After the power went out I promised some video footage of Finnegan playing in the leaves. My phone camera skills are pretty weak, so here’s a before (or during, I guess) and after shot.
If power corrupts, maybe it was good to have a day without. Looking forward to tomorrow when we get back to making the kind of yearbook that will make the world a better place.
Teachers like people. And I think that the first thing we do when we meet someone is look for reasons to like them. How could we not? It seems like a pretty fundamental first response for someone whose entire life’s work is based on a belief in helping people find the best in themselves and learn to make it better. But I was reminded of this in two big ways this past month. One was the great pleasure of having guests from Germany, and the other was having the opportunity to present about the work I do with students at the #ECET2Detroit conference. For the latter colleagues, here are the links I promised you. Click here for my presentation on assessing peer feedback. The rubric I shared with you was developed by Susan Golab at Oakland Schools, Dr. Melissa Meeks, and me. Click here for that rubric. It was a pleasure to be part of ECET2Detroit. Andrew Henwood’s presentation on Standards based grading gave me some goals for myself, and Peter Markus’ on poetry reminded me of my roots in this profession. I’m grateful to the organizers of the event, the teachers I met, and to all the teachers — I think I can say this without hyperbole — in the world. We do what we do because we know there is hope for the future. And for my friends from Germany, ein andenken.