Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why I bring kids to conferences...

I bring kids to conferences. It's something I've done for years and when they have an opportunity to have a conversations with educators like Angela Maiers and Vickie Davis at the Maine ACTEM conference I'm reminded of exactly why. The times when we as teachers are engaged in professional development are some of the best times to have the perspective of students around. It's also important for the kids. The most introspective I've ever seen students be about themselves as learners has come when they were away from the school building. I don't think it always has to be that way, but when they watch educators talk passionately about their craft, students start to see their role in this educational dance differently. They're no longer playing the game of school.

Here is a conversation my students had with Angela. The jump cuts you see occur in the interest of length and tact, hopefully none of the value has been lost in the editing.

Two comments that struck me were when the kids talked about "too much tech" I take this to heart. Since most of my interaction with students revolves around technology in some way, I think it's important to make sure technology is never an ends in itself. The other comment was that they thought the best teachers were those who could, "think as a student."