#saskedchat Feb12th, 2015

Our last #saskedchat focused on mentorship and the role it plays for teachers especially in regards to new teachers and internship. The chat was very lively with many of the contributors willing to share ideas and insights about the importance of mentorship for new teachers and interns but also for themselves as veteran teachers.

That was Then

As an administrator, it was sometimes difficult to know who to talk with about certain things and I sometimes would call on someone I considered a mentor to talk and bounce ideas around in order to get feedback and suggestions. I confess that I had few mentors as a young teacher/administrator and relied more on the collegial support of colleagues and peers than any mentor-type individual. At the time, mentorship, especially in education, consisted of the usual “Don’t smile until Christmas” and “It’s you or them so you’d better make sure it’s you!” type of stuff (Really, I heard those two lines as a new teacher!). As a profession, sometimes I wondered at the lack of support for new teachers as many young teachers I started with became the “out in 5″ statistic because of the “trial by fire” mentality that young teachers had to endure.

Shifting the Burden

Over the past 10 years I’ve seen a slow shift toward a growing realization that young teachers and interns need mentorship and support. Instead of throwing  them in the deep end to see if they swim, schools and school districts are providing support through mentorship-style pairings within a school to at least provide a young teacher with someone to go to for guidance. Although this is a great improvement, it still can be less than satisfactory especially if the two in the pairing aren’t “compatible”!

Teaching is slowly evolving away from the stoic teacher in isolation – which still harkens back to images centuries ago of teachers in isolation teaching students away from the general populace, of boarding schools and one room schools on the prairies. Finally, there are cracks in these facades as school connect to the world around them and open up, sometimes virtually, to people and places all over the world – yet, there is still a sense of isolation somehow that has not quite been overcome. A separation, almost like schools are still a cycle behind, not quite yet up to speed and teachers, for all some are connected, still have many teachers who work in isolation in their classrooms.

The Chat Archive

There are so many great conversations, ideas, insights and just great exchanges in this chat. It’s well worth the time to go through it!


84 (And Counting) Bloom’s Taxonomy Tools Worth Trying

See on Scoop.itEducational Discourse

We know y’all love a good list of Bloom’s Taxonomy tools. And the one we’re highlighting below isn’t only good – its growing, because it is crowdsourced by awesome teachers like you! Created by NJ Superintendent Scott Rocco, this list is chock-full of tons of different apps that can fill out just about every category of …

Kelly Christopherson‘s insight:

This has some good ideas for anyone looking for inspiration. 

See on www.edudemic.com

Minecraft Is Shaping A Generation, And That Is A Good Thing

See on Scoop.itEducational Discourse

These worlds children build in Minecraft aren’t just virtual. They are creating the very real culture of their time.

Kelly Christopherson‘s insight:

Yes, Minecraft is shaping a generation – just as PacMan, Atari and Star Wars did. As is pointed out, it is a global connection with people – all types of people – playing, learning, socializing and building relationships. But the game is also bringing together playing and learning. Having 4 boys playing and learning as they build, connect, share, destroy(yes they do that), invent, create, challenge, reshape, remodel,…..  has reenforced for me that having fun and learning can happen at the same time. 

See on www.forbes.com

Teacher Education: No Longer ‘Business as Usual’ – Education Week News

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Education Week News Teacher Education: No Longer ‘Business as Usual’ Education Week News One of our colleagues provided us with an article by David Ruenzel, called “Business as Usual,” that appeared 20 years ago in Teacher Magazine (then a print…

Kelly Christopherson‘s insight:

I agree with Ivon Prefontaine’s comment about those teachers who, despite the workload, are continuing to grow, learn and innovate. There is something we can learn from them and, more importantly, something those who are removed from the classroom need to listen to much more closely. 

See on www.edweek.org

Why Playful Learning Is The Key To Prosperity

See on Scoop.itEducational Discourse

In order for our global society to develop solutions to pressing problems in an increasingly technology-driven and constantly changing world, we need to re-train our workforce to do what machines can’t: to be enterprising, independent and strategic thinkers—to be purposeful creators. This starts with changing the way students, especially the youngest ones, […]

Kelly Christopherson‘s insight:

Play – it’s important/crucial/inseparable for/from learning. Why do we continue to not see it as a critical? Is having fun that separate from work? Have we become that ingrained in believing that learning and play/work and play are different? 

See on www.forbes.com

No Courses, No Classrooms, No Grades — Just Learning

See on Scoop.itEducational Discourse

A Boston area innovation studio for middle and high school students is bucking the traditional school model for what students love best: hands-on learning.


NuVu is a full-time magnet innovation center for middle and high school students. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural Studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects. We basically teach students how to navigate the messiness of the creative process, from inception to completion.

No Courses: Instead, we have studios. Around 12 kids work closely with their 2 coaches on solving big (and small) open-ended problems.

No Subjects: Instead, everything is fused together. Students find themselves moving between a studio that requires them to design a telepresence robot to another that requires them to re-imagine Boston with a cable car system.

No Classrooms: Instead, we have an open space that changes all the time to adapt to the needs of every studio.

No One-Hour Schedule: Instead, students spend two weeks from 9-3 solving one problem.

No Grades: Instead, we have portfolios that document students’ design decisions and show their final products.

Kelly Christopherson‘s insight:

The idea is interesting, having taken a Design Thinking course, I see there are numerous ways schools can use that concept to their advantage. This ideas needs scale – how does it work with more students? Not that it can’t, but how – what would be a solution? 

See on blogs.kqed.org