Tomorrow begins the season of Advent. To the right you can see that I have posted my Advent Pinterest board with ideas that you are welcome to follow. I finished my Advent wreath for my home because I never had one for my house, only for my classroom. I decided I needed to bring the spirit of Advent into my home, especially this year. I also created another Weebly site which is an online Advent calendar for my family in hopes of teaching my family more about the true meaning of Advent. It was very easy to do and you can find the directions here. There are several more available on the web. If you want to take a look at mine you can find it at www.merrilladvent2014.weebly.com. I also suggest you look at this Symbaloo mix of Advent videos - you can open one a day with your class. I never realized how many resources that were out there! I think we need to use these to bring the true meaning of Christmas back to our students.
On Friday I presented at our Diocesan professional development day with my friend and colleague Ellen. The topic was Driving Math Data. We talked about different forms of assessment and how to use them to drive instruction, not just in Math but in all subjects. Now this is more Ellen's topic, not mine. First, I am not a math person-definitely at the bottom of my list of subjects. Language Arts, Social Studies and Fine Arts is where I fly. However, I think it is important to go out of your comfort zone so that you don't forget who you are at the core-an educator regardless of the subject.
Of course no presentation would be complete without technical difficulties. I was just happy it wasn't my fault-the school had a connection problem. So I still looked like a tech guru of sorts.
The presentation went well and when we got to explaining the apps and tech part I felt more comfortable. I actually realized I missed being in the classroom to just see how all this stuff I was preaching about actually worked. The audience was great too. The last part of the day was interesting as I moderated the Fine Arts session and we combined the music, theater and visual arts all into one room. We had a fun time because well, fine arts teachers have a sense of humor like no others and we are a bit odd!
Teachers in all areas must step out of their comfort zone. This is especially true with technology. If I can do it with math, then we all can.
Christy Monge teaches film and media production at a Catholic high school in Orange County, California.