One of the groups who do not appear to have a voice in education are Catholic high school Theology teachers. There are many Catholic blogs and bloggers and some, in my opinion watered down, lesson plans for Theology teachers but no where have I seen open dialogue. There is a Theology teacher who has posted her lessons on iTunes U but resources are scarce.
In this day and time we must gather together to discuss issues related to technology use, pedagogy, best practices, engaging students, building relationships, sharing resources, and supporting each other. We can utilize technologies including social media spaces as forces for good.
I propose that we come together as high school teachers of Theology on a weekly basis. I am willing to lead this new chat but word of the chat needs to spread across the globe in order to be most effective. I invite you to join me for the premiere of #RCTheoEdChat on Sunday, February 22nd at 7:00 pm CST. The topic for that evening will be Creating Reflective Learners. If you have ideas for future topics please Email, text, tweet, call, or leave a message. Expand your Personal/Professional Learning Network (PLN) and join us for this great adventure!
Psychologists say that it takes less than a second for our mind to form a first impression. So someone walking into our buildings judges our school in the blink of an eye. The entire school building should maintain a warm and learner centered focus, but is learning the focus at the entrance to your school?
Many school entrances look like a trophy room. These “trophy schools” tend to highlight the achievements of their sports teams rather than any academic accomplishments. One of the most underutilized spaces in many schools is the lobby. Why do we not use this space for learning and welcoming?
A warm hand shake of welcoming in the morning and a warm inviting atmosphere can set the proper scene and mindset for learning. The entrance should scream YOU MATTER, we care about you. So many entrances say, yep, we’re a school. I think that there should be information about the school, places for conversation, bright lighting, warm color tones, and a large screen television that rotates through important information (updated on a regular basis) and pictures of students just enjoying learning. There could even be a slightly smaller television monitor that streams the social media feed from the school.
Of course, what would be wrong with having a coffee/cappuccino bar in the entrance? The sweet smells emanating in the morning can really have a psychological “wake up” effect. And, much of my pay check could then go directly into the coffee coffers. I think this could be a nice fundraiser for different school groups to rotate through and give some students the opportunity to do a work study in managing school stores like DECA provides.
Any way you look at it we want an inviting atmosphere where students, parents, and the community feel welcome and where everyone takes pride in their school.
"For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate observer, it's an immense pleasure to take up residence in multiplicity, in whatever is seething, moving, evanescent and infinite: you're not at home, but you feel at home everywhere, you're at the centre of everything yet you remain hidden from everybody." Baudelaire