Doctor Robert Martin led us through a thought provoking presentation focused on the vital role of Social Justice in the classroom. The following statistics make it abundantly clear that we need to embrace our “new normal.”
•In 2014 the majority of minority students entering kindergarten in the USA tipped over 50%. Compare the demographics of your current graduating seniors with the entering kindergarten class.
•In 2040 the population of the USA is predicted (by the US Census Bureau) to be majority-minority. Add up Latino/a, Black, Asian and ‘Other’ and the percentage will be over 50%.
•Already happened in other states – Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Texas (Nevada and Florida are close)
After spending time sharing our life stories with each other and discovering when we as individuals first became aware of difference in our communities we gave great consideration to our role as educators. Major points to consider as teacher leaders include:
- Relationships first - then rigor (quality not quantity)
- Be empathetic not sympathetic
- Be more intentionally with growth mindset feedback
- Silence is worse than saying something awkward
- Equity - not equality
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women and children are created equal, regardless of their identifying characteristics they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, Literacy and the pursuit of Happiness…we mutually pledge to each of them and to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, our Intellect, our Hearts, and our Sacred Honor.”
The afternoon session began with a powerful presentation from Awkward Pause. Sponsored by Novi High School, Awkward Pause is a social-issue based theatre troupe whose mission is to provide an awkward pause that inspires thought and provokes an emotional response on tough teen topics. Their presentation opened our eyes to the myriad of issues faced by our middle and high school students daily, such as bullying, test anxiety, medication abuse, gender roles, and drug resistance
Students involved in Awkward Pause compose and rehearse scripts and perform their shows for each grade level at Novi High School, as well as numerous schools throughout the state of Michigan. Lasting about an hour, the presentation concluded with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and provided us with a rich opportunity to discuss and reflect with the students the choices that have a profound effect on their lives.
We wrapped up another awesome day of learning with some tips and tricks about how to create our PBL video. Ann Llewellyn from Birmingham shared the following advice and resources:
- Create a storyboard of what you want to portray
- Make sure that your photos are clear and close enough to see details
- Check the volume when you video
- Do not have students identified by name
- Check to see if any students are not allowed to be filmed or photographed
- Keep your videos under 8 minutes
- Use a tripod when available to avoid shaking or extra movement
- Don’t forget your Driving Question
- Do you want student reflections? Personal reflections? Music?
- iMovie: for apple products
- Video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKu5p4e4CbY
- Windows Moviemaker
- Youtube (upload and edit)
- Youtube video editor directions: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/183851?hl=en
- Video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKgVm7DkNX0
- PhotoStory For Windows:
- iPad App: Explain Everything
We are truly grateful for the opportunities we have to learn from amazing presenters and authors at Galileo. We are also grateful for the opportunity to learn from and with each other. Galileo brings together amazing educators and the time we spend together fosters a collaborative spirit, reminds us to practice empathy, gratitude and generosity and brings out our best work. Thank you Galileo!