Recently on TTT we've been inviting students to join us. Our recent interest in putting young people at the center of our conversations was re-sparked on this episode of Youth Night on TTT.
Our guests are:
Monisha Nelson Jeff Lebow Kelsey Shelhart
Cristian Buendia Jackie Morgan Tommy Buteau
Perhaps you know a student, a son or daughter, brother or sister who might want to join our efforts on TTT to turn our show over to youths to plan impromptu and scheduled webcasts via Hangouts On Air that will allow them to deepen their conversations with each other and to amplify their voices.
Enjoy this week's open, chaotic, ground-level planning session, and invite a student to join us soon in this ongoing set of conversations.
On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers we talk with Charles Kouns and David Loitz and a wonderful panel of students about the listening sessions Charlie and David create for teens to raise their voices on school change. The student voices you hear on this podcast are Sierra Goldstein, Jay Smith Chisley, Mackenzie Amara, Nikhil Goyal, Kelsey Shelhart
We invite you to be reminded of the importance of starting with youth voices when we consider what to do next as educators.
Our conversation on this podcast is about how important it is to listen to students, and we learn more about David and Charlie's methods of doing that. David Loitz writes:
Charlie's focus is in helping to bring the voices and visions of youth people to a national stage. He is both a teacher and an visionary. He is a dear friend and mentor. He created Imagining Leaning four years ago, and has traveled up and down the west coast and as far as New Zealand to host listening session with groups of young people.
With a wonderful mix of thoughtful people we explore how questions about “engagement”—even what it means—help us have productive dialogues about what good teaching and learning looks like and what might change in our schools. Each of us in this conversation are working to reconsider our assumptions and to recast our questions about student engagement in high school and beyond. Please add to this mix by listening in and adding to the comments below.
Learn more about +Todd Finley and his colleague Shari Steadman’s research into how student teachers at East Carolina University think about student engagement.
Take in +Kelsey Shelhart's comments about what it's like to be a seventh grader these days.
And listen to +Nick Perez explain why his unrecognized talents led him to leaving high school, and into the new life working at a technology start up.
Nick found our conversation and had this poignant, detailed response, which I can’t figure out how to excerpt, so here it is in full. Nick wrote to us:
I don’t think high-school is for everyone - just like college isn’t for everyone. This might not be a popular opinion, but I’d love to see more of a focus on alternative forms of education for dropouts, and less of a focus on forcing them to stay in schools where they don’t feel productive. A little background on how I formed that opinion:
I’m a high-school dropout. I wrote my first program when I was ~10 years old, and spent my time coding instead of doing schoolwork. Everyone knew that I was educating myself, but I was still treated like a troublemaker because of my grades. After being placed in a horrible, kind of humiliating special-ed program in middle school (I had someone following me around all day, making sure I was paying attention), I started skipping school because I felt alienated. I’ve never been allowed in a regular high-school classroom (I was in a small program for troubled kids, where it wasn’t unusual for a student to be out for weeks/months due to jail-time), which made me feel further alienated, and motivated me to skip class more often.
So eventually I left. I think there should be more of a focus on our unique needs, and more of an understanding of the fact that “unique needs” doesn’t necessarily equate to learning disabilities or behavioral problems - some of us prefer to work without a standardized curriculum, some of us prefer to work alone, some prefer to work in groups, some want complete guidance, and some just want independent study with extra help on-call.. and yeah, some are stubborn enough to reject any form of education that doesn’t meet their needs/desires/expectations, like myself.
I don’t regret a thing. I love self-educating, because I love freedom and self-accountability. If I fail to learn the things I need to learn, it’s an issue that I deal with on my own, instead of facing disciplinary action, or getting an “F”, or being placed in a box of “bad kids”. I have a job. I pay taxes. I’ve never had issues paying my rent. I’m still self-educating at every opportunity and always will be. Life goes on. I’d love to help other dropouts feel like they haven’t missed their chance.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
A couple of years ago VeloCity asked Katherine von Jan: What key accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
My amazing family. Teaching disabled kids to swim and saving a child's life when I was a life guard in my teens. Taking a hiatus from college and moving to Hawaii on my own at 19. Starting my own company at 20. Creating a mobile humanitarian aid prototype to collect war stories in Kosovo and use them to prosecute war criminals at the Hague. Advising the UN on global communications strategies with the former advisor to Gorbachev. Creating a surprising new path for an industry-leading plastic producer. Being the voice of the culture in executive suites across the globe, and reframing consumers as "becomers".
...Most people who go to college don't graduate. If you gave every student in America a full scholarship to college, most students would fail or drop out. Would any other company stay in business if they failed to serve more than 60% of the market buying their product? ... We put students in the center; seeking to serve today’s students in these modern, complex times. Our work revealed unexpected ideas to help students attain a quality academic degree. We called this work "101 Wacky Ideas for Reinventing College". You can see a glimpse of our findings here on CEOs for Cities website: http://www.ceosforcities.org/101_wacky_ideas
“Michigan Tech Lode” is a window through which Jodhbir expresses his “culture shocks and makes newcomers aware of what should and should not be done. And Jodhbir says that he writes for “The Daily Bull,” as a humour writer. I write about the American culture, people, India, language, student lifestyles, pencil, or anything that is now playing on your mind. I write stuff that should not be taken seriously..... like this description!”
The underlying thing is not to do something extra but to do something different. In a decade of academic inflation when many people are going to college, getting a job is becoming a challenge; it means we should not prepare our students for the future based on present methodologies. We need to bring something new into the system only then we can create a whole new field of competition- like how many companies will be started each year by students at an engineering college.
Lisa Nielsen, an educational technologist for the NYC Department of Education
In addition to her blog (http://TheInnovativeEducator.blogspot.com
), her work is published in “Learning and Leading,” “Tech & Learning,” and ISTE Connect. An outspoken and passionate advocate of innovative education Lisa Nielsen is also covered by local and national media for her views on "Thinking Outside the Ban" and determining ways to harness the power of technology for instruction and providing a voice to educators and students.
When I arrived at Michigan State University freshman orientation, we had to choose our class schedules for the upcoming semester. I was paired with a “summer orientation volunteer,” and we began scheduling my classes. It may have been because I was hung over, but I somehow didn’t notice when she convinced me to take a class that would turn out to be pure hell.
“So, you’ve got four classes so far” she said, “Do you want to schedule one more?”
“Yeah, why not” I said.
“Okay. We could de!nitely plug CSE101 in here on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00am.”
“A lot of times, it’s better to get classes like this over with during your first semester, just to get them out of the way.”
“I can’t take it any later?”
“Well if you did, you would have to move the Interpersonal Communications course to another semester, and you said that you really wanted to take that class, right?”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
“I mean you can make an eight a.m. class twice a week, trust me.” Sounding like a veteran on the subject she followed up with, “Anyways, 22 One Page At A Time the other days of the week your earliest class is 10:20am, so you can sleep in on those days.”
“Yeah, you’re right” I said. “It shouldn’t be a problem twice a week.
Holy shit was I wrong.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
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