Teachers Teaching Teachers #242 - Energy Disasters: Massey, BP, and TEPCO - Local Reports on Our Global Crises - 4.6.11

Post-Show description: 

Our guests on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers suggest our topic, or perhaps it would be better to say, our questions. It seemed to us that a teacher from West Virginia, near last year's Massey Mine Disaster, would have something to say to a teacher from Louisiana who lives not far from the BP Oil Spill. And both of these teachers might have something to say to teachers who live near Tokyo, south of TEPCO's damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear-power plant. It has been our goal on Teachers Teaching Teachers to understand these crises through the eyes of our colleagues and their students whose lives are most immediately impacted. Thanks to our guests on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we might better understand how and why it is important to bring these stories to our students.

Here's who joined us on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers:

The introductions are pretty interesting on their own, but we hope you take the time to listen to the entire conversation!

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

20:54:46 Paul Allison: Running as fast as we can here.
20:55:00 Paul Allison: Hey Chris will you be joining us?
20:55:25 Paul Allison: A teacher -- April Niemela -- from Idaho will be joining us if all goes well.
20:55:54 Chris Sloan: Yes, Paul.  I'm actually here tonight
20:56:01 Chris Sloan: I know April.
20:56:21 Chris Sloan: Great teacher.  from one of the writing projects in Idaho.
20:56:30 Chris Sloan: Hi April
20:56:47 April Niemela: hey!
20:56:54 April Niemela: good to see you :)
20:57:54 Chris Sloan: kbeers: are you Kylene Beers?
21:01:17 April Niemela: I was wondering the same thing, Chris...
21:02:00 Chris Sloan: Long time, no talk, April :)
21:02:23 April Niemela: too funny -- i love overlapping worlds!
21:02:37 Chris Sloan: overlap. Well said.
21:02:54 April Niemela: (I feel like a venn diagram)
21:05:26 Chris Sloan: Hi David
21:05:55 David Pulling: Hey, Chris.
21:07:17 Chris Sloan: I think I saw some of your students' writings on Voices on the Gulf, David.  Were those your students?
21:07:49 David Pulling: Yeah, they posted a couple of weeks ago as part of their pre-writing about their I-Search topics.
21:08:39 susanettenheim: hi all
21:08:47 April Niemela: hello
21:09:04 Lorna: the stream is fine
21:11:00 kbeers: Sure am, Chris.  Topic looks great.
21:11:40 Lorna: Looks like you have everything under control Susan
21:11:48 Chris Sloan: Nice to have you here Kylene. I'm a fan of your work (the reading research and the NCTE leadership).
21:13:29 susanettenheim: thanks to you lorna!!
21:13:29 kbeers: Thanks, Chris.  Appreciate that.  
21:13:35 susanettenheim: I hope you got some sleep!
21:14:20 Chris Sloan: Kylene, as I recall you teach in Houston?
21:14:43 susanettenheim: welcome everyone - thanks for your patience - I was at a NYC event at the Apple store and left early but still came in a bit late..
21:14:55 kbeers: I live in Houston but have been working with Lucy Calkins at her Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College and doing a lot of work with Bob Probst in schools around country.  
21:15:06 susanettenheim: welcome kbeers!
21:15:16 susanettenheim: how did you find us?
21:15:18 Chris Sloan: Sounds like a good crowd to run with.
21:15:31 April Niemela: Welcome Kylene -- amazing to see you here!
21:16:06 kbeers: Always looking for smart thinking and something popped up on Twitter (which I'm slowly learning to use!) and thought I'd duck in to do some learning from all the smart folks here.  
21:16:20 matt montagne: hey all
21:16:28 April Niemela: hey there
21:17:31 Chris Sloan: Hi Matt.
21:19:06 matt montagne: hey chris
21:19:22 matt montagne: multitasking baby duties, dinner prep, and TTT!!!
21:19:53 susanettenheim: hi matt!
21:20:06 matt montagne: hi susan!
21:20:19 susanettenheim: hi arvind!
21:21:02 susanettenheim: welcome kbeers! please feel free to ask/join in!!
21:22:34 Chris Sloan: These stories (the Gulf and Japan recovery) to me show the resiliency of the human spirit.
21:22:59 Chris Sloan: but also how close our species is to really screwing things up.
21:24:08 kbeers: Daugher was at Tulane during Katrina. We saw NOLA surviving in a way that TV barely began to capture.
21:25:48 Chris Sloan: Has anybody read John Hersey's Hiroshima?
21:26:26 matt montagne: the entire question of nuclear power certainly is a good one for students to wrestle with...
21:26:26 April Niemela: yes -- i've taught it in my class for years
21:27:08 matt montagne: is it a good idea for such a geograhically small, seismically active country to have nuclear be such a large part of the energy mix??
21:27:15 kbeers: Hate to have to leave--but looking forward to joining other times.  Thanks for being a welcoming community, but must pack to head to Canada. Night all...
21:27:18 Chris Sloan: I've noticed that in Hiroshima and other survivor stories, the people who outlive the tragedy oftentimes turn to vocations that help others.
21:27:28 April Niemela: g'night, kylene!
21:28:51 April Niemela: i adore Desert Solitaire! kudos for teaching it, Chris!
21:28:58 matt montagne: that is a good point, Chris...traces of radioactive material from Japan have been detected even here in California
21:29:20 matt montagne: so we're all connected of course...no room for silos.
21:29:44 Chris Sloan: Yes, but my challenge is trying to have students see that interconnectedness
21:30:05 Chris Sloan: I just had a girl say "I don't care about the environment." I just plan on living in the city
21:30:44 susanettenheim: oh dear chris tell her even city people care.. we're a green school
21:30:53 April Niemela: I tell myself that it's an age thing...she'll grow into it
21:30:56 matt montagne: I see an environmental ambivalence from people of all ages for sure, Chris.
21:31:47 Chris Sloan: Unfortunately, my baby boomer cohorts haven't been leading an exemplary life.
21:31:56 matt montagne: I have to say, environmental education and getting kids to spend time in the woods has never been more important...its how we develop an appreciation for the natural world (you can't develop an appreciation from reading about it alone)
21:32:09 Chris Sloan: so true
21:32:40 matt montagne: in the same way that John Muir went to the woods and became a policy advocate for the natural world, it becomes important for kids/humans of all ages to go to the woods
21:33:14 susanettenheim: I don't know Matt - we have a big green program without the woods :)
21:33:59 Chris Sloan: Susan, we live by some of the most breathtaking areas, but I've still got a lot of kids who don't care much for the environment
21:34:36 susanettenheim: we do a lot with cutting energy use and paper use but we're in the city
21:35:10 Chris Sloan: I'm not saying we don't do that.  But sometimes I get a little frustrated that we don't do it enough
21:35:48 susanettenheim: so true
21:37:41 susanettenheim: hi welcome laura
21:37:47 matt montagne: how do we move kids beyond charity??
21:37:55 laura kriska: thanks Susan.
21:38:01 April Niemela: welcome, laura!
21:38:13 Chris Sloan: Good question Matt.
21:38:15 laura kriska: Hi April  Thanks for involving me in this!
21:38:19 matt montagne: our kids seem fine raising some money through a bakesale, but when it comes to studying the underpinnings of these issues, there isn't much interest
21:38:32 April Niemela: absolutely! it's wonderful to have you on :)
21:38:32 Chris Sloan: Agreed Matt
21:39:05 laura kriska: I've got one at 184 and one at Saint Ann's and one in nursery
21:39:13 matt montagne: take haiti for example...we were so eager to send money, but not so eager to understand why it happened (and we know Haiti was more than a 'natural' disaster)
21:39:16 matt montagne: Great questions, Paul
21:39:20 matt montagne: we have short term memoris
21:39:24 susanettenheim: great!  I am a teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt HS
21:39:24 matt montagne: *memories
21:40:08 susanettenheim: out students are busy rehearsing for the annual earth day program. I think it comes from the top - our principal is very "green"
21:40:20 April Niemela: I have to disagree -- I piloted a social awareness project last year, and this year we are doing a full scale, full quarter research project -- and these kids are eating it up. Handing work in early, conferencing, palpable excitement
21:41:06 matt montagne: it's difficult when these companies have such a strong lobby in DC
21:41:24 April Niemela: I am amazed, daily, by the energy and excitement and dedication to discovering those innerpinnings
21:41:31 susanettenheim: bp seems to have bought a number of lukoil and getty and now we won't go there anymore
21:42:07 matt montagne: that is great april
21:42:26 matt montagne: we're not there yet
21:42:45 susanettenheim: I agree April - lots of interest in our school too
21:42:53 April Niemela: but i think it's about baby steps :) it's about  moving forward and being thankful for those steps...
21:43:13 April Niemela: that is awesome, Susan!
21:43:31 Chris Sloan: You need to share that story April.  Susan you too.  Share how you get students so enthusiastic about these issues.
21:43:52 April Niemela: :D with what time, dear Chris?
21:44:00 April Niemela: j/k
21:44:10 susanettenheim: hi sheila welcome!
21:44:11 Sheila: Hello all!
21:44:14 Chris Sloan: I meant share with on TTT right now
21:44:22 April Niemela: hello, sheila!
21:44:26 April Niemela: ahhh. gotcha
21:44:38 susanettenheim: chris I really think a lot at our place is due to the committment of our principal
21:44:52 Chris Sloan: Leadership is a big part.
21:45:17 matt montagne: oh how I hope we don't need nuclear
21:46:22 matt montagne: i still have yet to hear of a 100% safe way to store spent fuel
21:46:41 Chris Sloan: me neither
21:50:02 matt montagne: what about the justice/human rights issues for the people working at the damaged plant?
21:50:17 April Niemela: it doesn't seem to fit the conversation right now. but it is exciting, chris, being a part of this project
21:51:09 Chris Sloan: agreed
21:55:13 laura kriska: Please visit www.cherryblossomletters.com and spread the word to other educators who might be searching for way to get kids involved in directly supporting people in Japan by writing letters and making art.  
21:55:30 matt montagne: that is fantastic, April
21:55:54 Chris Sloan: well said April.
21:56:14 April Niemela: thanks, matt. like i said, it's just one baby step after another...
21:56:22 April Niemela: thank you Chris...
21:56:30 Chris Sloan: Wonderful project Laura
21:56:37 matt montagne: well, we've created these big problems -- to a large extent, they have no choice to care.
21:56:57 Sheila: Will have to catch the rest later! Thanks!
21:57:06 April Niemela: My family just pulled up. it's the last time i'll get to see my sister, niece, and nephew before they fly out to Rhode Island.... so i'm going to say good bye for now
21:57:14 April Niemela: thank you so much for having me...
21:57:16 Chris Sloan: bye April
21:57:24 April Niemela: is it okay if i just sign off,, Chris?
21:57:29 Chris Sloan: Yes
21:57:32 April Niemela: thank you!
21:57:36 April Niemela: take care all
21:57:43 laura kriska: Manythanks April!
21:58:02 April Niemela: thank YOU, laura. you are amazing. seriously
22:08:21 susanettenheim: http://quakestories.wikispaces.com/
22:09:05 laura kriska: great hearing from all of you.  thanks!
22:09:23 Chris Sloan: Who does Quake Stories again?
22:09:55 matt montagne: great webcast, all!!!
22:10:16 matt montagne: that rural issue that paul brought up is a good one to think about
22:10:38 matt montagne: I think of the massive coal fly ash spill 2 years ago in rural TN...it's all but forgotten
22:12:59 matt montagne: anyone have that link
22:13:27 matt montagne: the link to the blog page with resources to help Japan
22:13:49 matt montagne: Lorna is great for sure!