TTT#368 Connected Ed-Teacher Voice w/ Meenoo Rami, Kevin Hodgson, Karen Fasimpaur, Jo Paraiso, Chad Sansing, Maribeth Whitehouse

Teacher voice is our theme on this episode of TTT recorded on 10.16.13 in the middle of Connected Educators Month Raising teacher voice is an ongoing theme on TTT, and we welcomed this opportunity to re-join the conversations that we hosted in May and June, 2013:

  • TTT#351 Teachers Speaking Up
    On this... episode... we talk about how, when, why, and where to speak up!
  • TTT#353 Teachers Speaking Up
    A provocative conversation about Teachers Speaking Up w/@AndreaZellner, @KSchulten, @StevenZemelman, @Ochoajen @MsSandersTHS, @meenoorami, and Pat Delaney

On this episode of TTT we are joined by:

Meenoo Rami's profile photo Meenoo Rami Kevin Hodgson's profile photo Kevin Hodgson Karen Fasimpaur's profile photo Karen Fasimpaur
Johanna Paraiso's profile photo Johanna Paraiso Chandler Sansing's profile photo Chandler Sansing Maribeth Whitehouse's profile photo Maribeth Whitehouse

Click Read more to see the chat that was happening during this live webcast,
and to find links to several of the resources shared during this episode of TTT.

Notes from the Webcast:

English chat - #engchat - Monday nights at 7pm Eastern -
Meenoo Rami @mMineCraft for when school blocks it - MineCraft in browsereenoorami - for updates on upcoming #engchat topics
Youth Voices for Change - (can't find the website for these guys yet .. will keep looking)
teacher and parent organizing in Philly and
"How do we  take back a narrative around innovation, around our vision of teaching  and learning? I guess I keep wondering the role of this in the midst of  also essential organizing, marching, calling, budget watching, etc."
Meenoo Rami: This quote kicked off the school year for me: The first thing I want to say to you who are students, is that you cannot afford to think of being here to receive an education: you will do much better to think of being here to claim one. - A. Rich

Chat from October 16, 2013

20:47Paul Allison: Hey Chad -- Join us!
20:52Paul Allison: We will be starting in about 10 minutes. Please feel free to jump into the Hangout with us (and bring your earphones).
20:57karen (@kfasimpaur): Hey, Chad.
20:59Meenoo Rami: Hey Chad
20:59chadsansing: Howdy -
21:00karen (@kfasimpaur): If anyone would like to join us in the chat room, the link is
21:02unnamedHi guys ... real sorry but I can't seem to get in yet.
21:03karen (@kfasimpaur): (Who are you? :)
21:04Christina: sorry7 Karen ... it's me, Christina
21:04Christina: Logging in from my mother's house ... but not successfully.
21:04Christina: I've never had this problem before ... so strange.
21:04karen (@kfasimpaur): Hi, Christina.
21:04Peggy George: Hi everyone! Great to be here with you!!
21:05karen (@kfasimpaur): odd..might try again?
21:05karen (@kfasimpaur): HI, Peggy.
21:05karen (@kfasimpaur): How was your day?
21:06Peggy George: the interview went great! It was really fun!
21:06karen (@kfasimpaur): Glad to hear it.
21:06chadsansing: Hi, Chris, Peggy, & TTT pals :)
21:06karen (@kfasimpaur): Sorry I missed it. I'm exhausted...
21:06Peggy George: small but mighty group :-) great conversation!
21:06Peggy George: Hi Chad!!! Great to see you!
21:07chadsansing: Happy to be here with you, Peggy :)
21:07Peggy George: I wish we could get everyone to use Lower Thirds in the Hangout. Helps so much knowing who is speaking :-)
21:07Peggy George: brilliant idea! it would be so much fun to have dinner with all of you!
21:08Christina: Hi guys. I'd have to totally reboot here and I'd rather listen and chat .. that okay Karen?
21:08karen (@kfasimpaur): that's fine.
21:08karen (@kfasimpaur): I'm playing relay bewteen the two chat rooms tonight
21:08Christina: Two chats? Where is the second?
21:09Peggy George: in the Hangout
21:09karen (@kfasimpaur): in the hangout itself
21:09karen (@kfasimpaur): jinx
21:09karen (@kfasimpaur): :)
21:09Peggy George: :-)
21:09Christina: Hi everyone .. Antoinette, Chad, Karen, Meenoo, Paul and Peggy!
21:09Peggy George: Hi Christina!!
21:09Christina: ah yes!
21:10Christina: Hello :)
21:10Peggy George: I love having people here on the Titanpad to chat with!
21:11Christina: Also interested in this space between practice and policy too.
21:11Peggy George: yeah Western MA!!! My old stomping grounds!! Got my Masters and Ed.D. at UMass-Amherst and lived in Amherst and Leverett for about 15 years. :-)
21:11Christina: Titanpad ... like that name.
21:12Peggy George: I think it's a great tool for capturing resources as well as chat :-)
21:12Peggy George: fascinating point that teacher voice is everything coming through her students!
21:12Christina: Hello everyone! Please type your name or identifier above ... and jump in here whenever!
21:13Chris (@edinterwebs): Evening!
21:13chadsansing: Hi, Chris!
21:13Peggy George: Hi Chris
21:13Christina: Hi Chris -- welcome!
21:14Christina: so important these examples of practice, examples of student work!
21:14karen (@kfasimpaur): Hi Chris.
21:14Peggy George: technology has a way of humbling us!!
21:14Peggy George: it's fabulous when it works :-)
21:14karen (@kfasimpaur): If anyone else wants to join the hangout, there's room
21:14Christina: micropolitan?
21:15Peggy George: new word :-)
21:15Christina: Chris, do you want to join tonight?
21:15karen (@kfasimpaur): tiny city (-ish)
21:15Christina: Right!
21:16Peggy George: I LOVE the K12 Online pre-conference keynote by Shannon Miller where she co-presents with a 4th grader in her school. Teacher voice and student voice are immersed throughout the presentation! So many great examples!
21:16Chris (@edinterwebs): I'm good Christina, thanks
21:16Christina: np :)
21:17Barb Jansen: What a great idea to copresent with a student
21:17karen (@kfasimpaur): Hi, Barb.
21:17Peggy George: it was fantastic Barb!
21:17Barb Jansen: Hi, Karen!
21:17Peggy George: love hearing what everyone is up to!
21:18karen (@kfasimpaur): Curious as to why the unions don't seem to be taking up more issues that seem important to teachers and learning (Or is that just my perception?)
21:18Peggy George: it's so tragic to hear about all of the layoffs in Philly!! :-(
21:19Christina: You can keep up on what's going on in Philadelphia at the Public School Notebook,
21:19Peggy George: when you lose good teachers due to budget cuts it's very hard to get them back!
21:19Peggy George: Thanks Christina!
21:19karen (@kfasimpaur): so true
21:19Christina: The story about what Meenoo is talking about went national -- I'll share the Washington Post article.
21:20Peggy George: excellent!
21:21Christina: Beyond terrible, just fyi.
21:21Peggy George: I've been reading the blog posts by Diane Ravitch about all of the aweful things going on in NYC with John King and the public hearings where parents, students, teachers haven't been allowed to speak and he even cancelled some of the hearings.
21:22Peggy George: great question!! tough answers!
21:22Christina: I've been less watching NYC recently because of the extremeness of what's been happening here in Philly ...
21:23karen (@kfasimpaur): Student voices are powerful
21:23Christina: ... but yes, really amazing what is happening.
21:23Christina: Philadelphia Student Union and Youth Voices for Change are two really important and inspiring student leadership groups here.
21:23Peggy George: that's great to know about Christina!
21:24Chris (@edinterwebs): how to create spaces for student (and staff) conversation
21:24Peggy George: probably lots of parallel experiences in Philly & NYC!
21:24Chris (@edinterwebs): has been on my mind...without overwhelming and pushing openness...
21:25karen (@kfasimpaur): I struggle a lot with these identity issues myself...
21:25Christina: Yes, Philly and NYC there are many parallels fo rsure ...
21:25Christina: ... and in Philly we've been taken over by the State and recently we've been in blackmail mode with the Governor for even base resources that meant for us.
21:26Peggy George: that's such a sad story about the girl who died--so unnecessary! backup plans have to be made to handle student medical needs when there aren't nurses!
21:26Meenoo Rami: Chris, can you join the hangout
21:26Christina: He is trying to force the hand of the teachers union. so it's been really extreme. Kind of parallels some of the national conversation.
21:26Chris (@edinterwebs): ha! lol
21:26karen (@kfasimpaur): I've often thought that I'd like to be an (anonymous) expose writer in education
21:26Peggy George: how funny! blogging under an identity :-)
21:26Peggy George: fun idea Karen!
21:26Christina: Meenoo, do you mean me or the other Chris? (I'm not sure I can get in I'm afraid ... I'm here at my mother's and the computer isn't behaving)
21:27Peggy George: multiple personalities!!! I'd have trouble keeping them all straight!
21:27karen (@kfasimpaur): fun...but also maybe dangerous...that's one identity challenge, right?
21:27Peggy George: it would be great to hear from you Christina
21:28Peggy George: hahaha a work in progress :-)
21:29Christina: I do think Meenoo is representing the situation well ... she's really on the ground. And I agree, the organizing work that is happening is what gives me faith in what is possible.
21:30Peggy George: those are really tough decisions to have to make as a teacher!
21:30karen (@kfasimpaur): If you/we lose our jobs, that certainly doesn't help (and that's certainly happened)
21:31Peggy George: exactly!!!
21:31karen (@kfasimpaur): Wondering if you all encourage or discourage different student identities online?
21:33Peggy George: teachers are in a vulnerable position because they can be accused of unduly influencing their students to protest.
21:34Peggy George: great question Karen! I haven't really thought about it for students but I know many teachers have separate purposes for their online presence--personal and professional.
21:34Christina: I want to give a shout out to teacher and parent organizing in Philly too:
21:34karen (@kfasimpaur): I've heard compelling arguments for distinct voics and for not... I struggle with that myself
21:35Peggy George: and the teachers keep them separate purposefully
21:35karen (@kfasimpaur): yes...most admins almost require this I think
21:35karen (@kfasimpaur): I don't necessarily agree with that... challenging
21:35Meenoo Rami: This quote kicked off the school year for me: The first thing I want to say to you who are students, is that you cannot afford to think of being here to receive an education: you will do much better to think of being here to claim one. - A. Rich
21:36Christina: Amen.
21:36Peggy George: I personally have chosen to have my personal & professional combined. But I don't have to worry about my job. Not sure what I would do if I were still a principal.
21:37Peggy George: great quote Meenoo!!
21:37Christina: I am also wondering how we change the script of what school and learning is ...
21:37Chris (@edinterwebs): I'm split.
21:37Chris (@edinterwebs): personal/professional
21:37Christina: and at the same time so much organizing is critical in this devestating situation in Philly I feel like we need to keep talking about teaching and learning too.
21:38Christina: Worried that "reformers" are grabbing the narrative about innovation, about reform, about change ...
21:38karen (@kfasimpaur): Another way to phrase the question - Should we have to have separate identities?
21:39Christina: at a moment when as teachers and student we should be at the forefront. ("reformers" in quote means those who are in power who tend to not be educators and students)
21:39Chris (@edinterwebs): yes, I don't think its a should. I think its personal. I love what was said earlier that when we assume an identity, there are things we sacrifice...
21:39karen (@kfasimpaur): from the other chat room: "My school doesn't want students to have a voice. In every way the message is sent: do what you are told."
21:39karen (@kfasimpaur): Me: Teachers too...the compliance agenda
21:40Peggy George: even if teachers are given "permission" to share their voice/message through social media with their professional identity I don't think some would feel comfortable. Lack of trust.
21:40karen (@kfasimpaur): True, Chris. Thanks for sharing that.
21:40Christina: how do we take back a narrative around innovation, around our vision of teaching and learning? I guess I keep wondering the role of this in the midst of also essential organizing, marching, calling, budget watching, etc.
21:40Chris (@edinterwebs): where's the other chat?
21:40Peggy George: in the Hangout
21:40karen (@kfasimpaur): In the hangout itself (feel free to join ;)
21:40Chris (@edinterwebs): oh. ok.
21:40karen (@kfasimpaur): Also "Yes, I do encourage the multiple voices, but also am moving into how they can meld together. For example, they blog about their senior project social equity topics, but use their social networks to share that blog to friends."
21:42karen (@kfasimpaur): Audience and identity are linked.
21:43Peggy George: I would like to see that too Karen.
21:43karen (@kfasimpaur): Trust is at hte center of lots of this.
21:43Peggy George: totally agree!
21:43Christina: You guys do big work. You and your students. It's so true.
21:43karen (@kfasimpaur): From Maribeth: "Teachers need to tell their stories. Ed reformists are telling their narrative"
21:44Peggy George: that's one of the real bonuses of being a connected learner/leader. When you reach out and share your thinking and projects it allows you to see how you really are doing great things
21:44Christina: Wondering how to lead the narrative ... that's what I keep wondering. -- Yes, Maribeth, Kevin, Jo and Meenoo!
21:45chadsansing: Push everything to the Boing Boing submitterator & EFF foundation -
21:45Christina: Tonight I was witha colleague who has taught for almost 30 years ... and from her I hear "news" but also "olds" ... ie. ...
21:45Peggy George: teachers often tend to think that what they're doing is not that special but when you share it you find out it really is special!
21:46Christina: ... what happened before and how we got to where we are today. Both important to remember the history of all this ... as well as remember that there were healthy reforms that happened and that we can continue to learn from while also innovating forward.
21:46karen (@kfasimpaur): Follow the $. That's the root of many societal problems not just educ
21:46Christina: I think Paul's question is really important though ... how do we increase the impact here?
21:46Christina: Yes, I realize it is money. And, I think it's also other things.
21:46Chris (@edinterwebs): the PR on the Common Core: "its what educators created"
21:46karen (@kfasimpaur): From Kevin: "Read Paul Blogush and his posts about following the money around Common Core"
21:47karen (@kfasimpaur): Public educ needs a PR campaign. Why don't the unions take this on?
21:48karen (@kfasimpaur): What are other key issues Christina?
21:50chadsansing: No unions in VA.
21:50Peggy George: Diane Ravitch blogs about the money connection all the time and details it in her new book Reign of Error. It's fantastic!
21:50Peggy George: the unions are being trampled by the "reformers"!
21:51karen (@kfasimpaur): everyone seems to have an "agenda"...few seem to focus on what's good for learners
21:51Christina: I guess I'm trying ot figure out how to chat about these challenging issues ...
21:51karen (@kfasimpaur): (sorry you can't get in to the hangout...good grist for the blog mill here)
21:52chadsansing: "Make stuff real" is the mantra my co-teacher has helped me adopt this year, @Karen -
21:52chadsansing: Very #clmooc :)
21:52karen (@kfasimpaur): yes...
21:52karen (@kfasimpaur): I'm turning to making more and more when I get frustrated with things
21:52Christina: for example, I support what the union supports in terms of protecting workers against abitrary action, etc ...
21:52karen (@kfasimpaur): cheap therapy
21:53Peggy George: Diane Ravitch is so smart!! and well informed. She digs deeply into research
21:53Peggy George: love that point Chad--make stuff real!
21:54Peggy George: making is definitely a way to relieve stress :-)
21:54karen (@kfasimpaur): and at the end, you have something
21:54Peggy George: absolutely!!
21:54Peggy George: but then do you feel guilty for having spent the time "making" when you "should" have been doing something else?
21:55chadsansing: I feel guilty doing the other stuff when we should be making.
21:55Peggy George: Karen I really appreciate your cross-posting the thoughts between both chats!
21:55chadsansing: That's the prime discontent.
21:56karen (@kfasimpaur): Here's some more: "Some teachers are scared. Some are swamped. Some don't know better"
21:56karen (@kfasimpaur): Chad, I sometimes feel guilty making when I should be doing xyz.
21:56karen (@kfasimpaur): It's selfish
21:56Christina: What is the movement - yes, an interesting question.
21:56karen (@kfasimpaur): (Oh yes, Peggy said that)
21:57Christina: Connected learning as a movement? A vision of what is possible moving forward?
21:57Christina: That's how I tend to imagine the movement.
21:57karen (@kfasimpaur): I may be a little wary of "movements"...Walk Out, Walk On ...
21:57Christina: And for me, that includes a vision for unions, a vision for schools, a vision for learning.
21:57Christina: True, @Karen
21:58karen (@kfasimpaur): If we all focused more on learning and less on other thigns, I can't help thinking things would be better...more satisfactory to everyone
21:58Peggy George: I don't exactly think of it as a movement
21:58Peggy George: I'm with you on that Karen!
21:59Christina: Although I also like movement ... as in a pulse, a thickening, ....
21:59Peggy George: if we could get rid of grading and standardized testing education would be very different!
21:59Peggy George: I agree with Diane Ravitch about all of the money!!!
21:59Christina: I think this is the key question! What is that change going to look like!
22:00Chris (@edinterwebs): Sam Reed tweeted earlier about teacher leadership in schools.
22:00Chris (@edinterwebs): I would love to think that's got to be key of the other side
22:01Christina: Yes, there is an event today (or was) to support and raise money for teacher-led schools ...
22:01Christina: ... that starts to surface visions.
22:01chadsansing: Co-learning, inquiry, making, & food.
22:01karen (@kfasimpaur): Kickstart public ed PR campaign...I like that
22:02Christina: I do think the students can lead on this visioning - agree!
22:03Christina: Agree Kevin! Thanks for raising that.
22:03karen (@kfasimpaur): I hate to say this, but mostly when I think deeply about this stuff, I want to withdraw
22:03Chris (@edinterwebs): if I see another Common Core resource sales pitch masked as innovation!
22:03Peggy George: my experience so far this month on #ce13 has been very positive. I'm not following all of the tweets so haven't really been bothered by the sponsors. I've loved connecting with other educators in webinars, blog posts sharing their experiences. Very inspiring!
22:04Christina: I also agree Peggy that there have been a lot of reallygreat things happening at #ce13
22:04karen (@kfasimpaur): Re: #ce13...Part of being "open" means you get the crap w/the good
22:04Christina: and/ I also notice what Kevin is saying ... and I think it's commercial interests taking advantage of the networking ..
22:04Peggy George: that's true Karen and you have to apply your filters to take away what is good about it
22:04Chris (@edinterwebs): just don' think that the effort is in vain. :)
22:04chadsansing: The edge of failure is the place. Always grateful for tomorrow.
22:05karen (@kfasimpaur): "students fighting for change: Nikhail Goyal, Stephanie Rivera, Israel Munoz Fighters w/ a national profile: Anthony Cody, Katie Osgood, Michelle Gunderson,Karen Lewis, Diane Ravitch, Valerie Strauss, Mark Naison, Badass Teacher Association, Network for Public Education You can find them on Twitter"
22:05karen (@kfasimpaur): (from Maribeth)
22:05Peggy George: MaryBeth I feel your pain and frustration!!! Just keep focusing on yourself and your kids! You are an amazing teacher and are making a difference!
22:06Christina: Great Meenoo! Important notes to end on.
22:07chadsansing: Oooo.
22:07Peggy George: Diane Ravitch is great about bringing in all of those student voices and amplifying them!
22:07Peggy George: and teacher voices too!
22:07chadsansing: Good-night!
22:07Meenoo Rami: good night!
22:07karen (@kfasimpaur): Thanks everyone for joining us!
22:07karen (@kfasimpaur): Important stuff....
22:08karen (@kfasimpaur): Good night, and see you next week.
22:08Chris (@edinterwebs): evening!
22:08Peggy George: if you want a great pick-me-up be sure to listen to Shannon Miller and her student in the K12 Online keynote!!!
22:08Christina: You all are awesome. This work is big.
22:08Peggy George: thank you all! you have deeeply touched me with your commitment and passion for what you do!
22:08chadsansing: ¡Adiós!