The gist: Hoosier, Alabamian, English teacher, Instructional designer, e-Learning instructor, Ed Tech enthusiast, Basketball coach, Husband, Dad
A Hoosier at heart, transplanted in the beautiful Appalachian foothills of east-central Alabama. I’ve lived a life of change, with previous work in ministry and management, now committed to ministering to and managing the minds of high schoolers.
In Walden, the transcendalist Thoreau said, “Things do not change; we change.” His views on natural living and poverty likely would cast him in opposition to society’s technological shift. But, he’s right. People change. We often seek to conform mindlessly in ways through which we lose ourselves, our dignity, our identities. If it distracts us from our instructional purposes to “get new things,” as Thoreau puts it, it’s better to “sell [our] clothes, and keep [our] thoughts.” He urges us to enjoy the simplicities of life, to “live life near the bone where it is sweetest.”
[Still working: Thoreau’s nail]
Ironically, in an article titled “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants,” written more than 15 years ago, Marc Prensky hit the nail on the head. Modern students have been raised with constantly emerging technology, leading to bigger concerns than just a generational disconnect about compentencies in skillfully using a computer, tablet, smart phone, or another device. Prensky alleges students think differently now:
“today‟s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. These differences go far further and deeper than most educators suspect or realize. ‘Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures,’ says Dr. Bruce D. Perry of Baylor College of Medicine.”
It should always be about the students. This blog is my regular reminder of that. My goal is not to become the embodiment of apathy, but an example of aspiration; not to be complacent with where I am, but projected toward growth; not sympathetic to change, but a herald of it. And when I fail, struggle, or succeed, I read and write. The only thing consistent about me is imperfection. I, like my students, am a work in progress. If there’s any tone threaded throughout this blog, I hope it’s that of a growth mindset.