Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Tom Panarese
29 followers
29 followers
About
Posts

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
I like that you consider the physical limitations we all have with our classrooms.  I'm in a building built in 1962 and have, on average 23-24 students per class each year.  So there's only so many ways I can configure things.

I personally hate the student desks in my room.  They're way too uncomfortable.  I'd love to just replace them with a few long tables and enough chairs for each student.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
There is something about improvisation coupled with grace under pressure that can't exactly be taught.  It's not a uniquely innate skill because I know that some people get it after years of trying and failing.  But it's there.

I like the creativity that comes with Chopped and with the quickfires on Top Chef, the "dance for your life" on So You Think You Can Dance, and any other on-the-spot elimination challenge on a talent-based show.  What people come up with is very 'rough draft' in a big way, but I can imagine that there is the potential for great things to come out of what you get on that moment.  

It's also fun. 
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
[insert my usual snarky Innovative Educator comment here]
The Cost of Being First
The Cost of Being First
educationrethink.com
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
The #8 I would add here is "Know when to quit."  I was going through a fair amount of blogging burnout at this time last year and did a lot of what you mentioned here.  It worked for a time, but six months later, I found myself in the same place: my posts were becoming repetitive, the posts I wanted people to read weren't being read, and I was becoming more and more sour about the whole experience.  So I walked away (funny enough it was six months ago today).  

It didn't cure my bitterness entirely--cynicism is my default setting, so I'm not necessarily sure what ever will--but I actually feel that it was important and may have, on some level, saved my attitude toward teaching as a whole.  

In the last six months, I have slowly started to back away from being a "Connected Educator."  Part of it was because I wanted to streamline what I read, commented on, and contributed to; part of it was because I was starting to wonder if that was really worth it.  Sure, ask the eduTwitterati and they will list alllll the benefits and give you alllll the reasons why you should feel ashamed you're not on an #edcchat  every week or attending ISTE, NCTE, ASCD, NASA, or SPECTRE.  But honestly, I've started to wonder if we are becoming over-reflective in this profession.  

Not that I don't like introspection and reflection; heck, I seem to specialize in pop culture-based memoir over on the blog that I do write.  But the difference between that and what I was doing when I was an edublogger is that I'm doing that for fun and I felt like I was edublogging for work.  Because not reflecting made me a bad teacher or something (btw, there's a whole post there waiting to be written as much as there's one about how there's an ironic dishonesty among educators who are praised for writing "honest" posts, but you won't hear that from me).  

Finding your comfort zone is key.  Knowing when you've had enough is key.  And planning the ending, like the conclusion to any good piece of writing, is especially key.  If you decide to walk away from what you're doing, you won't be a failure; you'll simply be an adult.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
You get this across without the bitterness that I would use (and you know I always ride my Huffy bike to the bitter barn).  Excellent job.
Is It Still Worth It?
Is It Still Worth It?
educationrethink.com
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
But Google replaced me.  
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
These illustrations are nice, but the 99% of us who aren't in spaces like that often have to deal with the physical and budgetary limitations of our own spaces.  Not only that, posts and tweets about what classrooms look like are too quick to judge a book by its cover.  We all look to provide houses of ideas; some do it more organically than others.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
I think this is why very often the first steps of my writing process, even all the way to a first draft, involves a pen and a spiral-bound notebook.  Whenever I write from scratch on the computer, I often find myself distracted by everything going on; however, writing by myself in a notebook allows me to focus a little more.  I'm not saying that I don't get distracted, but it's definitely less.

My students were laughing at me last week when I told them that sometimes I get so frustrated with trying to get an idea in my head down on paper that I grab my MP3 recorder and walk around my room talking into it.  I guess the sight of me pacing around talking to myself is kind of funny, but it definitely works.
What Do We Actually Lose?
What Do We Actually Lose?
educationrethink.com
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
Camden Yards is an interesting analogy because while it ushered in an era of new baseball construction, there have also been other trends in the baseball stadium experience in the last twenty years ...

1.  Catering to the rich.  Look at most stadiums constructed since Camden Yards and you will see that all of them have focused heavily on luxury boxes and other amenities for people willing to pay an enormous amount of money to attend baseball games (or to use it to entertain corporate clients).  

2.  Public-funded stadiums.  Quite a number of the newer sports arenas of the past two decades have been paid via taxpayer-funded mandates.  I also think that in some cases, teams have threatened to move (or may even have moved--it's early and I'm too lazy to research) because the city/county/state was balking on using taxpayer dollars to build a new stadium.

3.  Rising costs overall.  Newer stadiums, bigger luxury boxes, and larger player salaries add up to higher ticket prices.  The cheapest seats have more than doubled in price in twenty years and the better seats--field level, for instance--has grown quite a bit more.

Plus, the stadiums themselves are as fake as the derided cookie cutter places of my youth.  The running joke among Mets fans is that Shea was a dump, bit it was "our dump."  Citi Field is a recreated Ebbets Field--a tribute to a team that Mets replaced, a team that has spent more time in Los Angeles than it ever did in Brooklyn.  The new Yankee Stadium was built by a team that uses the word "Tradition" more than the cast of Fiddler on the Roof, yet whose latest "Tradition" seems to be trying to buy championships.  And Camden Yards?  It's been a few years since I attended a game there, but Orioles fans never seemed to get excited about anything--they'd have to put down their crab cakes in order to do it.

At the same time, the economic ridiculousness and fake authenticity current baseball stadiums is a great metaphor for the rhetoric used in education today.  
Looking Back to Look Forward
Looking Back to Look Forward
educationrethink.com
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tom Panarese commented on a post on Blogger.
Excellent point, and I would like to point out that the idea of an Awards Show For Teachers -- the Bammys, for instance -- is a completely flawed one anyway.  The people who come up with these ideas are the same who like to complain that the Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys are all about celebrating people who don't need to be celebrated (rich celebrities) and then say, "Let's have an Oscars for teachers!"  Sure, I'll never get anywhere close to a shot at an EGOT, but I can sure get my Bammy!

But the celebrity awards shows are simply marketing ploys disguised as evenings of honor.  Did you win best picture?  Enjoy the residuals when more people go to see your movie.  Are you nominated for a Grammy?  There's a bump up the Billboard Hot 100.  Did someone say your name when Giuliana Rancic asked, "Who are you wearing?"  Sales!  Sales!  Sales!

People have been trying to commodify social media ever since it began; educators have been too.  Is the audience for your blog more authentic than mine?  Well, let's check our stats, shall we?  Hey look, it's the "hottest posts that everyone's reading."  Oooo ... I have 3000 Twitter followers and you only have 100.  I MUST be better than you!  And look at how well this hashtag we created is doing.  Heck, we even have IMPORTANT PEOPLE Tweeting at us!

It's a running joke among some of my colleagues and I about how nobody from our department is ever nominated for building/district awards because none of us really wants that much recognition, or at least that type or recognition (In fact, I keep threatening to nominate my friend for an award if he ever pisses me off).   Because it's not real.  It's not genuine.  Social media awards are the same way.  

[/rant]
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded