This will be my final blog post with CorelaborateWA.org as I make space for another classroom teacher’s voice. After nearly seven years as a middle school Humanities teacher, I have accepted a new role with Town Hall Seattle while I continue my education activism through my TED-Ed Innovation Project, ROLL CALL. This transition is exciting but bittersweet for sure.
My gratitude for being a part of this Washington State Teacher Leader team for the last two and a half years is overflowing. This community has inspired me in so many unexpected ways as an educator, but also as a parent, community member, and human being. I could think of no better way to wrap up my Corelaborate teacher blog than with a look back through my #WATeachLead adventures with a final Mostly Appropriate Resources post.
Mostly Appropriate Resources was usually where I offered teachers ideas for curriculum that might inspire a few parent emails. I called these standards-inspired opportunities for parent-teacher communication.
I started this column as an offering for teachers: here are some tools, here is what happened in my classroom when I built lessons around these tools, here’s where it fell flat, here’s where a seventh grader literally stood on his desk before 8 AM on a Monday because he was so into this activity.
I wanted to offer something concrete in the cacophony of education theory-speak about interdisciplinary inlcusivity to increase access to diverse social-emotional project-based pedagogy. I wanted an action plan more than I wanted actionable strategies. So MAR was born.
What I didn’t anticipate was that MAR would also become a rally call to all of the teachers out there pushing the boundaries of their curriculum. These are the teachers tired of worksheets and lesson plans based on straight white men. Teachers frustrated with textbooks and testing. Teachers getting ground down and burned out by so many conferences with parents and administrators to justify why they are trying new things in their classroom. Teachers fighting for their students’ ever-shrinking attention. Teachers trying to get our kids ready for a world that requires critical thinking and new ideas all the time, every day, during and in-between every election cycle from now until forever.
Teachers—you who are doing this underpaid, under-appreciated, revolutionary work and resisting the grind and the burnout—this is for you.
And parents—you who are doing the terrifying and nearly impossible work of raising human beings you had no idea you would love this much—this is for you too.
And students—you who are surviving those long school days followed by too much homework and too many after-school activities or too few affordable after-school activities, while trying to figure out who you are, how you’ll take on the world, who you’ll love, and who will love you back—this is for you too.
And CorelaborateWA.org—this is also for you. Thanks for having me along for the last few years. I might be leaving this blog as I step out of the classroom, but I’m #WATeachLead forever to my core.
- This cautiously optimistic mostly appropriate review of the most unprecedented (“unpresidented”) year ever.
2. This ROLL CALL.
3. These 4 disruptive ideas from my NYC adventure with TED-Ed Weekend.
4. This defiant photo essay after our country elected a circus peanut for President.
5. This explainer about why I instigate awkward conversations.
7. This mostly appropriate list of resources to help you queer the curriculum.
8. This magic thing that actually happened when my kid yelled at rice.
9. This mostly appropriate list of resources to put education’s race problem in the fishbowl.
10. This mostly appropriate lesson plan inspired by the most complex stuffed animal in literature to make your students cry.
11. This liberating week without grades.
12. This mostly appropriate lesson plan inspired by Junot Diaz as a tween.
13. This reminder that there are no letter grades in life.
14. This mostly appropriate step-by-step to help you slay the curriculum.
15. This mostly appropriate launch.
16. This guide to using Socratic Seminars to teach teenagers dinner party skills.
17. These 3 reasons why teachers should crash advertising conferences.
18. This adventure in #AdvertisingForGood with middle schoolers.
19. This on teaching students to be brave and practicing what we teach.
This is my final Corelaborate blog post but I’m still here, still writing, still starting awkward conversations and delivering random five-minute Ignite talks 20 slides at a time. In addition to following The Evergrey, where I am a member of their writers’ group, here are some ways we can stay in touch:
Latest posts by Kristin Leong (see all)
- Mostly Appropriate Resources: Looking Back with Kristin Leong - March 26, 2017
- ROLL CALL: Two Simple Questions Connecting Students & Teachers - February 17, 2017
- #IgniteEdLab Returns! Feb 8 at Town Hall Seattle - January 1, 2017