My Season Finale: The Ending of the School Year as a TV Show

If the closing of my first year school year was a season finale what would it be like? This thought popped in my head during my morning run as I was anticipating receiving my contract for the upcoming year. Here is what I came up with!

Note: some of the events are overdramatized in order to add suspense.

Scene 1: The Mail Room

(MR. MILTON opens an envelope that contains his contract for the next year with two checkboxes – one indicating that he will return and one indicating that he will not. MR. MILTON sighs heavily appearing unsure of whether or not he will return.

MS. PALMER enters the mailroom and tears upon a similar letter)

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How I Found a Job: Episode 4 ~ Tales from the Road

While applying for a teaching job a few years ago, I posted a few notes on Facebook about the experience. I wrote them in an attempt to keep my sanity and sense of humor while facing a series of setbacks. As it seems like many people that I know are in this position, I have decided to post them here over the next few weeks. I wish all searching for jobs the best of luck. 

Three years ago in a state not so far away…

“Tales from the Road”

As you probably know, searching for a job can be very daunting…and can occasionally bring you to tears in interviews (a friend said this may have been her downfall in one of hers). To keep my sanity while seeking gainful employment, I am keeping this “job journal” with the belief that this will help me move past the difficult times (and, hopefully, then laugh about them).

This weekend I found two districts that were looking for social studies teachers. One is a smaller school that is looking for one social studies teacher; while the other is much larger and looking for five social studies teachers. Today, I hand-delivered my application packets to both of these districts. The odds seemed to be in my favor as I ventured out this morning in my navy blue Brooks Brothers suit.

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As Andy Marcinek and I are attempting to launch a website that highlights tech-integrated lessons (learn more about it on Edutopia!), I wanted to (re) share a lesson that my students enjoyed which uses Twitter.

Michael K. Milton ~ @42ThinkDeep

Edit: I have transitioned this to using todaysmeet.com rather than Twitter. The activity works the same, but we are in a walled garden that is much easier to set up than Twitter is.

In groups, students were assigned a country that became industrialized during the 18th and 19th centuries. The group’s job was to be the mouthpiece of that country with the task of letting the world know of their progress in industrializing using a common hashtag #MrMHWH. This was not the first time my class has used Twitter in class, so there was no need to explain how to use it. While the majority my students have personal Twitter accounts they elected to create new ones with the name of their country and used an image of their flag for the profile picture.

Getting started in this activity was a bit slow at first. With the exception of Britain, countries…

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How I Found a Job: Epsode 3 ~ Advice from Mom

While applying for a teaching job a few years ago, I posted a few notes on Facebook about the experience. I wrote them in an attempt to keep my sanity and sense of humor while facing a series of setbacks. As it seems like many people that I know are in this position, I have decided to post them here over the next few weeks. I wish all searching for jobs the best of luck. 

Three years ago in a state not so far away…

“Advice from Mom”

My mother is absolutely wonderful. She also means well. She really wants to help me find a position. At first, I begged her off; believing that using personal connections is cheating. One of her friends has a friend whose wife occasionally has coffee with one superintendent. An old acquaintance was a former superintendent and principal. A retired teacher walks around her neighborhood every so often. I told her, “thank you, but I think I am ok.” This, or course, was when I was a hot shot and believed that I could find a position in no time.

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How I Found a Job: Episode 2 “A Highly Qualified Applicant”

While applying for a teaching job a few years ago, I posted a few notes on Facebook about the experience. I wrote them in an attempt to keep my sanity and sense of humor while facing a series of setbacks. As it seems like many people that I know are in this position, I have decided to post them here over the next few weeks. I wish all searching for jobs the best of luck. 

Three years ago in a state not so far away…

“A Highly Qualified Applicant”

In the middle of May, I received a phone call for my second job interview. Like the previous time, I researched as much as I could on the school system and my interviewers. Along the way, I fell in love with this school district (as they put into place some forward thinking initiatives). “This is it!” I thought.

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#MaycombProbs: Building Community Through Twitter

  1. Last Friday morning, my department head Ben Lally sent out the following tweet (Note: I could not find the original so here is my retweet).
  2. 42ThinkDeep
    RT @MisterLally: When you want to leave gum & toys for the neighborhood kids, but your dad cements up the tree hole #LegendaryCrazyNeighborhoodRecluseProbz
    Fri, May 04 2012 06:44:34
  3. I found this tweet to be extremely clever as it referenced Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird who was secretly giving Scout and Jem presents until his brother (not his dad) cemented up the hole to stop him. I retweeted and prompted the continuation of To Kill a Mockingbird tweets under the hashtag* #MaycombProbs, named for the town in the book. For the rest of the day, English teachers (on their breaks!), students, and an alumni began highlighting scenes from To Kill a Mockingbirdusing Twitter (and hashtag humor!). This day long collaboration happened organically out a sense of love for literature. This group of people (and the many who followed the feed but did not participate) would not have gotten together had it not been for Twitter.

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How I Found a Job: Episode 1 ~ Unhumble Beginnings

While applying for a teaching job a few years ago, I posted a few notes on Facebook about the experience. I wrote them in an attempt to keep my sanity and sense of humor while facing a series of setbacks. As it seems like many people that I know are in this position, I have decided to post them here over the next few weeks. I wish all searching for jobs the best of luck. 

Three years ago in a state not so far away…

Unhumble Beginnings 

The title here is a bit presumptuous as I have not “found a job.” By “found a job,” of course, I mean have gotten hired. In all honesty, I have “found” plenty of jobs. Searching for employment as a High School History teacher has been an experience. At first, every time I “found” a job posting, I immediately got excited. “This is the job,” I’d say to myself. I imagine using my first paycheck to take my wife out to a fancy dinner. I imagine getting to know colleagues and going to the bar on Friday after school. I imagine going to the Thanksgiving football game. This feeling tends to flee when weeks or months later the position has been filled (usually without my even getting an interview). I no longer have fantasies when a job is posted. I am yet to be in the doom and gloom phase – but I am a bit gloomier.

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Call to Action! Social Media in the Classroom

Friends, Romans, PLN, lend me your ears/eyes!

That’s me!

On Saturday, Andy Marcinek and I led a discussion on the use of Social Media in the Classroom at EdCamp Boston. Andy masterfully worked the room giving reasons and examples as to why social media should be utilized in class (meet students where they are at, create an active classroom, develop a class and school community) and I contributed examples of how we integrate social media in the classroom at Burlington High School (also, I told an epic joke about a buffalos). Leading this was (for me) a thrilling way to have a discussion about the benefits (and possible distraction) of using Twitter, Blogger, and Youtube in the classroom.

 
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Klout, Parenting, and Expectations: The Four Stages of an Unwarranted +K-ing

Last week, I was greeted early one morning with the news that I was influential on Parenting. Klout sent an e-mail to congratulate me on this impressive accomplishment. I felt a bit caught off-guard to handle the news for two reasons. First, I have never tweeted nor written anything about parenting. Second, I am not nor have I ever been a parent. As I imagine in order to be influential on parenting those two things are important, I was very confused as to why, exactly, Klout has bestowed upon me this honor. This thought process led me from bewilderment, to mild annoyance, to acceptance, and, finally, to empowerment~or as I will call them The Four Stages of Unwarranted +K-ing.

(For those unfamiliar with Klout, it is an online tool that measures your influence on social media platforms. It also indicates topics that you have a degree of influence in the conversation.)

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Close Reading and the Magic Eye – A quick thought

After researching close reading strategies for a lesson that I want to do sometime in the next few weeks, I had an epiphany of sorts while running past my eye doctor’s office. Last fall, I spent hours upon hours waiting in her office (my eyes were rejecting contacts) and I came across this book..a haunting reminder of my youth. Yes, my early teen years were partially plagued by Magic Eye: A New Way of Looking at the World (and numerous other iterations).

To get the full effect, I recommend clicking on this image* to attempt to unearth the hidden image, which is cleverly hidden behind the repeating pattern. If you have never seen this type of image and want step-by-step instructions, click here.

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