Monday, May 19th, 2008...3:19 pm

We Need to Work on Selling Academics, Not Sports

graduate.jpg
Why don’t we have a pep rally for academics?
Photo source

A couple of months ago I had to sit through a hour-long meeting where the importance of athletics was emphasized as a powerful way to build connections with kids and their families. Well, duh.

I love sports, but that hour long meeting left me shaking my head. Do we really need to convince people that sports are a great way to attract kids? Sports are easy. Now, by this I don’t necessarily mean the playing of sports. Building a championship team takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (literally). What I mean is that building enthusiasm for sports is easy.

Now, try doing the same thing in academics. This is hard. It’s also overlooked and unappreciated when it actually happens. After that meeting I mentioned to a colleague that I thought my blog was building connections with all of the 9th graders. I mentioned that those connections could lead to students caring about each other more and help build a community among them. She looked at me like I had grown two heads. As if something like academics could do such a thing. Well, I dedicate this student remark recently left on my class blog to her and everyone else out there who doubts such a thing could happen:

I love how the blog has connected us so much more to each other.

So, there.



3 Comments

  • Those two words are very powerful……..
    “So, there.”
    Hi Stacy, I saw your blog through Britt Gow’s. I teach at the same school in Australia and am relatively new to blogging; been at it now for about 2-3months at school.
    Now that the grade 6 students and myself can navigate around a blog site, and are starting to get over all the widgets and so on that can be added, we are using them with, dare I say it, more academic rigour……..
    The kids take pride in their blogs and I was surprised at how much I have learnt about my students-through visiting and reading their blogs. My class has a blog for literacy aswell, so they are creating some amazing stuff to share online. The web 2.0 stuff is fabulous, and I find that everyday I am learning so much more.
    Two years down the track, I can imagine that your students are very skilled at blogging and your programs are well developed and heavily structured around learning technologies. I will continue to follow your blog to enhance my own understandings of how they can be used more effectively in the science classroom.

  •   Stacy
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:38 am    

    Hi Rebecca! Thanks for leaving a comment. Welcome to blogging. Aren’t you just amazed at the quality of work your students create when they know it’s going to appear online? I think that’s the best thing about blogging. Even two years in I still feel like I have much to learn so please stop by and share any insights you have. I imagine you have a main blog that links to all of your students’ blogs? If so, send me the link!

    All the best,
    Stacy

  • Hi Stacy,
    I am the above-mentioned teacher who has been lurking around for the past six months or so. I love what you say about building connections between students (and their teachers). I have learnt so much more about the students I teach since they started blogging. Another colleague, Marg, writes about this in her latest post. (http://margm.globalteacher.org.au/)
    Also, I feel as though I am part of a community on classroom 2.0 and other networks – I can ask a question and have multiple answers overnight.
    Although I live in a small country town – that is supposed to have a ‘sense of community’ – I have rather obscure interests – biology, environmental science, sustainability, alternative energy etc.- so I feel I have more in common with strangers on the other side of the world! Your Extreme Biology blog has been an inspiration, so “Thank you!”.