Teaching in the 21st century is full of challenges. Grappling with new standards, working to meet the needs of ALL students, and preparing students for opportunities in a rapidly changing world. Innovations in the 21st century have provided options to make tackling these challenges easier. Through technology and a national focus on supporting teacher leaders, there are many new opportunities to build relationships, seek or provide support, and share and receive knowledge so educators can learn and grow professionally. These educator communities inspire me.
I started this blog 5 years ago when I began to climb the NGSS mountain. I craved partnerships and networks on my road to expertise, and I wanted to reflect and document how these relationships were guiding my trajectory. I am full of appreciation for my mentors, partners and colleagues, especially the partnerships with the students in my classroom. Stories of these partnerships and my learning are sprinkled in past posts throughout this blog. Discussions and experiences continue to contribute to my professional growth and shape my thinking about science education today.
This is the best time in history to be a science educator! The energy and impacts of contemporary research on how kids learn can be seen and felt in classrooms throughout the nation. Every student has a right to a high-quality education. Educators and stakeholder are passionate about transforming classrooms to achieve the vision articulated in A Framework for K-12 Science Education, a collection of this contemporary research. This is more than a shift in thinking, this is a flip in how classrooms operate (thank you Okhee Lee for that great analogy). Transforming the way we teach science is complex and challenging. Partnerships, community, and networks are critical for success.
I am reviving this blog and committing myself to share highlights from the learning that I am blessed to experience as I work with educators throughout the US. Since I have transitioned from my own classroom to supporting classroom teaching and learning on a national scale, I embrace a responsibility to share the wonderful snapshots of classrooms, the tremendous work of teachers and those who support them, the new thinking and research on science education, and the tools and strategies and approaches that are making a difference. This blog will be a tapestry of classrooms, discussions, and people– all partners and stewards of science education.
My heart is full. I am in awe of the passion and hard work I observe from teachers on a regular basis. I am so appreciative of the conversations I have with teachers, researchers, curriculum writers, and education advocates. I can give back and show my appreciation by sharing. Thank you for checking in on the journey.
The NGSSblogs project is an initiative created by the Multi-Tools Online Community (MTOC) facilitators to encourage teacher reflection and collective conversation around the Next Generation Science Standards. The goal of this community is to change the culture of science education by providing a space for educators to learn, connect and share as well as to provide opportunities for teachers to lead from the classroom. There is not an instruction manual on how to implement the Next Generation Science Standards, but there are thousands of science teachers who can play a central role in transforming science teaching and learning and creating a path for translating the Next Generation Science standards into instruction. The Multi Tools Online Community seeks to centralize these voices and connect these educators with one another to work together from a common language of the NGSS with a common vision of advancing student science achievement. The pillars of the MTOC community: Reflection, Relationships, Resources:
- Collect, create, and curate resources for NGSS implementation
- Encourage and empower teacher leadership from the classroom through active participation in this global community and building both online and face to face relationships.
- Support reflection that leads to educator professional growth.
The first project of the MTOC is to focus on the reflection pillar of our community. We are promoting the practice of reflection through writing and sharing blogs around NGSS, science teaching and learning, and professional learning. Through blogging, teachers are telling their stories, sharing their voice, and carving out the path for NGSS implementation. We have been inspired by reading the blogs of other educators working to learn about and implement the Next Generation Science Standards. We are launching a campaign to add more bloggers to our family and encourage more educators to join in this reflection by reading blogs and providing feedback to our bloggers.
We need your help.
- Do you know of any educators who might be willing to and join share a blog post? Here is an invitation to take the leap and reap the benefits of reflection around classroom teaching and learning http://bit.ly/1qHJe5V Please share this invitation with any educators you would like to nominate to participate in this initiative.
- Do you know any educators who would be willing to read and provide feedback to our bloggers by posting comments? Here is a link to our @NGSSblogs Twitter account and #NGSSblogs hashtag as well as our NGSS Peer Learning Network Google Community. Educators can read and provide feedback to bloggers. Educators not quite ready to blog themselves can become part of the community by reading and commenting on blogs. New and existing bloggers can support others by providing feedback.
- Are you an educator who uses blogging as a vehicle for reflection and professional growth? We need your help to encourage other bloggers as well as to develop supports for providing feedback to our NGSS bloggers with the goal of moving their thinking and learning forward. Would you consider taking a minute to respond to our brief 3 question Google survey? http://goo.gl/forms/NIrWkPtOLK
To transform science education, we need more than just a set of standards that capture a vision. We need stakeholder voice to drive and sustain the work needed to create STEM classrooms that prepare students for a successful future. We need you help- please support our NGSSblogs project by sharing our invitation, supporting our bloggers, or sharing our thoughts around blogging through our survey.
We would love to have your voice in our community. This community is for all educators and educational stakeholders (not just for science teachers :D). Please contact us for more information:
Trish Shelton @tdishelton or @NGSSblogs
NGSS PLN Google Plus Community