As I was learning about everyone’s genius hour projects, I found I had the most in common with Haylee’s question, “How can I better relate to and engage with my students in a way that helps them socially and academically?” I think we are both very focused on fostering a healthy student-teacher relationships, which, in my opinion, is the bedrock of the classroom.

I noticed a trend in many other projects towards a focus on social justice– I think that is so cool! Education falls victim to trends and buzzwords all the time, but I hope the “social justice movement” is here to stay. I think that incorporating social justice into the classroom links back to my genius hour question because the work done through social justice is based on caring about the rights and well being of others. I am willing to bet that applying social justice to the communities in which our students live would go a long way towards showing them that we care for and are interesting in their lives. Linking back to Haylee’s project, I am sure that teaching for social justice would help relate to students in a way that develops their social and academic selves as well!

Two great Twitter accounts I have followed this past week are :

Pernille Ripp

(@pernilleripp)

Steven W. Anderson

‪@web20classroom

Steven posted the most wonderful blog post about being proud to be “just” a teacher. The article focuses on the impact we have on our students’ lives and how this impact reaches out so far beyond ourselves. I enjoyed it because of its emphasis on caring teacher-student relationships, which is the focus of my project. A link to the blog post is below:

http://pernillesripp.com/2015/07/09/you-are-not-just-a-teacher/

For all my social justice friends, you MUST follow Dr. Bettina Love. She is a professor here at UGA and is so inspirational. I think you can get a lot of great ideas from her about teaching for social justice.

 Bettina Love

‪@BLoveSoulPower

I have found Twitter to be so useful for this class! I am glad I started using it as a professional resource and not just a timewaster for videos of cute puppies and kittens. The chats are informative and have linked me up with some people that have great ideas and resources. For me, everything I am finding is applicable to my project because it is all evidence of teachers caring and going the extra mile for their students.

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