Thursday, February 6, 2014

Champion Newsies - Seize the Day!

"Open the gates and seize the day. Don't be afraid and don't delay. Nothing can break us, no one can make us give our rights away. Arise and seize the day!" ~Seize the Day from Newsies.

In the epic anthem of the hit musical Newsies, composer Alan Menken and lyricist Jack Feldman illustrated a great message that goes further than the newsboys strike of 1899 of New York City. Applicable for any day, any career, and any age, the newsies message carries a banner of courage, excitement, strength, and hope.

Each February, our nation celebrates Digital Learning Day to highlight the many innovate uses of technology throughout learning communities. Activities often feature heightened student engagement thereby enhancing achievement, collaborative opportunities, and overall exposure to new learning. These are just some of the many successes of Digital Learning Day.

Collaboration over learning targets, mentoring and assisting on new projects, and innovative creativity are just some of the many activities in which our students took part in on Digital Learning Day. By sharing new learning with one another - both at grade levels and in a mentor-mentee relationship - students found greater appreciation for innovating for their futures! At just kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, or fifth grade, students are beginning to "open the gates" to see and become agents of change in the ever-developing world of tomorrow.

Besides our students "opening the gates," our staff continues to seize the day - everything that Digital Learning Day represents and beyond! Sharing new tools and instructional practice, discussing the best way to plan for future student innovation, personal exploration to better prepare, and taking risks are just some of the many ways to make any day an opportunity for digital learning.

Digital learning doesn't stop here - each day is a day to be seized to integrate something you've wondered about, an idea that has been sparked, or perhaps something a student has shared! Yes, it can be nerve-wracking. Yes, sometimes devices don't cooperate, or the internet may crash too. But it's worth it. Just to try. For that new learning that is gauged as lightbulbs go off in the eyes of your students. Or the smile of a fresh accomplishment achieved. 

A friend recently wrote to me that she was inspired by the Rita Pierson quotation at the end of my email signature: "Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and instills that they become best that they possibly be."

We carry messages of excitement and encouragement for our students' learning, courage to try something new, shared mission for our students to have strength and hope for their futures. These are our medals, showing what we, as teachers, have devoted our lives to, just as athletes do. These are our banners. We are newsies carrying the banner for each student that is a part of our lives. We are champion newsies.

Seize the Day today!

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