MLK Style: “Believe in Your Worthiness”

I love to hear my students react to history.  Why?  Most often their reaction represents the growth we as a nation have had over time.  At times it is excitement.  At times it is disgust.  This is when they truly understand that this is their story… when they feel it!  Yes, history is our story… our story as a nation… the story of our past.

As an educator, it is my responsibility to deliver… as students, it becomes theirs to decide the impact.  Will history repeat itself or grow and “change for the better“…  time will tell.

Silence settled over the room.  I simply posted a picture.

separate-but-equal-

That is when the conversation started… the gasps, the disgust, the questions, the confusion.  It sounded like this:

“Does that say white and colored?”

“They have two fountains like us, but why does it say colored?  Colored what?”

“Why is the white fountain nicer than the colored?”

“Look, they are still connected… with one pipe!”

Then, as the discussion simmered, and they started looking to me for some type of explanation, I powered up the most incredible speech in history… words spoken by a man honored with a Nobel Peace Prize.

 

I passed out paper to sketch-note the life of a man that impacted history.  Impact to a degree that we recognize him with a day off of school… yes, his legacy lives on.   Martin Luther King, Jr. gifted us with 10 incredible focus points in life that can impact every human being… “Believe in Your Worthiness“.

Let’s follow his lead… let’s design our blueprint: OUR VOICE! OUR CHOICE! Let’s Create CHANGE AGENTS!

  1. Believe In Yourself
  2. Be Fearless
  3. Fight For Yourself
  4. Keep Moving
  5. Follow Your Morals
  6. Act Now
  7. Be Determined to Achieve Excellence
  8. Stay True to Principals
  9. Stand for Something
  10. HAVE A DREAM

My class is currently on a 10 Day Challenge of “Pure Goodness“.  On Tuesday, January 16th, they will extend that challenge for the greater good.  They will choose one of the 10 listed above and begin to write their legacy in history.  This legacy will unfold with their digital footprint in their NEW CLASS WEBSITE.  We hope you follow our journey… we cant wait to get started!

Join us… create your very own blueprint!  Send us your blueprint and we will share on our website!  Will it be a sketch-note? A writing? A drawing? An iMovie? A blog?  We can’t wait to see! or

Simply CLICK HERE to be the first one to leave a reflection on our NEW Class Flip Grid! 

Um, Are We Dancing to the Same Music?

Did you ever start dancing and before you knew it you were stepping on toes?  Or yours were being stepped on.  Just watch a room full of kids dance… are they really dancing to the same song?  One is rapping, one is flailing about, another looks like they are doing a new twist to the tango, while someone else is flying solo… sitting in a corner just moving his head up and down.  But wait… isn’t this what it’s all about?  So why is everyone shooting the look of… um, are we dancing to the same music? 

EMBRACING DIFFERENCES-EMPOWERING THE SOUL

Growing up, I was different in many ways.  I was a ball of energy in a room full of compliance.  I saw magenta when everyone else was talking about red.  My questions and ideas were racking up in my head faster then I could keep track of them.  I was the kid that failed the history class when the only thing I had to do was stay awake to maintain the A that was gifted to me.  The kid who put a new spin on a project that didn’t match the teacher’s vision. 

Not to mention my RED hair… which was not my favorite attribute at all.  I was a kid that just wanted to fit in.  How do you do that when you are so different?  My differences outweighed my similarities.  Why was this so scary for me… for everyone?  I was the 80’s kid with a different last name when divorce was still taboo.  I was the kid that picked out school clothes in July so that my parents could lay them away at Hill’s Department Store and hope (work hard enough) to pay them off by Labor Day.  Most often they no longer fit and the outfit I looked forward to was no longer available.  My family tried.  My family was different. 

My family danced to the same music as everyone else so why did it feel like my toes were always stepped on? 

Does anyone hear me?  Do I have a voice? 

Maybe I was the rebel searching for the next cause. 

If you won’t listen, maybe I need to show you.  That I did! 

You said zig, I tried out the zag. 

You said I could only do one, I tried 10. 

You said I can’t and I proved I can! 

You showed me a statistic and I created new data!  

I love interpreting music.  Understanding my students.  My favorite opportunity to do that is with Project Based Learning.  Playing songs and allowing my students to let it reach down in their soul… to write what they feel it means to them.  Not their friend.  Not their family.  I want to know them!  Do they see magenta? 

With passion projects I feel their voice is heard.  I feel I create an atmosphere of respect and trust.  We each have a different story so why is it that 8 hours a day we must “act” like we come from the same mold?  Our students must trust us in order to gift that to others.  Is our teaching meant for the moment or for a lifetime?  I choose lifetime.

My journey is real.  Never easy.  Created by other hands, along with my own.  I am a dreamer.  A believer in all good.  I am a fighter.  Um, and yes, I am dancing to the same music… just my own beat!   

Are you a fighter?  How do you interpret the lyrics to this incredible song? 

Rachel Platten-Fight Song

The Ingenious Lab interpretation #voiceandchoice