This is my first year teaching classes that are only one quarter, nine weeks, in length.
I value relationships and getting to know my students and then using that knowledge to help guide and facilitate learning throughout the year. With only having nine weeks I feel like I need to ramp up my relationship building!
The purpose of this blog is for you to get to know who I am. I am going to limit this to only five
(I -1, II - 2, III - 3, IV - 4, V - 5) areas.
I am a Christian. I follow Jesus' teachings that I need to love my God and others, equally. I will do whatever I can for you and not expect you to be perfect, because I am not. Every day I am trying to live this out in my personal life and as an educator.
I am a husband, father, son and brother. I love and value in my family. I am married to Whitney and I have three children, Trinity - 10, Kayleah - 9 and Dayton - 3. I love my parents, Duane and Bonnie, with all my heart. I have six siblings, two brothers and three sisters; Chet, Miranda, Tera, Tanner and Maggie. I love getting together with them over holidays and other family get togethers!
I am a learner. I love learning new things and finding new things to challenge myself.
Ways I Learn
i. Books - Ernest Hemingway is my favorite author!
ii. Blogs - Jennifer Gonzalez - Cult of Pedagogy
i. Film/Documentaries - 180° South, Living On One Dollar, Into the Wild
iii. Social Media - Twitter, Instagram
i. Podcasts - Dave Ramsey, The Minimalists
ii. Music - The Lumineers, John Mayer, Halsey
iii. Ted Talks
I am an athlete. I try to workout 4-6 times a week doing CrossFit. I try to get these workouts completed in the morning because after school I am super tired. I love playing sports specifically basketball, golf, softball and weightlifting. I love the discipline of trying to get better physically, mentally and emotionally. I coach the JV boys basketball team at St. Thomas More where I also graduated from.
I am passionate about empowering young people to use their voice for good.
I am an educator because I want to help you understand that you can make a difference in the world.
I am always trying to think of creative ways for you to be able to demonstrate your learning and why it is important to you.
I am excited to get to know you! Please leave a comment about something that you identify with that is also you!
If you have ever mentioned love to a room full of middle schoolers, you would know that more explanation is needed. I have learned that even with the best of intentions there are many people who do not know me or my passion for education and a future that involves everyone working together for the good of everyone.
Below is my explanation for how I am using #boldlylove for the 2018-2019 school year.
WE ALL NEED TO BE BOLD IN OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER.
I believe, in our world today, that we have moved away from civil discourse and a general love for other human beings that we should be engaged in daily. I see, as an educator, that we have too many students concerned about their world and making themselves feel happy and good and many times at the expense of others. We are all required to be at school, my requirement is for my career and students/parents are required by law, so building a common love for everyone is a way that I want to build culture with my students.
#boldlylove means that we do not have to all think the same, we do not all need to agree with everything that is happening in the world or how to fix it, but we do need to show others that we care about them, we will listen and engage in conversations and want good for others.
#boldlylove transcends any political party.
#boldlylove transcends any one religion.
#boldlylove means understanding, that at times, each of us will be alone or standing out from the crowd at some point in our lives. Framing this within #boldlylove means that I want my students to think about standing out, for good, in the way that they treat others.
Below are examples of what #boldlylove looks like in an educational setting for students;
befriending someone who does not have many friends,
standing up for someone who is being bullied,
working with others who you may disagree with,
accepting others the way they are,
forgiving others if you have been wronged in the classroom, hallways, lunchroom,
talking with others to help the group have success,
showing others you have empathy for what they have going on in their lives,
expressing a perspective that has not yet been expressed,
allowing classmates to get to know you through your expressed strengths, struggles, interests or passions,
listening to others and their ideas,
advocating for those who do not have a voice,
seeking solutions to community, city, state, national problems,
speaking out on issues that are relevant and important to young people's lives,
doing what is good and right when others are not stepping up to do it,
and living with personal values, beliefs, goals and wanting to do what is right.
Below are examples of what #boldlylove looks like for me as an educator;
treating each and every student as an individual,
listening to the concerns of all students and parents,
living with empathy for all students and what each student brings into the classroom,
allowing each student to have a fresh slate each and every day,
empowering students to use their voice for good,
giving opportunities for students to have voice and choice in the work they complete,
building positive relationships with all students,
recognizing the good that each student demonstrates throughout the day,
calling home with positives that are recognized with each student,
breaking down barriers for what is preventing students to be successful,
giving of any resources that I have access to for students to be successful in their work,
providing opportunities for students to stretch their comfort zones,
allowing for human dignity and allowing students to go to the bathroom without having to ask,
giving all students the opportunities to do real, authentic work,
demonstrating positive adult collaboration throughout the day,
trusting that all students are good people and want to do what is good and right,
assuming that students are doing the best they can,
instilling a positive growth mindsets,
correcting negative self-talk to help students understand that the most powerful words they say are the words they say to themselves,
celebrating student work in a public space that allows for parents and others to join in the celebration,
and providing opportunities for students to develop a positive social media presence.
This is what #boldlylove means when I use it.
I want my classroom to be a micro-version of what the possibilities could be of the relationships inside and outside of school.
Living out #boldlylove will never be easy. If it was, this idea would not be a thing.
I believe each one of us plays a very important role building a better future and that starts with how we view and treat the people around us.
This is my goal for the 2018-2019 school year.
I have tried a new idea for me this year. My students and I just completed ten days of culture building in love, teamwork, establishing character strengths and working with the idea that we are family or tiospaye, Lakota for who you are with is family.
From my perspective, this was not easy. I would love to say that the students immediately jumped out of their seats and are running around loving each other and all they needed was me to put the idea in front of them. I would love to claim that it was a huge success.
I just do not know if it all will be a success.
I am in my sixth year of teaching and I am hoping I am the best version of myself for this school year.
I want so badly to foster a culture of love and appreciation for the human beings that we are working with on a daily basis. I want the students to know each other and accept that we are all different and that those differences are not weaknesses but strengths.
I have never attempted ten days of putting abstract concepts into motion and I have never been so tired. I am aware of the saying there is no tired like teacher tired, and the past couple of days have been really really hard.
To put love into action each student "scheduled" another student in the class on their calendar so they know who they need to meet with. Each day there may be a different prompt, today was "If you could morph into any animal, yes, I know humans are animals, you cannot choose human, what would you choose?" The students then have an opportunity to talk to the "other" students that are not in their normal circle.
To put teamwork into motion the students completed the Marble Challenge. The point of this is to work with the other members of your group to complete tasks that become harder as you complete them and get a marble from one end of the group to the other. At first students were blaming the person who dropped the marble. Then they realized that does not help someone want to be successful and most of the time nobody intentionally wants to cause the group to fail. Eventually the language became more productive and all were included in the decision process.
To put character strengths in front of the students, we watched, The Science of Character, and then completed the VIA Institute on Character's 96 question survey for the students to find their top 24 strengths. We will use these throughout the year to have a lens to determine if their actions match with who they want to be and will it help them be their best versions of themselves.
To talk about family/tiospaye, we decided on the characteristics on family that they would want or have experienced to find a common understanding when we talk about being a family. The Lakota concept of tiospaye fits perfectly into this because it means where you are is family and blood relation is a factor. All of these characteristics can and will be reinforced in the classroom setting. This is where we have to be for the next nine months.
I hope that throughout this school year my students will #boldlylove one another in their actions and words.
I have felt so down and so defeated the past couple of days. I thank my crew for speaking love and strength into me! I will not cave to the idea that I will #boldlylove throughout this year. I cannot imagine being okay with the opposite of everything that we have been working on.
I do not want to be average. Average is going through your classes and not knowing the people at the other table. Average is being okay with not knowing the people that you will spend the next nine months with. Average is being okay with not capitalizing on the amazing strengths that each and every person brings into the classroom.
I will #boldlylove
Mr. Dylan Wince
I am not a writer but I am writing. I have learned too much to not share my journey.