Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Edublogs Awards - the dark horse

I wasn't going to get into the Edublogs Awards thing, I really wasn't. But there is a dark horse nominee in the Best New Blog category who deserves everyone's attention.

The Random Thoughts of Louis Schmier.

Louis is a professor of history at Valdosta State University in Georgia. He's old enough to be collecting Social Security. He's just survived two near death experiences. Read his blog.

He started blogging this past summer. Yet he has over 600 blog posts, going back to 1993. Read his blog.

Below is part of what Andy Carvin had to say about Louis on his PBS blog:

Louis has always been a blogger as far as I’m concerned. It’s all too easy to say that blogging was invented around 10 years ago when the first blogging tools were developed. But the spirit of blogging - journaling one’s life experiences and sharing them as part of a broader community conversation - predates those tools by many years. Louis’ Random Thoughts is perhaps the best example of an educator using the Internet for self-reflection, professional inspiration and debate of anyone I can think of from that period of time. And now he’s embracing blogging as a way to bring his writings to a new generation of teachers and students.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Louis. You’re already making it a better place. -andy

I wrote a little tribute as well. But you should really read his blog.

If you are still undecided, read some of Louis' words from his classic 1994 post, To Be A Teacher:

If you want to be a teacher, you first have to learn how to play hopscotch, jump rope, ride-and-seek, learn other children games, learn how to watch a snail crawl, blow bubbles, read “Yertle the Turtle”, and watch “Bullwinkle”. If you want to be a teacher, you have to sing “she loves me, she loves me nots” as you blow at a dandelion or pull the individual petals of a daisy. It you want to be a teacher, you have to stop and watch a rainbow, listen to a distant train, wiggle your toes in the mud and let it ooze through them, stomp in rain puddles, look up and watch an airplane, and be humbled by the majesty of a mountain. If you want to be a teacher, you have to fall in love each day. If you want to be a teacher, you have to paddle a canoe, take a hike, or just get out. If you want to be a teacher, you have to watch intently the artistry of a spider weaving its web. If you want to be a teacher, you have to fly a kite or throw a frisbee, skip stones in a lake or brook, make sand castles, and love people. If you want to be a teacher, you have to listen intently to the rustle of the leaves, to the murmur of the brook, to the pitter-patter of the rain, and to the whisper of the breeze. If you want to be a teacher, you have to dream dreams, play games, talk to the flowers, catch fire flies, admire a weed, walk barefoot, hold a worm, and see what is yet to be. If you want to be a teacher, you have to think silly thoughts, have a water gun fight, have a pillow fight, swirl a tootsie pop in your mouth, burn sparklers at night, and see in a tree more than a mass of atoms or so many board feet of lumber or something that’s in the way. If you want to be a teacher, you have to skip as you walk, laugh at yourself, smile at others, hang loose, always have an eraser handy, concoct an original recipe. If you want to be a teacher you have to be inspired and inspire. If you want to be a teacher, you have to fix a bird’s broken wing, pinch the neck of a deflating balloon and play a tune, do zany things, play with a yo-yo, and lose yourself in the quiet scenery to find yourself. If you want to be a teacher, you have to feed the pigeons or squirrels, sing in the shower or tub, smell the flowers, play with finger paints, and do a belly flop in a pool. If you want to be a teacher, you have to bring joy into everything, watch in awe a sunset or sunrise, ride on a swing, slide down a slide, bump on a seesaw, and respect even a cockroach as a miracle of life. If you want to be a teacher, you have to ride a bicycle or roller skate or ice skate, and live today. If you want to be a teacher, make all those marvelous feelings and images an intimate part of you and bring them into the classroom with you and share them. If you want to be a teacher, as Carl Jung advised, you have to put aside your formal theories and intellectual constructs and axioms and statistics and charts when you reach out to touch that miracle called the individual human being.

So vote. Best new edublog 2007

Then go spend some time with the man who knows what it is to be a teacher. Read his blog, it will change how you feel about teaching, and probably much more.

1 comment:

Ann Oro said...

I have to tell you that his blogs are the ones I look most forward to reading. The man has real heart. When he went silent for a while, I was very curious. When he came back, explaining his illness, I was relieved that he was going to be fine. All this from reading his posts. He is a fine man and someone I look forward to hearing from for a long time to come.