July 31, 2005
I've had an incredible and extremely busy summer. As probably everyone in our school community now realizes, I began the summer by re-writing our school's web presence. I was then unexpectedly called upon in California to present to educators and technologists from all around the world about the technology running under our web site's hood. They were eager to learn what I used and how I pulled it all together into one site. Perhaps as a result of that presentation, MabryOnline.org has now had 400,380 hits! Since the site began we have had an average of 6,096 hits a day, with an average of nearly 13,000 hits per day in the last 7 days. These hits are coming in from all over the world! Wow! But this isn't why I wanted to write to you!
As I mentioned, I was in California this summer. I attended a conference focused on technology in education. This was without doubt the most profound professional event I've ever attended. I averaged about 3 to 4 hours of sleep per night as I had too many brilliant, creative people with whom to talk, pick their brains, and begin the development of international collaborations that I anticipate will benefit our students at Mabry. But even this isn't why I wanted to write to you!
During this conference, I heard about a book. This book is essential reading for every parent of every child at Mabry Middle School. It should even be required guided reading for most of our students, at least in 8th grade. (I personally do audiobooks on my iPod and therefore ran for record lengths of time at the gym, which I need to be doing!, because I couldn't stop listening.)
I am requiring every subject area coordinator at Mabry read this book. We will then pass the books around the whole staff. In a very easy and assessable writing style, this book presents some rather sobering and substantive ideas with which everyone should grapple and give careful thought, whether you see the patterns in world events he proposes in his book or not. But my guess is, the book will ring true to what you are reading and seeing in the news, what may well be happening in your workplace or that of your friends and colleagues. "Well, what is this book?" you demand!
I encourage you to read it before we have our Open House parent nights so you will have a deeper insight into my remarks about what we are doing at Mabry Middle School to begin preparing your children to be global life-long learners and collaborators who will be competitive in the global job market. After all, I know we all love our children, but who among us wants them to be raising their families under our roofs? :o)
I was recently asked why I am so excited to begin another school year in a world with an increasing number of complex and demanding challenges. My response is simple: each challenge is an opportunity for contribution and economic empowerment that did not exist before! As I am so fond of saying, "The future's so bright, ya gotta wear shades!"
Posted by Tim Tyson at 12:45 PM