Monday, March 21, 2011

Wordle Discovery

I was playing around with Wordle tonight, trying to think of ways to incorporate it into my teaching. If you've never used it, you MUST check it out! You can input a bunch of text (from a story, website, newspaper, anything!) and then it will automatically display the words for you. It takes all the most commonly used words in that text and makes them bigger. I'm thinking about having kids copy and paste an essay into Wordle and getting a nice visual on just how often they use the same word over and over and over again! It could be a nice aid for a lesson on word choice.

So anywho, I copied and pasted my last 4 blog entries into Wordle to see which words I use the most and this is what came out...

Isn't it interesting that right next to the expectedly common words I use like "students" and "school" and "teaching" there is also the word "love"?

I know I am always finding cheesy spins on my career, but I'm learning that teachers can really get bogged down in the politics of teaching--school , district, statewide and national politics. We start worrying about things like test scores, tracking, conferences, unions, contracts, standards, competition, our coworkers, parents, principals, salary...everything. It's easy to get caught up in the politics because that's what controls our payday...our future.

But I've watched teachers let the politics of teaching burn them out and destroy the original drive they ever had for the job. They start caring more about what's happening outside their classroom than what really matters, what's happening in their classrooms.

I'm just hoping that as I begin to evolve as a teacher, I don't get so consumed with politics that I forget why I loved the job in the first place.