Google Classroom, You are My Savior

#GoogleClassroom, You are My Savior

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-4-46-05-pmI thought it would be nice to share one digital platform that made a difference this week. It made me feel like I was doing something right for the first time I got hired as Gifted Specialist in this new school district. Some time last week, after attending 7th grade Social Studies PLC, I requested that I be added as a teacher to their Google Classrooms. Since one of the complaints I heard from the parents is that Google Classrooms are often used as announcement boards and homework instead of being used as an interactive platform for teachers, parents, and students, I wanted to see how I can help teachers use them as an effective tool to help students become better learners. Well, it became more than as a tool. It became a source of encouragement for the admins, teachers, parents, the student, and me. 

Ever since I was added to their Google Classrooms, I tried to frequently monitor the teachers’ assignments. And yeah. Most of the teachers were using them as announcements, class notes, and Power Point presentations; however, there was this one assignment one of the teachers did in class on “Culture Bag Letter” that I decided to showcase during a parent-teacher conference to demonstrate how the digital platform could be used to empower the learners. 

When a parent from his class requested a parent-teacher conference to see how their gifted child was being properly challenged, I was able to pull some resources the teacher was doing with her students via Google Classroom page and provide some insight into their child’s classroom experience to the parents. One of the projects I saw the teacher did was called “Culture Bag Letter”. It was a project in which the students brought his or her artifacts from home and how they help them define their cultures.

Here’s a part of the email I sent back to the SS teacher:

Dear Mr.Social Studies Teacher,

During the student’s parent-teacher conference today, your Google Classrooms played a big role in bringing the parents closer to what’s going on in your classroom.

Your class was brought up because the student shared how much she enjoys your class. I also had an opportunity to ask her some questions about Culture Bag Letter she did in class (Again, thanks to your Google Classrooms), and I immediately saw her eyes brighten up because the project was something she could relate to. She talked about how Shopkins was a part of “her culture” in her presentation, but her parents argued that it was inappropriate. Then I took the chance to talk about the implicit biases the parents had against her child’s definition of culture! I explained to them that it’s time that her parents get challenged by their daughter’s new definition of culture because the interpretation of the word shouldn’t be limited to “traditions and heritage”. 🙂

Thank you for adding me to your Google Classrooms. Your Google Classrooms have become a powerful platform for me to represent how you are challenging your students in all your classes. I hope to have more opportunities to discuss with AG parents some amazing things you are doing in your classes…

YEY for teachers, parents, students, and me. Google Classroom became My Savior. It not only helped me gain insight into teachers’ classrooms but also empower teachers, parents, and students beyond what  I thought it would do to us. Thank you, #GoogleClassroom.

 

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