Out of Context

Posted: July 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

We as teachers are always sharing and collaborating. We as teachers quote each other when we hear something great! We as teachers do the best that we can to get our points across in a great way.

Yesterday I attended EdcampOKSDE (The Oklahoma State Department of Education Edcamp) and I was able to connect with several teachers in Oklahoma to share ideas. We had great discussions and even challenged each other’s thinking to become better educators.

One of the sessions that I attended was called “Rocks vs. Sucks”. For those of you who have never attended an edcamp before, this session is a common at edcamps. The purpose of this session is not to complain, but to chose a side over a topic and then share why you chose that side. It also offers you a chance to listen to the other side and many times realize that you didn’t think about that side.

I stepped out of the session for a moment and was asked to talk to The Oklahoman about the event. Kevin Hime and I were sharing about the session and how it works. We then were quoted in today’s paper.

Tuesday, Kevin Hime and Anthony Purcell agreed to disagree about Oklahoma’s A-F report card and neither educator got his feelings hurt.

Hime, superintendent of Clinton Public Schools, and Purcell, a teacher in the Stillwater school district, were among those participating in EdCamp on the first day of EngageOK, a summer education conference in downtown Oklahoma City.

Both spent time in a room designated Sucks or Rocks and chose one side or the other depending on the subject. The controversial report cards were a popular topic of discussion.

“I would say it sucks because it’s not valid,” Hime said. “It’s invalid because, first of all, 50 percent of it is based upon growth and the tests that we use were never designed to measure growth. Therefore, that in itself makes it invalid.”

Purcell doesn’t see it that way.

“It gives parents an eye to see how their school is doing so they can choose what communities they want to live in or what area of town they want to live in,” he said.

The A-F rating in the state of Oklahoma is a hot topic. So we were sharing how the discussion works. Kevin shared first about his views, then I (and you hear me say this in the recording) stated that I would take the other side to help offer a discussion. That is what happens in Rocks vs. Sucks.

Do I see good things about A-F? Kind of.

Do I fully support A-F? No.

Does this article make it seem like I approve of A-F? I think so.

I don’t feel that this article fully helped understand how Rocks vs. Sucks really works. I hope that my voice here helps you understand that in this session many teachers will go against the flow to create discussions and not just be one-sided all the time.

  1. Rummages&Ramblings says:

    Great thoughts, Anthony! I think its super valuable to have a forum to present both sides of an argument. We’ve done something similar with students called Academic Controversy-having kids pick sides, argue a point then turn around and argue other side but I love this idea of Rocks/Sucks. We often and for good reason, become very passionate about our side of an argument and then kind of lose some perspective (thinking any political discussion on cable news). Hearing the other side doesn’t mean we have to change our stance but it does help us communicate and articulate our points much better. We have edcamp coming up next month here and I’m stoked to see if they have a Rocks/Sucks session.
    Not sure why I waited so long to check out the blog but psyched I did-love it!
    Rock on friend

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