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Monday, January 7, 2013

Persuasive Platform

Tales from the Teacher's Lounge

As a teacher, I'm constantly reflecting and trying to figure out new ways to get my students excited about learning.  The best advice I can give any new teacher is to make learning authentic.  Make it real for the kids; relevant if you will.  The more personal investment you can foster, the better the end result will be.  

This year I'm working on my National Boards.  There, I said it.  It's real.  And now you all know.  You all know if I succeed and you all know if I fail.  If you're the praying type, please, start praying now that things go well for me throughout this process!  It's expensive, intensive, and rigorous.  I'm not exactly nervous for it, but excited to see how it stretches my teaching and fosters "outside the box" thinking.

Whew!  Now that that's out of the bag, let me share with you one of the big projects I've been working on for several months now (with great help from fabulous co-teachers and my students of course.)

The Persuasive Platform

We did this last year and revamped it this year to be bigger, better, and more involved.  Last year each of my students wrote a persuasive letter to an audience of choice, about a topic of choice.  The only requirement was that it used the power of persuasion to get their audience to do what they wanted it to. One of my classes was then able to host the platform in my classroom.  Students read their letters aloud to various community leaders and we hosted refreshments after.  I was pleasantly surprised at the upset my other 2 classes shared after realizing they had not had this same opportunity.

So, this year, we made sure all three classes were able to participate in this platform.  The day before Christmas break is a half day for our students so I took the opportunity to reserve the cafeteria.  (We don't serve lunch in the cafeteria on half days.)  We invited ten community leaders including the mayor, town commissioner, superintendent, etc.  We also invited all of our parents/families this year!  About twenty students signed up to read their letters aloud to the rather large crowd.  

I can't tell you how proud I am of each and every individual.  They took this opportunity very seriously and addressed issues that really mattered to them including the need for a skate park in our town, the lack of food choice at lunch, the poor technology in our school, and the desire for a teen recreational facility in our town.  Each individual dressed professionally and exemplified great bravery in conducting themselves in front of such a large crowd, not just of peers, but of elders.

A few pictures from the day and again a huge THANK YOU to all those that helped make it happen!
My homeroom in their professional attire.

Father and son discussing the project after the platform had ended.

The students greeted, served, and entertained our guests.

The town commissioner discussed ideas for a future skate park with students after the platform.




  1. okay first of all - i will DEFINITELY be praying for you to pass your national boards. i KNOW you can do it.

    second, this makes me miss teaching. it was those moments that i LOVED about teaching! what an amazing opportunity these kids had!! seriously. so cool. you are an AMAZING teacher, lins. truly gifted.

    and third, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! oxoxoxoxo

  2. HI there!!! I'm Hanna and I am your newest follower! Foudn your lovely blog on the Monday blog hop!! SO GLAD I DID!!! Happy New Year! Find me anytime at


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