MSM #74 – You Swine & The Mighty-Morphing Middle School!

The school board decided to remove speech and debate from the course schedule; there was no argument.

The best part of going back to school is seeing all your friends. The worst part is that your teachers won’t let you talk to them.

School is where you always try to do your best-except when your friends are watching.

Teacher: I told you to stand at the end of the line ?
Pupil: I tried, but there was someone already there !

Walking through the hallways at the middle school where I work, I saw a new substitute teacher standing outside his classroom with his forehead against a locker. I heard him mutter, “How did you get yourself into this?” Knowing that he was assigned to a difficult class, I tried to offer moral support. “Are you okay?” I asked. “Can I help?” He lifted his head and replied, “I’ll be fine as soon as I get this kid out of his locker.”

One morning I was called to pick up my son at the school nurse’s office. When I walked through the main entrance, I noticed a woman, curlers in her hair, wearing pajamas. “Why are you dressed like that?” I asked her. “I told my son,” she explained, “that if he ever did anything to embarrass me, I would embarrass him back. He was caught cutting school. So now I’ve come to spend the day with him!”

Events and Happenings:

  1. The National Middle School Association is looking for an editor for their Research in Middle Level Education Journal (RMLE).
  2. NMSA ‘08 Technology Focus Video.
  3. NMSA ‘09 Invitation Video:  Indianapolis, IN Conference  November 5-7, 2009.  Individual Registration is now open.
  4. ATTENTION Michigan Association of Middle School Educators & Friends: MAMSE is putting together a bus for the trip to the National Middle School Association’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN this fall.  Ride down to the conference in a luxury bus with satellite access for Twittering, Facebooking, and other 21st Century technology access for less than $100.00.  With all the conversations with middle school teachers on the bus, I wonder if we could call this a mini-MAMSE conference?  There’s nothing like getting together with people who love the people we love:  our students.  Getting together with folks like that is energizing and priceless.  Email Teresa Sutherland for information and details.  Don’t forget to mention you heard about it on Middle School Matters.
  5. Keynote speakers for NMSA ’09 have been announced:  Daniel Pink (political connections) opens and Rick Wormeli closes.
  6. NMSA ‘09 Elections must be in by May 15th.  (Vote for Jeff LaRoux!)
  7. Schools to Watch Conference June 25-27, Washington D.C.  Conference registration info.
  8. Educational Technology Leadership Conference, June 24th at Holt High School, Holt, MI. Register for the event.
  9. ISTE Eduverse Talks are the recorded sessions held on ISTE Island every week.  Join ISTE in their Second Life conference location for their weekly talks on education.
  10. The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform will be holding their annual conference in June.  See the flyer at their website for details.
  11. Brainyflix extends their “video vocabulary” contest to May 22, 2009.
  12. Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.
  13. Classroom 2.0’s Ning Blog:  This week’s discussion is on the uses of Copyright and Creative Commons for Teachers.  Archived content is available.
  14. Second Life:
    • No Events specified.  Regular Tuesday meetings are scheduled.  See the board on the ISTE Island for up to the minute details.
    • Video:  Educational Uses of Second Life
    • There is a conference being held by ISTE in Second Life, wander over to the auditorium behind the Headquarters to check it out.


We’re at 8, we are throwing down the gauntlet to make it to 10.

From the Twitterverse:

Listener’s Letters:


Again, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your show.  Once a week, I get up early with the birds, make a cup of coffee and listen to your podcast in silent reverence.  Actually, scratch that.  I get up with my two little ones, plug in my headphones as I run around trying to get ready for the day…but your show does have a Zen quality that calms me down and gives me confidence to face the day with my MS students.

I do have a question…next year, I am implementing a 1:1 notebook program with our middle school students.  What resources would you recommend as I start staff training in using moodle and notebooks in the classroom?  I know this is a huge question…but to whom else can I turn in my time of need?

Thanks guys and keep up the good work.

Robert Jackson
Kyiv International School

We also discussed New Tech High School.