Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hey? What's the Big Idea?

I have ideas. I have a lot of ideas. Many of them do not work out because of something called physics. For other ideas this thing called genetics gets in the way....oh and money.  The last filter for my amazing ideas is money. But for those ideas that make it through those very tough barriers they have a fighting chance at becoming something real. I will typically do anything for my ideas. I have flown across the country, re-learned biology, and bought a ridiculous amount of stuff for these ideas.

In my school model (which is bound to be different from yours) I have a student in pre-k and I have a junior in my 39 student class. They have a computer with virtual lessons for about 60% of their school-year content and then I come in and fill the gaps the virtual curriculum doesn't cover. This means on any given day I can literally be teaching a student the sounds the "au" makes and the many words you can now recognize with that letter combination. OR/AND I can be teaching independent, dependant, and controlled variables in an experiment. It is very taxing as a teacher, but I LOVE it. And while it is a lot of work to keep up with all grade levels, it is insanely rewarding to make over the top lesson plans for only 40% of the school year...not 100% of it.

Sidebar: I love capital letters. My vocabulary lacks the skill set of some of my peers to use the right words for that expression, I however use caps when showing levels of tone.

My original idea...a one room schoolhouse for the digital era. The first year was dodgy at best.  Halfway through the year I really started feeling the impact I was making socially on the kids. I have joked a few times telling people about the work I am doing, calling it my own little social science experiment. I will not list all of the crazy things I do with the kids. Like a puzzle with no box, I am hoping to reveal myself little by little to you.

I am now in my 4th year of the set-up, and have a pretty clear understanding of what the virtual curriculum can do and what I must do, because they still have to be able to pass that test in April. Notwithstanding, learning should be fun and self paced (for the most part) and I have thrown tradition out the window. The students, because I get to keep them year after year, are quite used to my antics and big schemed ideas. They were reluctant to participate early on, but like a swimming pool in early May, they are willing jump full in with me now.

I am ready and want to take this a step further. I want to expand what I am doing to a whole new level. I will not spew all of the ideas coming through my brain in relation to the next step. That would be an absolute mess. The only thing I can compare it to at this point is a shaken bottle of soda pop. If I start speaking the lid will explode off the bottle and drench you, me, maybe the old guy sitting next to you.  I cannot even say everything I want to say about it; i am in think-tank mode. But I know I will need money. I have started looking at grants and it scares the mess out of me. 

SO here it is. The reason for the post, this is the action part: Which of my readers have applied for a grant? What kind of grant did you apply for? What did you do with it?  My ideas fail, sometimes. What happens if your idea for the money fails?


  1. *following* cool idea ----- you have a lot of them!

  2. Donors Choose? Sounds like you're thinking WAY bigger than a project funded by personal donations though?