“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet” -Billy Shakespeare
So, here it goes my first ever blog post!
I have thought about doing this for a very long time. I have been following some amazing educators and have been inspired by their honesty in sharing their journeys. I hope to also reflect and use this blog as a shiny mirror to my thoughts. Mirrors are necessary to our daily life and from my experience in the classroom, students will let you know immediately if you’ve been ignoring a mirror. “Dan, you missed a spot shaving!” , “Yo, Dan let me style that hair of yours!” but also, “Dan, THIS IS BORING!”, “Uh, Here we go again!” “I didn’t do my HW, I dunno” (The I dunno is usually represented by just a weird sound accompanied by a semi-shoulder shrug)… Part of this journey I guess is to make sure I check the mirror before the students do, well at least prepare and share our mirror with others for some feedback. This is where a blog might help, especially with honest exchanges from others having similar experiences. I would love to have others in this field check out my mirror and help me clean it up a bit when it gets foggy, and who knows I may help someone else with theirs indirectly.
So, what may be the FIRST thing you notice in this “mirror”?? Well, I see a name… Dan, Dan the Science Man?? A somewhat humorous name that probably brings forth many assumptions. The guy likes all things science? He blows things up? He watches too much TV? He is egotistical? He’s a wannabe?? He’s an entertainer? a teacher?? With these questions and assumptions I must wonder how I’m perceived from the outside with this name and how much does it matter? I know for a fact that if people glance quickly at this blog they expect it to be about….Language Arts!, ok,ok, Science… It is certainly true that I have been teaching and coordinating that amazing subject for the past 13 years which has brought much success and experience with it. The thing is though, professionally I have been a student driven “special educator” primarily using the subject of science as my vehicle. I have had wonderful opportunities to foster student success and esteem within a subject that inspires curiosity and a yearn to learn! These 13 years have been in a placement for students with significant learning challenges. Learning occurs here but has to be done (cliche) “out of the box” or not “traditionally” which just so happens to be a great fit for my personality! I started my career understanding individuals with challenges FIRST and then growing into the subject/curriculum.(for a future blog, I’m sure) I began by trying to give my students a chance to grow into the learning and also take some ownership of it. They should have a lot of say in what happens there and through time, conversations and experiences together create something that they may actually like being around! I’ve tried to just put items on a menu and hopefully assist them in cooking and creating the plates.(like metaphors much?) So back to this name bit…Dan, Dan the Science Man. He was named and created by the wonderful students he sought to teach. I am many names and titles in this life (Daniel M. Curcio- passport, license,- Dan to some, Danny Boy to others, at times “DANIEL MICHAEL CURCIO” to an annoyed mother, King Supreme to no one…) well you get the point and I have been given all these names. I have taken ownership of these names, especially the one that students gave me to represent just one facilitator in their learning journeys. Actually, it may be one of the only facilitators they had a choice in creating during their educational journey, so for this I am proud. Here is why it represents this blog and this professional. As you may have gathered I will certainly explore science and education here, but believe it or not Dan, Dan the Science Man is so, so much more!!
What’s your name?