Teachers Forum at Burning Man?

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Teachers Forum at Burning Man?

Postby jcliff » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:06 pm

K-12 teachers are a rare breed in Black Rock City. The dates of Burning Man sadly exclude many teachers who are back in session before Burning Man begins. This year I'd like to organize an afternoon meet-and-greet and brainstorming session with Burner teachers who are able to participate.

I’m a high school science teacher at an academically rigorous Catholic school in the Chicago area. My administrators have granted me 4 personal days for the past two years to participate in BM. I've given them full disclosure on what I'm doing on my time away from my students. I've provided them ample information about the mission and value of Burning Man and they have researched the Project on their own. They support my participation because they understand that the mission of Burning Man applies to our school community. They now want me to make what I learn at Burning Man relevant to my students. I've been called out. If I want to continue to take the 3rd week off from my school year, I better figure out a way to bring it home to the students I'm leaving.

So Teachers.....I'd like to find 1 or 2 of you to help me organize a time for us in the biz to sit together and meet our minds. How do we apply the values of Burning Man to our curriculum?

Logistics: Is there a Camp that can host a teacher forum for an afternoon? I'm a Lamplighter, and we do have a lounge.....but I'm not sure it fits the bill.

Can we establish a social network of Burner teachers? A place to get ideas or share lesson plans that support the Burning Man mission? How about an online place to simply say hello to other teachers?

If you are up for some educational organization this summer.....please let me know!

Jennifer (JCliff)
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Postby ibdave » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:10 pm

Whatever you do, don't let the "HAT" speak to you and the group...
BLAA BLAAA BLAAAAA
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Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg
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Postby jessandjayinID » Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:17 pm

Interesting thought Jennifer! I am a k-5 teacher Teacher of the Deaf and have not gone to BM for years because of the time of year... Finally this year I am taking my personal days and going.... I would love this meeting of the minds.. Being a first timer I have no idea where to meet but.. am interested!
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Postby robbidobbs » Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:19 pm

I feel for you. The rigors of teaching tend to preclude participating unless one has an enlightened principal.

Good luck, and remember the Playa extends beyond the 400 square miles.

The good work continues,
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What about Inclusivity?

Postby Ginkgo » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:21 pm

Glad you're starting this conversation.

I'd like to start another- has it occurred to anybody that scheduling the Burn on dates that exclude an entire profession, as well as many college and gradaute students, might contradict the whole radical inclusivity thing? I'm about to go make a picket sign.

I'm very close to entering a school counseling graduate program, and one of the things giving me pause, quite honestly, is the possibility of never going to Burning Man again. Especially that teachers are second only to parents in their ability to embody and model the values and behaviors of our transient city, isn't this something that might want to be revisited?

Or, to put it another way, can't Larry Harvey just reschedule the event so I can go?

But really, though. I'm curious to hear how other teacher/burners have navigated this dilemma, whether there are certain school districts/states that have burner-friendly calendars, whether guidance counselors would be subject to the same scheduling rigor at the start of the school year as teachers are. Anyone who would be willing to share their experiences with this would be doing me a great favor.

Cheers,

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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:32 pm

[s]I want Larry Harvey to reschedule it so it conincides with my birthday.

And I want him to send me a limo to pick me up.[/s]
Oh crap, still first page.

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Postby VLorino » Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:28 am

Hi Jennifer,
I new to Burning Man this year, and relatively new to teaching (starting my third year), after making a mid-life career change. I teach middle school language arts and will be finishing my masters this year. I would love to connect with you and any other teachers to hear your thoughts and experiences. Like I said I new this year so I can't suggest where to meet, but tell me a time and place and I will be there!
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Postby VLorino » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:59 am

Okay, before anybody jumps down my back, I meant to say "I'm new this year." Not sure how that happened... :oops:
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Postby Grape Toaster » Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:58 pm

Ahhh. I signed up for eplaya JUST so I could reply to this topic.

It's going to be my second year at Burning Man, and I feel so lucky to be able to go this year - I'm in a teaching credential program right now and fortunately, we have a week off from classes the week of Burning Man.

It's bittersweet though, because there's a good chance this will be my last year at Burning Man for a while, or at least that I won't be able to go until the last couple of days....for basically the rest of my life... because of my chosen profession.

I wanted to second Gingko's query - is there anything we can do to make Burning Man more accessible to our profession? I'm going to try to find a school district with a more accomodating calendar or at least an accomodating principal, but realistically, knowing what I do about schools in my area, I'm not at all optimistic about being able to skip out on school to go to the playa.

I realize the odds of Burning Man ever moving to earlier in the month are pretty slim, but if anyone else wants to work together to lobby for that, I'd be totally on board. When I was in college I was never able to go either for the same reason, and I'm damn lucky that my grad program doesn't interfere, so there are a ton of people who are systematically excluded who would have no trouble going if it was just a tiny bit earlier in the summer. And for the rest of the world, they could just take their vacation days at a different time...

It really makes me sad because it puts such a huge downer on something I really want to do (become a teacher) and I know I'm going to be missing out on something I love for a long time. =(
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Postby mamasaid » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:48 pm

I just go anyways...
For the last 9 years, I've either been an undergrad, a teacher, a graduate student, a university professor, and now a doctoral student. First year.

You just make it happen.

You don't take now for an answer. You tell them how important it is to your life and your work.

For me, I have the choir and I sang with Acaplaya, so as a music professor, it only makes the school look better. (reason # 59, I don't teach elementary, because I need to be free to continue to live outside my work)

Seriously, it can be done. You just have to be willing to bust your ass when you get back, and it almost always sucks.

but I'm on year 9 and will demand I keep going, or I won't take that job...


!!!!

at least for now, maybe I'll get all disgruntled with the playa one day and just not want to go. but for now, the dma program can wait.

I'm a better teacher for it, there is NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT....

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Postby Sanddog42 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:22 pm

Field Trip!

(Make sure you get your permission slips signed.)
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Postby Grape Toaster » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:04 pm

Busting my ass when I get back I don't mind, but if I'm teaching math to a bunch of middle-school or high-schoolers and it's the first week of school, leaving is flat-out not an option, probably not even for one day of the week. Not only would it be pretty bad for the kids for their teacher not to be there at the start of school, I'd probably get fired.

I'm going to try to find a school where Burning Man falls on the second or third week of school, but even then I believe it would be unconscionable to leave for more than say, one or two days at the end of the week, so I've got an abbreviated (if at all) Burning Man experience in store for the rest of my life. I'm not aware of any districts in my area that start after labor day, and even if there were any, they would probably have required meetings the week before (so, the week of Burning Man).

As a college student it's not such a big deal, you only have yourself to worry about and a lot of my friends skipped out on the first week of classes to go. The attitude of "just make it happen" makes a lot more sense in that context. As a K-12 teacher you're a lot more constrained by obligations.

It's really the only time during the summer where the dates are seriously inconvenient (like, do you want to lose your job inconvenient) for a specific, potentially large group of people. I'm sure at this point it's a fantasy to think that burning man would ever be moved for this reason, but I don't know why there should be major opposition to it (except for tradition's sake, and perhaps the proximity to Labor Day weekend...)
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Postby beatsnotbombs » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:38 pm

I am an early childhood educator. I have been out of college for a couple of years and working in the field for 3. I honestly never thought I would be able to go. However, due to a need to move across country and a job change, I can make it this year!

I would love to get together with other educators. I think as teachers we are often expected to have dual lives if we enjoy things like burning man. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had the opportunity to go to events like burning man and bring elements from them back to our communities and classrooms.

I am thankful for this year at least. I know if I am supposed to be at BM I will be.

I am camping at camp help but notice. 830 and K smaller camp. I would love to gather at some point.
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Postby beatsnotbombs » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:38 pm

I am an early childhood educator. I have been out of college for a couple of years and working in the field for 3. I honestly never thought I would be able to go. However, due to a need to move across country and a job change, I can make it this year!

I would love to get together with other educators. I think as teachers we are often expected to have dual lives if we enjoy things like burning man. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had the opportunity to go to events like burning man and bring elements from them back to our communities and classrooms.

I am thankful for this year at least. I know if I am supposed to be at BM I will be.

I am camping at camp help but notice. 830 and K smaller camp. I would love to gather at some point.
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Postby StewartGilligan » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:08 pm

So I am a middle school teacher in socal, and my brother is really getting me excited ever since he returned in playa-covered clothes and truck. He really wants me to go with him next year. I've begun to plan, but am very apprehensive about who to go with and where to stay.

It'll be my virgin burn, and I don't necessarily want to stay where he does. He's good pals with the people who run the Tetris camp, but that place is so loud. I like to sleep, and I think I will enjoy being a little away from that. I want to cook in a camp, and gift food and my time in the kitchen. I want to explore, meet new people, and make the experience one I will never forget.

I am a planner, as are most of us teachers. We are masters of our classrooms, and I would love to stay in a camp with others who think like me.

As far as the time off is concerned, I need to figure that out. I have seen people trade days with other teachers who are off track (for those of us that work year round), but I think I may need to find a cool doctor who will put me off on stress leave for a few days. It sucks to lie, but It's my time to use as i see fit in my opinion.

Anyway, I'd love to talk to other teacher burners out there.

Shawn
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:54 pm

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Postby Enli » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:07 am

I'm really glad I saw this topic, as I was about to create my own specifically to ask if there were any other K-12 teachers who regularly attend Burning Man.

I currently work as a language assistant in a French high school and I am really digging it, and am seriously considering getting my teaching credentials when I go back to California. I'd like to be a high school English and French teacher but have been thinking about the special problems that BM's date poses for K-12 educators. BM is a really important part of my life and I would be very disappointed if my career interfered with my attendance for years to come.

So I am kind of stuck right now wondering what to do! If anyone has advice for me, please do share. And although I won't be attending the Burn this year I would love to attend an educators' forum in the future.

I actually brought some BM materials with me to France but have yet to introduce them in the classroom. When I work out a lesson plan I will be glad to share it with you all.
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