This is all about creativity, education, and new media, which can (and probably need to be) moving hand-in-hand.
After more than twenty years of education, I am increasingly baffled about what people term as quality learning. Letting tests, overcrowding, and improper funding function as an academic norm makes little sense.
After more than twenty years of involvement in media, I am increasingly baffled about what people term as good journalism. Bias tends to be the norm, and good reporters are relegated to social media, and too many people run with the very first thing they see on TV or read on Facebook.
On top of it all, we’re in a creative generation. Whether one wishes to agree or disagree with Richard Florida and his concepts on the creative class(it is deeper than the Wiki post, so take time to research this yourself), it is clear that creativity is the norm. From the rise of sketch noting, the popularity of comic-cons (which are more than comics now), and the social relevance of SKSW and the availability of technology that allows more people to create, it is apparent a cultural renaissance is in place.
Yet, after more than twenty years, rhetorical is paralyzing our nation, creating deep divisions among even long-time friends and family, and reducing education to a list that pigeon-holes students to answer a, b,c, or d even when we know a, b, c, or d can change in an instant.
My school is currently determined to challenge this and, even though I work for a Christian private school, the norm is under fire. We know we can not send a prejudiced, biased group of young people into the world. Their faith will be called into question immediately, or they will only deeper the divide with unintentional (or intentional) hate rhetoric.
I have been blessed with great role models over the years: Joyce Briscoe, Robin Read, Judy Cole, Jim Arnold, Bill Wolffarth (high school), and later Debbie Firstenburg, Charles Usmar, Jack and Carol Nuzum, Kimberly Hearne, Maria Fleming, among others. They had a zeal for teaching, but also never compromised instruction. I figured if I could do that, then I would do what it took to be a great teacher.
I also have seen journalists keep themselves relevant despite the change (Inez Russell Gomez, Teri Schultz, Monica Seals, Arnie Stapleton, among others).
Thus, despite teaching in Albuquerque, Chandler and Gilbert, and now the Portland metro area, and in a public, charter and now private school, I know I do not know it all yet, and I have to continue to learn, grow, and also create.
This blog site is dedicated to these changes. This may mean I make some people uncomfortable from time to time, however, I challenge you: Before you vent, research and contemplate, and then come at me professionally and ethically. If you can not, then your comments will most likely not be addressed.
Cary L. Tyler
Manzano H.S. Class of 1983, New Mexico State 1987, Grand Canyon University, 2010, Boise State University Expected Graduation December 2013