Education According to Hamilton: My Shot

Wow! The reaction after Education According to Hamilton: Part One was pretty amazing. I’m pretty geeked out about the amount of you who are obsessed with Hamilton the Musical like I am, especially those of you who (like me) have never even seen the musical!

Education According to Hamilton My Shot

One of the most well-known songs from the show is “My Shot” which is an interesting foreshadowing of what is to come between Burr and Hamilton. Here’s a video with lyrics if you’ve not heard the song. (If you’re offended by language, check out this clean version.)

This song is so catchy and easily gets stuck in my head! I’ll be singing this one in my dreams tonight. So besides the “I gotta holler just to be heard with every word, I drop knowledge,” which is a great insight into a well-orchestrated three-ring circus classroom, there are several other lessons for educators embedded here.

I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal tryin’ to reach my goal.

It’s one of my favorite parts of being an educator – seeing others see the potential in themselves that I know is there! We’re really all just pieces of coal, diamonds in the rough.

So let me spell out my name, I am the A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R

School is getting ready to start for many of us! As soon as you receive your class list, learn how to spell every single name correctly! Then on day one (bonus points for doing this before day one), learn how to pronounce every single name correctly! My maiden name was Alicia Winebarger… it meant a lot to me to have others make the effort to, not only spell my name correctly, but pronounce it correctly as well. (Thankful to have married into the Ray family…  haha)

So there will be a revolution in this century. Enter me.

Hey… have you noticed? There’s an educational revolution happening around us. For some of us, we can say in parentheses – ENTER ME. If you’ve not heard about The Revolution, check out my post here! (Shoutout to Darren Ellwein and Derek McCoy)

Geniuses, lower your voices.

Give me some grace on this one. I was the “smart” kid in school. I never really loved school, but I was really good at it. I enjoyed being the first to answer questions. Before the teacher even had the question completely posed to the class, my hand was in the air. (And that was on a good day; sometimes I’d just blurt out) I love the creative ways teachers are giving every student think time in their classes. This time is valuable for ALL students and I believe the silence after a question is asked is golden. I’ve seen teachers who post a timer and deliberately give a 30-second run off before anyone is allowed to raise their hand. I’ve seen teachers who use technology tools like Flipgrid, Padlet, GoFormative, Socrative, etc for students to have think time (Check out Tech with Heart by Stacey Roshan for some great ideas). I remember the first time, as an educator, I was told about think time. Have you ever intentionally waited 30 seconds before accepting answers? It’s just on this side of F-O-R-E-V-E-R in class. But it’s valuable and should be done. Try it out if you’ve never done that! Watch how many more students engage in your class!

Make this moment last!

Help students love learning. Make every effort to make the moments in your class moments that encourage, empower, and exhilarate kids! When students have to leave your room, make them want to stay. There’s nothing better than the groan of students who can’t believe it’s time for their next class in middle school. Students who choose to come to the media center during lunch, or beg me not to move their project so they can come back to work the next morning… those are the moments that are valuable to me. I want to make those last.

What lessons, in education and in life, do you learn from Hamilton’s “My Shot”? Share them in the comments below or reply on Twitter! Keep watching for more Education According to Hamilton!


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