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Swipe Right For Success

Posted by on in School Culture
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With 2016 being days away, I’m starting to revisit some goals that I made in the beginning of the school year. One of my goals is to be cognizant of current lingo so I’m never caught off guard in conversations. While Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary is just a click away (UD was a staple for me, as I taught middle school and was a middle school VP), it’s nice to know a sense of the word before I have to look it up.

I’ve been hearing about “swiping right” as of late. First came the “like” on Facebook, then came the Retweet on Twitter, followed by the “+1” and so many others.

In the mobile dating app Tinder, swiping right means you are interested / “like” the person that you see on your screen. While the app has been around for a couple of years, its popularity has surged, and jokes on the radio and The Tonight Show have been more common.  

I’ve also read about Tinder scenarios with teachers, supervisors, and central administration in education. I get legal briefs once a week to see what’s going on in schools statewide and nationally. And yes, most of those news briefs are rather sad. 

I refuse to let trendy items that get negative reputations in our digital lives impede on education. While I’m not going to be encouraging our students to be using a dating app, I’m always a fan of using popular sayings or something from pop culture to relate to students or staff. I have many staff in their 20’s where a teachable moment often happens by injecting a buzz word that the agegroup can relate to. It’s no different than using a current song on the radio or a meme that’s all the rage.

Back to the title – swipe right for success? It  sounds like something that the character Michael Scott would push from the TV show “The Office”. But, it’s a thought where we can build on; something we can take to relate to others in the future.

The point of the post? Embrace appropriate pop culture in schools for a more positive experience, and don’t throw lingo around that you haven’t looked up.

 Did you hear the story about the one teacher who told kids to go HAM and had no idea what it meant? Never mind ;) 

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Jay Eitner is a proud product of the New Jersey public schools. A graduate from Union High School in 1997, Jay attended The American University in Washington DC with a BA in interdisciplinary studies. He began his teaching career in Roselle, NJ teaching a variety of subjects including social studies, computers, and digital literacy. Known for being ‘outside of the box’ and for strong technology infusion, Eitner strived to make a learning environment that was student centered, data driven, and technology infused. Jay received his Masters Degree from Kean University in 2004 and was hired to teach 8th grade social studies in the nationally recognized East Brunswick Public Schools. During his time in East Brunswick, Eitner has written & received over $140,000 in grants for his students. Grants ranged from podcasting equipment to creating a fully-interactive gold-rush experience, where students dug for gold during their westward expansion unit. Jay obtained his supervisor, principal, and school administrator certificates from the NJPSA NJ-EXCEL program in 2009. Administratively, Eitner has served as a middle school Assistant Principal in the Washington Township Schools , a K-12 Supervisor of Social Studies in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District, and a Superintendent of the Lower Alloways Creek School District. Jay currently serves as a Superintendent of Schools for the Waterford Township School District. He has presented a series of workshops on digital leadership, technology infusion, and student achievement. Recent awards include the 2015 national Educators Voice Award in the category of Superintendent, the White House MakerSpace distinction, and named to the national Academy of Arts & Sciences as a 2016 Educator To Watch.

Jay currently resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and is a proud Dad of twin girls and his puppy Lola.

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Guest Friday, 15 February 2019