Overall, it wasn't a complete loss. I'm not giving up. Sometimes I expect so much from my students and myself that I skip steps and when it fails I'm hard on myself, but this is such an opportunity. I may even share this observation with students.
It's amazing where ideas come from when it comes to be creative as a teacher. As I'm watching this program and writing this post, I've had a million other ideas of how I could differentiate this one idea for the particular students in my class. If my goal is to get students engaged with story telling and doing research about their personal history and tying that personal history to larger history, then by providing choice and voice, I'd hope the students would strengthen valuable skills while learning new content.
In many cases, when we are afforded opportunities to make our own decisions about where and how we learn or how we teach, that level of ownership naturally connects with curiosity. However, when someone else dictates how and why we MUST learn or do something, regardless of how interesting it may be, there is a level of control that kills whatever possible curiosity that could naturally occur.
Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that there is no other profession that I can really see myself in. I've tried a few others out, so it's not a default and I'm certainly not doing it to have the summers off (as I'm not usually off during that time.) Teaching is both noble and challenging. It takes a long time to truly nurture and grow.
The world is changing and as educators we have a moral imperative to adjust and change with it. We owe it to our colleagues and students to understand and implement new ideas all of the time that keeps our teaching and learning fresh. This kind of transparency goes a long way. Plus, students can teach us so much when we open ourselves up to let them. Why not let a student teach the class about an application we don't feel comfortable using (I've done this with iMovie in the past and even Prezi before I could use it).
And I'm certain that as more time goes on, my skill set will be used more efficiently and I will be able to help more kids through more teachers. How has listening helped you become a better member of your school community? Please share
In the past I've been fortunate enough to collaborate with some higher ed professors of writing and try to streamline expectations between their composition classes and what I was teaching in 12th grade English. What we learned was that not just the content but method of delivery were wildly desparate. How can we expect students to be successful in college if we aren't having these important conversations and then adjusting our pedagogy and expectations accordingly to suit the students? It is their needs that should be driving instruction and not just our thoughts about expectations.
Seniors only get to live their last year of high school once... how awesome would it be to have a public record of their own thoughts and feelings of it for the future? And it doesn't have to only be seniors, think of a time in your life when you found work in a box from when you were a kid, wasn't it fun to see your thoughts and be reminded of your younger self? Why not help students develop their digital footprint in an authentic way while helping learn to be good digital citizens?
My son is my absolute favorite person in the world and he deserves my love and attention more than anyone else, but I also love my career. How can I possibly be a great and present mom when my son needs me AND also be available to my school and the larger educational community when they need me? What I struggle most with is knowing when to switch hats. When is it okay to put me first? When is it necessary to put my son first and how can I provide for both teachers and students when they need help ...
National Board is an excellent way to take a deep look at your practice and make some necessary adjustments based on the findings. It truly changed who I am as a teacher.