Ultimately, I am very confident that I capable to helping my students learn the way each of them need to. Despite the hoops that teachers have to jump through to prove that we can do that, it really comes down to the kids. Continually, I strive to better improve my practice, forfeit control and empower students to own their own learning in an authentic and meaningful way. When it works, I like to reflect on why and keep pushing harder and when it doesn't I have to examine what can be done differently. This is the only way I'll grow ...
If we truly want to change the world (and/or education), we have to work together; it's just too big of a project for any one person to take on alone. So if you have a great idea, share it. Find the right people who will lift you up and build it out and then make it happen. We are so much better together.
It's our mission to listen to teachers and highlight the many reasons they choose to stay in the classroom and build professional, lifelong careers. There are so many great schools, great teachers, and great communities of excellence both in New York City, and across the country. Let's recognize what's working. Let's celebrate the profession. Let's listen to why they stay.
What I appreciate most the ability to step back after a bad day and really put things in perspective. If a student and I had a difference of opinions and I didn't show the best side of myself, I can come back to class tomorrow, with a smile on my face and treat the day as new.
The same way teaching is an art and not just anyone can do it, teaching with tech takes knowledge and creativity and a willingness to take risks in order to explore learning differently.
Adults can often be the hardest students to please, ironically. We don't alway behave the way we'd hope our students would and sometimes teachers and administrators can be the worst offenders. However, if we make the learning personalized and continue to adjust as needed, the flexibility and choice will go a long way.
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.